F/X: Jason Patric & Lucy Punch Cast As Leads In SciFi Series Pilot, Powers Based On Graphic Novel

Well, it appears that one of our favorite cable networks is deciding to get into the genre game as well.  Deadline is reporting that Jason Patric (The Losers, Sleepers) and Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher, Hot Fuzz) have been cast as the leads for the pilot of Powers, a series based on a graphic novel of the same name.  Now, EW did report that the pilot was picked up in February (yep… we dropped the ball on this one, too). but this is the first casting announcement.  Filming is slated for mid-summer so expect the pilot to air probably by mid-season 2012 or perhaps later in the Spring.

From Deadline:

Based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, the project, written by Charles H. Eglee and to be directed by Michael Dinner, is a police procedural set in a world where superpowers are relatively common. It centers on two detectives, Christian Walker (Patric) and Deena Pilgrim (Lucy Punch), in a Homicide department that deals with cases involving “powers” (people with superpowers). Eglee, Dinner, David Engel and Bendis are executive producing for Sony Pictures TV and FX Prods. Filming is slated for mid-summer in Chicago.

Well, hot-dog, this sounds cool and is it just us, or is this type of programming becoming more prevalent lately on TV?  Could it be that genre is making a comeback? Hmmmm… we smell the need for an investigative analysis in the near future.

(A & E) The Glades Season 2 Premieres This Sunday, June 5th At 10:00 p.m.

We’re a little late on the draw on this, but dammit, upfront week was flippin’ tiring and we’re trying to catch up.  A&E’s hit summer series from last year The Glades (which we loved) roars back like a hurricane this Sunday night, June 5th, at 10:00 p.m.  Good times indeed.  Here’s the trailer for the new season and a little sneak peek at what we have to look forward to with Detective Jim Longworth and the rest of the characters:

Via Press Release:

A&E’S HIT SCRIPTED DRAMA “THE GLADES” SEASON 2 PREMIERES

SUNDAY, JUNE 5 AT 10PM ET/PT

SERIES STARS MATT PASSMORE, KIELE SANCHEZ, CARLOS GOMEZ AND MICHELLE HURD

NEW YORK – April 21, 2011 – Season two of the hit A&E original scripted drama series “The Glades,” starring Matt Passmore, Kiele Sanchez, Carlos Gomez and Michelle Hurd premieres Sunday, June 5 at 10PM ET/PT. The second season will feature thirteen one-hour episodes.

In its first season, “The Glades” became the most-watched drama series in network history, averaging 3.1 million total viewers. These ratings propelled A&E to ad-supported cable’s number one network on Sunday nights among total viewers.

In “The Glades,” Passmore stars as Jim Longworth, an attractive and brilliant Chicago homicide detective with a reputation for being difficult.  When his captain wrongfully accuses him of sleeping with his wife and shoots him, he is exiled and forced to relocate. He lands in the sleepy, middle-of-nowhere town of Palm Glade, outside of the Florida Everglades, where sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. But Longworth soon finds out this town isn’t quite as idyllic as he originally thought, when murders keep piling up. Each case pulls Longworth off the golf course and reluctantly into his element as one of the sharpest homicide detectives to wear a badge.

In the season premiere, the daughter of a notorious Cuban mobster turns up dead in a Little Havana alley, and Longworth and the rest of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement must solve her murder to prevent an all-out war between two rival mob families. Meanwhile, Callie (Sanchez) prepares for her husband’s release from prison.
“The Glades” is produced by Fox Television Studios for A&E Network. The series executive producers are Clifton Campbell (“White Collar,” “Profiler,” “21 Jump Street”) for Innuendo Productions and Gary Randall (“Saving Grace”) for Grand Productions, Inc. The series is created by Clifton Campbell.

About Fox Television Studios
Fox Television Studios produces scripted and unscripted programming for US broadcast and cable networks, and international broadcasters. In addition to “The Glades,” hit series include “Burn Notice” and “White Collar” for USA, and “The Killing” for AMC. The studio also is in production on the pilots “Outlaw Country” for FX, “Three Inches” for SyFy, and “Wild Card” and “Over/Under” for USA. Fox TV Studios also produces the reality hits “The Girls Next Door,” “Kendra and Holly’s World” for E!, and will launch this summer the late-night comedy series “In the Flow with Affion Crockett” for FOX.

About A&E Network

A&E is “Real Life. Drama.”  Now reaching 100 million homes, A&E is television that you can’t turn away from; where unscripted shows are dramatic and scripted dramas are authentic.  A&E offers a diverse mix of high quality entertainment ranging from the network’s original scripted series, including “The Glades,” to signature non-fiction franchises, including the Emmy-winning “Intervention,” “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “Hoarders,” “Billy the Exterminator” and “Storage Wars,” and the most successful justice shows on cable, including “The First 48” and “Manhunters.”  The A&E website is located at www.aetv.com.

Meet ABC’s New Shows For 2011 – 2012 (VIDEOS!)… And Watch How We Tear Them Apart (Preview – Review)

“The ‘Tastic Says: You FAIL!”

As promised, The ‘Tastic is proud to present the first-look trailers for all of ABC’s new shows… and there are a lot of them (you can see the full Fall schedule right here.).  Along with synopses and videos, in true TV-Tastic-style we’ll give you a preview assessment of each of the new series (in other words, we plan to pretty much rip most of them apart) letting you know what we think about them and if it’s worth your time to check them out this Fall and just to give everyone a heads up: overall we are amazed at how good most of these shows look despite the fact that ABC is becoming the Big-5’s version of Lifetime.

FALL

Last Man Standing:  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 ‘Tastic Says:   Say hello to the first installment of male emasculating and male-bashing.  This show in and of itself doesn’t look particularly awful, however it looks like a clone of Home Improvement sans the tools and Wilson peeking over the fence imparting sage advice.  Also, we simply CANNOT get over this obvious radical gyno-centric agenda that ABC is adopting and it’s particularly insidious with this show, using the reverse-psychology method, trying to convince us that this is a pro-masculinity empowerment show while all the male characters are boorish buffoons. We’re not buying it, ABC.  We certainly get wanting to expand your audience but this seems like a desperate ploy to get women viewers because they know they have no chance in Hell of getting the 18 – 49 male audience any more. The only saving grace for LMS is that Tim Allen  has probably been one of the most likable guys on TV for the last 20 years second maybe only to Jay Leno.  Out of deference to Tim, we’ll reserve our judgment for a few episodes.

Man Up:  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 ‘Tastic Says: And the hits just keep on coming!  More men who keep their testicles firmly entrenched deep in their wives purses or who are fat, disgusting slobs whose exes are dating guys who are built like comic book superheroes.  We are convinced that this is what happens when Sex and The City fans smoke a joint and then decided to create a television series.  And of course, the men overgrown children who play Call of Duty on the X-Box 360 all night long (because everyone knows that if they actually were adults they’d be playing on a Playstation 3).  As bad and recycled as the premise is (didn’t NBC just fail with this when it was called Perfect Couples?), this show looks pretty funny and probably only because it stars Fanboys neurotic star, Dan Fogler.  We’ll give it a shot but like LMS, we’re not promising anything.

Suburgatory: 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 ‘Tastic Says:  OK… this just looks absolutely horrific.  We don’t know what more to say but we do expect it to die a quick death.  Of course, we’ll endure at least the pilot for the sake of all of you so we can properly review it.

Revenge:  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.

The ‘Tastic Says:  Is there a reason that ABC insists on recycling old plots from failed scripted series?  Do we not all remember the failed (but awesome) NBC series, Life, from 2007 starring Damian Lewis as a cop who is framed by fellow cops and wrongfully convicted of murder, spends 12 years in prison before he’s exonerated, and under the terms of his settlement with the city, gets his old job as a detective back and uses his resources to hunt down, one-by-one, the people involved in the conspiracy?  Call us crazy, but this is the exact same show… but with a chick.  Surprisingly, though, the trailer below does look pretty flippin’ good.  It gave us chills.  Not sure if we’re crazy about Emily Van Camp in the lead as she seems a little soft for such a hardcore character, however maybe that’s why this will work… no one will see her coming.  We’re guessing that this is going to be pretty good, but it’s a serial and we know how today’s audiences feel about serials.  However, this show, like every other show on this network’s schedule is targeting women viewers and that section of the audience has far more tolerance for serialized drama then the rest of the audience.

Charlie’s AngelsEveryone 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.

The ‘Tastic Says:  Whoot… whoot!  Girl power and a reboot!  No… just no.  Everything about this looks awful. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Much like The CW needed to be smacked on the nose with a newspaper for Hellcats, the same punishment should apply to ABC for this completely unnecessary relaunch.

Once Upon A Time:  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.

The ‘Tastic Says:  Yet another series with a strong female lead using a (at least partially) recycled premise.  Despite that, this is quite an original twist on the  genre and the second show this season that mixes the contemporary with the classic fairy tale (the first being NBC’s new show, Grimm).  It really looks quite epic and it’s got some big-time writers associated with it but we’re thinking it might be a little too epic for Big-5 TV and seriously, how long can a premise like this last?  22 episodes per season for five to seven seasons?  Doubtful.  It seems more appropriate as a SyFy or HBO miniseries, really. However, on the other hand, who would have thought that these same writers could have given us six seasons and 115 episodes of the second greatest show of all-time, Lost?   If this is as good and as well put-together as it looks, we’d love for this to survive but this type of serial genre programming is very questionable on major network TV in this climate.

Pan Am:  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.

The ‘Tastic Says:  The more we go through these new shows the more we’re actually starting to admire ABC for their ability to either make every series have a strong, empowering female lead and/or make men look like complete jackasses and often without the audience realizing it.  What they’ve done with this show is just brilliant:  They took the infancy of the women’s lib movement where women were still thought of as second-class citizens, put them in the most sexualized role they could possibly be in for that era (other than wearing bunny ears and a cotton tail… thank you, NBC for not missing a beat and covering that particular base) and turned it around into an empowering position as the perfect cover for a covert operative!  Like we said, BRILLIANT!  Of course, in the aggregate, this is a combination of Alias and Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can (goodness, half of the scenes in the trailer AND the Sinatra song Come Fly With Me are directly from that film), but still, this looks VERY clever and hip and we think it’s going to be a lot of fun.  We are really looking forward to this.  By the way here’s one thing from Catch Me If You Can that wasn’t in the trailer and it’s doubtful it will be in this new series.

The Greatest Joke of All Time

(NSFW… just play it quietly, will ya?  Use a little discretion at work.  Waitaminute… shouldn’t you be working?)

MIDSEASON

Good Christian Belles:  The soap returns to Dallas in this wicked new drama that shows that you can go home again… but only if you’re ready to face the sins of your past.

Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), once the ultimate high school “mean girl,” is forced to return home in disgrace after her marriage ends in scandal. Amanda is nothing like the girl she was 20 years ago, but as her old classmates reacquaint themselves with the new Amanda, will her home town welcome her with open arms or seek revenge? No one in this town is a saint, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a heart. As Amanda and her teenage kids try to adjust to their new lives, the ladies from her past alternate between sympathy and scheming.

The ‘Tastic Says:  First keep in mind that this show was originally entitled Good Christian Bitches, so apparently empowering women and treating them with respect only extends so far.  This seems like a ripoff of Desperate Housewives which means that we certainly won’t be watching it as this genre is simply not our bag, however, we have a much bigger problem with the underlying premise of the show to begin with which seems to be to want to expose the moral hypocrisy of Christians.  This is not a particularly smart place to start from for any series in the U.S.  First of all, religion is a very private matter to begin with and most people simply prefer it be kept out of their primetime entertainment fare, but secondly, it’s just not very smart to alienate 79% of your audience right out of the gate.  All of that notwithstanding, this show looks hideous.  The writing is horrible as are the performances and we could figure that out in the minute and 46 seconds we saw below.

Missing: Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) learns that her son, Michael, disappears while studying abroad, and it’s a race against time when she travels to Europe to track him down. A surprising turn of events reveals just how far one mother will go to protect her family. Exotic locations and thrilling twists will keep you riveted in “Missing.”

How far would you go to save the only thing you have left in the world? At 8 years old, Michael watched as his father, CIA Agent Paul Winstone, was murdered. Now 10 years later, Paul’s wife, Becca, is faced with the reality of her son growing up. When Michael is afforded the opportunity to study abroad, his mother reluctantly agrees it’s time to let him go. Just a few weeks into his trip Michael disappears, and Becca immediately suspects foul play. When she arrives in Rome, she begins piecing together the clues left behind. It isn’t long before the kidnappers realize they’ve picked a fight with the wrong woman. Becca Winstone has a secret of her own — before Paul’s death, she was also a lethal CIA Agent. But if she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends and reopen old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits.

The ‘Tastic Says:  Broken Record here: recycled plot from a failed series and a strong female lead.  If you’re wondering what failed series we’re talking about it would be none other than FOX’s  Vanished from 2006 that lasted a grand total of 13 episodes.  It’s also got the feel of AliasTaken and the Bourne franchise for obvious reasons.  Still, the production values are insane on this.  This is a TV show?  This looks like one of the few bright spots for action this year on all of the networks, and of course we love Ashley Judd going  all the way back to when she played Ensign Robin Lefler on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  There are of course two big problems with this show, the first being the serial factor, but again that may be mitigated by the female audience that we referred to earlier discussing Revenge.  The second is the same issue that OUaT has, and that is, how long can they really go with this premise?  Seriously, are they going to keep that kid missing for five to seven years.  Audiences will grow tired of that quickly and it seems like a very lazy plot device for the central theme of the show considering how well-developed it seems… kinda like it was drawn out of a hat.  Despite this, it really does look good and we’re looking forward to it.

The River:  “The River” follows the story of wildlife expert and TV personality Emmet Cole. Emmet set course around the world with his wife, Tess, and son, Lincoln, while filming what would become one of the most popular shows in television. After he goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends and crew set out on a mysterious and deadly journey to find him.

Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann).

The ‘Tastic Says:  Holy Crap!  This looks awesome!  This show has one of the few truly ensemble casts of the new schedule but of course, it has a super ninja-type strong female lead who has to lead the rescue for the man who got lost in the jungle. But this show looks absolutely amazing and with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television producing it (with Spielberg himself exec. producing) you know that this is going to be a tight, well-done show.  It has a very big LOST vibe to it and we certainly can’t complain about that.  This looks like the best new show of the season.

Scandal:  From the creator and executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff.

A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite. After leaving the White House, the power consultant opened her own firm, hoping to start a new chapter — both professionally and personally — but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her staff, who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, can’t quite fix the ones closest at hand — their own.

The ‘Tastic Says:  Oh, good Lord, this looks stupid and surprise, surprise, surprise, yet another ridiculously strong female lead who’s so tough that she can stand in the middle of two guys with handguns and with nothing more than a firm voice make them lower their weapons.  Stupid and predictable procedural that is trying fool the audience into thinking that it’s actually original because they filled in the Mad-Libs blanks with the phrases “Crisis Management” and “Fixer.”  Forget it.

Apartment 23:  After a naïve Midwestern girl’s big city dreams are dashed her first week in New York, she finds herself living with her worst nightmare in this hilarious, contemporary comedy about a female odd couple who are surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters.

June (Dreama Walker) moves to Manhattan for a dream job and the perfect company apartment, only to have them disappear in a puff of reality, thanks to a CEO from the Bernie Madoff school of embezzlement. Deep in debt and out on the streets, June scrambles to land a job and place to live. It seems her luck has turned around when she gets hired at a coffee shop and finds Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a charming, vivacious roommate… with the morals of a pirate. She swindles June out of all her savings, but she and her snarky friend, James Van Der Beek (playing himself), soon learn that, just because June’s naïve, she isn’t stupid. June ingeniously turns the tables on Chloe, who is so shocked about being scammed herself that she decides to pull June into her colorful band of friends. Sure, it’s all dysfunctional, bizarre and overwhelming, but so is New York City. And with the help of Chloe and the other oddballs around her, June might just learn the survival secrets she needs to make it there.

The ‘Tastic Says:  Big shocker… strong female leads again.  This looks actually very funny. Out of all the trailers we’ve seen this one actually made us laugh three or four times.  That’s already more laughs in a minute and a half  than we had during the entire season of $#*! My Dad SaysSeems to have some very clever writing, and it reminds us of Friends if Friends could come back as a series that didn’t suck.  We also find it quite clever that James Van Der Beek keeps getting roles in comedies playing himself.  This should do well.  We hope they  stick this on Wednesday night as the lead out for Modern Family as that’s where it belongs.


Work It:  This high-concept comedy centers on two unrepentant guy’s guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process.

With unemployment an ongoing issue and women now outnumbering men in the workforce, the new comedy series “Work It” follows two alpha males who realize the only way to beat the current “mancession” and land a job in pharmaceutical sales is to pass themselves off as women. Combining all the best elements of the workplace comedy, the buddy comedy and the family comedy, “Work It” centers on Lee Standish (Ben Koldyke) — a quick-witted and likable family man who used to be a top car salesman until he got laid off — and Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco) — a single, hot-headed ladies’ man with no filter — who quickly learn there are fundamental differences in the worlds of men and women that go beyond teetering in high heels and tightening up with Spanx. Lee and Angel are determined to keep their ruse going for as long as they can — and keep their newly found jobs — in this smart, funny and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home and socially. Being a better man sometimes means having to be a better woman.

The ‘Tastic says:  Ugh… and the trend continues.  This time, turning heterosexual misogynistic men into transvestites so that they can get jobs in this mythical universe where women run everything.  What we can’t believe is that they actually called this “high-concept.”  We’re sorry, but didn’t ABC already try this show with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari 30 years ago and call it Bosom Buddies (except the guys weren’t absolute pigs)?  My God, who on God’s green Earth would ever confuse the two of those dopes in this show for women.  At least Scolari and Hanks were kinda pretty for dudes.  Reboot FAIL.  This show is a big floating turd and they don’t even have a catchy theme song by Billy Joel to look forward to.  And on that note to make up for the minute and a half of your life that will be wasted and the fact that you probably will vomit after watching the trailer below, here’s a little treat for you:

Billy Joel – My Life

ALERT! ABC Announces 2011 – 2012 Schedule

Here it is, folks, direct from the ABC Upfront Advertising Event, ABC’s 2011 – 2012 Primetime Programming Schedule (scroll down for complete schedule).  Please note, if you don’t see your favorite show from this season, recent cancellations have been covered here.

If you have any questions about other shows, post them below.

Some programming notes:

  • With all of the slashing and burning ABC has done over the last four days, they really haven’t put up much of an impressive schedule.  It’s heavy with reality and dramas that have a lot “familiar” (OK… recycled) themes to them.
  • ABC’s new strategy is apparently to become the Lifetime of the major Networks. Notice the heavily gyno-centric storylines and soaps.  The shows that do feature men prominently, portray them as emasculated and buffoonish. ABC, you suck enough already. Who is this going to appeal to?  Isn’t it enough that you completely emasculated Michael Chiklis in No Ordinary Family, turning Vic Mackie into Victoria Mackie?
  • These new comedies look terrible.
  • You’ll see the phrase “high-concept” appear regularly throughout these and other network’s show descriptions.  What this means is that audiences probably won’t like but ABC is going to blame that on the fact that you’re just too stupid to get it.
  • We see one maybe two new shows that look interesting, the rest looks pretty awful.
  • NOTE: you’ll notice that the Fall schedule is pretty thin for new shows considering that they picked up a dozen of them on Friday.  ABC has not released their midseason 2011 – 2012 schedule and won’t until December.  All of the new show descriptions for 2011 – 2012 are listed at below the schedule.   We’ll be doing a preview assessment on all of the new shows as well as providing trailers as soon as they are available.

ABC’S FALL 2011 SCHEDULE

Via Press Release:

MONDAY

8:00 p.m.             Dancing with the Stars

10:00 p.m.           Castle

TUESDAY

8:00 p.m.             Last Man Standing (NEW!)

8:30 p.m.             Man Up (NEW!)

9:00 p.m.             Dancing with the Stars the Results Show

10:00 p.m.           Body of Proof

WEDNESDAY

8:00 p.m.            The Middle

8:30 p.m.            Suburgatory (NEW!)

9:00 p.m.            Modern Family

9:30 p.m.            Happy Endings

10:00 p.m.          Revenge (NEW!)

THURSDAY

8:00 p.m.             Charlie’s Angels (NEW!)

9:00 p.m.             Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m.           Private Practice

FRIDAY

8:00 p.m.              Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

9:00 p.m.              Shark Tank

10:00 p.m.            20/20

SATURDAY

8:00 p.m.              Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY

7:00 p.m.              America’s Funniest Home Videos

8:00 p.m.              Once Upon a Time (NEW!)

9:00 p.m.              Desperate Housewives

10:00 p.m.            Pan Am (NEW!)

ABC’S NEW SHOW DESCRIPTIONS: 

FALL

Last Man Standing:  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.

“Last Man Standing” was written by Jack Burditt (“30 Rock”), who also serves as executive producer with Tim Allen, Becky Clements, Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”), Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum”), Richard Baker (“The Santa Clause,” The Santa Clause 2”) and Rick Messina (“The Santa Clause,” The Santa Clause 2”). John Pasquin (“Home Improvement,” “The Santa Clause”) directed. “Last Man Standing” is from Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Man Up:  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.

“Man Up” comes from writer/executive producer/actor Christopher Moynihan (“100 Questions”), executive producer Victor Fresco (“Better off Ted”), Ron West and Kelly Kulchak of Tagline Television (Psych) and director Beth McCarthy-Miller (“SNL,” “30 Rock”). ”Man Up” is produced by ABC Studios.

Suburgatory: 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.

Emily Kapnek (“Hung”) writes and executive-produces this bitingly ironic single-camera comedy. “Suburgatory” was directed by Michael Fresco (“Raising Hope”), who also executive-produced the pilot. It is produced by Warner Bros. Television.

Revenge:  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.

“Revenge” is written and executive-produced by Mike Kelley (“Swingtown”), along with executive producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (“Twilight”). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Phillip Noyce (“Salt”). “Revenge” is produced by ABC Studios.

Charlie’s AngelsEveryone 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.

Written and executive-produced by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Smallville”), “Charlie’s Angels” is also executive-produced by Drew Barrymore (“Charlie’s Angels” movies), Leonard Goldberg (the original “Charlie’s Angels”) and Nancy Juvonen (“Charlie’s Angels” movies). It’s directed and executive-produced by Marcos Siega (“Vampire Diaries,” “Dexter”). “Charlie’s Angels” is produced by Millar/Gough Ink, Flower Films and Panda Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Once Upon A Time:  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.

“Once Upon a Time” was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who are also executive producers, along with Steve Pearlman (ABC’s “V”). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Mark Mylod (“Entourage”). “Once Upon a Time” is from ABC Studios.

Pan Am:  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.

Jack Orman (“ER,” “Men of a Certain Age,”), Tommy Schlamme (“The West Wing,” “Parenthood,”

“Mr. Sunshine”) and Nancy Hult Ganis (“Akeelah and the Bee”) are the executive producers of “Pan Am.” Orman is also the writer, with Schlamme directing. “Pan Am” is produced by Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Shoe Money Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.

MIDSEASON

Good Christian Belles:  The soap returns to Dallas in this wicked new drama that shows that you can go home again… but only if you’re ready to face the sins of your past.

Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), once the ultimate high school “mean girl,” is forced to return home in disgrace after her marriage ends in scandal. Amanda is nothing like the girl she was 20 years ago, but as her old classmates reacquaint themselves with the new Amanda, will her home town welcome her with open arms or seek revenge? No one in this town is a saint, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a heart. As Amanda and her teenage kids try to adjust to their new lives, the ladies from her past alternate between sympathy and scheming.

“Good Christian Belles” stars Leslie Bibb (“Iron Man”) as Amanda Vaughn, Kristin Chenoweth (“Pushing Daisies”) as Carlene Cockburn, Annie Potts (“Law And Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Joan of Arcadia”) as Gigi Stopper, Jennifer Aspen (“Rodney”) as Sharon Peacham, Miriam Shor (“Swingtown” “Damages”) as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, Marisol Nichols (“24”) as Heather Cruz, Brad Beyer (“Jericho”) as Zack Peacham, Mark Deklin (“Lone Star”) as Blake Reilly and David James Elliott (“JAG”) as Ripp Cockburn.

Based on Kim Gatlin’s hit book, Good Christian Bitches, “Good Christian Belles” is executive-produced by Darren Star (“Sex and the City”), Robert Harling (“Steel Magnolias”) and Aaron Kaplan. The pilot is written by Robert Harling and executive-produced and directed by Alan Poul. “Good Christian Belles” is produced by ABC Studios.

Missing: Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) learns that her son, Michael, disappears while studying abroad, and it’s a race against time when she travels to Europe to track him down. A surprising turn of events reveals just how far one mother will go to protect her family. Exotic locations and thrilling twists will keep you riveted in “Missing.”

How far would you go to save the only thing you have left in the world? At 8 years old, Michael watched as his father, CIA Agent Paul Winstone, was murdered. Now 10 years later, Paul’s wife, Becca, is faced with the reality of her son growing up. When Michael is afforded the opportunity to study abroad, his mother reluctantly agrees it’s time to let him go. Just a few weeks into his trip Michael disappears, and Becca immediately suspects foul play. When she arrives in Rome, she begins piecing together the clues left behind. It isn’t long before the kidnappers realize they’ve picked a fight with the wrong woman. Becca Winstone has a secret of her own — before Paul’s death, she was also a lethal CIA Agent. But if she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends and reopen old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits.

“Missing” stars Ashley Judd (“Double Jeopardy,” “Kiss the Girls”) as Becca Winstone, Sean Bean (“Game Of Thrones”) as Paul Winstone, Cliff Curtis (“Trauma”) as Dax, Adriano Giannini (“Oceans Twelve”) as Giancarlo, Nick Eversman (“Cinema Verite”) as Michael Winstone and Tereza Voriskova (“Borgia”) as Oksana.

“Missing” comes from writer Gregory Poirier (“National Treasure: Book of Secrets”) and executive producers Gina Matthews, Grant Scharbo (“The Gates”), Steve Shill (Emmy winner for directing “Dexter” who will direct episodes of “Missing”) and James Parriott (“Sons Of Anarchy”). “Missing” is produced by Stillking Films.

The River:  “The River” follows the story of wildlife expert and TV personality Emmet Cole. Emmet set course around the world with his wife, Tess, and son, Lincoln, while filming what would become one of the most popular shows in television. After he goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends and crew set out on a mysterious and deadly journey to find him.

Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann).

“The River” stars Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek”) as Emmet Cole, Joe Anderson (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2”) as Lincoln Cole, Paul Blackthorne (“Lipstick Jungle”) as Clark, Paulina Gaitan as Jahel, Leslie Hope (“24”) as Tess Cole, Eloise Mumford (“Lone Star”) as Lena, Shaun Parkes (“The Mummy Returns”) as Adjay, Thomas Kretschmann (“King Kong”) as Captain Kurt Brynildson and Daniel Zacapa (“Resurrection Blvd.”) as Emilio.

“The River,” from Amblin’s Steven Spielberg, Daryl Frank and Justin Falvey, showrunner/executive producer Michael Green (“Heroes,” “Kings”), is also executive-produced by Oren Peli (creator of “Paranormal Activity”), Zack Estrin, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Teleplay by Michael R. Perry and Michael Green, story by Oren Peli & Michael R. Perry and Michael Green. The pilot is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by ABC Studios.

Scandal:  From the creator and executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff.

A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite. After leaving the White House, the power consultant opened her own firm, hoping to start a new chapter — both professionally and personally — but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her staff, who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, can’t quite fix the ones closest at hand — their own.

“Scandal” stars Kerry Washington (“Ray”) as Olivia Pope, Henry Ian Cusick (“Lost”) as Stephen Finch, Columbus Short (“Stomp the Yard”) as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz (“Half-Baked”) as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn (“Ghost”) as President Fitzgerald Grant and Jeff Perry (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as Cyrus.

“Scandal” was written by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”). Rhimes and Betsy Beers (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”) are executive producers. Paul McGuigan is the director. “Scandal” is produced by ABC Studios.

Apartment 23:  After a naïve Midwestern girl’s big city dreams are dashed her first week in New York, she finds herself living with her worst nightmare in this hilarious, contemporary comedy about a female odd couple who are surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters.

June (Dreama Walker) moves to Manhattan for a dream job and the perfect company apartment, only to have them disappear in a puff of reality, thanks to a CEO from the Bernie Madoff school of embezzlement. Deep in debt and out on the streets, June scrambles to land a job and place to live. It seems her luck has turned around when she gets hired at a coffee shop and finds Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a charming, vivacious roommate… with the morals of a pirate. She swindles June out of all her savings, but she and her snarky friend, James Van Der Beek (playing himself), soon learn that, just because June’s naïve, she isn’t stupid. June ingeniously turns the tables on Chloe, who is so shocked about being scammed herself that she decides to pull June into her colorful band of friends. Sure, it’s all dysfunctional, bizarre and overwhelming, but so is New York City. And with the help of Chloe and the other oddballs around her, June might just learn the survival secrets she needs to make it there.

“Apartment 23” stars Krysten Ritter (“Breaking Bad,” “Gilmore Girls”) as Chloe, Dreama Walker (“The Good Wife,” “Gossip Girl”) as June, Eric André as Mark, Michael Blaiklock as Eli and James Van Der Beek (“Varsity Blues,” “Dawson’s Creek”) as James Van Der Beek.

Created and written by Nahnatchka Kahn (“American Dad”), “Apartment 23” is executive-produced by Kahn, Jason Winer (“Modern Family”), Dave Hemingson (“American Dad,” “How I Met Your Mother”) and Jeff Morton (“Modern Family”). Winer is also the director. “Apartment 23” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television.

Work It:  This high-concept comedy centers on two unrepentant guy’s guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process.

With unemployment an ongoing issue and women now outnumbering men in the workforce, the new comedy series “Work It” follows two alpha males who realize the only way to beat the current “mancession” and land a job in pharmaceutical sales is to pass themselves off as women. Combining all the best elements of the workplace comedy, the buddy comedy and the family comedy, “Work It” centers on Lee Standish (Ben Koldyke) — a quick-witted and likable family man who used to be a top car salesman until he got laid off — and Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco) — a single, hot-headed ladies’ man with no filter — who quickly learn there are fundamental differences in the worlds of men and women that go beyond teetering in high heels and tightening up with Spanx. Lee and Angel are determined to keep their ruse going for as long as they can — and keep their newly found jobs — in this smart, funny and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home and socially. Being a better man sometimes means having to be a better woman.

The show stars Ben Koldyke (“How I Met Your Mother”) as Lee, Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break”) as Angel, Beth Lacke (“Happy Hour”) as Connie, John Caparulo (“Chelsea Lately”) as Brian, Rebecca Mader (“Lost”) as Grace, Rochelle Aytes (“Detroit 1-8-7”) as Vanessa, Kate Reinders (“Sherrie”) as Kelly, Kirstin Eggers (“Aussie and Ted’s Great Adventure”) as Kristin and Kacie Lynch (“Barney and Friends”) as Kat.

“Work It” was written by Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen (“Friends,” “Rules of Engagement”). Reich and Cohen are the executive producers. Beth McCarthy Miller (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock”) is the director. “Work It” is produced by Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with Summer School Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

100th Post! ABC Cancels V, Brothers And Sisters & 5 More Shows, Renews Body of Proof, Happy Endings, Picks Up Charlie’s Angels, 11 More…

It’s our 100th Post, Yay!

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that ABC went mad-crazy on Friday dumping seven shows including five freshman shows, renewing two and picking up a whopping twelve new scripted shows, all in advance of tomorrow’s upfront advertising event where they’ll announce their schedule for the 2011 – 2012 season.

Canceled:

VThe phrase “no surprise here” is really a running theme with all of these canceled shows on ABC but never is it more appropriate than for V. V was phenomenal in its first season but by the third episode of the second season, it had become one of the most ridiculous and embarrassing SciFi shows ever produced.  Fans will of course blame ABC for how they scheduled, this is nonsense.  The show turned and we’ve actually been working on a remedial course that will published i na couple of weeks for folks who don’t understand why V was so damned ridiculous.  We’re not saying that we’re happy about its departure, but we sure as Hell understand why it was canceled and make no doubt about it, it deserved to be canceled.

Detroit 1-8-7This is a very sad, albeit necessary cancellation.  D-187 was one of the best police procedurals in recent memory and we were sure it was going to be terrible.  It’s unfortunate that it couldn’t find an audience.  Again, the writing for this show was on the wall since November 2010.

No Ordinary Family*sigh*  What’s unfortunate about this cancellation is how much potential this series had and how it completely fell off the rails.  The show became less about superheroes and more about this dysfunctional family and wore thin very quickly.  Not to mention, Jim Powell (Michael Chiklis) is the probably the most emasculated male lead character in the history of television.

Off the Map:  We got through twenty minutes of the pilot, to turn it off.  Terrible writing, terrible acting and just complete and utter tripe.  It’s nothing but typical recycled procedural crap.  Good-bye, you won’t be missed. We hated this show so much, we couldn’t bring ourselves to do a review on it.  Fortunately, Off the Map is off the map.

Mr. SunshineWe actually forced ourselves to sit through two episodes of this mess. This was a very poor rip-off if 30 Rock was one of the worst shows we’ve seen this season.  It was nothing ut really bad recycled jokes, recycled characters and recycled plotlines.  Good Riddance.  Maybe it will be another decade before we’ll have to be subjected to Matthew Perry again. What?  We can’t be the only ones who thinks Friends is one of the worst pieces of crap shows ever made.

Better With You:  We made it through three episodes and the last two minutes of every episode that wound up on our DVR recordings of Modern Family.  This may be one of the worst shows ever made next to $#*! My Dad Says.  There was nothing funny about this and it abused every sitcom cliché from the last 50 years of television and it made us angry that the producers had such a low opinion of their audience.

Brothers and Sisters:  We have no problem with this show and in fact we’ve never watched it but we understand that it had a loyal following (Little Sister ‘Tastic was a big fan).  The problem was that viewership had been steadily declining and once you get past the fifth season, if the ratings aren’t there to justify higher ad-revenues it’s impossible to keep a show because at this point the production costs (including cast salaried) increase dramatically.

Renewed:

Body of ProofWe don’t understand the appeal of this show, but then again we don’t understand the appeal of all safe procedurals.  This show really particularly stupid, with dopey and recycled premises and really bad dialogue.  But, alas, what do we know as audiences seem to love it.

Happy Endings:  We have to be honest, we haven’t had time to watch this show but it does look very funny and it does have strong critical buzz surrounding it so we’re looking forward to watching it over the summer and reviewing it.  Part of the reason we didn’t put it to the front of our schedule is that based on the ratings, we weren’t expecting it to be renewed.  Good for them!

Picked Up (We’ll be providing our assessments of the new shows shortly after the schedule announcement is made on Tuesday):

Charlie’s Angels:  A modern take on the 1970s series starring Annie Ilonzeh (Melrose Place), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) as Charlie’s (Robert Wagner) new Angels. The Miami-set drama, from Sony Pictures Television, is written by Smallville duo Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and produced by Nancy Juvonen (Whip It), Leonard Goldberg (the Charlie’s Angels features) and Drew Barrymore, who appeared in the big-screen reboot. Marcos Siega (The Vampire Diaries) directed the pilot.

Last Man Standing: The project centers on the former Home Improvement star, who is fighting for his manhood in a world increasingly dominated by women. Nancy Travis (So I Married an Axe Murderer) co-stars in the multicamera comedy from 20th Television. Jack Burditt (30 Rock) penned the pilot, with Marty Adelstein (Prison Break), Becky Clements and Shawn Levy (Date Night) on board as producers. Insiders believe the mutlicam Allen vehicle, which has had “lock” status for weeks, will launch a second ABC comedy block, likely on Tuesdays (Improvement‘s old stomping ground).

Pan Am: From Sony, the sexy soap set in the 1960s focuses on stewardesses and pilots, some of whom live double lives as spies. Christina Ricci stars in her first series regular role in the drama written and produced by Jack Orman (ER). Also producing are Sid Ganis, Nancy Hult Ganis and Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), who helmed the pilot.

Apartment 23: The a single-camera comedy from 20th TV centers on a Midwestern girl (Dreama Walker, The Good Wife) whose big-city dreams are dashed after her first week in New York, where she finds herself living with her worst nightmare (Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad). James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek) co-stars as himself in his first series comedy role. Nahnatchka Khan (American Dad) and Dave Hemingson (Traffic Light) penned the pilot and will produce along with Jeffrey Morton (Traffic Light). Jason Winer (Modern Family) helmed the pilot.

Good Christian Belles (formerly Good Christian Bitches): The soap revolves around a former high school “mean girl” (Leslie Bibb, Popular) who returns home to Dallas after her marriage ends in scandal. The series, from ABC Studios, also stars Kristin Chenoweth (Glee) and Annie Potts (Designing Women). Robert Harling(Laws of Attraction), who penned the pilot, produces alongside Darren Star (Sex and the City) and Aaron Kaplan. Alan Poul (Six Feet Under) directed the pilot. The series is based on the book by Kim Gatlin.

Revenge: The Count of Monte Cristo-inspired soap from Mike Kelley (Swingtown), centers on a woman (Emily VanCamp, Brothers and Sisters) who moves to the Hamptons. The ABC Studios pilot, which was directed by Phillip Noyce, counts Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey as executive producers.

Once Upon a Time: A fantasy drama that revolves around a woman (Jennifer Morrison, How I Met Your Mother) who, after a boy who claims to be her son shows up, is drawn into a town where fairy tales might be real. Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) co-stars as Snow White in a cast that also includes Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe) and Josh Dallas (Thor) as Prince Charming.Lost’s Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz penned the pilot and will produce alongside Steve Pearlman (V) and Mark Mylod (Shameless), who directed the pilot from ABC’s sister studio.

Scandal (formerly Damage Control): The drama revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer (Kerry Washington) and her staff. Lost’s Henry Ian Cusick co-stars as her right-hand man and Tony Goldwyn plays the president. It is based on the career of crisis management consultant Judy Smith, who serves alongside producers including Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) and Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy). From ABC Studios, the pilot was directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin).

The River: A stylized project that follows a crew through the Amazon in search of a missing adventurer. Eloise Mumford (Lone Star) stars in the ABC Studios drama written by Michael Green (Kings) and Michael R. Perry (Persons Unknown). Executive producers include Oren Peliand Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity), Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara), Zack Estrin (No Ordinary Family) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity). Jaume Collet-Serra directed the pilot, which was shot in Puerto Rico.

Work It: The cross-dressing comedy from Warner Bros. TV and Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen(Friends), revolves around two out-of-work car salesmen (Amaury Nolasco, Ben Koldyke) who dress as women in order to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Beth McCarthy Miller directed the pilot.

Suburgatory: The project stars Jane Levy as a New Yorker who moves to a cookie-cutter community and discovers that the suburbs is more frightening than any horror movie she’s seen. Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order), Alan Tudyk (Firefly) and Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) co-star. The single-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV was written by Emily Kapnek (Hung, Parks and Recreation), with the pilot directed by Mike Fresco (Raising Hope, Better Off Ted).

Man Up: The single-camera comedy from ABC Studios and Chris Moynihan (Coupling) is a look at what it takes to survive as a modern man, as told through the eyes of three best friends and the women in their lives.

NEWSFLASH: CBS Picks up J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan Pilot, Person of Interest

J.J. Abrams (left), Jonathan Nolan (right)

In news that should make every genre fan happy for a variety of reasons, CBS has greenlit the pilot for the J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan project, Person of Interest.

From Deadline.com:

“The project, from Warner Bros. TV and Abrams’ Bad Robot, is a crime drama centered on a CIA agent, presumed dead, who is recruited by a reclusive billionaire to wage war against violent criminals in New York City.”

The interesting thing about this is that the first time we looked at this piece the other day, in the description it featured the phrase,

“An ex-CIA hitman and a scientist team up to prevent crimes before they happen.”

You’ll notice that in the comments section of the Deadline piece that the above description is even referred to by one of the various whiny posters on that site.  We don’t know why this was scrubbed from the original piece but we were able to find the same description posted at Entertainment Weekly and it is described as “official” although no sources were indicated to verify that it is indeed official, but it is coming from EW so there’s no reason to assume that it’s not legitimate.

That being said, though,  since it isn’t sourced at this point and Deadline did scrub their original piece (and ALL Abrams’ projects are notoriously secretive), officially we can’t say whether it’s more like Human Target or more like the Stephen Spielberg Sci-Fi flick Minority Report or a hybrid of both, perhaps.

So what is so great about this project, anyway?  Well, of course, it’s a J.J. Abrams project and he’s just about the hottest property in Hollywood right despite the recent failure of NBC’s Undercovers (which, unlike audiences, we actually liked) so that’s the biggest selling point but maybe as cool is that this story is the brainchild of Jonathan Nolan.

Jonathan (whose nickname is “Jonah”)  is of course the younger brother of esteemed director and writer Christopher Nolan who is of course famous for the most recent Batman film franchise, Memento, The Prestige and 2010’s blockbuster hit (and Academy Award nominee for Best Picture) Inception.  What folks may not know (we certainly didn’t) is that Jonathan Nolan actually co-wrote The Dark Knight and The Prestige with his brother as well as Memento and he actually wrote Memento Mori, the original short story which the film is based on.  Oh, yeah… he also wrote the screenplay for the highly anticipated third installment of the Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises and he co-wrote 2009’s Terminator: Salvation.  You can check out his whole bio here.

CBS: "Don't worry, genre fans. We're not FOX."

Needless to say, Jonathan Nolan is an experienced and talented genre writer and we are looking forward to what he can bring to television with J.J. Abrams and though normally we would worry about a show like this because it usually winds up getting pitched to FOX and we all know what happens with brilliant genre and scripted drama that FOX gets their hands on, even with J.J. Abrams’ name attached to it.  This is not the case with CBS who tends to have a pretty good eye (no pun intended, but we’re going with it) for this type of scripted genre programming and give shows like this some time to build an audience.

Michael Emerson

Oh, and one more thing:  Guess who’s already been cast for the pilot?  None other than Lost alum Michael Emerson.  According to Reuters, Emerson who’s best known for his Emmy award-winning role as Ben Linus on Lost, will play the billionaire benefactor who will aid our player-to-be-named-later in fighting crime.

We don’t really know any more details right now about Person of Interest and probably won’t for some time (again, that’s to be expected with Abrams) but we are hopeful for an air date of Fall 2011 for the pilot but realistically it’s probably going to air mid-season 2011 – 2012.  The ‘Tastic, of course will keep you updated.

TV SCOOP! ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’ Preliminary Concept Art Released!

Photobucket

This isn't one of the pics released, we just found it on the Internets, thought it was cool and created a title for it.

***UPDATE: DOUG DREXLER HAS CONFIRMED WITH THE THE ‘TASTIC TODAY THAT HE IS ATTACHED TO THE BLOOD & CHROME PROJECT AS WELL***

“Happy New Year Shawn! Yes! [VFX Supervisor]Gary [Hutzel] drags my bleeding corpse with him everywhere he goes!”

Check out Doug’s blog at the Drexfiles, right here on WordPress.  LOTS of fun stuff there.

Well, Battlestar Galactica fans, it looks like the highly anticipated prequel, Blood & Chrome is quickly becoming a reality.  Last month, we reported to you in our Caprica post-mortem that the pilot for the series had been green-lit and what the premise was.  Blastr.com has obtained exclusive concept art from the show’s producers (scroll down to the bottom for the slideshow) and the word is that principle shooting is to begin in late January, 2011.

Galactica SITREP did a brief interview with writer and executive producer, Michael Taylor who provides a bit of insight into these images and into the pilot:

“Those pics were just the first of the many concept art sketches we’ve been creating. They don’t necessarily reflect any particular incidents in the script; as “concept” drawings they’re helping us flesh out the new world of Blood & Chrome. And it is a new world, one that owes much to the BSG series of the past but at the same time uses CGI to open up that world in ways that we hope fans will find fresh and exciting.

As for the show’s status, SyFy has officially green-lit a two-hour pilot, and we have begun pre-production, with filming expected to begin at the end of January, or very shortly thereafter. This is the fun part for me: seeing the script take tangible shape (or “virtually tangible” shape, since practically all of the pilot will be shot on green screen) as our director (Jonas Pate), DP (Lukas Ettlin), VFX supervisor (Gary Hutzel) and a host of artists — and of course the cast that we’ll soon be gathering — bring it to life.”

We have just a few observations about this latest news:

First, it seems to us that all of this is coming together amazingly quick which means either one of two things:  SyFy is incredibly eager to wash the taste of Caprica out of its mouth and breathe life back into the most successful franchise in its history or this is a lot of wishful thinking on the producers’ part as to how fast this is all coming together.

We’d like to hope it’s the former, but this whole process seems to be going at FTL speed for us.  Goodness, the project just got green-lit it in November and the casting hasn’t even been made public on IMDb.  Then again, this is Hollywood and if, as Taylor notes, virtually all of the two-hour pilot will be shot on green-screen then you don’t have to do a whole lot as far as set dressing is concerned and we suppose it could be done that quickly.  It’s the post-production and visual effects that will take a lot longer than usual.

Which brings us to another concern, not necessarily a criticism, but a concern nonetheless:  Virtually all of the two-hour pilot is going to be shot on green screen?  Really? Are we talking Phantom Menace here?  One of the more appealing aspects of BSG was the ability to effectively mix practical sets with digital elements to the point where it was generally seamless (at least in the interior scenes) and it always makes us cringe a little when we hear about such a dramatic shift in production (especially THIS shift because we are very much opposed to the over-reliance on CG) to a franchise known for high-quality visual effects.  That being said, Gary Hutzel is in charge of visual effects again and he is a master at combining practical filming and CG effectively (see: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and, of course, Battlestar Galactica).  So, at this point we will remain less skeptical than we normally would be.

We also need to correct the Blastr.com piece we alluded to earlier.  Despite what the piece says, Blood & Chrome will not be a “two-hour pilot movie,” it will simply be a two-hour pilot episode.  The distinction needs to be made because calling it a “movie” implies by its nature that it is a “backdoor  pilot.”  A “backdoor pilot” is a made for television movie that is produced with the intention of the movie acting as a pilot episode for a potential series but is written as a standalone, self-contained story if the series isn’t picked up.  This is an important distinction because if the indications were that a project was to be a “movie,”that would mean that the network would be waiting to see how the “movie” does in the ratings before ordering episodes for the series.  That means that if it doesn’t do well in the ratings, you’ll never see a regular series episode.  If it does do well, however, it will be several months before you’ll see new episodes.

If, on the other hand, a show is planned as a conventional pilot, that means that the network heads will watch the pilot, decide if it’s good enough to order additional episodes, and then proceed from that point.  They will then air the two-hour pilot episode and shortly thereafter, air the new series episodes.  If the network heads don’t like the pilot, don’t worry about the series being canceled because you’ll never even see the pilot.  There has been absolutely no indication whatsoever that the two-hour pilot for Blood & Chrome is anything but a two-hour pilot episode and in this case that’s absolutely a good thing.  SyFy isn’t going to wait around to see how the pilot does in the ratings when they already have the established BSG audience built-in, just as they did with Caprica, so if it airs (which we are sure it will) expect that the series will follow.

Yes, we are certainly aware that Blastr.com is a SyFy Channel project, but they got this wrong and it happened for one of two reasons:

1. It was completely intentional in order to hype the pilot. This is a well-known practice in genre.  The Star Trek franchise was notorious for calling two-hour episodes “movies” or “movie-events” in the mid-to-late 90’s and in more recent years, 24 did the same thing with their two-hour episode Redemption, and in fact, they are still clinging to this notion that Redemption is a “film.”  Nah… it was just the season seven primer that aired two months prior to the season premiere to make up for the fact that the series had gone 18 months without an original episode because of the writer’s strike and they wanted to spark interest in it again.  So, again, this practice isn’t unheard of, but it’s misleading for the average audience who thinks that “movie” implies that they will be watching an original feature film on basic cable.

2.  It was just a mistake, typical of an over-exuberant blogger. We freely admit that we’ve made similar mistakes based on our excitement for a particular project.  Simply look at our rating of The Event for evidence of that.  Blastr.com is a professional site but it’s still a blog.

Finally, we are very excited about the choices in writers for Blood & Chrome if what’s reported on IMDb is accurate.  Ignore the references to Ron Moore because he has nothing to do with the new series (and we doubt Glen Larson does either), he’s simply listed as the developer as a courtesy and because he is responsible for developing the franchise and tacking his name onto the project gives it credibility.

On the other side of the coin, though, it is being Executive Produced by David Eick (and that is confirmed, it’s not just a courtesy title) and Michael Taylor as well as being written by Taylor, David Weddle, and Bradley Thompson.  This trifecta of writers was not only part of the major core of writers for BSG but they are also responsible for some of the absolute best episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well, which has been hailed by critics as the best series of that franchise, and it revolved around an intergalactic war so these gentlemen certainly have credentials in that department.

The ‘Tastic will keep you up to date as we find out more about Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Retro Review: ‘Smallville’ Season 1, Part I (Season 10 Premiere on The CW – September 24, 2010, 8:00 p.m.)

8 out of 10

“Somebody saaaaave me!” Boy, Remy Zero said it accurately, indeed. The Superman Mythos after the explosive Death of Superman and The Return of Superman Comic Book storylines needed a shot in the arm. Waning book sales and iffy stories combined with the disinterest of Superman as a whole had thrown a huge red flag up for DC and Warner Brothers combined. After numerous failed attempts at re-igniting that elusive spark, DC and Warner Bros. had much egg on their face that included an omelet made of Nicolas Cage as Superman…ugh… I shudder to think.

Then in comes Alfred Gough and Miles Millar with a brilliant premise: how about a restart (I despise using the term “reboot”) to this iconic superhero? Let’s start way back but not so far back as to not have Clark Kent, our powerful protagonist, involved in a journey to his destiny of becoming the world’s most renowned hero. Let us begin in Smallville, Kansas and do an origin story that will take us on a great and revealing trip. And with Smallville heading into its final season in just a few weeks, I think back excitedly on what a ride it’s been!

The WB show was touted as a Sci-Fi, fantasy tale but at times does play out like a soap opera. That’s OK, though, because we always know what is to eventually come which no basic Soap on TV can do for its viewers. When particular characters like Lex Luthor and Clark Kent interact we can’t help having that small grin on our face and that thought on our minds that these two guys are going to totally throw down and kick each other’s asses in the future. It’s this aspect that makes Smallville so appealing.

Season One begins, well… in the beginning. In the Smallville pilot we are introduced to the Kents played by the hot Annette O’Toole (Sorry, ever since Paul Schrader’s Cat People I have always had a crush on her) as Martha and John Schneider (Hee Haw!, Dukes of Hazzard) as Jonathan. These are the salt-of-the-earth farmers who will (thanks to the meteor shower that brings that most-famous of all aliens) raise Clark Kent (Tom Welling). It is not easy as we are a witness, too, as the season advances. After the 14 year-old Clark discovers the spaceship that brought him to earth buried in the barn, he begins to question his destiny, and refuses to immediately accept it.

We are soon introduced to Jeremy Creek (Adrian McMorran), our first of many “meteor freaks” who are usually just normal people who are or were infected adversely by the kryptonite.

Clark, of course, becomes enamored with Lana Lang played with plucky enthusiasm by the oh-so cute Kristen Krueck.

Clark then saves Lex Luthor, portrayed by Micheal Rosenbaum (who steals just about every scene he is in) from an almost fatal car accident. Needless to say, Clark stays busy even as he discovers he’s the newest alien on the block. This is just the beginning of where this great ride begins and there is definitely more to come…

The CW Official Smallville page

Watch some full length episodes of Smallville on Hulu.

FYI, Amazon has the complete first season of Smallville on DVD for just $19.99 (67% off of the list price of of $59.98).

‘The Glades’ (A&E – Sunday, 10:00 p.m.)

The Glades stars Australian actor Matt Passmore as Jim Longworth, an attractive, brilliant, yet hard to get along with homicide detective from Chicago who is forced into exile after being wrongfully accused of sleeping with his former captain’s wife. Longworth relocates to the sleepy, middle-of-nowhere town of Palm Glade, Florida, where the sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. But this town outside the Florida Everglades isn’t quite as idyllic as he thought, as he finds people keep turning up murdered. Each case pulls Longworth off the golf course and reluctantly into his element as one of the sharpest homicide detectives in the field. (A&E)

8.5 out of 10

I’ve been watching police procedural shows for years and I hate most of them that people seem to drool over.  I gave up on the entire Law & Order franchise years go, I was never a fan of NYPD Blue (although I concede that it was occasionally entertaining) and I absolutely hate the inane CSI franchise and question the intelligence of the millions of fans who think that it’s actually any good.  I could go into my hatred of CSI all day but I’m reserving that for a separate post.  Needless to say, for a police procedural to really get my attention it has to be unique and well-written, but most importantly it has to be character-driven as opposed to event-driven which is what most of the generic police fare is.  A few of the shows that really stand out in this genre and meet those standards over the last decade for me are The Wire (HBO), the short-lived but brilliant Boomtown (NBC), The Shield (FX) and most recently, one of my favorite new shows, Justified (FX, review forthcoming).  Well, add The Glades to that list.

Like its predecessors, The Glades weaves excellent storytelling around and a well-written group of complex supporting characters with a central character that not only brings it all together but stands out as the reason to come back week-to-week. 

Passmore is brilliantly cast as Longworth, which is really no small feat because the truth is that the character could easily come off as the clichéd cocky, big fish/small pond, I’m-smarter-than-all-of-these-small-town-hicks cop who every week learns a little lesson from living in small town America that gives him a greater appreciation for his colleagues. We, of course, have seen this more than once in TV and film and of course we’re bored by it.  Instead, though, Longworth, cocky as he is, is cocky for a reason: he’s a really good cop, knows it, but isn’t arrogant about it.  It’s just kind of a matter-of-fact deal with him but he respects his fellow colleagues who are competent and though he’s tolerant of his unmotivated colleagues like his partner, he recognizes their weaknesses and just goes about his business to make sure that they don’t impede his work.  The point is that unlike other clichéd cops on TV, Longworth isn’t all up in anybody’s face about how good he is and how bad anyone else is, he just does the job and does it well.  The character is witty and sarcastic and as a viewer you appreciate his ability to think outside of the box to bring clues together from unexpected sources.

Another reason why I put The Glades into the category of unique police procedurals is because it does something that most cop shows really don’t do: it makes the town of Palm Glades, Florida as important of a supporting character as anyone else in the cast, as opposed to just a backdrop for the drama.  All of the other shows I mentioned all have this in common.  The Wire with Baltimore, The Shield and Boomtown with Los Angeles and Justified with Leland, Kentucky.  I always appreciate shows that understand that the locale is an integral character to any good story.  It provides a depth to all of the live characters and their perspectives and it acts as a device to truly engage the audience, giving them a sense that they too, truly know what it’s like to be from Baltimore, L.A. or even Leland, Kentucky, even though they may have never even been there before.  This approach has been done in film for decades but it is a relatively new concept in television and almost non-existent on network television.  That being said, it’s entirely refreshing that a central character of The Glades is the Glades itself.

The pilot was excellent and the writing near flawless, albeit a bit rushed at the end because it’s obvious that they were trying to cram character development/establishment and a complex plot all into one hour (NOTE TO A&E: If a show is as good as The Glades is, a two-hour pilot will keep our attention).  The story takes us on Longworth’s journey to connect clues and if you blink, you might miss something which is of course the true sign of a good mystery.  The twist at the end is brilliant and of the quality you would expect from premium channels like HBO or Showtime (again, I just wished it wasn’t so rushed) and believe me, unlike everyone spoiling Shutter Island by telling you there’s a twist and ergo you expected it (and like me, probably figured it within the first 20 minutes), it is highly unlikely you will expect this particular twist even though you know one is coming.  I just hope that they keep the twists coming like this every week.

You can watch the entire pilot episode right here on A&E’s website if you missed it or don’t have cable (make sure to scroll down and choose Pilot as the latest episode will automatically play when you click the link) and in fact, it looks like you can catch all of the episodes online (yay!).