Thursday, May 20, 2010

HARD DRIVER OVERLOAD: Now that all 5 networks have announced (the CW's schedule is boring, aside from the happy news that they're moving Life Unexpected to Tuesdays at 9, where, at least in the fall, the only other non-reality options are NCIS: LA and a pair of new Fox comedies), time to start figuring out the DVR dilemmas for the fall, and it looks like every night at 8 offers interesting choices (while 10 PM is something of a wasteland, particularly on Wednesday, with all three networks trying to launch new legal dramas).
  • Monday (Chuck v. HIMYM/Rules of Engagement v. Dancing With The Stars v. House v. 90210)--Chuck obviously gets top priority, but those with dual tuners have a tougher call. HIMYM has had an off season this year, and pairing it with the execrable Rules of Engagement isn't a plus. Given that it streams the following day, while you have to wait a week and a day for Hizzy on Hulu (due to the USA repeat contract, I believe), House may dislodge HIMYM from priority on the DVR. (And the news that we'll be Thirteen-free for a chunk of the season is nothing but goodness.) My understanding is that 90212.0 got much better this season with a new showrunner, but dropped the nostalgia elements that were likely this audience's primary interest, and are dropping adults pretty much entirely.
  • Tuesday (Biggest Loser v. No Ordinary Family v. NCIS v. Glee v. One Tree Hill)--Again, this is a battle for second priority after Glee. NCIS will assuredly rule the roost in total viewers in the fall at least, but given that half the cast is still negotiating and the show works because of the easy chemistry between the cast, I may drop it for Ordinary Family. I'm surprised the CW is sticking One Tree here, given that it and Glee would seem to be directly competitive--maybe they're hoping that the timeslot finally kills this cockroach of a show.
  • Wednesday (The Middle/Better Together v. Survivor v. Undercovers v. Lie To Me v. Top Model)--Actually, this is an easy call for me for Undercovers, and I may give Better Together a shot, but those who are fans of reality have a tougher fight, with Jeff Probst taking on Miss Tyra--both shows are going to have to show that they are doing one of their "good" seasons, rather than yet another rehash of the same thing we've seen too many times before, in order to prevent audience defection. The couple of times I've watched Lie To Me, I've enjoyed it, but it got a marginal renewal in what has turned into an exceedingly tough timeslot and will have a new showrunner--seems like it may not last all that long there.
  • Thursday (Community/30 Rock v. Big Bang Theory/*#@! My Dad Says v. My Generation v. Bones v. Vampire Diaries)--Bones and Vampire Diaries will continue to appeal to their audiences, which I'm not a part of, but the other 3 networks are all making an interesting play. If word on My Generation is strong enough, I may give it a shot over CBS's traditional sitcoms, but if it's not so good, I'll try some Shatner.


  1. isaac_spaceman12:14 PM

    Every critic says that "Shit My Dad Says" doesn't work. To me, it's one of those concepts that I can't imagine working in any medium other than Twitter or short-form blogging. I wouldn't watch a half-hour of "Overheard in New York" either.

    I wouldn't agree that Glee and One Tree Hill are directly competitive any more than I would say that Scrubs and General Hospital or The Wire and Police Story or Survivor and Lost are directly competitive. Maybe they both appeal to some segment of younger viewers, but they aren't necessarily the same younger viewers, and Glee also seems to appeal pretty broadly to older viewers as well. The weird thing for me is Glee at 8:00. The show certainly is bright and shiny enough, with enough processed cheese music to be wildly successful in that time slot. On the other hand, it is deeply invested in sexuality, including sexual preference, teen sex, and extramarital sex, and it deals with the latter two of these things mostly without any kind of family hour moral packaging.

  2. "Shit My Dad Says"--no one's seen a final pilot, and they're reworking the second lead (rumor has it that they desperately want Justin Long), so I think it's early to judge, and Shatner is brilliant casting there.

    What has kept One Tree Hill in business is young (15-35) women, and that's also a big, big chunk of the "Glee" audience, but yeah, "Glee" is uncommonly raunchy for an 8 PM show in terms of sex (though it wraps it in big hunks of cheese), though Fox has gotten away with violent stuff at 8 before ("House," "24," "Human Target," even "Good Guys"), so why not sex?

  3. Adam C.12:41 PM

    Another conflict will be repeated in our single-tuner DVR house: Thursday at 9pm, Office vs. Fringe. This year, we've bailed on Fringe (figured we'd wait for the season DVDs) and watched Office. Next season, we may well reverse that, particularly if Fall 2010 Office eps are as mediocre as most of this season's have been.

  4. isaac_spaceman12:52 PM

    For longer than I've been alive, Shatner has been famous for overdoing his line readings. I don't think that's brilliant casting. If the lines themselves are funny, overdelivering them is going to ruin them. And a show that is based upon a series of exceedingly funny one-liners is tailor-made for the kind of clip package that they show at the upfronts. The fact that there is unanimity that the upfront clip packages were unfunny is very bad news.

    I'm just saying that the 15-35-year-old women who are watching a teen (now post-teen) soap opera aren't necessarily the same 15-35-year-old women who are watching Glee. In this case, treating them as a monolithic demo doesn't make sense. Glee is #1 in its time slot among men 18-34 (source: Should NCIS try to get out of the way?

  5. Joseph J. Finn1:14 PM

    Big Bang is an interesting case, since Paramount for some insane reason made the decision not to allow any streaming of episodes on Hulu or, so it's a must-DVR to me.

  6. lisased1:54 PM

    This is the issue I have with our Verizon FIOS service. Almost everything I watch on NBC, CBS, and ABC is available on demand, whereas Fox doesn't make anything available on demand. So the first tuner goes to whatever's on Fox, and the second tuner goes to shows I can't wait a few days to watch, or hockey.

  7. Jim Bell1:55 PM

    I'm a big fan of Lie to me. The show, that is. I was a big fan of the reality of it in my dating life through my 30s.

  8. Jenn.2:59 PM

    I don't seem to have too many problems here, but that may reflect the fact that I adopted just about no new shows this year. Chuck and Bones will stay on my list. We'll see what other problems develop.

  9. calliekl9:14 PM

    I was just trying to figure out what I currently watch on Tuesdays that wasn't on your list.. and had my first realization that Lost is really truly almost over.

    We'll stick with House and Bones, and see what pans out otherwise.

    One more thing- we watched the new Colin Hanks/Bradley Whitford show "The Good Guys" last night, and it was actually pretty funny. Plus, yay Mikhail (but Mexican) as the second best assassin in the world! If the rest of the eps are as good as that one was, we'll actually have something to watch over the summer. Otherwise, we're hanging out till Mad Men.

  10. Not to be mean, but I can't believe any straight men watch Glee. I can't fathom its appeal.

  11. Joseph J. Finn10:49 AM

    Since I fit that demographic, here I go:

    1. Fun music
    2. Jane Lynch cracks me up.
    3. Very attractive female leads.
    4. Relatively funny writing.
    5. A nice use of the "in high school everything seems like a tragedy" motif.

  12. isaac_spaceman5:23 PM


    1.  Your mileage may vary
    2.  Yes
    3.  Um
    4.  Occasionally true, but most often seems either poorly written or drunkenly improvised
    5.  Okay?