2011 Fall Television Preview

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2014 at 11:27 am,

It’s time to once again dust off your remote and make room on your DVR, because the 2011 fall television season is officially upon us. With over 20 new series making their way on to the air, figuring out what to watch may be a tad overwhelming.

Luckily, we’ve sat through over 10 hours of premieres and have put together a comprehensive guide for all of the new shows, including their premiere days and, for those interested, a mini-review to let you know whether or not each series might be worth your time.

This year, the general theme from the networks and their new show choices appears to be “stepping outside your core audience.” With each network premiering an assortment of series that wouldn’t typically fall within their expected demographics, it appears that each network is attempting expand their core audience by providing a range of genres with varying sensibilities.

In a sense, ABC may be stepping outside of their comfort zone the least with Man Up!, Once Upon A Time and Pan Am, which are basically within their usual range. CBS is attempting to bring some younger viewers in with 2 Broke Girls and Person of Interest. NBC is once again overhauling a majority of its fall television line-up and believes that The Playboy Club, Whitney and Grimm might help them return to form.

Last, Fox once again represents the most focused network with New Girl, Terra Nova and I Hate My Teenage Daughter. Fortunately (and unfortunately) the network has both the best and worst new show of the fall television series, so perhaps some of that focus may have been lost.

In case the mini-reviews aren’t enough to help you decide whether or not you should watch a series, we’ve also included three indicators; green, yellow and red, that also represent our feelings on each show.

Green – Watch it!
green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

Yellow – DVR it!
yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

Red – Skip it! (seriously)
red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

We’ll cover the new shows from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. We start out with ABC directly below, but if you want to jump to the new offerings for a particular network, click on the links below:

ABC | CBS | NBC | FOX 

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abc fall tv preview 2011 Fall Television Preview

 

Charlie’s Angels red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

charlies angels abc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Thursday, September 22 @8pm

Plot: Everyone deserves a second chance — even a thief, a street racer and a cop who got in a little too deep. After all, the three women who solve cases for their elusive boss, Charlie Townsend, are no saints. They’re angels… Charlie’s Angels. Set in Miami, this fun, glamorous, action-packed take on the 1970s smash hit series introduces us to three new angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Minka Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure — Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs. “Charlie’s Angels” stars Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital) as Kate Prince, Minka Kelly (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) as Eve, Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) as Abby Sampson and Ramon Rodriguez (The Wire, Daybreak) as Bosley.

Mini Review:  The problem with remaking a television series from the 70s is that many of the core plot elements must remain the same (i.e. Charlie). While Charlie’s Angels may have worked decades ago on TV, and years ago on film (I suppose), when it comes to the current state of television, audiences are expecting more than laughable storylines, poorly realized characters reciting terribly written dialogue, and Charlie on a speakerphone used to painfully progress the plot.

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Last Man Standing yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

last man standing abc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Tuesday, October 11 @8pm

Plot: Today it’s a woman’s world, and this man’s man is on a mission to get men back to their rightful place in society. Tim Allen returns to ABC in this new comedy from Jack Burditt (30 Rock). Men may have built civilizations, invented the locomotive and created ESPN, but they’re about to find out that it’s not a man’s world anymore. You can’t get manlier than Mike Baxter. He’s the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store, he loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women — namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before. The show stars Tim Allen (Home Improvement) as Mike, Nancy Travis (So I Married an Axe Murderer, Three Men and a Baby) as Vanessa, Molly Ephraim as Mandy, Alexandra Krosney as Kristin, Kaitlyn Dever as Eve and Hector Elizondo (Chicago Hope) as Ed.

Mini Review: After fond memories of Home Improvement, Tim Allen’s return to television may not be everything you’d hope it to be. While Allen certainly shines in the pilot, one can easily tell that he’s still a bit rusty in his return to the sitcom medium. That being said, there’s still enough promise shown in the pilot that the series might take a turn for the better as it progress.

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 Man Up! green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

man up abc  2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Tuesday, October 18 @8:30pm

Plot: Three modern men try to get in touch with their inner tough guys and redefine what it means to be a “real man” in this funny and relatable comedy. Will’s grandfather fought in WWII. Will’s father fought in Vietnam. Will plays Call of Duty on his PS3 and drinks non-dairy hazelnut creamer. So what happened to all the real men? They’re still here — they just smell like pomegranate body wash now. Meet Will (Mather Zickel). His evolved, sensitive nature is why his awesome wife, Theresa (Teri Polo), married him. But Will and his friends find themselves wondering — in a world of Axe ads and manscaping — what does it really mean to be a guy anymore? Will is more interested in finding the perfect gift for his son Nathan’s (Jake Johnson) 13th birthday than in doing his job selling insurance; sensitive soul Craig (Christopher Moynihan) still pines for his college ex, Lisa; and Kenny (Dan Fogler) clamps down on his anger and asks himself, “What would Tobey Maguire do?,” when his ex, Brenda (Amanda Detmer), starts seeing a guy (Henry Simmons) who is everything he’s not and much better looking. After Craig crashes Lisa’s wedding to try to win her back, they are all faced with an opportunity to Man Up and be like their forefathers. The show stars Christopher Moynihan as Craig, Mather Zickel (The Cape) as Will, Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) as Kenny, Teri Polo (Meet the Fockers) as Theresa, Amanda Detmer (What About Brian) as Brenda and Henry Simmons (Shark) as Grant.

Mini Review: Man Up! comes across as a mixture of Modern Family and last year’s canceled Fox comedy Traffic Light - which is a good thing. With Dan Fogler serving as the ManUp!’s boisterous comic relief, there are more than enough laughs to be had in this 30-minute series. While the use of the show title as a thematic element is a bit heavy handed in the pilot, this is something that will most certainly be corrected in subsequent episodes.

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Once Upon a Time green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

once upon a time abc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Sunday, October 23 @8pm

Plot: From the inventive minds of “Lost” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide. And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell. “Once Upon a Time” stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) as Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison (House MD) as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Trainspotting, SGU Stargate Universe) as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham, Jared Gilmore (Mad Men) as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie.

Mini Review: Wonderfully magical and completely captivating, Once Upon A Time brilliantly transitions beloved fairy tale characters into an earnest prime time television series that the entire family can watch and enjoy.

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Pan Am yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

pan am abc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Sunday, September 25 @10pm

Plot: Passion, jealousy and espionage… They do it all – and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly-original new series. In this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury and Pan Am is the biggest name in the business. The planes are glamorous, the pilots are rock stars and the stewardesses are the most desirable women in the world. Not only are these flyboys and girls young and good looking, but to represent Pan Am they also have to be educated, cultured and refined. They’re trained to handle everything from in-air emergencies to unwanted advances – all without rumpling their pristine uniforms or mussing their hair. There’s Dean (Jonah Lotan) – a cocky, charismatic and ambitious new pilot – the first of a new breed not trained in the war. On the sly against company policy, he’s dating Bridget, a stunning beauty with a mysterious past. A rebellious bohemian, Maggie (Christina Ricci) turns into a buttoned up professional for work so she can see the world. Rounding out the crew are flirtatious Collette (Karine Vanasse), the adventurous Kate (Kelli Garner) and, finally, Laura (Margot Robbie) – Kate’s beauty queen younger sister, a runaway bride, who recently fled a life of domestic boredom to take to the skies. “Pan Am” stars Christina Ricci (Penelope) as Maggie, Kelli Garner (Going the Distance) as Kate, Karine Vanasse (Polytechnique) as Colette, Margot Robbie (Neighbours) as Laura, Jonah Lotan (24) as Dean and Michael Mosley (Justified) as Ted.

Mini Review: Like another period drama premiering this season (The Playboy Club), there’s much more to Pan Am than what the description reveals. Unfourtunatly, the inclusion of numerous characters with a lack of overall focus prevents Pan Am from flying high. That being said, there are signs that the series may right itself as more episodes air.

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Revenge green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

revenge abc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Wednesday, September 21 @10pm

Plot: Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of revenge. Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) is new to the Hamptons. She’s met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how – with a vengeance. “Revenge” stars Madeleine Stowe (We Were Soldiers, The Last of the Mohicans) as Victoria Grayson, Emily Van Camp (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood) as Emily Thorne, Gabriel Mann (The Bourne Identity) as Nolan Ross, Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, Clear and Present Danger) as Conrad Grayson, Ashley Madekwe (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) as Ashley Davenport, Nick Wechsler (“Roswell”) as Jack Porter, Josh Bowman (“Prowl”) as Daniel Grayson, Christa B. Allen (13 Going on 30) as Charlotte Grayson and Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl) as Declan Porter.

Mini Review: While this modern-day take on “The Count of Monte Cristo” may appear to be a stereotypical teenage drama that would air on The CW, Revenge surprisingly presents an intriguing plot, mature storytelling, and a clearly defined direction of focus that will leave you wanting to see more.

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Suburgatory red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

subugatory abc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Wednesday, September 28 @8:30pm

Plot:  Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the ‘burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they’ve ever been. Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa’s mom pulled a “Kramer vs. Kramer” before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he’s feeling a little out of his league. So it’s goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the ‘burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they’re really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast. The show stars Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order) as George Altman, Jane Levy (Shameless) as Tessa Altman, Carly Chaikin (The Last Song) as Dalia Royce, Allie Grant (Weeds) as Lisa, Alan Tudyk (V) as Noah Lerner and Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Dallas Royce. Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live) guest stars.

Mini Review: Suburgatory is a painfully slow-paced series that attempts to squeeze laughter out of a setting that’s not exactly all that humorous. While there are a few chuckles to be had, the time spent waiting to reach these brief moments of levity could be better spent watching something else.

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Continue to the next page for CBS…

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ABC | CBS | NBC | FOX 

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cbs fall tv preview 2011 Fall Television Preview

2 Broke Girls yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

 

two broke girls cbs 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Monday, September 19 @8:30pm

Plot: A comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash. Sassy, streetwise Max (Kat Dennings) works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner. Sophisticated Caroline (Beth Behrs) is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot. At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style. When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money. While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner. Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break.

Mini Review: While there are some genuinely funny moments in 2 Broke Girls, the overall execution of the pilot presents an extremely rough look at the series’ possible potential. That being said, even if the poorly executed dialogue and awkward storylines were fixed, the actual premise of the series (which is revealed at the end of the pilot) feels both pointless and ridiculous.

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A Gifted Man yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

a gifted man cbs 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Friday, September 23 @8pm

Plot: A brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.” Michael Holt is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna, an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him. In an attempt to go back to his “normal” life, Michael visits Anton, a carpenter who moonlights as a Shaman to try and extract Anna’s spirit from his body, but when Anna reappears and asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he realizes she needs him more now then ever. Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita, who works tirelessly to facilitate his schedule in order to accommodate his added responsibilities at the clinic. Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone. 

Mini Review: Even though the plot may appear to be tired and familiar, A Gifted Man provides an interesting take on the typical “spirit series.” Unfortunately, with a single story-arc serving as the foundation of an entire series, it’s hard to see what long-term plans are set in place to progress the story while also answering the few questions the premise presents.

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How To Be A Gentleman red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

 

how to be a gentleman cbs 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Thursday, September 29 @8:30pm

Plot: Inspired by the book of the same name, How to be a Gentleman is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer. Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society. Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy. When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.” Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion. Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link. 

Mini Review: With Kevin Dillon delivering a performance that’s all too similar to Johnny “Drama” from Entourage, and an annoying definition of what a “gentleman” is supposed to be, the only laughs to be had are those of disbelief.

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Person of Interest green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

person of interest cbs 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Thursday, September 22 @9pm

Plot: A crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese’s (James Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Michael Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the person of interest and stop the crime before it happens. Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage. With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.

Mini Review: Despite the plot’s basis in a fantastical element that presents many questions to those watching (a la Lost), the execution of the series – from the actions scenes to the storylines – surpasses any and all exceptions of what a team-up of Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) and Jesus Christ (James Caviezel), headed up by Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), could be.

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Unforgettable red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

 

unforgettable cbs 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Tuesday, September 20 @10pm

Plot: An enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder. Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop. Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember.

Mini Review: While the overall premise sounds intriguing, the execution is anything but. Take a generic police drama, mix in awkward flashbacks driven by a poor use of the core premise and what you have is, unlike the show title may suggest, an extremely forgettable television series.

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 Continue to the next page for NBC & FOX

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ABC | CBS | NBC | FOX 

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nbc fall tv preview 2011 Fall Television Preview

The Playboy Club yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

the playboy club nbc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Monday, September 19 @ 10pm

Plot: A provocative new drama about a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary entrepreneur created an empire and an icon changed American culture. It’s the early ’60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies — and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade’s biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, CSI: Miami) is one of the city’s top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city’s power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, Zombieland), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, Take the Lead), a bombshell and established star at the club who knows her days as a bunny are numbered and finds herself continually at odds with Billy (David Krumholtz, Numb3rs), the club’s general manager. Adding to the charm of the Playboy club is Janie (Jenna Dewan Tatum, American Virgin), the carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, CSI: Miami), an overly protective bartender.

Mini Review: An intriguing plot presented in a controversial setting, The Playboy Club is less about sex and drugs and more about gangsters and murder. While the pilot may present some interesting (though flawed) storylines, the real test of the series will be seeing how they handle things going forward.

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Up All night green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

up all night nbc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Airs: Wednesdays @8pm

Plot: A modern take on parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) plays Chris, Reagan’s supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents – a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults — for the most part. Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids) stars as Ava, Reagan’s outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan’s former carefree life. James Pumphrey (High Road) portrays Brian, Reagan’s socially awkward hipster assistant.

Mini Review: After seeing Will Arnett replicate his character from Arrested Development over and over, it’s refreshing to see a new side to the comedic actor. While certain elements of the series don’t work as well as others, there are still many laughs to be had.

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Free Agents green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

free agents nbc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Airs: Wednesdays @8:30pm

Plot: Based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons, Huff) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, Hung) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex’s co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, Love Bites, Modern Family) and Gregg (Al Madrigal, Wizards of Waverly Place, Gary, Unmarried), and Stephen (Anthony Head, Merlin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started — in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship.

Mini Review: Free Agents finally allows Hank Azaria to shine as a comedic lead actor, without the need for animation. Unfortunately, even though the jokes are funny and the characters are extremely well executed, a few problems related to the core premise of the series could lead to its cancellation.

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Whitney red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

whitney nbc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Thursday, September 22 @9:30pm

Plot: A hilarious look at modern love, Whitney is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Lately) and Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends’ weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends — including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, The Other Guys) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, The Starter Wife) — and then snaps into action. A few awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other — and that works for them. 

Mini Review: Despite Whitney Cummings actually being a funny comedian, the series that graces her name leaves much to be desired. Awkward scenes used to set up poorly written jokes are just some of the disappointments that await those who decide to watch.

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Prime Suspect yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

prime suspect nbc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Thursday, September 22 @10pm

Plot: Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, Prime Suspect has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives, NYPD Blue), director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) — and stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect.

Mini Review: Like Southland, Prime Suspect presents a gritty look at the life of a driven police detective. Even though the “boys club” mentality does feel a bit forced, and some of the episodic storylines are poorly executed, it’ll be hard not to walk away from the pilot wanting to see more.

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Grimm yellow rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

grimm nbc 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Friday, October 21 @9pm

Plot: A new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren’t stories — they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli, Turn The Beat Around) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn’t quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, Grey’s Anatomy) arrives, Nick’s life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as “Grimms,” who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors — and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. 

Mini Review: In the battle of fairy tale dramas on primetime television, Grimm comes out as the unfortunate loser. That bring said, if you’re up for a bit of fun and can stomach fairy tale dialogue being presented in the form of a serious drama, you just might find yourself wanting more.

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Continue to the next page for FOX…

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ABC | CBS | NBC | FOX 

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fox fall tv preview 2011 Fall Television Preview

Terra Nova green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

terra nova fox 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Saturday, October 1 @9pm

Plot: Terra Nova follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past. When scientists at the FERMI Particle Accelerator unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past – a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land. JIM SHANNON (Jason O’Mara, “Life on Mars”), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new world of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH (Shelley Conn, Mistresses), is a trauma surgeon and the newest addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. JOSH (Landon Liboiron, Degrassi: The Next Generation) is their 17-year-old son who is angry to leave life as he knows it behind; upon arriving at the settlement, he finds himself instantly drawn to the beautiful and rule-breaking SKYE (Allison Miller, Kings). MADDY (Naomi Scott, Life Bites), Josh’s endearingly awkward 15-year-old sister, hopes Terra Nova will give her a chance to reinvent herself. Although Elisabeth’s medical training secured the family a spot on the pilgrimage, a secret involving their five-year-old daughter, ZOE (newcomer Alana Mansour), soon endangers their place in this utopia. Upon the Shannons’ arrival, they are introduced to COMMANDER NATHANIEL TAYLOR (Stephen Lang, Avatar), the charismatic and heroic first pioneer and leader of the settlement. Taylor warns the travelers that while Terra Nova is a place of new opportunities and fresh beginnings, all is not as idyllic as it initially appears. Along with blue skies, towering waterfalls and lush vegetation, the surrounding terrain is teeming with danger – and not just of the man-eating dinosaur variety. There is also a splinter colony of renegades led by the battle-hardened MIRA (Christine Adams, TRON: Legacy), who is vehemently opposed to Taylor and his leadership. Even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls of the colony is the chilling possibility that something sinister is happening inside Terra Nova. The Shannons will come to suspect that not everyone on this mission has the same idea of how to best save mankind; in fact, there may be forces intent on destroying this new world before it even begins.

Mini Review: Not only is Terra Nova one of the most beautiful television series to ever grace the screen, but it’s also driven by a compelling story with enough intrigue to keep viewers tuning in week after week.

Trailer:

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New Girl green rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

new girl fox 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Tuesday, September 20 @9pm

Plot: A new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) that features a young ensemble cast and takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships. JESS DAY (Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer) is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn’t. Although she’s dorky and awkward, she’s comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she’s not used to hanging with the boys – especially at home. Of the three male roommates, NICK (Jake Johnson, No Strings Attached) is the most grounded. He had big plans for life, but somewhere along the way, he stopped caring and became a bartender. Usually the smartest guy in the room, he has an uncanny knack for reading people and uses humor to deflect everyone and everything. SCHMIDT (Max Greenfield, Ugly Betty) is a hustling young professional who fancies himself a modern-day Casanova. Though his heart is usually in the right place, he’s always scheming ways to climb the social ladder and is driven by an immature and almost obsessive urge to be on “the scene.” Viewing Jess as a gateway into the elusive female mind, as well as a personal project, Schmidt encourages the guys to bring Jess into the apartment. The third roommate, COACH (Damon Wayans Jr., The Underground), is a former high school athlete who currently makes his living as a personal trainer. Set in his ways and with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude to dating, Coach is most comfortable when he’s in the gym. Though he’ll never admit it, Coach’s macho athletic exterior is actually a cover for his shyness around women, and he struggles to translate his personal confidence into conversation, preferring to speak in sports metaphors – or not at all. Rounding out this group is Jess’ childhood best friend, CECE (Hannah Simone, Beautiful People), a deadpan, somewhat cynical model who blossomed after outgrowing her promiscuous adolescent years. She has the street smarts Jess lacks and spends a lot of time doling out no-nonsense relationship advice that only a professional model could give. She and Jess balance each other well and accept each other despite their faults, making Cece the perfect complement to Jess. As their relationships progress, the five friends come to realize they need each other more than they ever thought they would and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional family.

Mini Review: Like Mary Poppins, New Girl is practicably perfect in every way. Presenting a wonderful mixture of hilarious references and endearing moments, it’s fair to say that this is the best new fall television series of 2011.

Trailer:

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I Hate my Teenage Daughter red rate 2011 Fall Television Preview

 

i hate my teenage daughter fox 2011 Fall Television Preview

Premieres: Wednesday, November 30 @9:30pm

Plot: A new family comedy starring Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran as single moms, best friends – and former nerds – who fear their privileged and overly indulged daughters are turning out just like the mean girls who picked on them in high school. Annie (Pressly), who was raised in an ultra-strict, uber-religious household where she had little-to-no freedom, pretty much allows her daughter, SOPHIE (Kristi Lauren), to do whatever she wants. Annie’s best friend Nikki (Finneran), once an unpopular, overweight social pariah, is now a pretty Southern belle who also allows her daughter, MACKENZIE (Aisha Dee), to do as she pleases. The moms have given the girls everything they asked for and everything they never had: clothes, money and self-esteem. The unintended consequence is they have created two mean girls just like the ones who tortured them years ago. The series also stars Eric Sheffer Stevens as Annie’s ex-husband MATT who wants to be a good parent, but doesn’t know what that even means; Kevin Rahm as Matt’s brother JACK, a father figure to Sophie who’s meddling would annoy Annie more if she didn’t have such a crush on him; and Chad L. Coleman as GARY, Nikki’s ex-husband who also tries to help raise his challenging daughter but the couple’s complicated relationship often makes his involvement more difficult.

Mini Review: A misleading title and a horrible portrayal of mothers attempting to be funny while being verbally abused by their children, I Hate My Teenage Daughter is poorly conceived, poorly written, and poorly acted. If this show was my teenage daughter, I’d hate her, too.

Trailer:

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Hopefully now you’ll have a better idea about what’s coming up in the new fall television line-up. Which ones will you be tuning in for?

Keep an eye on Screen Rant, as we’ll have complete reviews for the majority of these new series.

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Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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TAGS: a gifted man, charlies angels, free agents, grimm, how to be a gentleman, i hate my teenage daughter, Last Man Standing, man up, new girl, once upon a time, pan am, person of interest, prime suspect, revenge, suburgatory, terra nova, the playboy club, two broke girls, unforgettable, up all night, whitney

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  1. How was Alan Tudyk in Suburgatory? He’s to only reason I’m gonna give it a chance.

    • If you’re going to give Suburgatory a chance because of Alan Tudyk, perhaps you should skip the first episode. He’s only in it for like 2min… and he’s not very funny.

  2. Terra Nova is the show I’m most interested in seeing.

    And who is Marry Poppins (from the New Girl Mini Review)? :-D

  3. Sad to see you give shows like Once Upon a Time a Revenge a watch. Those shows sound horrible and look horrible. Not even worth the time it takes to DVR let alone sit down and watch.

    • Also a basic Sit Com like The New Girl being declared the best new show of the season? Seriously ? It’s not even worth watching just another crummy sitcom that just happens to have medium name talent attached.

      • Dude have you even seen it? you’re going to sit there and bag it out for what reason exactly? In response to your comment, here’s mine. THE NEW GIRL looks amazing! So refreshing to hear good things about a show that doesn’t involve mobsters, politicians or housewives. BUT…………..Just like you, i have yet to see it so i will hold my final judgement till i do.

        Seriously mate, how about giving things a go instead of labelling everything outside of your obviously warped comfort zone a failure?

        I’m just saying……

        • The sad part is that Damon Wayans Jr. won’t be in it because of his commitment to Happy Endings (which is a hilarious show too)

        • How is my comfort zone obviously warped because I don’t like plain old everyday sitcoms? seriously that makes it warped? Liking smart well written shows with great acting is warped? My bad.

          I like action, comedy, drama and scifi.While I like comedy I simply don’t like basic sitcom comedy like The New Girl or Two broke Girls. They are not fresh, original or creative in anyway what so ever. Nothing about them stands out in a special way other than some attractive actresses. Had I seen The New Girl when I made that comment? No but I’d seen the crapy ads for it and I knew what it was from the first ad. Have I seen it now? Ten minutes of it and then I changed it. It was just as dull as I expected.

          There you go I gave it a chance.

          Why not give it a chance though if I hadn’t? Because people only have so much time. So why waste it on unoriginal , uninteresting garbage like a sitcom?

    • I don’t understand how Revenge would even work as a series. Sure, it could work as a mini-series but an entire show about a girl getting revenge on the elite of The Hamptons? I just don’t see that lasting an entire season, let alone seasons.

      • Agreed it seems more like a Lifetime movie than a tv series.

        Have you seen it? Wow it’s so awful I decided that maybe I was wrong (won’t make that mistake again) and nope it turns out I was right. It was even worse than I expected it was about as poorly written and poorly acted as a lifetime movie. It’s so laughable. It’s almost worth a watch for how bad it is. It’s rare to see a show that bad with that good of production value.

  4. Dissapointed in the low grade for I Hate my Teenage Daughter. I loved Jaime Pressley My Name is Earl and was hoping the show would be great and she could be a success.

  5. I REALLLY wanna watch “Terra Nova”, andnow, I’m excited for “Person of Interest”

  6. Pretty pathetic on the whole but “Person of Interest” might be worth a look…thanks for the previews…

  7. Out of all of them I can only see myself watching Terra Nova

  8. I’m looking forward to Pan Am. There’s always been something sexy about Pan Am so I will give it a try! The rest I don’t care about!

  9. I’ll be watching 2 broke girls for the busty and beautiful Kat Dennings. I really could care less if a COMEDY show’s premise is ridiculous. Most comedy shows have a ridiculous premise.

  10. Anthony, I was totally buying everything you were suggesting. Until you said NEW GIRL was worth watching. I have seen the premiere episode and it was a very bland and trying attempt at comedy. (IMO) Unfortunately with your supporting that new series, my faith in your opinions on the other shows has been seriously undermined.

  11. So looking forward to terra nova

  12. This really isn’t a fall television preview since you only cover the big networks. It’s a network television preview. I would have liked to hear something about American Horror Story on FX, and didn’t you forget about the teenie-bopper shows on the CW. HBO, Showtime, Starz, although premium cable channels, have new shows this fall, too. And don’t forget that MTV is reviving Beavis and Butthead and has the animated show with a pretty nice cast, Good Vibes. I was hoping to hear more about cable shows, since I’m not sure if SyFy, USA, AMC, or TBS has any new fall shows. For a network preview, it will suffice and helped me to decide not to DVR Charlies Angels.

    • And I’m not being an a-hole…your graphic is misleading.

    • B-list I wish there would of been coverage of cable and premium shows as well.

      Just an FYI though American Horror story isn’t my kind of thing, but it’s getting good buzz. Some people in the test audience reports say were incredibly disturbed by it even. From everything I’ve heard on it it seems if your in to disturbing and twisted horror you’ll like it.

  13. Albeit, I was only 1 of 5 million viewers for last night’s premiere of The Playboy Club; I thoroughly enjoyed it! I hope it survives

  14. Terra Nova is the only one that looks good. The rest will suck! This is why I don’t have cable or satellite. Not paying for crap!

    • Terra Nova looks good, but not only is it not the only good one this year it’s not even the best.

  15. Terra Nova?
    REALLY

  16. Once Upon A Time, Terra Nova, and Grimm are the shows I’ll be watching. I might watch a few more (like The Secret Circle which is alright so far) if I hear they get better.

  17. Also, I watched the New Girl pilot, and it’s pretty bad. I mean, Zooey is fine in her role, but the supporting cast is weak, and it just feels really tired and contrived.

    And, I never see any news for this show on this site, but, Star Wars: The Clone Wars has actually become a pretty good show. I mean, the first season was hit and miss (because the people behind it were trying to find their ground) and it has a cartoonish art style, but, it’s gotten a lot better.

  18. For all those interested in TERRA NOVA……..

    It will be PREMIERING on Monday, Sept 26th at 8-10pm

    the Sat. listing will be an encore presentation.

    • Thanks.

  19. The only one (of the shows that have aired) that I really disagree with is Free Agents. Something about that show feels like it is trying too hard and while it has a few funny moments here and there, I just wasn’t very impressed.

  20. Terra Nova

    What a convoluted weakly written 80’s style Saturday morning Sid & Marty Kroff dramatic /Sci-Fi program. Seeing the first episode leads me to believe the program directors at fox don’t know a winner like Firefly or Threshold from a superficial problematic predictable farce as is Tara-Nova. Why not just bring back Lost in space? There too no science just plastic aliens adults without a clue, kids in trouble and a doctor. Here Terra Nova trumps this by having a CGI dinosaur attack randomly while dudes and dudetts from the sixers side of the valley throw a Wild West type show-down in the pilot, Wow! Cretaceous Cops-n’ robbers, and nobody gets shot?
    Disobedient rebellious youths who, though growing up in a carcinogenic atmosphere unable to exercise and most likely to have major mussels groups atrophied from being indoors all their life, can out run dinosaurs that are masters of their world in speed and lethality, boy-oh-boy. What will these super-hero kids do in weeks to come? What tripe! Power Packs and the bad guys do what? Persecuted and or prosecuted for siphoning off power and medical supplies? Give me a break, 2149 AD. Any expeditions would have these challenges overcome day-one with portable fusion reactors and replacing doctors and hospitals and all of their inferences with Auto-Medics that not only could treat all known diseases but analyze the environment and formulate vaccines and treatment for all new encounters, grow new skin, mussel, bone and organs if needed. Also a global satellite system for communications and location would be the first thing deployed. I know I would, so I could locate food, water and mineral resources, and then too I would like to know where the dangerous animals, geothermic, and meteorological events lurked.

    When planning a hunting expedition I think of the game environment, the dangers, survival, and then the game, and then I pack accordingly. The writers of this show should’ve done the same thing. Unless… Oh yeah! they were writing for the twelve to thirteen-year old, or double digit I.Q. demographic.
    As presented if a time-hole was found you can be sure that the powerful few ultra-wealthy, the superrich, would establish a resort society there and keep it a secret as they made it, and they alone would escape to it leaving the rest of humanity behind to suffer final extinction. Be ironic if that’s what is really happening.
    Tara nova is long on dialogue and drama, with action scenes inserted to keep us awake, if not interested. With the teens taking over from the adult leads, this could be another 90210 where the adults just fade away or in this setting get eaten, captured, or both. And then with the kids on their own, we saw how they did in week one, it’s who is liking who and who will explore their hang-ups, this week? Or who will almost get eaten? My bets on the small fry who don’t get it at all. She will wander out get lost and almost get eaten but will be saved by the rival sixers, or fall down a hole. Remember this kid an’t very bright or normal, in the first hour she’s hand feeding leaves to the largest land creatures ever!! Having never seen wild or even domestic animals in her life. I’ve seen kids 5 and 6 years old raised around animals, shrink back, cry, and burry their heads in their momma’s legs when a elephant at a petting zoo got close to them.
    Then there’s the head honcho commander Nathanial Taylor (great great great great grandson of sheriff Andy Taylor or great grandson of commander Taylor (Charlton Hesston) who went ahead in time to fine the “Planet Of The Apes” Maybe he’ll see Rod Taylor wiz by in his TIMEMACHINE. Never the less it is obvious we have an actor whose part is obviously only one dimensional as he continues his role resurrected, or lifted, from the film “AVATAR” with only a name change, he remains a self proclaimed ‘Man-In-Charge’ of the new ‘old” world.

    Just where does Nate Taylor derive his Autocratic authority, his gun? There is no mention of colonial law, or any reprehensive government.
    This is one show where I can only hope week by week one of the main characters starting with the kids gets eaten by a CGI-asaur, that is before the audience gets wise to all the soporific gimmicks and tunes out and TN is canceled without closure as FOX tends to do.
    Though Terra Nova, as it is so weak and wordy, it will probably last season after boring season. With strange forbidden zones with suspicious glyphs and a rival tribe, there’s years of ‘LOST’ type non-science fictional intriguing material to make up as they go along.
    FOX would better spend it’s money on developing graphic-novels for the small screen. Then even if dropped, the audience would have a place to go for closure or continuation, if they liked it.
    I really do like FOXs innovational attempts at Sci-Fi programs. It is the only network that does any reaching out to this audience. However they are weak in commitment. Especially to quality series, FRINGE being the exception, I’m leery of getting too interested in any good quality FOX sci-fi for fear the network will cancel it before closure i.e. SPACE above and beyond, John Doe, Threshold, and Firefly, But Terra Nova is a formulated show not in the same class as these, for it has lots of cool guns, shootouts, goodies and baddies, mysterious rock face drawings, a struggling family, teen trouble, teen love, adorable children, a stressed Doctor a reformed hot tempered cop, dinosaurs, and transversing continuums. So we have Kojac, ER, Starsky&Hutch, 90210, Father Knows Best, Jurassic Park, X-Files, The Big Valley, and the Time Tunnel all in one program. The Fox program directors probably said something like “How can it Miss? not one demographic was missed” I give it one, maybe two seasons at most.

  21. revenge is good. last man standing is bad. man up is bad. playboy club is bad as is pan am. new girl is iffy. once upon a time is rife with bad dialogue and incredibly bad acting. terra nova is a mix of lost/jurassic park and stargate.

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