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The Telefile
Fox: Kicking Ass, Taking Big Names and Making Idol More Bearable Again, I'm watching another upfront from the comfort of my desk chair. It really isn't all that bad... though it does mean no party and no mingling with stars, but I'll live. While CW apparently is becoming all lifestyles of the rich and famous, Fox seems to be just about action, Idol and some more action. Which works. If it ain't broke...

The presentation starts a little late, but then they show clips of their shows, very produced. I'm just excited to see Faith, er, Eliza Dushku. Instead of making their stars stand up in the audience when prompted, they've got all their famous faces on the stage and they are introducing them. Cool. Eliza Dushku looks fierce or five by five. Whatever the kids are saying now. They introduce the cast of Fringe, there are two other people standing next to Joshua Jackson, but I'm distracted. Love my some Pacey, but he's wearing a massive scarf around his next. Seriously massive. Like a Pashmina. Anyway lots of other peeps, waving and smiling (Cat Deeley is of course wearing a funky blue dress!), and then Joely Fischer is introduced. I swear she's wearing the same exact shirt that Eliza Dushku had on. But Eliza's left the stage and this stupid stream doesn't rewind. Damn. I miss my TiVo. Then Bones and Booth (guess he's still alive, huh?) are left. Emily looks fucking fantastic and fun in a polka dot dress. The adorable duo makes some small talk about wardrobe and then introduces some executive guy.

Executive guy talks a lot about sports and streaming and viewers, getting in digs at CBS and other networks whenever possible. He in turn introduces another suited up guy, who talks more statistics and whatnot. Says they are "redefining" the viewing experience for their two new dramas, by encouraging "Remote-free TV," with less commercials and less network promotional stuff. I'll believe it when I see it.

Kevin Reilly comes out, in another suit, to talk about these special "Remote-free TV" shows. First up, Fringe. Not only does it have Pacey, but also has Lance Reddick (aka Lost's Abaddon) as mean Mr. Boss Man. It looks like a trippy new X-Files, Lost and Alias blend... which I am so down with. Let's face it, I'm along for any ride that J.J. Abrams wants to take me on. And since Anna Torv is apparently the newest ingénue in his string of ingénues (Kevin Reilly's claim, not mine) she could be f'ing Ben Affleck some day. Who knows?

Then January comes the other "Remote-Free" show -- Dollhouse, the new Joss Whedon show. I don't really need to say any more to get your attention now do I? I'm sure if you are a geek you've read all about Eliza Dushku and Joss's reteaming on this new action series where the main characters go all Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and can be programmed to do anything. This show could suck big time and I will still watch every single last minute of it. If you still need convincing, did I mention the hotness that is BSG's Helo is in it?

Come fall Mondays will be Terminator/Prison Break. Tuesdays will be House/Fringe. Wednesdays will be Bones/two comedies. Wait. What? First of all, much as I adore Bones I've long contended that it should be on at 9. However, I was willing to overlook this because it was paired with House or other sorts of dramas that made some sort of sense. But this, this is just insane logic here. Not to mention that the two comedies are 'Til Death and the atrocious looking Do Not Disturb. The disturbing Disturb stars Niecy Nash and Jerry O'Connell, in a kind of Upstairs/Downstairs series set in a hotel. Reilly said that he met O'Connell when he was still on Crossing Jordan and thought that he was "one of the funniest guys around." Clearly, Reilly did not watch Carpoolers.

Thursdays are Moment of Truth (Ugh) and Kitchen Nightmares (yay!). Fridays are 5th Grader and Lyrics while Saturday and Sunday pretty much look the same as they do now.

They showed clips of two more potential midseason dramas that they are mulling over... way to make a decision. Lie to Me and Courtroom K looked mostly forgettable, so maybe the waiting is really hope that something better comes along.

Kiefer Sutherland then comes out on stage looking all dapper. He confirms that Tony Almeida will be back (I know that show has been off the air a really long time, but I could have sworn they killed him off). He also shares that 24 is filming a two-hour prequel in South Africa, which is set to air in November and rambles about lowering their carbon footprint. Good for them. Just show me some new episodes already. He presented some clips of the new season, which are filled with yelling and gun shots and Tony and well, here's hoping it will be better than the last.

Best news of this entire upfront comes while Reilly is explaining the new midseason lineup. American Idol results shows will only be 30 minutes. Yeah, you freakin' read that right. Someone finally answered my prayers. 30 minutes. Though arguably they could be shortened to five minutes, but I'll take a half hour. Reilly then says they haven't decided what they'll air Wednesdays after Idol since the time period is so "valuable." Then he talks up two of their "maybes," one of which is called Boldly Going Nowhere from the Always Sunny in Philadelphia people and they had not a lick of footage of it. The other is Outnumbered, and ordinary family drama that holy crap... stars our Vlogger Beth!!! No way! She's playing the slutty sister to the tired looking mom. Wow. Good for you Beth!!! Don't forget us if your show gets picked up.

Come Thursdays in January you'd better get your tissue boxes ready because Fox has found a way to combine Oprah's Big Give and Extreme Makeover Home Edition into one series called Secret Millionaire. Its when rich people go undercover as poor people and then give a little bit of their large fortunes to the poor.

Sundays midseason will have two new animated comedies. One is a spinoff of Family Guy called the Cleveland Show which looks almost exactly like Family Guy with just names changed to protect the innocent. The other is Sit Down, Shut Up which is apparently based on and Australian series and stars the voice talents of every single person Mitch Hurwitz (creator of the brilliant Arrested Development) ever met. Seriously, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Cheri Other, Henry Winkler, Kenan Thompson (as a woman), Tom Kenny (Spongebob!) and Will Forte. Sadly with this awesome cast and amazing pedigree, I didn't laugh once. Sigh. Maybe it will be better all be better once it is animated? Fingers crossed.

Then the press is treated to a performance by some of the stars of So You Think You Can Dance, though Kevin Reilly really should have had Cat Deeley come out because no one says the title like her. It is the first time all three winners, Nick, Benji and Sabra have been on the same stage. Which is awesome. But Benji is dancing with his sister, which is all fine and whatever, but it doesn't showcase his skills. Plus, Lacey is being all sexy and that's just icky when she's gyrating around her brother. God, I can't wait for this show to return.

That's all folks. Upfronts are over. You may return to your normal couch potato positions until TCA.

TAGS: fox, upfronts

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