When I looked over my list of returning shows that I would be watching, I was surprised to see that every single one of them airs on NBC. About five years ago, I lost all hope in NBC when they canceled Boomtown and started airing Fear Factor and way too many other reality shows instead. Well, I guess it’s safe to say that NBC is headed in the right direction again. They got lucky last year with the surprise success of Heroes. I wonder if they will find another new hit this season. And in case you’re wondering, the shows on my must-watch list this fall include: The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, and Heroes. Oddly enough, nothing else is appointment viewing for me. (The latest casualty was Grey’s Anatomy, after I grew weary of its ridiculous storylines last season). Let’s take a look at NBC’s new shows:
Shows with Potential
- Chuck – One of a handful of “geek shows” this fall, Chuck appears to be a fun and funny show. Will that be enough to make it appointment viewing? Not sure. I’ll at least check out the pilot. One thing that concerns me is that the character types on this show are strangely similar to those on the CW’s Reaper. This is probably more of a problem for Reaper, but hopefully this won’t be another case of two shows too similar, a la last year’s Kidnapped and Vanished (although I’m not sure either one of those would have been worth saving anyway). Another obstacle to me tuning in is that it airs opposite How I Met Your Mother, which is one of my “easy to keep up with” 30-minute shows. By the way, in an effort to control the amount of television that I watch, I have a rule that I can only watch one show in one time period, which is why I stopped watching shows like CSI, Supernatural, Smallville, etc. in the past. I rarely watch shows live, but I have one of those “old” TiVos that can only record one thing at a time, and I simply refuse to use my VCR.
- Bionic Woman – I’ve heard that Fox’s mid-season show The Sarah O’Connor Chronicles will be an even better super heroine show, but I am highly anticipating this first one, regardless of the negative press it has received because of the ongoing Isaiah Washington controversy (why are people still hung up on that, by the way?). The video previews are polished and intriguing, and you can never go wrong with guest appearances by Katee Sackhoff. This show and Pushing Daisies are the only two new offerings that I have definite plans to tune in to. Best case, this show will be as thrilling and entertaining as Alias. Worst case, it will get stuck in a formulaic story-of-the-week routine that won’t keep people tuning in on a regular basis.
- Journeyman – Interesting premise, odd casting. This show has a Quantum Leap feel to it, but it lacks the appeal of a Scott Bakula or a Dean Stockwell. The main cast doesn’t seem too memorable or interesting. Or, maybe my problem with the show is that I recently read Audrey Niffenegger’s amazing novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, which managed to combine elements of science fiction, drama, and romance better than any book I’ve ever read. A television show is going to have a difficult time topping that – first of all because there simply isn’t as much room for details, and secondly because confusing time travel paradoxes and multiple story lines in various time periods can get out of hand very quickly. I will watch the pilot, but I have low expectations. One positive about the show is that it is set in San Francisco. I always enjoy seeing that city, so if they film any scenes on location, that will be fun.
- Life – This is the NBC show that I have the least interest in. It’s a show about a man who gets his old life back after serving a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. That doesn’t sound like a premise that can hold viewer interest for very long without relying on the crime of the week formula that works so well for all the Jerry Bruckheimer shows. My prediction: this will be the first NBC show of the season to be canceled.
Bad Ideas That I Won’t Even Consider Watching
- Surprisingly, NBC didn’t come up with any initially bad ideas this season. They are probably saving their cheesy reality programming for mid-season…
- Fall 2007 Preview: New Shows on the CW
- Fall 2007 Preview: New Shows on CBS
- Fall 2007 Preview: New Shows on Fox