Lots of new series are getting started up, including a few that sound... interesting.
If you saw the commercials for this new ABC sitcom featuring a bunch of people you've liked in other shows, as well as random circus clowns and Smurfs, and thought that this might be a new Arrested Development or something, you were wrong. While Mr. Sunshine strives for absurdity, it falls well short of greatness, especially considering that we're treated to the bizarreness of a show like Community on a regular basis. Even Cougar Town, the show that normally sits in this timeslot, does randomness better. And while part of me wants to say that Cougar Town took a while to get into its current groove and so maybe the world should give Sunshine some time to find its legs, I find myself far less forgiving of its goofy tone and waste of a talented cast.
ABC's annual presentation is usually the highlight of upfront week for one reason alone: year after year, Jimmy Kimmel appears on stage and absolutely kills with a series of rapier-sharp riffs about the TV industry. This year was no exception. After dry, but typical, business speak from ABC execs, clips from several new dramas (more on them later), a dull montage of Lost cast members reflecting on their series and Matthew Fox on stage trying hard to look awake, Kimmel came out firing. Regarding NBC: "I read in The Times this morning that Jeff Zucker is building a 40-ton containment dome that they hope to lower down on to the fall schedule." Regarding Law & Order's cancellation and L&O: L.A.'s pickup: "The last time NBC took a show from New York and moved it to L.A., it ended up as the lead-in to George Lopez on TBS." On Fox's decision to give Glee the post-Super Bowl spot: "[They are trying] for a record of 40-year-old drunk guys saying, 'What the fuck is this' all at the same time." On the limited longevity of CBS's Undercover Boss: "If your new bus boy shows up and speaks English, he is probably the president of Fuddruckers." On Charlie Sheen's massive CBS deal after his Christmas incident: "Tiger Woods must feel like a real dumbass right now."
Kimmel's own network didn't escape unscathed, either: "We're looking for shows that break the mold and then [ABC's president of entertainment] introduced another medical drama from Shonda Rhimes." And then he closed with an off-hand comment that made me giggle: "I have not missed a single episode of Five since the lizard aliens landed on Earth. Oh, V?" Granted, he also had some lines about "fluxing" and how at least broadcast TV is more popular than newspapers, but I'm trying to focus on the funny, which is more can be said for ABC's new slate of comedies. Good thing the network's new batch of dramas might make up for them. Here's our first take on all nine brand-new series:
It's that time of year when networks are finalizing their fall line-ups and deciding which current shows to keep or cancel. And while we'd like to see underrated procedural Detroit 1-8-7 get another chance, as well as the ridiculous, nonsensical guilty pleasure Off the Map continue, there are a plenty of other "bubble" shows that truly deserve to get their bubbles burst, freeing their casts and producers to seek better luck elsewhere. Here are the ones that most need to be axed, for everyone's sake: