ABC: ‘Revenge’ To Go Commercial-Free On November 11th

Going to have to give a bit of a preamble explanation on this one because the press release is written from the standpoint of being intentionally non-specific using a bunch of marketing fancy talk.  What it comes down to is that there will be no commercials in the November 11th episode of Revenge, instead the episode will be loaded what will more than likely be over-the-top product placement from Niemann-Marcus and Target.

Does this mean that we are going to see Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe) pushing around a red plastic shopping cart in a big-box store?  Doubtful (but that would be rich, wouldn’t it?), however it is an interesting experiment in non-traditional primary revenue generation to say the least, so we’re all in favor of that because we’re all in favor on of non-traditional primary television revenue generation as it opens up more opportunities for better quality programming.  That being said, we are a tad bit skeptical because we’ve seen product placement used obnoxiously in several dramas over the years that still had 18 minutes of an hour dedicated to commercials.  So, we’ll have to see how this goes.

Tell us what you think about the idea of product placement or other types of non-traditional revenue generation for television shows and tell us what you think about November 11th episode of Revenge and how effectively you think it was done!

Via Press Release:

ABC ANNOUNCES UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP WITH TARGET AND NEIMAN MARCUS WITH FIRST-OF-ITS KIND INTEGRATION ON HIT SERIES “REVENGE”

October 17, 2012 – Target and Neiman Marcus have partnered with ABC for a ground-breaking integration in conjunction with the critically acclaimed series “Revenge.” As part of the highly anticipated reveal of the retailers’ holiday collection, Target and Neiman Marcus will be the exclusive show sponsor in the episode airing SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. In lieu of commercials, the retailers are working directly with the creative team of “Revenge” — a series known for its flair for fashion and high style — to create original content incorporating the Target+ Neiman Marcus holiday collection.

“This is an unprecedented event on every level,” said Marla Provencio, chief marketing officer, executive vice president, ABC Entertainment Group. “It has been a great experience collaborating with these two iconic brands, and we are thrilled that they chose ABC’s ‘Revenge’ as the exclusive partner.”

“The scale of our partnership with Neiman Marcus propelled us to go well beyond the traditional approach and develop marketing initiatives that reflect the historic nature of this collaboration,” said Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, Target. “Working with the team at ABC has been invigorating. We’re confident the November 11 episode of ‘Revenge’ will blow our guests away and, much like our collection with Neiman Marcus, provide an unforgettable element of surprise this holiday season.”

Target® Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and Neiman Marcus unveiled their unprecedented holiday collection featuring 24 of America’s preeminent designers – all members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) – in New York. The collection will be available December 1 at all Target and Neiman Marcus stores, as well as online at Target.com and NeimanMarcus.com. In recognition of the 24 designers who created products for the holiday collection, Target and Neiman Marcus are donating a total of $1 million to the CFDA.

More information about the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection integration on the November 11 episode of “Revenge” will be available via ABullseyeView.com and NMDaily.com.

For more information on “Revenge,” visit ABC.com/Revenge.

Photography/video available at http://www.abcmedianet.com. Photography request line 818.460.6611.

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ABC: ‘The River,’ ‘GCB,’ (UPDATE: ‘Missing’) Canceled… 13 Renewals Announced

Like NBC, ABC made a lot of moves this week.  The most notable for us is the cancellation of The River, which we aren’t surprised about at all but we loved this show and it just got better despite the haters. On the upside, as we reported, ABC Television Studios is still in talks with Netflix and as we reported in March, and part of those talks include the possibility of continuing the series into a second season.  Since we haven’t heard any news suggesting that it’s off the table, we remain hopeful.

Also, GCB and Pan Am have officially been canceled as well. We’re a little surprised about GCB which seemed to be the heir-apparent to the departing Desperate Housewives but we weren’t surprised at all about Pan Am which was just mind-numbingly dull and disappointing.

UPDATE: We got word while out of town that the Ashley Judd spy-thriller, Missing has been canceled.  Decent show, but flawed, and it’s no surprise that it didn’t catch on especially considering the spring premiere when no one’s paying attention.

As for renewals, there’s a ton and there’s not a whole lot of surprises, here.  Here’s the complete list:

  • Modern Family
  • The Middle
  • Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23
  • Happy Endings
  • Suburgatory
  • Last Man Standing
  • Scandal
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Private Practice
  • Castle
  • Body of Proof
  • Revenge
  • Once Upon A Time

REVIEW: ‘Revenge’ – ABC (Wednesday, 10:00 p.m.)

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. – ABC

83 out of 100

We were a little nervous about Revenge for a variety of reasons.  One, because as good Catholics who actually did pay attention in class, the glorification of revenge itself is unseemly on its face.  Second, we just weren’t sure if it was possible for the cute girl-next-door, Emily Van Camp, to effectively pull off this type of character and third, the premise of the “evil wealthy people” has been overplayed since the Greek tragedies.  Well, we are pleased to say that those concerns were unwarranted… and that was after one episode.

For us, watching  Revenge reminded us very much of watching Damages in that a dramatic event happens in the opening sequence of the pilot (or season premiere) and then we are told the story of the events that led up to the dramatic event as the series progresses. But, Revenge isn’t just about the events over the course of five months from the time Emily moves into the summer house in the Hamptons, it’s about the history that brought her there to begin with and we are smoothly introduced to those events and the targets for her retaliation through a series a flashbacks that effectively weave the tapestry of the story and develop the characters.

The problem with most shows that do this is that they can be a bit confusing and it scares audiences off because of the concern that if they miss an episode they’ll be completely lost. Revenge does not suffer from these issues.  The producers seem to have gone out of their way to make the flashbacks that provide much of the exposition not only very easy to follow, but the characters themselves repeatedly refer to the events outside of the flashbacks just to make it that much easier.  It all works very well.

This is an amazing cast of characters and actors.  Any qualms we had about the notion of revenge itself over forgiveness is quickly quashed as we see how vile and narcissistic these people truly are and how they sociopathically destroyed (and continue to destroy) people’s lives to protect themselves with not only zero regard for their victims, but a sense of entitlement to this type of power.  They are truly characters you love to hate.  They are above morality and above the law and the writers have made a point to illustrate how this attitude is generational with the children of these socialites who engage in the same behavior, as well.

There’s an interesting scene where the teenage daughter of Victoria (Medeleine Stowe) and Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny) goes into the local bar and grill and starts ordering cocktails with her friends and the owner’s younger son refuses to serve them because, of course, they can’t produce ID.  Without batting an eye, she says, “Um… we left our ID’s at the beach, BUT… we have plenty of money.” Because, of course, having plenty of money means that not only don’t you have to follow the law, but you can also make other people break the law on your behalf as well.  To further drive the point home, the kid tells the young lady, “Sorry, I’m not interested in your money,” to which she replies, “Are you interested in my phone number?”  The lesson here is that when the rich and powerful want something and they can’t use money to influence people they’ll go after them at their weakest and most basic level.

And this is why you hate all of them because that little scene is a metaphor for all of these characters and you want all of them to get what’s coming to them and you can allow yourself this guilty pleasure of enjoying what we all at one time or another wished we could do. The best part is that not only does Emily not waste any time in surreptitiously tipping over the dominoes that these people have been unwittingly setting up against themselves for years, but she’s doing it in such a manner that she is having them do it to themselves and destroy their own lives in the process.

The complexities of all of these characters is very well-done.  What makes our villains even more vile is that they of course wear the white hats and there are various shades of gray characters that we really don’t know which side they’ll ultimately choose.  Our heroes are the least likely to be heroes and they too have their dark sides, as well, which may ultimately be their undoing, in particular Emily whose father’s final wish for her  before he died was that she forgive these people for what they have done. Emily makes it very clear that she cannot honor that request and that, of course, like all Greek tragedies and Shakespearean melodramas, can only be a harbinger of bad things to come because make no mistake abut it, Revenge is a morality play and we’re all going to be taught a lesson, one way or another.

Revenge has a lot going for it.  We had just a few minor quibbles about the slightly slow pace and the exaggerated and clichéd personalities of some of the characters, but overall, though, we really enjoyed it a lot and we’re hooked already.  We only hope that this show’s serial nature, because it is so refined (OK… we’ll say it: dumbed down), actually clicks with general audiences and they give it the numbers it richly deserves.

You can watch new episodes of Revenge, here.

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.

‘Fringe’ Moves to Friday Nights: FOX Pledges Full Support. Don’t Be Fooled. Fans Need To Read This.

If you haven’t heard already, Fox has moved the J.J. Abrams fan-favorite Sci Fi thriller, Fringe,  from the Thursday at 9:00 p.m. slot to the dreaded Friday at 9:00 p.m. slot.  Now as much as we here at The ‘Tastic love Fringe (to the point where we consider it to be one of the top five shows on television), we weren’t necessarily surprised by this because as we’ve pointed out, FOX pisses their pants every time they see a ratings drop.

We also noted that while the other major networks are starting to take Friday nights seriously once again,  FOX has decidedly NOT taken this approach, designating the night for reality shows and as a dumping ground for shows that haven’t done as well as they had hoped which is usually the fault of FOX to begin with (see: The Good Guys for the most recent example of this and our analysis here).  So, we’ve come to accept that no show is ever safe on FOX and that without fail, if a show is designated for Friday night it will not be renewed at the end of the season or if it is, it will wither pretty quickly the following season.  Now, with Fringe, there’s been a bit of a twist in this whole saga this week, which we’ll get to shortly, but first, it is necessary to address a fact of life that we’ve really been holding off on admitting for a long time but here it is:

FOX is an awful network and quite possibly the worst network ever… period.  End of discussion.  FOX is worse than The CW and it may possibly be worse than UPN or The WB ever was.  The network is poorly run, they make terrible, amateurish decisions regarding their programming, they have absolutely no idea how to market quality programming in order to pique interest and they don’t give shows a chance to build an audience or even maintain a modest one.  We will remind you that this is the same network that canceled Family Guy and the only reason it came back after a three-year hiatus is because The Cartoon Network aired the 49 episodes it had acquired the syndication rights to at 11:00 p.m. nightly and it gave THAT network the highest ratings in its history.  So, to make this clear, a show FOX cancelled after only 49 episodes put another network on the map when they aired them… at 11:00 p.m.

The only reason FOX has had any success is because they have had a handful of successful shows that they have MILKED TO DEATH.  Here’s the thing about that: a successful show should be able to give a network a lot of leeway with their programming and give a lot of other shows a chance to build an audience and become successful.  What this means is that a show, for example, such as American Idol, can make enough money to basically support the growth of shows that are critically acclaimed however struggle in the ratings.  This is not a new concept in either film or cinema.

Think of it like this: why do major studios invest money in relatively low-budget films with little-to-no anticipated payoff?  Well, that’s because the film industry although motivated by profit like any other industry, still sees the value in the art they produce for the sake of the art itself and they believe that every now and then, the quality of the art for art’s sake may just turn into gold.  A prime example of this is Paranormal Activity which Paramount/Dreamworks picked up the rights to for $300,000.  Why would a major studio throw $300,000 away on a low-budget ($15,000), genre film that had little-to-no chance of making them any money?  Well, first, because Stephen Spielberg REALLLLLLY liked it and second (and probably more importantly), because between G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Star Trek, Paramount grossed $1.5 billion domestically at the box office in 2009 on just those three films. So what it comes down to is that studios can afford to take more risks when they have money makers like that.  Of course, with Paranormal Activity, that risk paid off nicely, grossing $194 million globally.  Not a bad bet for a lousy $300,000, eh?

The same principle applies to television and even FOX has actually had success with this principle when they’ve applied it but they’ve only attempted it once and that was with 24 and that was nearly a decade ago.  They stuck with that show early on despite the fact that the ratings had slipped in the first season and they even used American Idol as the lead-in and it worked.

FOX simply has no foresight or vision when it comes to the potential value of good TV, despite slipping ratings and quite frankly they are missing a much bigger point and that is that due to their 20 year history of reckless programming decisions, generally speaking, audiences don’t want to give FOX a chance any more when it comes to scripted programming.  Why would they bother to ever consider getting invested in a scripted show on FOX when it’s more than likely not going to last for any significant amount of time?  It’s a vicious cycle.  FOX cancels shows (or dumps them into Friday) because the ratings slide, the ratings slide because the audiences don’t have any faith that FOX won’t cancel their show.

Now, back to the big twist in the news this week regarding the moving of Fringe to Friday…

Last week a whole bunch of blogs and entertainment news sites a lot more reputable than The ‘Tastic all had basically the same thing to say about the move.  To put it simply: they all contend that the move marked the beginning of the end for the series which certainly isn’t a stretch, particularly with FOX.

Well, the FOX execs didn’t like that too much so they came up with this little trailer that addresses (and quotes) the cynical (albeit realistic) commentary from the writers at Collider, Ain’t It Cool News, IGN, TV Overmind, and Fringe Bloggers who for some bizarre reason just don’t seem to have any faith in FOX’s support of this show.

How cute is that, right?  We’re convinced.  Aren’t you?

Entertainment Weekly, who apparently has no problem being a corporate shill for FOX and perpetuating B.S., did a nice little puff-piece where they quote FOX’s senior VP of marketing and special projects, Dean Norris, explaining what prompted the trailer:

We started getting feedback from the viewers that basically said, ‘How could Fox do something so cool for a show they’re going to kill?’ We started reading these things and said, ‘Wait! We have to address this!’” The mission was to produce a piece of communication that dealt with the situation in a self-deprecating fashion, yet also assuaged fan fears. The message, spelled out in the promo: “You May Think Friday Is Dead… But We’re Gonna Reanimate It.”

Well, that sounds great because after all if there is one thing FOX is good at it’s animation… and RE-animation for that matter (see: Family Guy).

Now, standby in 3… 2… 1… for the big lie:

The promo is the beginning of a larger effort by Fox to shore up Fringe’s existing fanbase and hopefully grow the audience by targeting teen viewers who might be at home Friday night… “We are trying to rebrand Friday, and what we’re trying to do with this show specifically is make it kind of like forbidden fruit,” says Norris. “We want that teen demographic that might not be our audience right now to say, ‘That this is a show my parents might not want me to watch — but I’m going to watch it, anyway.’”

…And this is exactly why we don’t trust FOX and neither should you.  First, and foremost let’s just examine this entire quote, shall we?

Mr. Norris, please explain to us how FOX plans to “shore up” its existing fanbase by alienating it, yet again.  The problem that we pointed out earlier is that it’s not even necessarily the fact that it’s on a Friday night… the problem is that it’s on FOX on a Friday night and their history with television shows – ESPECIALLY Sci Fi shows! – on that night.

Our first hint of skepticism regarding this sudden change of heart was in that dopey little promo itself.  It’s the quote from Roco at Fringe Blogger that they cite:

This is indeed the night… others were cast out to die.

Anytime we see a quote cited and there is ellipsis in the middle of the quote, we always research the actual source to find out exactly what the quoter wanted to leave out in order to advance their agenda.  Here’s the actual quote by Roco:

This is indeed the night the likes of Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly and others were cast out to die.

And there it is, folks; what FOX wants you to forget about.  The fact is that not only has FOX been brutal to Sci Fi shows that they’ve abandoned to Friday night, they’ve also spun similar stories about support and similar clever promo campaigns that REALLY made people think they gave a crap.  I refer you to the Dollhouse/Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles promos from spring of 2009.

Here’s our favorite… when Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku actually hosted the “Double Feature Friday” of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the series premiere of Dollhouse.

Three months later Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled and six months after that Dollhouse was canceled.  Obviously, this is an example of FOX fully supporting their friday night Sci Fi shows.

To add more salt into that particular wound and prove the point about the total lack of vision at FOX, in May of 2009 those two shows had identical audience numbers, but FOX, in their infinite wisdom and foresight, decided to cancel Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which had 11.4 million viewers during its first season before being dumped into Friday, was incredibly well-received by critics, had an established franchise brand-name and a built-in audience in favor of renewing the Joss Whedon mess called Dollhouse that had none of these attributes going for it.  Once again, nice job, FOX.

We won’t even discuss what they did to one of the greatest and regrettably short-lived series of all time, Firefly (also a Joss Whedon show).

As for the last big lie in that quote… who are they kidding?  Are we really supposed to believe that teenagers are going to stay in on a Friday night to watch a Sci Fi serial?  Furthermore, the reality is that it’s nearly impossible to expand the base for a show like this.

We know exactly what they’re thinking or at least the premise that they are going for in trying to promote this big lie and that is that Fringe is like The X-Files (as it’s been compared to that hit series since it debuted) and that it can appeal to everyone on that level.  Wrong.  They aren’t the same show at all and the reason why it doesn’t work is that roughly 2/3 of the 202 episodes of The X-Files were standalone, “monster-of-the-week” type episodes that were literally disconnected from the main storyline arc of Mulder’s quest for the proof of alien abduction so he could find his sister.

Fringe’s main story arc is omnipresent in every single episode whether it’s integral to the story of that particular episode or not and as much as we love The X-Files, Fringe’s main arc is a helluva lot more complicated than The X-Files alien arc ever was.  As a viewer, you cannot just jump into a show like Fringe halfway through its third season.  It would be the equivalent of jumping into Lost halfway through the third season.  You’d be lost and Norris must know this and if he doesn’t he’s completely incompetent.

So that’s what we’re left with.  TPTB at FOX are either completely incompetent or completely dishonest and what’s ridiculous is how many other bloggers and various media outlets are falling for this sudden change of heart by FOX regarding their dedication to a Sci Fi show that they have parked on Friday night.  Seriously, how dumb are they?  This is “battered viewer syndrome” (…and I’m not going to explain that particular metaphor) if we’ve ever seen it.  Do not trust FOX and their claims of unmitigated support for Fringe or any other show they move to Friday until they can be proven to be trustworthy.  The first step in doing that would be for them to order the remaining episodes for this season and order an entire fourth season and promise to air all of the episodes.  At this point, that would be the only way we would ever trust them and that’s not going to happen, so all we can do is hope for the best but plan for the worst which means expect Fringe to be canceled in May.  Let’s just hope that they bring some closure to this great series.

And, by the way… we really hope we’re wrong but we doubt that we are.