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October 6, 2015

Are Networks Saving the Best New Shows for Midseason?

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 13th 2011 9:00AM
Terra NovaHere we are: Fall TV premiere week.

There are some exciting shows slated for fall, including 'Person of Interest' (CBS' Michael Emerson-Jim Caviezel procedural with a twist), 'Up All Night' (NBC's relatable new comedy starring Will Arnett, Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph), 'Pan Am' (ABC's swinging '60s drama set in the world of mile-high espionage), 'Secret Circle' ('The Vampire Diaries' boss Kevin Williamson's answer to witches) and 'Terra Nova' (Fox's ambitious time-travel dinosaur drama, pictured), just to name a few.

But some of the most buzzed-about shows are being held for January 2012 and beyond, and we're not the only ones taking note.

We gathered a group of esteemed critics to pick their favorite new dramas and comedies -- check out all our videos here -- and the conversation changed completely when we opened the selection up to include midseason offerings as well.

So, as much as people are probably over this common fill-in-the-blank statement, I'm saying it: This year, midseason is definitely the new fall. Check it out ...


Smash'Smash' (NBC)
Quite possibly the most exciting pilot of the entire season, 'Smash' features an all-star cast (Debra Messing, Angelica Huston, Katharine McPhee) poised to put on a Broadway musical production all about Marilyn Monroe. People already comparing 'Smash' to 'Glee' will be singing a different tune once they see it -- this show has catchy songs, truly remarkable performances and actual staying power.

G.C.B.'G.C.B.' (ABC)
Once they traded in 'B*tches' for 'Belles,' ABC ensured that any attention their soapy new Texas society dramedy got would be for the right reasons. You know, like catfights, husband stealing and good old fashioned scandals. And then they changed it again, to the less-than-exciting 'G.C.B.' Hmm. But with Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts doing it up big, Texas style, we're still giving this one a big yeehaw.

The Firm'The Firm' (NBC)
John Grisham's books and movies have captivated audiences for decades, and now one of his most popular stories is hitting the small screen. We haven't seen any of it -- hence the intrigue -- but with the hotness that is Josh Lucas taking over the role Tom Cruise made famous, we see no objections in sight.

Apartment 23'Apartment 23' (ABC)
Another almost-sassily-named show (originally titled 'Don't Trust the B*tch in Apartment 23'), this pilot was surprisingly funny, showcasing the comedic timing of star Krysten Ritter and the comedic self-deprecation of James Van Der Beek, who plays "himself" -- 'Dawson's Creek' references included.

Awake'Awake' (NBC)
NBC has another cop drama waiting in the wings, but it's nothing like the 'Law & Order' franchise -- and we mean that as a compliment. 'Awake' stars Jason Isaacs as a cop who loses his wife in an accident ... then "wakes up" to find that it's his son who died and his wife is still alive. The only catch is he's not sure which reality is actually real; we'll see him trying to figure it out while continuing to live in both scenarios, with two different partners and cases, two different therapists and double the suspense.

Scandal'Scandal' (ABC)
'Scandal' isn't necessarily the most original new drama, but being from creator Shonda Rhimes -- she who hooks us in season after season of 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Private Practice' -- gives it instant intrigue, even if the political plot lines are somewhat predictable. Plus, Kerry Washington and Henry Ian Cusick on our TVs every week? Yes, please.

Bent'Bent' (NBC)
'Bent' is certainly not the best comedy of the year, and it's not really reinventing the wheel, but it does have one of the most likable casts of the season, including Amanda Peet as an uptight working single mom, David Walton as her free-wheeling contractor and Jeffrey Tambor as his punchline-spouting dad.

Alcatraz'Alcatraz' (Fox)
From J.J. Abrams and 'Lost' executive producer Liz Sarnoff comes another mysterious island drama: 'Alcatraz.' There's a time travel element and some duplicitous characters introduced in the pilot, giving us hope for another highly addictive heavy mythology show. Plus it stars fellow 'Lost' alum Jorge Garcia, so we're forgiving the pilot for any missteps.

BFFsBest Friends Forever (NBC)
The previews for this show are hilarious. Like I laughed out loud semi-uncontrollably several times hilarious. Unfortunately you can't judge a show by a teaser, but I now have high hopes -- fingers crossed that when they finally send the full pilot, I won't be disappointed.

The River'The River' (ABC)
A mystery-suspense drama about a very well-known explorer who goes missing in the Amazon, leaving his colleagues and loved ones to find him, this pilot gave me goosebumps and even made me jump out of my seat once. I don't know where it goes (further into the jungle, I guess?), but I'll be tuning in to find out.

There are still plenty more that remain to be seen (literally) by critics, including Chelsea Handler's 'Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea' on NBC; CBS' cop drama 'The 2-2' starring Leelee Sobieski and Adam Goldberg, from executive producer Robert DeNiro; and 'Bones' spinoff 'The Finder,' which we saw a backdoor pilot for last season (shirtless Geoff Stults, anyone?), but is currently being tweaked a bit over at Fox.

There are also a few midseason flops (ahem, 'Work It' on ABC, we're looking at you!), proving that while some networks are using it to give quality shows a better launching pad, others are still counting on the winter bow to bury their duds.

Tell us: Which new shows are you most excited for? And do you think it makes a difference when they premiere?

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I really wish FOX had picked up 'Tagged,' a workplace sitcom in a morgue. It seemed interesting when I read about it. Oh well, just my opinion.

September 14 2011 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The right wing media hate Blacks so much they refused to publish that a Black African woman won Ms. World Beauty contest. We welcome Ms. Angola as Ms. World. You may remember I wrote about black women in response to Japanese evolutionary scientist, Satoshi Kanazawa, who wrote black women were unattractive. Here is a world beauty now to challenge Satoshi so called scientific stupid observations. I believe Kanazawa had not met beautiful Black women. He should go to Dares-Salaam, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nairobi, Chicago, and Key West or come here in Madison. He will definitely revise his so called scientific observation. Kanazawa findings were stupid. I have seen some Asian women really unattractive too. In fact I have seen very few Asian women with beautiful legs and teeth. I lived with one for two years. I did not see her any different from other women. However, on several times she would tell me that White males think Asian women are a delicacy. That statement surprised me. Maybe that is reason many married rich White males vacation in Japan and Malaysian countries to quench their sex drives with Asian women. I have had opportunity to observe women of different national origins, White, Black, Spanish, Somalis, Arabs, Russians and found women of all colors and background were no different from one another. As a whole all women are made attractive. I believe Satoshi Kanazawa was deceived when young to believe Black women unattractive. Sorry he was fired. He should get mental treatment. We welcome Ms. Angola as Ms. World.

September 14 2011 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

they canceled good (decent) shows like V, the ev3nt, and no ordinary family for this load of crud. more gays anatomy and remakes that get the originals wrong ( charlie's angels .. they were police academy graduates not ****** and criminals .. these dumb*sses are thinking of the mod squad)

September 14 2011 at 2:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can't Wait.

September 14 2011 at 2:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ABC has cancelled a bunch of good shows. Octorber Road and Men in Trees were two of my favorites. The worst part is they ended with no ending to give us closure.

September 14 2011 at 2:03 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

ABC should really think about bringing back Rookie Blue. It's too long a wait till next July. It's also a great show. And, Andy and Swarez are quite a "hot couple". I'd say 2nd to Meredith & Derrick. (Grey's Anatomy")

September 14 2011 at 1:25 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Just received the TV Guide Fall Preview issue. I've never seen more boring programs and, with just a few exceptions, starring all unknowns. TV has become greedy just like all American businesses - they don't want to pay $$ for well-known and popular stars. As a result, we get less-than-mediocre programming. I heard that someone said, years ago, that TV was a vast wasteland - well, that statement was never more true today. Do we really need a show about the Playboy Club? Definitely not! A show about stewardesses? Please give us a break. All we have on TV is junk, junk and more junk. These programs are for idiots and were given the OK by even bigger greedier idiots.

September 14 2011 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to R's comment

Every actor was an unknown at one time or other. The next "big thing" might just be waiting in the wings. In reply to your "greed" comment.... talk to your so called "well known and popular" actors who demand $100K and up per episode.

I'll agree with you about most of the new shows not being interesting......but at least there seems to be a move away from the "reality" tripe.

September 14 2011 at 7:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lost is boring. So is Survivor

September 14 2011 at 1:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If you wanna know why there're not starting up many new shows till Jan. ----follow the money trail. It's cheaper for them to keep showing reruns all fall, then to put on 9 or 10 months of new shows. And , they'll be a lot more commercials. There're are already WAY too many commercials. Thank God for PBS and NPR.
The other day, one of the cable channels was showing the reruns of John and Kate----when their marriage was falling apart, and they were interviewed separately. Com' on , TV cable industry, why put that old garage on if nobody's gonna watch it ?!

September 14 2011 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And they took off Law and Order and ER. Just goes to show you. NBC. New Bull and Crap has there head where the sun does not shine!

September 14 2011 at 12:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to D M's comment

Those shows were old anyway.. All good things come to an end.

September 14 2011 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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