The fall television season has arrived and, after a dearth of interesting or entertaining summer programs I, for one, couldn’t be happier. As you may or may not recall, last spring was a bloodbath for new television with a record number of shows getting the axe in their first season—a number of network executives met with the same fate, I imagine. Whoever gave the green light to Perfect Couples must certainly be planning a career change. That being said, there are obviously a few holes in the schedule and networks have filled them with more than 20 new shows premiering in the next two weeks.
Fortunately the two funniest shows on television, Modern Family and 30 Rock—with How I Met Your Mother running a close third—are returning. The recast Two and a Half Men looks promising, although in another year they are going to have to change the name to Three Men: That kid outweighs Jon Crier. The lovely and talented Christina Applegate joins Will Arnett in Up All Night, a sitcom about life with a newborn, and riding on its heels is Free Agents, a workplace romance starring Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn. The other new sitcoms range from promising (New Girl, How to Be a Gentleman) to atrocious (I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Whitney).
After so many successful seasons of Mad Men, the networks finally picked up on the fact that viewers like the nostalgia of a bygone era—minus the stemming the spread of communism part. NBC has The Playboy Club on its schedule and ABC is offering Pan Am, a drama about the magical days when ‘flight attendants’ were ‘stewardesses’ and people could smoke on air planes.
And of course it wouldn’t be fall TV without a spate of yawny crime dramas and a medical show or two for good measure. Person of Interest, Prime Suspect, Unforgettable, Ringer and Revenge are the forgettable batch of crime dramas. I have Bones and Castle, and my crime show list is complete. The medical installments include A Gifted Man about a surgeon haunted by his dead wife and Hart of Dixie (barf) about a doctor—bet you can’t guess her name—who moves—bet you can’t guess where.
I fear a repeat of last season because the only additional person I’m excited to welcome into by living room this fall is Simon Cowell with his X Factor. Who knows? Maybe Charlie’s Angels will surprise me, but somehow I doubt it.