Thursday, May 13, 2010 2010-11 Upfront Preview: The CW; Network Pick-Ups

The CW continues to struggle, but they found one hit (Vampire Diaries) and a moderate success (Life UneXpected) this past season after many struggles (Melrose Place). And to make things worse, for the second straight year they have zero sitcom pilots in development, so all of their new series pick-ups will be dramas again. They could need a sitcom or two to change things up.
Here is the The CW 2010-11 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: None.
Already Renewed Returning Series: 90210, America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, Smallville, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries.
Likely Returning Series: One Tree Hill and Life UneXpected.
Likey To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: The Beautiful Life: TBL, Fly Girls, High Society, and Melrose Place.
Likely New Series: Nikita (drama), Hellcats (drama), Betwixt (drama) and Nomads (mid-season drama).


8:00PM Gossip Girl
9:00PM Hellcats (NEW!)

8:00PM Life UneXpected
9:00PM 90210

8:00PM America's Next Top Model
9:00PM Nikita (NEW!)

8:00PM Vampire Diaries
9:00PM Betwixt (aka Changelings) (NEW!)

8:00PM Smallville
9:00PM Supernatural

Comments: The CW only has five nights to program, so that is only 10 hours worth of programming. With zero comedies again, they again are going with all dramas and Top Model. It would have been nice to see a comedy hour somewhere. For Mondays, Gossip Girl could be back to leading off Mondays and they can try new drama Hellcats at 9pm which focuses on cheerleaders. Sounds like a perfect fit out of Gossip Girl.
For Tuesdays, they should start the night off with Life UneXpected at 8 leading into 90210. 90210 needs to do much better and needs all the help it can get. Melrose Place was a dud and should be canned for good. I think 90210 should be also, but The CW renewed it.
Wednesdays will of course have America's Next Top Model leading off the night followed possibly by a drama that could be their top pilot, Nikita, a remake of the TV/movie franchise about a female assassin. That could be the fit The CW was looking for, instead of wasting the timeslot with repeats or duds like Fly Girls/High Society.
For Thursday, that is The CW's biggest night! Highest rated drama The Vampire Diaries will continue to lead off the night at 8pm. They could move Supernatural off to Fridays and try a new drama at 9pm. I think they should go with the drama Betwixt (aka Changelings). That pilot centers around teens who find something strange about themselves in the woods. Could be a good match with The Vampire Diaries.
And finally on Fridays, long-running hit Smallville returns at 8pm for sure. But the 9pm hour will likely not be repeats anymore, with possibly Supernatural moving here, as they already are airing repeats of that in this slot in the summer.
For mid-season, they will have One Tree Hill ready to go (watch your back 90210!). They could pick-up another drama for mid-season such as Nomads, about a group of traveling teens that work for the CIA.
With only two hours to program each night, The CW should start each night with a proven show (Gossip Girl, Life UneXpected, Top Model, Vampire Diaries, Smallville). It still baffles me why they had no sitcoms in development. I think a comedy hour would work on Tuesdays following Life UneXpected, especially if they are in the same vein as something like Reba. It is too bad they are wasting time on 90210, as that has been a bust and still is entering its third season next season.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own.

Remember, next Thursday (May 20) is the actual date when we will find out The CW's plans for the 2010-11 season. So, come on back next Thursday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong).
And as a reminder, stay tuned starting Sunday evening (through Thursday) for all the final schedules released by all the networks! We will put them up as soon as they are released by the networks, so this will be your home to see them first!

With upfronts next week, the networks are giving some early pick-ups and renewals. NBC has green-lit the new romantic single-camera comedy Perfect Couples for its 2010-11 season. The sitcom joins previously announced dramas Chase, Undercovers, The Event, Love Bites, and fellow comedy Outsourced as the sixth new scripted series currently unveiled for NBC's new season with additional pickups yet to be announced. NBC unveils its schedule on Sunday at 5:15pm ET.
Perfect Couples depicts the misadventures of three engaging couples as they struggle to find out what makes the ideal relationship -- and how to maintain it through humorous trial-and-error. The series explores their heroic journey in search of the perfect relationship without destroying each other in the process.
Dave (Kyle Howard, My Boys) and Julia (Christine Woods, FLASHFORWARD) are the relatable, normal couple, but Julia's hope of remaining the cool, low-maintenance chick is tested by Dave's attempts to keep both his wife and his needy best friend Vance (Dave Walton, NBC's 100 Questions) equally happy. Vance, along with the neurotic Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), are the high-passion, high-drama couple who bring out the best and worst in each other.
The third duo features Rex (Hayes MacArthur, She's Out of My League), a reformed party guy, and, and his wife, Leigh (Olivia Munn, G4's Attack of the Show), who considers herself as the group's mother hen. Believing that they are relationship experts, Rex and Leigh have attended every class and seminar on relationships -- and regard themselves as the "perfect couple."
Meanwhile, NBC is close to canceling Heroes and bringing back Chuck. There is word that Heroes could get a two-hour movie to wrap things up, but there is nothing official yet. Chuck will likely air in the fall and possibly for the full season if it does well enough. Stay with us for updates.

Fox also has announced five series pick-ups. Single-camera comedy pilots Traffic Light, Keep Hope Alive and Running Wilde, as well as dramas Ride-Along and Lone Star (aka Midland). And on the bubble series, Lie To Me and Human Target both are being renewed for 13 episodes. Maybe they share a slot this season, with Human Target airing in the fall and Lie To Me in mid-season (since it is airing this summer)? Fox hasn't issued a press release on any of this yet, so we don't have descriptions for the new series.

And finally ABC has picked up the drama No Ordinary Family for the fall. The drama is about a typical American family whose members - mom Stephanie (Julie Benz), dad Jim (Michael Chiklis), daughter Daphne (Kay Panabaker), son JJ (Jimmy Bennett) - discover they have special abilities. Tate Donovan, Autumn Reeser, Christina Chang and Romany Malco also star.
Look for more ABC early pick-ups soon, as single-camera comedy pilots Mr. Sunshine, Happy Endings, and multi-camera sitcom pilot That Couple are hot right now. Drama pilots Generation Y and Off the Map are also looking good. Nothing official on these yet, so stay with us.

Stay with us for updates this weekend and of course during the week next week for the schedules!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Fetal Kick Catalyst" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Penny is surprised to learn she has fans of her performance in “Serial Ape-ist” when she attends Van Nuys Comic Con with Leonard. Also, Amy hosts a Sheldon-style brunch at Penny’s apartment, and Wolowitz makes an impulsive purchase when he starts stressing out about the baby on the way.

The Great Indoors - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Joel McHale stars as Jack, a renowned adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine who must adapt to the times when he becomes the new desk-bound boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the publication.

Mom - "High-Tops and Brown Jacket" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and Adam’s relationship is tested when he moves in with her and Christy for a few weeks. Also, Christy learns the hard way that it may be a mistake to try and meet men with Jill.

Life in Pieces - "Annulled Roommate Pill Shower" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Heather and Tim enlist Clementine’s unusual parents, Mary-Lynn (Megan Mullally) and Spencer (Nick Offerman), to help convince Clementine and Tyler to annul their unexpected marriage. Also, Tommy moves in with Colleen, to the chagrin of her roommate, Dougie (Fortune Feimster); John and Joan run into “complications” after John takes the wrong dose of his daily pill; and Jen and Greg keep a secret from the family.

Superstore - "Halloween Theft" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dina (Lauren Ash) throws a wrench in everyone's Halloween plans when something goes missing from the store and declares that no employee can leave until someone confesses to stealing. Amy (America Ferrera) is determined to find out who is responsible because she doesn't want to miss trick-or-treating with her daughter and Mateo (Nico Santos) prepares for his secret date with Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin). Meanwhile, Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) struggle to bond until they discover they have more in common than they thought. Garrett (Colton Dunn) has a difficult time defending himself during the store-wide investigation.

The Good Place - "Most Improved Player" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Michael (Ted Danson) has a private meeting with Eleanor (Kristen Bell). Meanwhile, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), who has been harboring a secret, contemplates what to do.

Better Things - "Scary Fun" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam makes a point.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Thursday, October 27

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) - Mary-Louise visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lauren Lapkus (Clipped/Are You There, Chelsea?) - Lauren is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on Chelsea on Netflix. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Charlie Lawrence/Encore! Encore!), John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) and John Slattery (Maggie) - They talk about Broadway's The Front Page on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angelique Cabral (Life in Pieces/Enlisted) - Angelique talks about Life in Pieces on the AOL Build Show at 11am.