"Community," a comedy about a community college; "Parenthood," a comedy from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer that re-imagines the film "Parenthood;" "100 Questions," a dating comedy; and "Day One," about survivors in the aftermath of a devastating global event. . . .Upcoming reality shows include "Marriage Ref," with Jerry Seinfeld as executive producer, and "Who Do You Think You Are?" in which a celebrity embarks on a journey of self-discovery. [something to do with genealogy, I thought?]
I think previews need to start happening so I can realize that they are actually all stupid. (Although, that sort of backfired with FOX's "Glee." You would think I would be running at full speed away from something that promises a glut of musical numbers every week, but...high school! Teacher! Music teacher! All invested in kids and stuff! That is a thing I've been clamoring to see more of, and this thing might deliver.)
EDIT: OK, I found the official summaries. Let us re-examine them:
The Marriage Ref: A noncompetition reality series from producers Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen Rakieten in which celebrities, comedians and sports stars candidly comment on, judge and offer strategies to real-life couples in the midst of marital disputes.
-Watchable, a word which here means "if there was nothing else on, I might pay attention"
Breakthrough With Tony Robbins: Tony Robbins guides participants in this reality show "through complex challenges and personal obstacles, while changing their lives and redesigning their futures."
Who Do You Think You Are?: A new reality series from Lisa Kudrow and her production company, this show looks at the family trees of various celebrities to reveal "surprising, inspiring and even tragic stories that often are linked to crucial events in American history." Based on an award winning British documentary series.
-Lisa Kudrow! Come on, that's just an extra layer of awesome on top of an already neat premise.
The Jay Leno Show: It's going to be pretty much what Leno's been doing for the past fifteen or so years, except in the third hour of primetime.
-I'm pretty sure I will always have something else to watch in this timeslot. However! Should there be reruns, I will be ALL OVER NBC LIKE WHOA. I love Leno on The Tonight Show, but I don't watch it much anymore, even now that's it down to the wire, because in the 35 minute interim between primetime ending and his show, I have usually moved on to something more interesting and don't want to go back to TV. Having it on at 9 would solve all those problems!
Weekend Update Thursday: NBC will be running a six episode run of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update again this season. Community: Joel McHale plays a lawyer whose law degree has been revoked and finds himself becoming the leader of a group of misfits at the local community college when they form a study group. Naturally they learn more about themselves than about their course work. -Wait, Joel McHale? Never mind!
100 Questions: Also known as 100 Questions for Charlotte Payne, this comedy is about a woman who has rejected numerous marriage proposals because she's "looking for Mr. Right." After she signs up at a major online dating site her "relationship counsellor" makes her fill out an exhaustive 100 question compatibility test. Each question forces her to reveal a poignant and humorous time in her life with her friends. Stars Amir Talai, Chris Moynihan, David Walton, Elizabeth Ho, Joy Suprano and Sophie Winkleman as Charlotte Payne.
-It sounds Ex-List-y to me. I probably won't actually watch it. But it might have promise as a random backup, in the line of Til Death or New Adventures of Old Christine.
Parenthood: Maura Tierney plays a single mom who is forced to uproot her two teenage children and move back to the family home in Berkley. There she encounters her opinionated father, strong-willed mother, and three adult siblings, all of whom have relationship issues of their own. Loosely based on the 1989 film and 1990 sitcom of the same name from producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard (who have Friday Night Lights producer Jason Katims to the mix), this show has a strong cast which includes Tierney, Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepherd, and Peter Krause.
-Sorry, MAURA TIERNY, YOU SAY? See, I knew this sounded like it might be watchable! Probably not in a permanent way. But in a way where I'll think "Gosh, I should check that out sometime" on a weekly basis.
Trauma: Produced by Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg, Trauma is a look at the life of first-responder paramedics, described by NBC as "one of the most dangerous medical professions in the world." Again, according to the network, "these heroes must face the most extreme conditions to save lives -- and give meaning to their own existence in the process."
I love Southland. I loved ER. Do you really think I haven't already mentally signed onto this, sight unseen? It is penciled into my personal fall grid.
Mercy: Another medical show, this time staying in the hospital but viewed from the perspective of the nurses, and in particular Veronica Callahan, who recently returned from a tour in Iraq knowing more about medicine than most of the doctors. With her colleagues she has to navigate the difficulties of life and love both inside and outside of the hospital. Stars include, Taylor Schilling, Delroy Lindo, James Tupper and Michelle Trachtenberg.
-...yeah, I don't know; I don't have quite as strong an investment in this one, but. Nurses. Nurses are cool.
Day One: Following a global catastrophe that devastated the world's infrastructures, a group of survivors – all from the same apartment building in Van Nuys California try to survive and discover the root cause of the global collapse. Stars Adam Campbell, Addison Timlin, April Grace, Carly Pope, Catherine Dent, David Lyons, Derek Mio, Julie Gonzalo, and Thekla Reuten.
-Apparently it doesn't start until after the Olympics, so...there's a good midseason replacement. It's also supposed to be limited-run, so depending on full the rest of my plate is, I might give it a chance.
Because that worked so well with Jericho.
The only other responses I've got from NBC's infronts are CURSES, STUPID PARKS & RECREATION is maintaining a stable Office-sized fanbase after all, and 'meh, I always had trouble distinguishing "Life" from "Life on Mars" and "Journeyman," as the promos for all three just sort of looked the same' (although I think I've only seen, like, 1 preview for Life in the history of ever).
Oh, and if you kill My Name Is Earl (especially for more "Weekend Update" crap from SNL), I might bust out the steak knives? It's funny, 3 years ago I couldn't stand the sight of that "redneck trailer trash show," but now I'm all unexpectedly defensive and protective of it, with fond memories of its time as an inferior but still cute lead-in to The Office, when I'd be taping Survivor in order to concentrate on my homework longer.
Show, it's not nice to tease me with non-answers. It's also not nice to shove Stella back in my face (GO AWAY FOREVER). Even Barney's quest to sleep with his 200th woman fell a little flatter than the previews enticed me with, albeit with a nice ending twist as he looks at Robin and with a notable exception for:
Barney: Marshall. Knowing how important this is to me, do you think Lily would even consider - and by the way, I would do all the work -
Marshall: I will end your life.
(Although, that's not exactly what the blooper reels told me. Perhaps if Barney had added that Marshall was welcome to join in, it would have been a different story.)
I literally almost spat out my drink when I saw the giant FAILURE section representing all the women who rejected Barney hitting on them. That, along the rest of of Marshall's crazy graphs, and the fact that he needed an actual intervention to stop him...oh, it almost made the episode worth it. It was like a live-action version of Graph Jam. But with Marshall as a (giddy) spokesmodel, which made it more awesome.
And naturally, I was entertained by the Doctor Who parallels of how *turning left* one day apparently shaped the course of Ted's life.
Finaly, in the interest of full disclosure, was a little bit amused by Robin's straight-faced "yeah, I'm pregnant" declarations and Ted/Barney's respective responses of "will raise this child as my own" and "run out the door" too. I like how Barney will propose marriage to keep her in the country, but pregnancy is an instant dealbreaker.
-NCIS, "Legend" part II
Fair warning - if I hear the phrase "18 years" one more time, I may go on a homicidal rampage. I also don't particularly want to know that I'm indebted to Louise Lombard for keeping Gibbs out of jail, so we're going to re-bury that plot point as of now.
In general, the conclusion was even duller than the first part. By the halfway point my eyes were glazed over and I had completely forgotten what the case was supposed to be about. Was there, a case? That they were tracking? Why were they in L.A. again? Not even Tony & Ziva back in D.C. could save it. It was a little more interesting when Code Name Liam was talking to Shakira, but mostly I was thinking about how this sort of cop/civilian interaction is so much more interesting when played out on Southland.
My opinions of the L.A. characters have shifted more into apathy than active dislike, which might be even worse. Except for Kenzie, who is still the most delightful thing ever, and the psychologist, whom I now loathe - the way he stands and stares reminds me of the spirits who pop up on Ghost Whisperer or Medium. I don't entirely believe he's a corporeal being, and it's creepy.
WHOA, props on blasting Chris O'Donnell full of bullets. Holy unexpected shooting, Batman! Jolly good show of risk-taking! I notice he's not quite dead yet, so I expect that his fate will be left up to whether or not there is a spin-off. Regardless, it is my personal canon that he dies.
(by the way, I love how the internet is all FREAKING OUT LOUDLY about this twist, and I'm like "...nice!")
Also in my personal canon: the last scene with Ziva does not exist. It was merely a figment of your imagination! Cinco de Mayo Fool's!
In the end, I salvaged one thing from this episode: ABBY. "Ignore her, she's suffering Gibbs withdrawal." Her magical transformation of McGee's desk area into a tropical paradise with palm tree & sun decorations, messages of affection "possibly written in blood," and dolphin & pirate shaped balloons, because Gibbs would give her a first-time headslap if she did that to his desk...I love Abby. And I've decided I like having both Gibbs and McGee gone, because this forces more interaction with Tony, and I love their dynamic.
"Are we fighting?"
"If we were, you would be on the floor, bleeding."
"OK, I accept that as a likely outcome."
Not as much on the Tony/Ziva front, despite what the previews would have you believe from their shouting match, so I'm just going to cling to "Are you jealous?" / "I'm worried."
-Without a Trace, 7.22, "Devotion"
Pity. I think that was probably the most interesting, compellingly written plot of the season - or would have been, if the ghost bride twist hadn't been a) given away in the promos and b) already done on Numb3rs. Seriously, promo monkeys. Same network and everything. It took away all the suspense of the otherwise snappy writing & direction.
And uh, what kind of poison kills you in 30 seconds flat with no convulsions or apparent pain whatsoever?! Furthermore, I still don't know what the video of her screaming, tied up and bloodied actually had to do with her disappearance. Did they ever explain that? I thought I was paying attention and everything...