Thursday, February 10, 2005

Coming to a Brain Drain Box near you: The Mid Season



Okay, with Alias and 24 back on, officially we’ve already hit mid-season, but ever since reality television and even going back to Fox’s 90210 summer season, television's schedule is no longer a simple world of Fall, Spring, and Re-Runs. To this day, I still have no idea how HBO schedules anything.

Zap2it.com has been wonderful enough to break it all down for us by network.

I’m looking forward to:

The Inside, but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much lest they be answered with another Point Pleasant or Tru Calling. The good news for this former Angel fan is that Tim Minear (Angel & Wonderfalls) has teamed with Jane Espenson. Let the genius fest begin.

What Zap2it’s saying…

The Inside
Premieres: To Be Decided

Premise: Tim Minear ("Angel") took over a "21 Jump Street" clone starring relative unknown Rachel Nichols and transformed it into a small screen "Silence of the Lambs" starring Nichols as a new FBI agent with a traumatic past assigned to LA's Violent Crimes Unit. Peter Coyote, Jay Harrington and Adam Baldwin (“Angel”, “Firefly”)co-star as her partners in crime-fighting.

Our Prophecy: With a strong cast and a crack creative team that also includes "Buffy" writing star Jane Espenson and "24" ace Howard Gordon, "The Inside" may actually be a good show. Clips shown to critics make this look darker and more mature than anything FOX has on the air right now and FOX seems to enjoy tearing out Minear's still-beating heart (see "Wonderfalls" and "Firefly"). Either way, it's probably doomed, but in the most noble way possible
.

While I’m not to big on the modern sitcom, I’m not against the format. Besides growing up in the 80’s and being addicted to the family traumas of The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Growing Pains, I’ve also been a big fan of Murphy Brown, News Radio, Sports Night, Cheers, Herman’s Head, Seinfeld, Will & Grace (not the last 2 seasons), Curb Your Enthusiam, and currently Arrested Development. Needless to say, the older I get, the more sadistic and satirical I prefer my comedy. Anyway, NBC has developed (and reported not screwed up) the BBC smash hit The Office. Oh, and it’s starring Steve Carrell!!!

What Zap2it’s saying…

The Office
Premieres: Thursday, March 24; moves to regular timeslot Tuesday, March 29
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET

Premise: Shot in the style of a documentary, "The Office" examines day-to-day life in an American workplace, specifically the Dunder-Mifflin paper-supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Steve Carell ("The Daily Show") stars in this adaptation of the award-winning BBC classic.

Our Prophecy: After a pilot episode that cribs directly from the BBC original, subsequent episodes of "The Office" go off in their own direction and stand alone surprisingly well. Carell resists mimicking Ricky Gervais' performance and provides a strong center for the comedy. Still, mainstream viewers are unlikely to instantly warm to the show's awkward hilarity and a time slot after "Scrubs" makes excellent qualitative sense, but it won't drive viewers to either show. NBC should be applauded for not messing "The Office" up like the network botched "Coupling," but the rewards won't be in ratings.

For the scoop on…

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