Written by: Ron Bricker
Hey everybody, TV Scout here. I'm new to CC2K and today marks the first of what will hopefully be a long series of weekly TV columns in which I guide you through the best and worst of current dramatic television. I'll give you all the latest news, remind you which shows are airing new episodes, and try to avoid talking about reality television as much as humanly possible. With a little luck, I won't get canceled faster than The Return of Jezebel James. So let's get going, shall we?
The big news this week was the unveiling of NBC's new schedule for the 2008-09 season – even though the suits at NBC themselves admit to everything being merely "penciled in" at this point. Still, there were some interesting new developments:
The Office is definitely getting a spin-off…except that no one's quite sure what the concept will be yet. Hm, greenlighting a show before a show exists is always a good idea.
Friday Night Lights is definitely back – in February. The thirteen-episode season will first air on DirecTV in the fall, and every main character is set to come back. (Will Riggins miraculously still remain in high school?)
Bionic Woman is thankfully gone; more bittersweet is the cancellation of late-bloomer Journeyman. Scrubs is also nowhere to be found, further cementing rumors that it has jumped ship to ABC.
In other news, Smallville showrunners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar jumped ship, reportedly to get back to the movie business. I stopped watching this show in 2004 when Lost debuted in the same timeslot, so I'm not exactly sure if this is good news or bad news. Their screenwriting credits include Shanghai Noon, Showtime, a "story" credit on Spider-Man 2, and the upcoming third Mummy film.
Finally, E! Online broke the story that Kristen Bell and her Veronica Mars showrunner Rob Thomas are "talking about" reuniting for a TV project. The question is, which one will it be? Thomas is directing a whopping three pilots – a 90210 spin-off, a Cupid remake, and a remake of the New Zealand series Outrageous Fortune. The even bigger question: why is she booking more TV roles when she's about to hit it big in Forgetting Sarah Marshall?
(…in which I run down the notable programming of the upcoming week)
John Adams – I haven't quite been able to get into this miniseries, although my roommate swears by it. To me, it just looks like a bunch of recognizable white guys dressing up in silly costumes. Then again, that's probably how it was at the turn of the nineteenth century. (9pm, HBO)
Dirt – What's with the graphic novel-inspired ad campaign for this season? I thought this show was just about Courteney Cox's masturbation habits. (10pm, FX)
Everybody Hates Chris, 8pm, CW;
King of the Hill, 8:30, Fox;
The Game, 9pm, CW;
Cold Case, 9pm, CBS
New Amsterdam – Don't get too attached to this show – it is all but assured not to make it to next season. Who knew the "undead detective" sub-genre (see also: Moonlight) wouldn't take? (9pm, Fox)
Samantha Who? – That was a legitimate question; I've never seen this show. (9:30pm, ABC)
Medium, 10pm, NBC
The Riches – Even after watching a few episodes of this, I'm still not entirely sure of how they're able to pull the concept off. In this episode, "Wayne runs into trouble when Doug's past creeps up on him in a meeting with investors." Doesn't past-creeping happen in every episode? (10pm, FX)
NCIS, 8pm, CBS;
Boston Legal, 10pm, ABC
South Park – In last week's episode of this consistently-brilliant show, the WGA (which stood for World Canadian Bureau) went on strike, and YouTube stars got in a free-for-all, which you really need to see:
If this week is even half as good, we'll be lucky. (There's no word on what it's about yet because they frequently finish the show the day it airs.) (10pm, Comedy Central)
Criminal Minds, 9pm, CBS;
CSI: New York, 10pm, CBS
NBC Sitcoms – The comedy line-up is finally back! My Name is Earl will presumably provide a few laughs, but the big attractions are clearly 30 Rock and The Office. In the latter, Michael and Jan host a dinner party for all the office couples. Scrubs is also back; watch it on NBC while you can! (8-10pm, NBC)
Eli Stone – I always need time to unwind after watching Lost and thus haven't checked out this "wacky" lawyer show. Also, because it doesn't look very good. (10pm, ABC)
ER, 10pm, NBC;
CSI, 9pm, CBS;
Without a Trace, 10pm, CBS
Battlestar Galactica – The best sci-fi opera on television is back! Okay, it's kind of the only sci-fi opera, but c'mon. The second episode of the fourth and final season is called "Six of One", and they're airing the season premiere, "He That Believeth in Me," directly before it.
Ghost Whisperer, 8pm, CBS;
Canterbury's Law, 9pm, Fox;
Numb3rs, 10pm, CBS
And that's it. I'll be back next weekend. As you can tell, this column is pretty green, so if you have any suggestions on how to make it better or what I should cover, let me know. Happy viewing…