May 26, 2011


More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , ,


The networks have proclaimed their Fall schedules, the new series have been (partially) unveiled, so… what now?  What will actually be worth watching when network TV comes back to life in a few months?  SHOWBUZZDAILY is here to help you out.  The good news is that since virtually all TV series are available these days via DVR, on-demand and online streaming, we’re well past the days when you had to choose one show in a timeslot and live with it–so where a slot offers a multitude of worthwhile entries, well, the only thing better than spending an hour watching TV is spending 2.  Also, these are “1st Drafts” because once the pilots come to light, some arrivals may look even better than they do now, while others will be far less impressive.  So consider this a work in progress.
8PM: Thursday is DVR night, as all the networks pack in some of their hottest shows to get premium dollars from movie studios advertising the weekend’s new openings.  COMMUNITY and PARKS & RECREATION are two of the best shows NBC has left, and PARKS & RECREATION, in particular, took giant leaps in quality this past season.  Meanwhile, there’s no better guilty pleasure on the air than THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW, far more ingeniously plotted than other TV shows (and blockbuster movies) that delve into the high school realm of the supernatural.  That’s not even mentioning the enormously popular BIG BANG THEORY or X FACTOR, which FOX certainly believes will be their appointment series of the Fall.  Odd ladies out may be CHARLIE’S ANGELS, which looked decent enough in its promos but entirely predictable, and may have taken on too tough a time slot for its own good. 

9PM:  Will THE OFFICE recover from the loss of Steve Carell?  Maybe not–the post-Carell episodes this past season weren’t exactly promising–but the show has been so good for so long that it deserves every chance; its new slotmate WHITNEY, though, will have to be better than its promos if it’s to survive.  Fans of BONES know that the season finale set the stage for a new season not to be missed; the reboot could either work smashingtly or bust the show’s fragile mix of mystery, screwball comedy and occasional soap.  Thinking of soaps, GREY’S ANATOMY isn’t the behemoth that it once was, but it’s still a sturdy entertainment that delivers the suds.  Even the new shows in this slot are big guns:  PERSON OF INTEREST has the JJ Abrams pedigree and stars the LOST cult’s favorite Michael Emerson, while THE SECRET CIRCLE will test Kevin Williamson’s ability to launch a new franchise back-to-back with his VAMPIRE DIARIES.  Advice for this hour:  DVRs won’t be enough, so make sure you know where your chosen network streams its shows online.

10PM:  After the rush of 9PM blockbusters, things calm down in a big way at 10PM.  THE MENTALIST and PRIVATE PRACTICE both have their core audiences, but it would be awfully nice to get some new blood flowing in this slot, so the hope is that NBC’s PRIME SUSPECT will be worthy of its classic British predecessor; casting the very strong Maria Bello in the lead is a good first step.


Monday    Tuesday    Wednesday    Thursday    Friday    Weekend 
MON      TUE      WED      THU      FRI      SAT      SUN      FULL WEEK

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."