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  • TV Whoredom Premiere Week Recap: Wednesday

    September 23rd, 2010

    Welcome back to your TV Premiere Week recap. Well, Hump Day proved to really screw a couple networks! Here we go…

    CBS –

    SURVIVOR – New day, new timeslot, but still a ratings juggernaut. It’s holding strong in its 214th season and crushed the competition with 12.5M viewers. And for fans of the show, the tribal council was pretty friggin sweet. It’s nice to see a whole team crumble so painfully in the 2nd week. Seems CBS made a very smart timeslot switch here! Guaranteed Jeff  Probst will be stuck in a jungle for years to come.

    CRIMINAL MINDS – Like NCIS, I’ve never watched an episode and I don’t plan on starting now. It premiered slightly down from last year (and had a lot of contract negotiation/cast drama over the summer), but still held pretty steady. If you’ve never seen an episode (like me), well – don’t start now. You’ll only encourage them. But if you like this show…be happy, it will stick around at least one more season if not 2 or 3.

    THE DEFENDERS – Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell in a legal dramedy. Well, fly-over states – you asked for it – so here you go…Stupidity on a shiny silver platter. The ratings were down from CSI NY’s in the same timeslot last season, and it lost badly to SVU, but chances are it will stick around a while longer. People love Belushi. However, O’Connell has had 4 cancelled series in 5 years – maybe because he seems like a douche? Or maybe because he will literally attach his name to anything that pays. This is an actor who clearly doesn’t care about good material. And it shows. Now, he and Belushi have some charm, I’ll give them that, and Belushi can be funny, but this isn’t a show I’m tuning into! Why? Because at 10pm, I like to have to use at least 1% of my brain while watching TV. Now at 8pm, no brain cells necessary. But at 10, I want to think a little bit while watching. It’s just too mindless and blue collar for me.  I’m a TV Whore, but I’m also sometimes a TV snob.

    NBC –

    UNDERCOVERS – Disappointment.  Not just for me, but for NBC. It premiered even lower than last season’s MERCY. I’m not sure WHY it didn’t premiere bigger (though Survivor and Hell’s Kitchen had a lot to do with it), but this expensive J.J. Abrams-produced Alias-type show didn’t do nearly as well as NBC was hoping.  Perhaps people actually WANT reality TV at 8pm – look at every big-performing 8pm show on any night and most of it is reality (Dancing with Stars, American Idol, Survivor, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.) And ok…I’ll say it…I think it’s also because most of America unfortunately still doesn’t want to watch a show with two no-name black actors in the lead. Even though they are ridiculously good looking and charming. The show was OK, had some cute moments and nice action, but I think everyone knows it was just a twist on Mr. & Mrs. Smith – and these two actors are no Angelina and Brad! NBC has a big commitment to this show, so it’s sticking around for a while, but don’t get too connected. Unless it improves big from this week, this show will only last til midseason.

    LAW & ORDER SVU – Oh Mariska, how I’ve missed you! You too, Stabler…you big dumb hunk of a man. Ice-T and your pseudo-hood repartee. And Munch with your weekly 4 lines of dialogue and dry delivery. And lest I forget you B.D. Wong, most overpaid unnecessary actor on a TV series. But I digress…SVU is back! And these were two really good episodes! Joan Cusack was amazing and Henry Ian Cusick (from LOST, and spelled differently and no relation to Joan) was really good. But the standout performance for me was from the 10 year old child actor Bailee Madison, who had an amazing performance on House 2 seasons ago (the little girl who strokes out) and is known for movies like Bridge to Terabithia. This girl is phenomenal! What expressions! And she knew how to react at every turn! The show was worth watching just for her. Anyway, it premiered NICELY at 9pm, though not GREAT. But the second hour at 10PM, crushed the competition and was number 1 in the timeslot. Unfortunately, it’s regular slot is 9pm. But, it’s great to have comfort TV like this back on. Benson and Stabler are worth every bloated penny NBC pays them!

    LAW & ORDER LOS ANGELES – While it didn’t premiere this week – it will start next week in that 10pm slot – I’d like to say that even though people say it’s really good, I’m an old school L&O enthusiast – a HUGE fan – and L&O belongs in NY! I don’t like the look of the show and when compared to shows like SOUTHLAND, which feels like REAL gritty LA cops – this new L&O is going to pale in comparison for me. It’s bright and shiny and everything law and order isn’t! Plus, Terrence Howard is one of the worst actors out there. I’m sorry – I love Alfred Molina and Regina Hall and even Skeet Ulrich I think could be good, but Terrence Howard is the biggest over-actor I’ve ever seen on screen. Personally, I’m not rooting for this show. But as SVU’s 10pm ratings indicated, people will tune in at 10pm for L&O and the ratings for this should be huge next week!

    ABC –

    THE MIDDLE – The little kid on this show is hilarious, and I like Neil Flynn and Patricia Heaton, but show is NOT greater than the sum of its parts. It premiered well – 24% up from last season, so it looks like it’s sticking around again for the whole season. But, I just don’t love this show. It’s not on my Must-See List. Check it out once and see if you agree. You’ll probably have a laugh or two, but you won’t care if you see it again.

    BETTER WITH YOU- I didn’t watch it. Sorry. I honestly don’t know anything about this one except that it was produced by one of my best friends’ old bosses, the producer of Friends. And while it premiered pretty decently, it’s got a plum spot before Modern Family. Probably wouldn’t have done well without that timeslot. So, this one looks to be sticking around for at least a few weeks – but the next 2-3 weeks will decide its fate. Sorry, but there’s just too much good TV on Wednesday for me to care about this one…

    MODERN FAMILY – Back with a vengeance! The Emmy winning Best Comedy kicked some ass last night and premiered huge! I’m not going to waste time talking about it – if you’re not watching it, you should be. Personally, I Hulu it because I’d rather watch SVU, but this show is staying around for a LONG, LONG time!

    COUGAR TOWN – Poor Courtney Cox. I really love her…but…eh. Now, give her credit because at least she was able to get a second season (unlike Matt LeBlanc’s Joey and the upcoming Matthew Perry show Mr. Sunshine which I’ll cover when it premieres), but it seems that much like with her FX show “DIRT” – which was actually REALLY good – Cougartown will only last 2 seasons. Even with Jennifer Aniston guest starring (and there’s no better TV get than Aniston and a Friends reunion!), the show premiered way down from last season and lost 34% of the Modern Family audience. So, it will stick around probably til April, but then another Friend will ride off into the sunset.

    THE WHOLE TRUTH – My mother calls Maura Tierney my girlfriend. Yes, I’ve had a ridiculous crush on her since Newsradio and got to meet her ever-so-briefly on the set of ER (her first season) while taking a tour, and loved her on ER and the movies she’s done (not just Liar, Liar but also this great little thriller called Oxygen with Adrien Brody – soooo good!). And she was supposed to play Lauren Graham’s role on Parenthood (would have made the show soo much better), but she got Cancer and had to pull out. Wouldn’t have minded watching her on The Big C instead of Linney, either. But she’s here opposite Rob Morrow. For those who didn’t know, she took over the role from Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck) who bowed out after the pilot. Tierney is an even bigger and better TV name, but she’s the only good thing about this show. It’s just not original enough and I’m sorry, but I don’t really get Rob Morrow’s charm. He’s SO vanilla. The show BOMBED – only SLIGHTLY better than Lone Star, so I’m guessing after another 2 weeks, it will be moved to Saturday for the next 6 weeks and then cut for good. Sorry Maura, I still love you! Watch it for Maura, but don’t get invested! You’ll only get hurt.

    FOX –

    HELL’S KITCHEN – I don’t know why I keep watching this, but I do. I don’t care – it’s fun, it’s funny and I like cooking shows. This season’s cast look insane – like, shouldn’t even be allowed in a kitchen around knives crazy. But hey, it’s Fox reality TV. It premiered OK, dead even with last season, and it isn’t going anywhere as Gordon Ramsey is now only the 3rd man with 3 TV shows on the air – along with Seth McFarlane and Chuck Lorre.

    TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS – I’m not really including cable in these posts, but can I just say that as a HUGE Top Chef fan, this Just Desserts show is truly painful to watch. The contestants are whiny, crying, flamingly homosexual (and not in the usually really funny Bravo way), and they’re making a fucking cupcake. I mean…really? Who cares! I’m sorry Gail Simmons- I really do like you. But this show is not even in the same stratosphere as Top Chef! When Andy Cohen calls a show “the gayest show Bravo has ever had” – shouldn’t that say something? Utensils down, gag reflex up!

    WHEW! Only 2 days left! I’ll be back tomorrow with more. Til then, stay tuned.

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