By the end of today's presentation for advertisers, Fox had filled the stage with a golden-robed choir and the cast of "Glee."
That makes sense I guess. The network has good reasons to be gleeful and sing a few hallelujahs. It's No. 1, again, with solid-enough plans for the year ahead -- and a Steven Spielberg mega-show ("TerraNova") somewhere in the future.
The network talked with reporters this morning, then gave its pitch to advertisers this afternoon. Sure, there were a few shaky parts, including network chief Kevin Reilly discussing the "discovery" of actor Jimmy Wolk. He was "discovered" if you overlook the fact that he had already done a sensational, starring performance in a CBS movie, "Front of the Class."
Still, it's fun to see that Wolk -- just three years out of the University of Michigan -- has a dandy role as a con man who has made the mistake of falling in love. That's in "Lonestar," one of the more promising series. There's also "Raising Hope," in which a slacker tries to raise a baby, with the help of his family -- which has never been good at that sort of thing. I laughed out loud several times, during the clips.
Here's the story I sent to papers, about the Fox and NBC line-ups, along with their schedules. I'll send more after seeing the ABC and CBS presentations, late Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons:
By MIKE HUGHES
TV viewers will need some big
adjustments – well, semi-big ones – this fall. For instance:
– “Law & Order” will be gone,
ending a record-tying 20-year run. However, “Law & Order: Los
Angeles,” not yet cast, will debut.
– Amy Poehler's comedy, “Parks and
Recreation,” is being dropped by NBC. Her husband Will Arnett,
however, has a new comedy on Fox.
– “Heroes” is gone from NBC's
Monday line-up, but “Chuck” is back.
– That 9 p.m. Monday slot –
previously home of “Heroes” on NBC and “24” on Fox – has
two ambitious dramas with young stars. NBC's “The Event” may aim
for the “24” audience, with Jason Ritter caught up in a national
conspiracy; Fox has Jimmy Wolk as a slick schemer in “Lonestar,”
a serialized show that programming chief Kevin Reilly says “has a
little bit of 'Dallas' to it.”
– And comedies are making a mild
comeback. Fox had two new ones after “Glee” on Tuesdays; NBC will
wrap up its Thursdays with “Love Bites,” an anthology that has
short bits in the form once used by “Love American Style.”
NBC announced its schedule Sunday and
Fox talked to reporters Monday. They represent opposite ends of TV–
Fox No. 1 in key categories, NBC No. 4 after failing to move Jay Leno
to prime time.
Both networks feel situation comedies
are coming back, after crashing in recent years.
For Fox, that means having “Glee” –
a mix of music, comedy and drama – lead into two sitcoms. “Raising
Hope,” from “My Name is Earl” producer Greg Garcia, has a
slacker living with his parents, when he finds he has a baby to
raise; Reilly says it has “really smart silliness with regular,
working-class people.” The other is “Running Wilde,” which
Arnett produces with his former “Arrested Development” boss,
Mitch Hurwitz; it links a playboy (Arnett) and a do-gooder (Keri
NBC's only new fall sitcom is
“Outsourced,” in which an American runs a novelty company's call
center in India. However, the network also has the “Love Bites”
anthology, with three more comedies – one from former “Mad About
You” star Paul Reiser – for mid-season.
Fox has often diverted from network
patterns. New examples include:
– “The Good Guys” – a cop show
about a mismatched duo – will debut this Wednesday, in front of
“American Idol.” It will become a summer show, then will zip
directly onto the fall line-up, behind “The Human Target” on
– “Glee” airs on Tuesdays this
fall, rests in January, then has what Reilly calls a “supersized
episode” after the Super Bowl. Then it moves to 9 p.m. Wednesdays,
after the “American Idol” results show.
– When “Idol” returns in January,
it will have “more performances and a shorter results show,” said
Peter Rice, the Fox president. The Tuesday shows will be 90 minutes;
the Wednesday ones will be 30.
Prior to that, of course, the network
must choose a replacement for Simon Cowell as judge. “There's no
bigger decision we have this summer,” Rice said.
Here are the line-ups, with capsules of the new shows:
– 8 p.m., “House”
– 9 p.m., “Lonestar.” Jimmy Wolk
is a young schemer, with families in Amaraillo and Houston.
– 8 p.m., “Chuck”
– 9 p.m., “The Event.” Jason
Ritter is entangled in a conspiracy of national impact.
– 10 p.m., “Chase.” Producer
Jerry Bruckheimer (“CSI”) has an action drama about U.S marshals.
– 8 p.m., Glee
– 9 p.m., “Raising Hope.” A pool
boy, 23 and living with his parents, must raise a baby born in
– 9:30: “Running Wilde.” It's a
romance of opposites, played by Will Arnett and Keri Russell.
– Unchanged, with “Biggest Loser”
at 8 p.m., “Parenthood” at 10.
– 8, “Lie to Me”; 9, “Hell's
– 8, “Undercovers.” J.J. Abrams,
the “Alias” and “Lost” producer, heads this story about two
former spies – now married and running a catering company – who
are pressed back into service.
– 9, “Law & Order: Special
Victims Unit.”; 10, “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” not yet
– No change, with “Bones” at 8
and “Fringe” at 9.
– 8-9:30, “Community,” “30
Rock” and “The Office”
– 9:30, “Outsourced.” Ben
Rappaport plays an American, running a call center in India.
– 10: “Love Bites,” an anthology.
Each hour has three short stories, plus vignettes.
– 8, “Human Target”; 9, “The
– 8, “Who Do You Think You Are”;
– 10: “Outlaw,” with Jimmy Smits
as a Supreme Court who resigns and defends the common man.
– Fox continues to have “Cops”
and “America's Most Wanted”; NBC has reruns.
– Fox continues its cartoons; NBC
– “Ride-Along,” a Chicago cop
show from “Shield” producer Shawn Ryan, will be 9 p.m. Mondays.
– “American Idol” will be 8-9:30
p.m. Tuesdays, followed by “Runing Wilde.” “Raising Hope” and
“Glee” move to Wednesdays, sandwiched around a half-hour “Idol.”
– Also: A comedy (“Mixed Signals”)
a Sunday cartoon (“Bob's Burgers”) and a fantasy epic (“TerraNova”) from Steven Spielberg, with people from the future going through a time hole to live in the days of dinosaurs.
– After football season, Sundays have
“Dateline,” “Minute to Win It” and “Celebrity Apprentice.”
–“School Pride,” a reality show
about reviving schools, will take the 8 p.m. Friday spot.
– Waiting are three sitcoms and two
dramas, one a law show from David E. Kelley (“Boston Public”).