Maybe the networks have taken a cue from the
The networks appear to collectively think a recession isn't time to reinvent the wheel, resulting in a pretty steady diet of meat and potatoes. And while they bring their own spin to new procedurals,
Everyone has also rediscovered Friday night -- at least, until the scripted shows fail and reality TV is thrown into the breach. It's a shrewd if familiar way to try to get more money out of advertisers and fully capitalize on anticipated improvement in this year's upfront market.
The proof in the broadcast presentations will of course be in the full pilots, but here's a preliminary appraisal in descending order of promise.
The Eye network's lineup of new shows -- and just as important, savvy scheduling moves, none bigger than relocating "The Big Bang Theory" to Thursdays -- seem poised to deliver at least a mini-bang. What really stood out was
And yet, most of it looks destined to improve the network's performance -- including "Hawaii Five-O," continuing
Successfully mixing sex appeal with violence, CW goes back to "Alias" territory with "Nikita," a kick-ass action drama starring Maggie Q that will follow the network's top scripted show, "The Vampire Diaries," on Thursday night.
The other new series, "Hellcats," is about college cheerleaders. At the risk of ending up on a list of middle-aged men who should be viewed suspiciously, both of them looked pretty good and they should be a dead-on bull's-eye with the netlet's audience. Moving "Supernatural" to Fridays should help, too.
Beyond the particulars,
Sitcom "Outsourced" has the potential to be sweet and funny, but putting it behind "The Office" marks a tacit admission that "30 Rock" is never going to be a bigger non-hit than it already is.
The lingering question involves
The most interesting-looking
In other words,
Fox, meanwhile, made live-action comedy a priority, but its three new half-hours (and a fourth animated one) didn't do much to tickle the funny bone in cut-down form -- never a great sign.
The dramas played better, particularly the serial "
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