Today we continue with our series of Fall Network previews. A few people e-mailed me to complain that I left off UPN and MyNetwork TV. Well, for those of you haven’t heard, UPN merged with the WB to form The CW, so there is no UPN[thanks pupkick]. MyNetworkTV has popped up in areas where they thought The CW conglomerate just wasn’t enough. MyNetwork TV has two shows, Fashion House (starring Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild!) and Desire. They run new episodes five nights a week and recap on Saturdays. So, now that we have that out of the way, continue after the jump for your Prime Time lineup Tuesdays this fall.
8 PM : NCIS (Premieres 9/19) – “NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is more than just an action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a team forced to work together in high-stress situations.” Some say this is a rip-off of JAG and CSI. I say you can’t stop the Harmon, you can only hope to contain him.
9 PM : The Unit (Premieres 9/19) – “The Unit is an action drama that follows a covert team of Special Forces operatives as they risk their lives on undercover missions around the globe, while their families maintain the home front, protecting their husbands’ secrets.” If only they could have reunited Dennis Haysbert with Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn, and Bill Paxton from his Navy SEALS days. That would have been sweet.
10 PM : Smith (Premieres 9/19) – “Smith follows Ray Liotta as he plays a criminal mastermind in this drama about a close-knit crew of criminals who plot and execute high-stakes robberies. Though Bobby Stevens (Liotta) appears to be a regular family man with a nine-to-five job, he’s actually an expert thief who is seeking a few last big jobs so he can finally leave the business for a comfortable, lawful lifestyle with his wife, Hope (Virginia Madsen), and their two children. While they never discuss Bobby’s illegal pursuits, Hope is growing weary of turning a blind eye.” OK, nobody really wants to see this show, because we all know that Ray Liotta is always going to be on the edge, juggling his two lives and trying to maintain the family. He will act coked out and crazy. However, we get Virginia Madsen and Shoreh Aghdashloo, not to mention Angelina Jolie’s first husband (Johnny Lee Miller). Where do I sign up?
8 PM : Gilmore Girls (Premieres 9/26) – “Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated with an eclectic mix of everyday folks and lovable lunatics, GILMORE GIRLS is a humorous multigenerational series about friendship, family and the ties that bind.” I never understood the appeal, but the fans are rabid, so there has to be something good going on there.
9 PM : Veronica Mars (Premieres 10/3) – “In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, California, Hearst College stands as a beacon of higher education, but within this idyllic and sun-drenched campus, higher education is not always what it appears. In between the beer-soaked dorm parties and all-night cram sessions, the student body is facing a terrifying threat. Luckily for them, incoming freshman and part-time private investigator Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell, “Deadwood”) is used to taking on a few extra-curricular activities.” You don’t want to be the last person on your block to start watching this show. The writers did a great job capturing the high school experience, and I’m sure that will translate will for higher education. I’ll be recapping the show this fall. Again: WATCH THIS SHOW.
8 PM : House (Premiered 9/19) – “DR. GREGORY HOUSE (Hugh Laurie) is devoid of anything resembling bedside manner and wouldn’t even talk to his patients if he could get away with it. Dealing with his own constant physical pain, he uses a cane that seems to punctuate his acerbic, brutally honest demeanor. While his behavior can border on antisocial, House is a brilliant diagnostician whose unconventional thinking and flawless instincts afford him widespread respect.” I probably won’t start watching this until they cancel e.r., but many people love this show. Watch for copygodd’s recaps this fall.
9 PM : Standoff (Premiered 9/19) – “There’s no crisis situation they can’t handle… unless it involves each other. MATT FLANNERY (Ron Livingston) and EMILY LEHMAN (Rosemarie DeWitt) are the top-ranked negotiators in the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU). They’re trained to talk their way through volatile situations. They’re experts at knowing what makes other people tick. They’re also sleeping together… a secret that they agreed to keep to themselves, until Matt revealed it to the entire world during a tense hostage standoff. The public revelation causes friction between Matt, who doesn’t take much seriously and relies on gut instinct, and Emily, an academic who analyzes every move” Ahhh, the wacky hi-jinx of crisis negotiation! This show looks like it is awful and just because Ron Livingston was on Sex and the City doesn’t mean he’s capable of on screen chemistry. That being said, I may tune in for one episode, just to see Gina Torrest (of Firefly and 24 fame) back in action.
8 PM : Friday Night Lights (Premieres 10/3) – “This poignant series centers on the small rural town of Dillon, Texas, where the coveted state football championship rings are held in the highest regard. Dillon’s promising high school team, its star quarterback, and newly appointed head coach Eric Taylor feel the mounting pressure of the town’s pride and honor riding on their shoulders as a new football season kicks off.” I think it will be interesting to see how they translate this into a television series. I watched the movie for the first time last month, and despite my best efforts, got choked up a little. Will that feeling translate over 22 episodes? I guess we’ll see.
9 PM : Law and Order: Criminal Intent (Premieres 9/19) – “Law & Order: Criminal Intent takes viewers into the minds of its criminals while following the psychological approaches the Major Case Squad uses to solve the crimes.” I am a total sucker for Law and Order even though TNT and USA have repeats all the time. I’ll miss Annabella Sciorra, but they replace her with Julianne Nicholson, who did well on Conviction. The show does well in syndication, so don’t expect it to go anywher soon.
10 PM : Law and Oder: SVU (Premieres 9/19) – “This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes.” Connie Nielsen (now 40?!) joins the cast of SVU this year. Again, I love all of the Law and Orders, and as long as they keep racking up Emmy nominations, they’ll keep producing the series.
8 PM : Dancing With the Stars (Premieres 9/12) – “Dancing with the Stars is the American version of the international smash hit series, Strictly Come Dancing. ” The name says it all folks. Although there were times when the show seemed drawn out last year, the basic premise is still enjoyable. Take some stars striving for the the C-list and put them in tight pants and short skirts and watch them sashay their way across the dance floor. B-side and Amanda will be recapping this fall.
9 PM : Knights of Prosperity (Premieres 10/17) – “For almost 20 years, Eugene Gurkin (Donal Logue) has dreamt of opening a bar, but his dead end job on the late, late janitorial shift won’t even fund a bottle of premium booze. In the wake of a co-worker’s death, he catches an episode of television. Call it divine intervention, call it a dumb idea, but whatever it is takes hold of Eugene and soon he recruits a group of misfits into his “gang” for a heist to finance their dreams. The target: Mick Jagger’s super-luxe Central Park West apartment. Working together, this band of adorable, new-age Robin Hoods, who have never even shoplifted a candy bar, are soon casing the joint and prepping for their crime. What they don’t know is that there’s a much richer target for them…the chance to find hope, self-esteem and confidence within themselves.’” Uhhh, it has Mick Jagger?
9:30 PM : Help Me Help You (Premieres 9/26) – “Whoever came up with the horrible idea of group therapy? Take a bunch of people who are all really messed up in different ways and put them in a room together to try and help each other out. Yeah…that’s a great idea. No conflicts there. Just a bunch of crazy, self-obsessed strangers…workin’ it out. And if that isn’t bad enough, Dr. Bill Hoffman (Ted Danson) is probably the craziest and most self-obsessed of all, but his patients would never know it because he hides behind his very respectable celebrity image as a best-selling author of phenomenally successful self-help books.” Becker meets Frasier. Who hasn’t been waiting for THAT combination to grace their Tivo?
10 PM : Boston Legal (Premieres 9/19) – “tell the professional and personal stories of a group of brilliant but often emotionally challenged attorneys. Fast-paced and darkly comedic, the series confronts social and moral issues, while its characters continually stretch the boundaries of the law.” Bston Legal is now in it’s third season, which means that the the wheels are about to come off for the series as with all other series by David E. Kelley. I guess it’s back to the drawing board to create a new fast-paced and darkly comedic series about a high school or college.