The NCIS crews are in the hizzouse!
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.
The 2010-11 NBC upfront presentation was so long that we're not sure who'd be more bored by a detailed recap of the event, you or us. Suffice it to say that the presentation began with a clip of Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy making jokes about his brief, ill-advised marriage to Nikki Finke, getting in a dig about President Obama's citizenship and then talking about how the "more colorful" slogan might sound like a "no-mess painting kit for pre-school girls" but is really more than that. Then there was some random talk about how the network would act like a dangerous Eastern European woman in order to gain advertisers. That was the highlight... it got less interesting from there, unless you are really, really, really into football announcers, in which case it picked up somewhere in the middle, and then it just slowly spiraled downward until it finally ended and I got to see Jerry Seinfeld on the esclalor. Oh, and did I mention that aside from an awkward appearance from Jimmy Fallon and his guitar, and the football announcers, there was a dearth of talent on stage? Guess they saved them for all of the swanky after-parties. But anyway, NBC previewed a bunch of new shows for both the fall and midseason to help us get an early start on deciding what we'll want to watch - or avoid.
We're not sure that the world really needs a spinoff to Criminal Minds, but then again, we didn't think sub-divisions of Law & Order were necessary and SVU and Criminal Intent proved us wrong by being far more enjoyable than their mothership. And while spinoffs may not always grab us right off the bat (like NCIS: Los Angeles), sometimes a new series just needs a little time before it starts improving upon its predecessor. Case in point: The City returned this week with new characters and a compelling new focus that made it far more watchable than the now totally contrived LC-less The Hills. But these aren't the only shows that have been better than their originals. Here's our look back at the best spinoffs from the past two decades:
The third day of upfronts brought us the endurance test that is the CBS presentation, held for the umpteenth year in freezing-cold Carnegie Hall. And once again, I was bemused by how defensive the executives sounded while touting the most successful network on television. CBS has the most popular drama (CSI), the most popular comedy (Two and a Half Men) and the most popular new show of the 2008-09 season (The Mentalist). And yet there's this undercurrent of resentment towards their lower-rated, but far "cooler," competitors that's actually fascinating from an armchair psychologist's perspective.
I hate to start off on a rant, but I just can't wait until after the jump. Seriously, why is 90210 2.0 going to get rid of Dustin Milligan, who plays Ethan? He's one of the few characters on that show I can even tolerate. The pentapus? Kinda cute. The fact that they think he's run his course is stupid. Really? Just hook him up with a new girl. I always thought he was supposed to be the Dylan in this scenario. Which means he's got a couple more seasons of life in him yet. Instead, the powers that be are trying to find ways to make watching this show an even more painful experience than it already is (it is my job to watch it... I would have stopped long ago if I could have). Since this apparently means more screen time for the dude playing Liam, and not a promotion for the awesomely underrated Navid, I'm not happy. Okay, now on to the rest of your regularly scheduled, and less rant-filled, news.
There have always been two kinds of supernatural shows on TV: those that were trying to be funny, like I Dream of Jeannie and Big Wolf on Campus, and those that were trying to be scary, like The Twilight Zone and Friday the 13th: The Series. Some straddled the line, managing both with equal skill, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Supernatural manages to be pretty scary most of the time, but many shows have aimed for scary and fallen horribly short. Here are a few of the most egregious examples.
MOST RECENT POSTS