We're anxiously waiting for new cable shows American Horror Story and Hell on Wheels, but since we haven't screened them yet, we have to withhold our final judgment (if nothing else, we're hoping Hell fills the Deadwood-shaped hole in our hearts). And while The X Factor will likely be insanely popular, we can't say that it will actually be good (not that it matters; we'll watch every minute). But we have seen the pilots for virtually every scripted show coming to broadcast TV this fall, and judging by their first episodes, we can confidently recommend setting your DVRs for these ten at the very least:
Good news for Norbit fans!
Instead of leading off with Jimmy Kimmel to get us warmed up and excited about these new shows, ABC's upfront presentation jumped right in, so Jimmy didn't come out to make the obligatory gay/British jokes about his new boss Paul Lee until halfway through the event. Actually, thirty minutes in was perfect timing for him because that was about when I become fairly horrified with the new crop of shows. But even Kimmel seemed off his game, making easy jokes about CBS ("More people die watching CBS than any other network") and NBC ("they'll be selling their ads on Groupon this year") and Fox's X-Factor ("It's like American Idol meets a mirror"). He did get in some decent cracks about the upfronts in general: "Remember those shows that we were so excited about last fall? We cancelled all of them... and yet here you are again. We think you might have a gambling problem." Not unfunny, but he was better in previous years. As for the network's gobs and gobs of new shows? They've been better in years past, too. There wasn't a single one that blew me away or cracked me up the way that Lost or Modern Family had done at first glance.
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