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Upfronts: Fox and NBC fall 2009 previews

In fall 2009, series debut, television on 05/18/2009 at 8:55 pm

Hey kids. It’s upfront week! Wait. That means nothing to you? Let me rub my decoder ring…
Upfronts are when the U.S. network execs with the largest stores of antacids head to NYC to roll out their best guesses on which fall 2009 new shows will be critical hits will get the most viewers/highest ratings will get the most commercial time purchases from advertisers. It’s also, of course, when mere mortals with no plans of buying commercial time get to find out what will have the best chance of distracting us next fall from the fact that we still, alas, have no lives.
NBC got the jump a couple of weeks ago, but will finish the job tomorrow (Tuesday), the same day that ABC will toss the confetti and uncork the champagne. CBS is the last of the big four, scheduled for Wednesday. But Fox started the ball on Monday. Here’s the dope on Fox and NBC.

FOX

Four new comedies:
1. Glee premieres officially in the fall, but will preview tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 9 p.m. ET: “optimistic high school teacher Will Schuester tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the McKinley High School’s glee club and challenging a group of outcasts to realize their star potential. Going up against McKinley’s cruel high school caste system and facing harsh criticism from everyone around him, Will is determined to prove them all wrong .
2. The Cleveland Show, a spinoff from Seth Macfarlane’s Family Guy: “Cleveland Brown (Mike Henry) … moves with his son back to his hometown in Virginia and settles down with his high school sweetheart and her unruly kids.”
3. Brothers: “a new half-hour comedy about a former big-city NFL hot shot who returns home to his family – and his mother’s house – to get his life back on track.”
4. And Sons of Tucson (midseason): “Tyler Labine (Reaper) as a charming but wayward schemer hired by three young brothers whose father is in prison.”

Two new dramas:
1. Human Target: “Based on the popular DC Comics graphic novel and starring Mark Valley (Fringe), Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies) and Academy Award nominee Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), the series follows Christopher Chance (Valley), a unique private contractor who will stop at nothing – even if it means becoming a human target – to keep his clients alive.”
2. Past Life: “A fast-paced emotional thriller inspired by the book The Reincarnationist. The series stars Kelli Giddish (All My Children) as a gifted psychologist and Nicholas Bishop (Home and Away) as a former NYPD detective who work together to explore and unravel mysteries that must be solved in both the past and the present.”

One new Saturday late-night show, starting Nov. 7
1. The Wanda Sykes Show, a comic topical round-table format.

Returning:

Fringe, Dollhouse, Lie to Me, Bones, House, 24 (January), So You Think You Can Dance, Til Death, Cops, America’s Most Wanted, Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, American Idol, Kitchen Nightmares

Dead:
King of the Hill (couple of episodes still in bank), Prison Break, Sit down Shut Up, Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, Talk Show with Spike Feresten, MAD TV

NBC
This net will finish off its fall season announcement tomorrow (Tuesday), but they’ve gotten this far.

Two unscripted/reality shows:
1. The Marriage Ref: a comedy from Jerry Seinfeld in which a panel of celebrities, comics etc. will offer advice to couples.
2. Breakthrough with Tony Robbins: advice from the motivational guru.

Four new dramas:
1. Trauma: about first-responder paramedics in San Francisco, starring Derek Luke (Notorious), Cliff Curtis (10,000 B.C), Anastasia Griffith (Damages), Aimee Garcia (George Lopez), Kevin Rankin (Friday Night Lights) and Jamey Sheridan (Law & Order: Criminal Intent).
2. Parenthood: “contemporary re-imagining of the blockbuster film depicts the colorful and imperfect Braverman family — four grown siblings sharing the headaches, heartaches and joy of being parents. The star-studded cast includes Peter Krause, Maura Tierney, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen and Sarah Ramos.”
3. Mercy: “Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling, Dark Matter) returns to Mercy from a military tour in Iraq — and she knows more about medicine than all of the residents combined. Together with fellow nurses Sonia Jimenez (Jamie Lee Kirchner, Rescue Me) and Chloe Payne (Michelle Trachtenberg, Gossip Girl), Callahan navigates through the daily traumas and social landmines of life and love both inside the hospital and out in the real world. The cast also includes: James Tupper (Men in Trees) as Dr. Chris Sands, a new doctor at the hospital who complicates Veronica’s life; Diego Klattenhoff (Supernatural) as Mike Callahan, Veronica’s husband; and Guillermo Diaz (Weeds) as Nurse Angel Lopez.”
4. Day One: “Beginning with the immediate aftermath of the cataclysmic event (in California), an eclectic band of survivors — played by Adam Campbell (Date Movie), Catherine Dent (The Shield), Julie Gonzalo (Eli Stone), David Lyons (ER), Derek Mio (Greek), Carly Pope (24), Thekla Reuten (Sleeper Cell) and Addison Timlin (Cashmere Mafia) — strives to rebuild society as they unravel the mysteries of what happened and face their uncertain future.”

Two new comedies:
1. Community: a comedy set in the fictional Greendale Community College, about “a band of misfits, at the center of which is a fast-talkin’ lawyer whose degree has been revoked (Joel McHale, The Soup), who form a study group and end up learning a lot more about themselves than they do about their course work. The series also stars: Gillian Jacobs (The Book of Daniel); Yvette Nicole Brown (Rules of Engagement); Danny Pudi (Greek); Alison Brie (Mad Men); and comedy legend Chevy Chase (Saturday Night Live).”
2. 100 Questions: “Charlotte Payne (Sophie Winkleman, Peep Show) is looking for love and has rejected multiple marriage proposals — but she has yet to meet Mr. Right. When she joins a popular online dating site, she gets a little help from her dating counselor Ravi (Amir Talai, The Ex List) – who requires her to take a 100-question compatibility test.”

Returning:
Chuck, Heroes, Southland, Parks & Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, The Biggest Loser, Friday Night Lights,

Dead:
Life, Crusoe, Lipstick Jungle, My Own Worst Enemy, Knight Rider

— Denise Duguay

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  1. Hi I think this is a fantastic blog, keep up the good work…

    • Hey thanks for dropping by. Got a question? Want to share what you’re watching? Drop a line. dd

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