Nerd Herders Rejoice!

This week brought a delightful Halloween treat for "Chuck" fans everywhere: not only will NBC be bringing the show back earlier than March, they've also tacked on 6 additional episodes to the original 13-ep order!!

Breaking: NBC ups 'Chuck' order

Kudos to NBC for the wise move. They've made some rather questionable decisions this season: axing "Southland" before it even premiered and giving Jay Leno five nights a week to be unfunny, among others.

In other semi-related Chuck news, the erstwhile Bryce Larkin (Matt Bomer) has his own brand-spanking new show on USA, "White Collar." It also has Willie Garson (Stanford from SATC), Marsha Thomason (Las Vegas), and Kelly Kapowski (I mean, Tiffani 'don't call me Amber' Thiessen). The show pulled in decent numbers for its premiere and the reviews are mostly positive. The pilot was enjoyable, with its fun banter between the two show leads and the charming Bomer. USA Network, I think you've scored another hit!

The upside for NBC this winter is the Olympics, bringing much needed advertising dollars and viewers. Midseason will also see the debut of the buzzed about new drama, "Parenthood" starring Peter Krause (Dirty Sexy Money, Six Feet Under) and the newly cast Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls).



Anyone feeling the new crop of shows?

To be honest, very few of the new shows look good this year. I passed on checking out most of them, but gave about five of them a try. The appraisal so far:

Modern Family - funnier than expected. The entire cast is a hoot. And Edward Norton will be popping up sometime in the near future, so that gives me a good reason to keep watching for awhile.

Cougar Town - better than expected as well. Not as funny as Modern Family but it could get there. It is from Bill Lawrence after all! I'm a little apprehensive about how long they can keep up the funny if it's always centered around Courteney Cox's character being on the prowl for younger men.

Eastwick - my least favorite so far, but it wasn't terrible. The pilot was a little uneven, things felt a bit rushed. The guy playing Darryl Van Horne is a bit annoying. He needs to amp up the charm and mysterious vibe more. All in all, it's worth at least another few episodes.

Flash Forward - my absolute favorite of the newbies! Excellent cast (Penny from Lost!Harold from Harold & Kumar!) and intricate plot. From the looks of the preview for the rest of the season, it just gets better. Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from Lost) shows up around episode 5 or 6 I believe, but that can't come soon enough!

I haven't watched Community's 2nd episode yet, but I'm hopeful that it won't disappoint.

I've decided to pass on anything new offered up by CBS (as always), the CW (that terrible modeling show starring Mischa Barton? Already cancelled!) and Fox (aside from the wonderful Glee - whatup Acafellas!)



Fall TV is here!

The 09-10 TV season is upon us! I know I've been severely slacking in the posting department since.....springtime?! Oops! Summer is always nice because the cable networks put out some high quality programming. But it also makes for a very light schedule for me personally.

"True Blood" has been PHENOMENAL. I can't believe the season finale is this Sunday. I'm squarely on Team Eric. But then again, a tiny part of me is still on Team Bill - is it necessary to choose just one?

"Army Wives" has been a bit of a snoozefest and also seeming like a PSA on health issues lately. "Psych" continues to delight and "Big Brother," which I no longer have any qualms about admitting to watching, has been (as expected) crazier than ever. Almost a shame it'll all be ending soon....

My usual pre-season routine is to watch whatever pilots are available. This year, I've only seen "Community." It's got Joel McHale (of The Soup) and Chevy Chase and a decent amount of potential. The pilot made me laugh out loud a few times (always a good sign), so I'm going to give it a try. I wasn't terribly satisfied with the "30 Rock" series premiere, but I decided to give it a try later on and now it's one of my Top 5 favorite shows! So hopefully "Community" ends up being the next "30 Rock" and NOT the next "Kath & Kim."

For the last few weeks, I've been repeatedly receiving e-mails from various sources telling me to check out an early screening of ABC's new comedy, "Modern Family." And I keep reading that it's hilarious and one of the best new comedy pilots this season, can anyone tell me is it honestly worth the effort? Should I even bother?

When you have at least 22-25 shows on your regular viewing roster, it's hard to justify adding too many more newbies. BUT it's very easy to decide what NOT to try: "Melrose Place," "Vampire Diaries," (or anything new on the CW for that matter)anything on CBS. ABC always ends up with most buzzworthy new lineup, but yet they always end up disappointing me the most. It's hard to get over the premature cancellation of really great shows (Pushing Daisies!! thank goodness for DVDs!). So we'll see how badly ABC will treat its new crop. Cheers for the surprising renewal of "Better Off Ted," but jeers for burning off some excellent episodes in the primetime wasteland of summer.

More to come soon!



Midseason Review

Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to the summer TV season? As they say, it seems that the best shows really ARE on cable. Some are premiering soon, others follow in June: Psych, Burn Notice, Army Wives, In Plain Sight (premieres in April), and My Boys returns on March 31st!

Ratings are dismal for the majority of my favorite shows (of course). Can anyone explain these puzzling facts to me?:

- Dancing with the Stars has more viewers than almost all the shows I watch on Monday COMBINED.

- 2/3 of ABC's fall Wednesday line-up gets canned, yet According to Jim is STILL ON?! What the f#@&?!

- People still watch American Idol.

On the upside, I LOVED LOVED LOVED last Thursday's ER! Amazing that they were able to get Clooney, Margulies, La Salle, and Wyle all back. The way they were weaved into the story didn't feel contrived. Nothing was crazy over-the-top (which ER does quite often). So kudos to the ER crew!


My take on some of the newbie shows this season follows:

* Biggest Surprise (cable) - Leverage (TNT)
Hands down, best new series of the year! It was just, for lack of a better term, fun. I loved seeing how the con would unfold and the team work together. My favorite character is a toss-up between Parker (for all her crazy acrobatics + priceless facial expressions) and Hardison (for his wisecracks + uber-tech-geekiness).

* Biggest Surprise (network) - Life on Mars (ABC)
This one took a little time to really find its footing. It developed quite nicely and really grew on me. Half of me regrets getting invested in yet another show cancelled before its time, but the other half is glad I did. I want to know just why Sam Tyler is stuck in 1973. Shame on ABC for cutting the mystery short, but I guess I should be grateful that they gave the showrunners time to prep a proper ending.

* Biggest Letdown:
Trust Me (TNT)
I tuned in for the first 4 or 5 eps and have since fallen behind. Do I care to catch up? Eh, not really. I thought the show had potential, given its talented cast. Eric McCormack's Mason is just such a Debbie Downer. And not in a funny way. I just don't find it very believable that this guy is supposed to be some advertising genius. He's always stressed and having to find last resort solutions. And he smiled maybe twice in those 4 or 5 eps that I watched. Tom Cavanaugh's slacker/supposedly playboy Connor is only semi-entertaining. Seems like he's trying too hard to be "quirky." But neither is as downright annoying as Monica Potter's character, Sarah Krajicek-Hunter. I think my eye twitched everytime someone said her name. Krajicek-Hunter, doesn't is just sound pretentious? She's high-strung, high-maintenance and the least likable character on the show.

I also caught the pilot episode of "Castle" starring the fabulous Nathan Fillion. More to come on that after the 2nd ep has aired.

As for the sophomore and veteran shows, a lot have left me feeling, eh. Those culprits would be Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters and Gossip Girl (SO over the Dan and Serena drama and all their BLAH-ness).

I'm still puzzled about ABC's scheduling decisions -- moving Samantha Who? to Thursdays for half of Ugly Betty's spot. I still like the show, I just don't love it. Don't get me wrong, Christina Applegate is perfect for the role. All the best lines go to Andrea or Sam's mom. But I just don't find myself laughing out loud too often anymore. I guess you could say some of "Sam's" cutesiness has worn off.

2008/2009 season casualties (so far): Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Lipstick Jungle, Life on Mars. Let's all take a moment to mourn. :(



New Year, Same Resolutions?

It's that time of year again, time for that brain cell-reducing, time-wasting black hole known as American Idol. That means it's time for me to (again) refuse to tune in. My time can be better spent on original and much more creative scripted programming. I beg all of you, fellow quality-TV enthusiasts, to resist the AI temptation!! Please?

The midseason schedule is getting to be a bit difficult to keep track of, what with all the (unofficial) cancellations, premieres, and timeslot switches. Here's a breakdown of the weekly schedule with changes noted: