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May 15, 2007 |

By Seth Freilich | TV | May 15, 2007 |

Well the Alphabet has dropped all but one of its comedies (“According to Jim” — smell you fucking later!), and that comedy (“Notes from the Underbelly”) won’t be back until midseason. But all is well with ABC comedy because “Cavemen” got picked up. Cave-motherfucking-men! And here’s the real kicker for me. ABC canceled “The Knights of Prosperity,” which wasn’t great, but wasn’t half-bad. And about “Knights,” ABC’s president said that the show was really close to a renewal, but they just couldn’t find a spot for it. …Uhm, I realize I’m no network executive or anything, but how about you put it right where you decided to air motherfucking “Cavemen?!”

I’m really excited about “Cavemen.”

Anyway, “Cavemen,” aside, the most interesting thing about all the new ABC pickups (and there are quite a few new shows) is that Wednesday night will consist entirely of new shows (remember, “Lost” won’t be back on Wednesday nights, probably in the 8 or 9 p.m. slot, until it starts its uninterrupted run in February 2008). This is certainly a risky move, although two of the new Wednesday night shows certainly have a fair amount of potential and early buzz. Also, looking over the dramas we’ve seen from both NBC and ABC, we see the results of the serialized backlash from last season, as most of these shows ain’t serials. In fact, ABC’s president apparently went out of his way to refer to the fact that most of the network’s new dramas were “closed-ended.”

As for what’s out, we already knew that shows like “Daybreak,” “Six Degrees” and “The Nine” were dead, and now we know they’re gone. But as I said earlier, so too is “According to Jim.” And as great as that is, the ABC graveyard gets even better — not only did “What About Brian” fail to survive, but the network put an ax in “George Lopez’s” back. That makes me as giddy as a school girl.

Before we get to the new fall schedule, there are three midseason replacements worth mentioning. First, there’s “Eli Stone,” which stars Johnny Lee Miller (along with Victor Garber and Natasha Henstridge) as a lawyer who comes to think that he’s a prophet with a higher calling. I’m sick of lawyers (both on TV and in real life!), but I love Miller and like Garber, so I’m intrigued to see what they might do with this (though neither of these guys had any luck with their new fall shows last year). There’s also “Miss/Guided,” a comedy about a gal who becomes a guidance counselor at her alma mater high school. Dunno if it’ll be any good, but it stars Judy Greer, which is absolutely enough for me to check it out, because she’s one of the best (and most underappreciated) comedic actresses around these days. …And then there’s “Oprah’s Big Give,” a competition show that gives away a million bucks, but contestants will have to deal with all sorts of big twists to get to the money. I’m sorry Housewives of America, but I hate Oprah. And I already hate this friggin’ show.

Lastly, there are three shows not included in the following lineup. “October Road” (how and why this got picked up, don’t ask me) and “Notes from the Underbelly” will slide onto the schedule once “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Bachelor” wrap up. So too will the new show “Cashmere Mafia,” which is basically ABC’s version of the new “Lipstick Jungle” which NBC announced yesterday (only this is four professional NYC women, not three, so it’s totally different, see?). No word yet on which shows will got into which slots.

(In the following schedule, new shows appear in caps.)


8 p.m.: “Dancing with the Stars.” This show ain’t for me, but it still gets plenty of ratings, so it’s clearly for some people.
9 p.m.: “SAM I AM.” This is a light show starring Christina Applegate as a lady who comes out of an eight day coma to find that she’s an amnesiac. And as she deals with starting her life over, she also has to deal with the ramifications of the fact that she wasn’t such a great person pre-coma (i.e., she was a beeyotch). I have absolutely no opinion on this show one way or the other right now, nor have I really heard any good/bad buzz about it.
10 p.m.: “The Bachelor.” Of all the older reality shows, I’m still most amazed that this one is still on and still watched. Haven’t we moved past the relationship reality shows at this point?


8 p.m.: “CAVEMEN.” Mother. Fucking. Cavemen.
8:30 p.m.: “CARPOOLERS.” Wow, ABC really went for the one-two punch with this hour of programming. “Carpoolers” is about — get this — four dudes who carpool to work together. And one of those dudes is Jerry O’Connell. Need I say any more? (I predict that this power-house block of new comedies won’t survive the month of September.)
9 p.m.: “Dancing with the Stars (Results).”
10 p.m.: “Boston Legal.”


8 p.m.: “PUSHING DAISIES.” This is one of the pilots about the dead coming back to life (CBS has one as well). It comes from Bryan Fuller, who brought us “Wonderfalls” (I never watched, but I know some people dug it) and “Dead Like Me” (which I grew very fond of). But it also comes from Barry Sonnefeld (RV, anyone?). Anyway, it’s about a dude who can bring back the dead, and uses this power to make money by solving murders (he raises the victims long enough to tell him who killed them). His life gets complicated when he decides to bring his childhood honey back and let her stay alive - this complicates things because (a) she tries to get him to use his powers for good and, more importantly, (b) if he ever touches her again, she will die forever (which is a total foreplay buzzkill). Early word is pretty good on the show, and it’s an interesting enough concept, so I’ll check it out. But I hope it plays up the non-detective/mystery-of-the-week angle, or else it’ll get stale fast (see “Raines”).
9 p.m.: “PRIVATE PRACTICE.” It comes as no surprise that the network picked up the “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff. But whether it’ll be any good or not, well, that’s another question. Based on the “backdoor pilot” they stuffed at us two weeks ago, it looks like Tim Daly and Taye Diggs will kill yet another show (maybe it’s the T.D. initials!). The “Private Practice” part of that episode felt like “Ally McBeal,” only (a) they were docs instead of dicks lawyers, (b) the men were prettier, (c) the lead had some meat on her bones, and (d) it was in LA instead of Boston. But it lacked the humor or inventiveness that made the early “McBeal” episodes a success. I think this show is already in trouble.
10 p.m.: “DIRTY SEXY MONEY.” I’ve told you the buzz was high on this, so the pickup comes as no surprise. As I’ve said, it stars Peter Krause as a do-gooder lawyer who takes over a family patriarch’s role as the family lawyer, and he has to deal with the family’s sketchy shenanigans and dramas. Also starring Donald Sutherland and William Baldwin (I have it on good authority that his daughter isn’t a little pig), this show definitely sounds worth checking out (although I want less lawyering and more family shenanigans).


8 p.m.: “Ugly Betty.” No surprise this was coming back to the same spot. My love for this show has faded a little, but I still enjoy well enough as a light entertainment.
9 p.m.: “Grey’s Anatomy.” I hate this show more and more as the weeks go on, yet I still watch it. I don’t know why, as most of what I initially enjoyed about it is long long gone.
10 p.m.: “BIG SHOTS.” Well the show itself sounds rather terrible — it’s about four guys with big, important jobs, and a big, important friendship. But it’s a pretty solid cast making up the four guys — Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott, Josh Malina (good for him!) and Christopher Titus (well, there has to be one bad egg in the batch). Depending on the early word on this show, I may try it out because of that cast. But it’ll be on a short leash. (And I have to question this show getting “Grey’s” as a lead-in, as they don’t seem like good fits at first blush.)


8 p.m.: “Men in Trees.” ABC must not have much faith in this, even with the renewal, since it dumped it back on Friday nights. But I couldn’t care less.
9 p.m.: “WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB.” And again, ABC must not have much faith in this new show, dropping it here. It’s about four San Francisco women (a detective, a D.A., a medical examiner and a reporter) who solver murder cases together. I don’t blame ABC for its lack of faith.
10 p.m.: “20/20.”


8 p.m.: College football. Nothing wrong with that.


7 p.m.: “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” I am continually amazed that this show is still on the air.
8 p.m.: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” I think this show, and ABC, are being sued by orphans right now. Orphans!
9 p.m.: “Desperate Housewives.” I heard this show had a bit of a resurgence this season, after its sophomore slump but, as I seem to be saying over and over again with ABC shows, I don’t care.
10 p.m.: “Brothers & Sisters.” Believe it or not, I’m still watching this show — I gotta let a little light fluff into this cold heart of mine every once in a while, you know? It’s not a great show, but it’s just stupid and campy enough to entertain me, particularly as it’s the perfect “DVR and watch in the background on Monday while doing work” type of thing.

Seth “the Orangutan” Freilich is Pajiba’s television columnist. He is seriously confounded and slightly miserable over this whole “Cavemen” business.

ABC's New Fall Schedule

The Network Upfronts / The TV Whore
May 15, 2007

TV | May 15, 2007 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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