Mid-season television preview
South Beach (Wednesdays, UPN) Two hot, New York City working-class bachelors leave the big city behind to follow one of their girlfriends to South Beach, FL, only to discover that she has a new boyfriend. They get mixed up with the rich and famous in the club scene. After viewing a sneak preview on UPN's website, it looks like a guilty pleasure like The O.C., except with more sex and no high school. Jennifer Lopez is the executive producer and it co-stars Vanessa Williams as a club owner and mother to one of the main characters. South Beach premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 8 pm.
In Justice (Fridays, ABC) In Justice stars Kyle MacLachlan as one of the attorneys on the National Justice
Project, which rights the wrongs in the justice system. The team of do-gooders has to deal with sloppy police work,
biased juries, and false testimonies. They work to get the wrongly convicted out of prison and to put the right
criminals in. Early reviews from The
Washington Post and USA
Today are not promising, but the New York
Times gives it a chance. Reviewers say the show is simple, predictable, and a rip-off of CSI and Cold Case, but that its subject matter is very topical.
A special episode of In Justice premieres after Desperate Housewives on Sunday, Jan. 1, then it moves to its permanent time slot on Fridays at 9 pm.
Courting Alex (Mondays, CBS) Jenna Elfman is back on television with her new show, Courting Alex. Elfman plays an attorney in (where else?) New York City where she works with her father and goes on dates. This show has had 3 titles attached to it since CBS picked it up last May, which isn't a good sign. The program doesn't premiere until Jan. 23rd at 9:30 pm so there aren't any early reviews out, but Joel wants to know if Jenna Elfman even deserves a new show.
Four Kings (Thursdays, NBC) Seth Green makes his return to television on Thursday nights. In hopes of resurrecting 'Must See TV' Thursdays, NBC is sandwiching Four Kings in between Will & Grace, My Name is Earl and The Office. Four Kings is about four guys in NYC who move into one of the guy's deceased grandmother's apartment and navigate single life in Manhattan. Although Seth Green is a funny, creative guy, having him on a television show is not a guarantee of success. His bio on IMDB shows a lot of failed television shows. Four Kings premieres at 8:30 pm on Thursday, January 5th.
Love Monkey (Tuesdays, CBS) Another 'Single in the City' comedy, except this one has its roots in literature. Love Monkey is based on the best-selling book by Kyle Smith, about a single 30-something record executive who is weathering the comedic world of dating. It stars Tom Cavanaugh, also known to many as 'Ed', and Jason Priestley of 90210 fame. Love Monkey premieres on Tuesday, Jan. 17th at 10 pm and then it moves to its regular timeslot at 9 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 24th.
Skating with Celebrities (Mondays, FOX) The reality show, Skating with Celebrities, teams up professional skaters with celebrities. Looking at the list of contestants, it's a toss-up whether the skaters or the "celebrities" are actually more famous. Nancy Kerrigan and Dave Coulier (Full House), Kurt Browning and Deborah Gibson, and Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler are just some of the pairs. The first episode of Skating premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 18th at 9 pm, after American Idol and directly in competition with Lost. Then it moves to its permanent night on Monday, Jan. 23 at 8 pm.
Emily's Reasons Why Not (Mondays, ABC) Heather Graham found success as a visiting psychologist on Scrubs, so now she has her own sitcom. Emily's Reasons Why Not, which is a tough title to remember, is about Emily Sanders, a successful publisher who has no success in the world of dating. The pilot has Emily dating a co-worker and coming up with a plan to make a list of reasons to break-up or stay with a love interest. Emily's Reasons Why Not premieres on Monday, Jan. 9th at 9 pm.
The Book of Daniel (Fridays, NBC) This show is already getting a ton of attention from some Christian groups that worry about its subject matter. The show stars Aidan Quinn as an Episcopalian minister who regularly has conversations with Jesus, whom he sees or conjures. He doesn't get along with church leaders very well and he is fighting an addiction to painkillers. He also has a gay son whose twin brother died, a daughter who angers him, an adopted Chinese boy who is a witty jock, and a wife who is a borderline alcoholic. It sounds an awful lot like a watered-down version of Six Feet Under, and if you see the photo on NBC's website, you'll see what I'm saying. The Book of Daniel premieres Friday, Jan. 6 at 9 pm.
Campus Ladies (Sundays, Oxygen) This comedy is based on characters created by two women in the improv group, The Groundlings, of which Will Ferrell was once a member. Campus Ladies is about two 40-year-old housewives who decide to go to college. The website says they "encounter RAs, keg parties and sorority rush for the first time." The premiere, guest starring Jane Kaczmarek, airs Sunday, Jan. 8 at 10 pm. You can also watch the entire premiere episode on AOL, although I couldn't get it to play on my Mac this morning.
Crumbs (Thursdays, ABC) Fred Savage is returning to a weekly sitcom, called Crumbs, on ABC. Brothers Mitch and Jody Crumb return to their hometown to take care of their mother, who was just released from a psychiatric hospital after trying to run over their father with a car. And their father, it turns out, has moved on and is about to have a baby with his new girlfriend. Much of the show centers around the relationship between the brothers, one who left town to pursue an acting career and another who stayed home to run the family business. ABC is launching this new show against CSI and The Office, so there isn't much hope, is there? Crumbs premieres on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 9:30 pm.
Get This Party Started (Tuesdays, UPN) Kristin Cavallari (Laguna Beach) and Ethan Erickson (Extra) host this surprise party-themed reality show where party planners to-the-stars plan a surprise bash for one lucky, nominated person. Kristin and Ethan will help with the set-up and engage the family and friends in conversations about why the party recipient is so deserving of the gift. Get This Party Started premieres Tuesday, Jan. 24th at 9 pm.
Here is a complete schedule of new and returning shows in January.