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Friday, August 05, 2005

Coming this fall to your TV

Part of my job - a big part - involves tracking new TV shows as they are greenlit. By now, the 2005 pilot season is but a hectic memory and production has already begun on the fall season. I have to say I think this was probably one of the better pilot seasons I've seen in terms of quality. Very little outright garbage like this. I'm kind of glad I didn't have to decide who got picked up and who didn't. But one thing is consistent - successful shows spawn ripoffs. Sorry, I mean trends. I mean more of the same genre. Okay, not blatant ripoffs, but still, you know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there are several successful shows feeling the imitation love. With all that in mind, here are some flattering shows coming this fall to your TV:

Thanks to "Lost" and "Medium", the whole supernatural thing is in demand, preferably with a single-word title. So get ready for the aptly named "Supernatural", the equally efficiently named "Invasion", "Surface" (inexplicably retitled from the far superior "Fathom"), "Threshold", the return of "Night Stalker" (unfortunately scheduled opposite "CSI: The Original One") and "The Ghost Whisperer", which is basically "Medium" with Jennifer Love Hewitt instead of the lovely and talented and Emmy nominated Patricia Arquette. Speaking of "CSI" the whole forensics thing is still hot, spawning "The Evidence" (CSI: San Francisco) and "Bones" (CSI: Washington DC). Who knew five years ago that fingerprints and fiber and microscopic crap would be so popular? Apparently, it really is all in the execution. On the cable side, there are a few shows in development that I think look genuinely interesting:

  • "Psyche" (USA) - Revolves around a psychic detective...who isn't actually psychic.
  • "Dexter" (Showtime) - Based on Jeff Lindsay's novels about a handsome, outwardly pleasant young man, a blood spatter expert in the Miami-Dade crime lab...who also happens to be a sociopathic serial killer. The hook? He only kills bad guys who deserve it.
  • "Suckers" (HBO) - A single mother attempts to raise her children with decent moral values, a situation complicated by the fact that they are a family of vampires.

These three shows fall under a category I like to refer to as "I wish I'd thought of that". Serious creativity envy.

I read the first Dexter and liked it enough to buy the recently released sequel. If these shows go to series I may have to upgrade my cable package.


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