Network TV “Original” Shows – Fall 2010

I had fun last year pointing out how CBS Represents All That Is Wrong With TV, so after reading all of the junk that all of the networks are trying to pass off as “entertainment” this coming season, I figured I’d break them down to their basic elements and what current/past show it sounds just like.  By the way, “Alternative Series” is what they call reality shows now, and there doesn’t seem to be that many.  Has the reality show finally died?

Keep in mind I’ve not seen these shows or know anything about them, I’m only judging them by how the networks are trying to sell them.  For example, FOX gives out very little information, so I have nothing really to go on.  You can read the actual descriptions on the links for each network.



The crazy lady (the one that actually got committed, then became a lesbian) from “Desperate Housewives” plays a neurosurgeon who is in an accident and can’t practice anymore, but her new job as a medical examiner finds her “graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins”.  Also stars 7 of 9 from “Star Trek:Voyager”.
Sounds like:
A mixture of “House” and “Bones”.

“DETROIT 1-8-7”

A fake documentary/drama following Detroit cops, starring one of the guys from “The Sopranos”.
Sounds like: A cross between “NYPD Blue” and a serious “The Office”.


A fake documentary/drama following high school students, with interviews from them “ten years later.”
Sounds like: A cross between any number of high school dramas and a serious “The Office”.


A family crashes in a plane in the Amazon River, then find out they now have superpowers.  Starring Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”, Thing from the “Fantastic Four” movies).
Sounds like: A mixture of “Lost” and “Heroes”.


A group of doctors with problems run a medical clinic in South America.
Sounds like: A mixture of “Grey’s Anatomy” (from the same producers even) and maybe the serious parts of “MASH”.


A courtroom drama that tells both sides of the story, prosecutor and defense.
Sounds like: Every courtroom drama, but you don’t root for the same team every week.


Middle-aged couple who refuses to get married, young couple that are getting married quickly, and the parents of the women who don’t really care.  “With three very different relationships tightly intertwined in one family, will it be free thinkers vs. over-thinkers, or will each couple begin to see things a little bit differently?”
Sounds like: Most comedies, maybe a bit more of “Modern Family”.


A couple gets divorced and their circle of friends falls apart without them together.  Whose side will their friends choose?
Sounds like: Most comedies, maybe a bit more like “Friends” if Monica and Chandler got divorced.


Matthew Perry from “Friends” is a manager of a sports arena and has workplace hijinks.
Sounds like: “Becker” with some “Newsradio” (hopefully).


“Alternative Series” about millionaires helping out at orphanages undercover.
Sounds like: “Undercover Boss”, but more philanthropic.


“$#*! MY DAD SAYS”

Based on a Twitter feed, a man lives with his aging father who says whatever is on his mind and comedy ensues.  The father will be played by William Shatner, and it will air after “Big Bang Theory”.  There is no reason to not watch it.
Sounds like: Awesome.


A couple meets at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love.  From the guy that made “Big Bang Theory” (yay!) and “Two and a Half Men” (boo!).
Sounds like: Any number of comedies, but at least its not the “fat man/hot wife” concept we’ve seen a dozen times.


A gritty reboot of the 1970’s series.  About an “elite federalized task force” who fight crime in Hawaii.
Sounds like: “Hawaii Five-0”.


Two Las Vegas defense attorneys share life and comedy in Las Veags. Starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell.
Sounds like: Something that won’t last very long.


Drama about a family of cops led by Tom Selleck.
Sounds like: Any cop drama with a twist of family drama.


Forest Whitaker leads a team of investigators who get inside criminals’ heads.
Sounds like: “Criminal Minds”.



A man investigating the disappearance of his fiancee finds out its part of a more vast conspiracy that goes all the way to the top.
Sounds like: Maybe some “24” or “Prison Break”.


JJ Abrams brings us a show about a married couple who used to be super-spies that are drawn back into action to save a friend. (I might give this one a chance)
Sounds like: The movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”.


A cop is framed for crimes he didn’t commit, so he becomes a masked vigilante with the help of circus folk.
Sounds like: Batman.


A Texan US Marshall chases down criminals.
Sounds like: “Walker: Texas Ranger”, but actually serious.  Or “The Fugitive”.


Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa from the Star Wars Prequels, and other stuff) plays a US Supreme Court Justice who quits and starts a private practice to help the little guy.
Sounds like: “Shark”, but without James Woods.


Kathy Bates is a former patent lawyer who teams up with a high school teacher and one of his former students to start their own law office in an old shoe store. (I might give this one a chance)
Sounds like: “Three’s Company.” Actually, it doesn’t at all, I just wanted to say that.


Sounds like: The show they just canceled, also called “Law & Order”.


Three couples are trying to figure out what makes the ideal relationship.  It’s a “heroic journey” according to the network.
Sounds like: “Friends” had they all paired off.


A joke company’s sales department is outsourced to India, along with the manager.  Now has to explain all of the practical jokes to the Indians trying to sell it.
Sounds like: “The Office” with more stereotypes.


Paul Reiser cast Paul Reiser as Paul Reiser in “The Paul Reiser Show”.  Seriously.  He plays fake-him years after his last successful fake-show and it follows fake-him and his fake-family and fake-friends.
Sounds like: Paul Reiser.


Follows a group of friends “as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating.”
Sounds like: “How I Met Your Mother.”


Romantic comedy anthology series following different women as they learn about “love, sex, marriage and dating.”
Sounds like: “Sex and the City” (same writer/producer), but they’re not best friends.


“Alternative series” about communities coming together to rebuild their local public schools.
Sounds like: “Extreme Makeover”: School Edition. Same producer (no surprise).



A single father tries to raise his infant daughter with his dysfunctional family’s help.
Sounds like: Mostly “Modern Family”


A billionaire playboy played by GOB Bluth tries to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart played by Felicity who is a tree-hugging liberal.
Sounds like: A cringe-worthy comedy.


A Texas guy is “caught between two very different lives and two very different women.”  And something about oil.
Sounds like: Vagueness, maybe some “There Will Be Blood”.


A family is sent back to prehistoric times to try to save the human race.  Spielberg and the producers of “24” are making it.  I’m going to give it a shot because its freaking Spielberg.
Sounds like: “Land of the Lost”.


Animated series about a family trying to run a burger joint.
Sounds like: Boredom.


Follows cops around Chicago.
Sounds like: “NYPD Blue” or “Detroit 1-8-7” on ABC.


A comedy about guys who are trying to balance out “their committed relationships with their desire for freedom”.
Sounds like: A show with strong moral fiber.

REVIEW: Why I Gave Up On “Heroes”

I decided this week that “Heroes” just isn’t worth it anymore.  It went from innovative and cool to bland and boring that it’s just not worth it.  Let me enumerate the ways the show has let me down using Television Tropes and Idioms:

  1. Aborted Arcs: On Lost, nearly every episode ties into the huge arc of the whole show.  On Heroes, you’re lucky if the CHARACTERS remember what happened last week, let alone the writers.  Volume 4 “Fugitives” is admittedly a reboot so that people can start watching there without worrying about what came before.  The problem is that people watching from the start have been kicked to the curb by all the contradictions and little things we were told were significant that they just dropped.  Admittedly, the Shanti virus was supposed to be released at the end of Volume 2, but the Writer’s Strike made them close that door almost as soon as they teased at it.  We’ve seen so many alternate futures where everything blows up, none of which are truly stopped except for the first, then just dropped in favor of the next plot.  We’ve gone from having people starting to show their abilities during an eclipse to having generations of people with abilities, from people trying to figure out how to take away abilities to people trying to figure out how to give abilities to finding out that people have known how to give people abilities for years through some magic “catalyst” (which only magic can explain) to people just wanting to round up people with abilities to people rounding up people with abilities years ago.
  2. Passing the Idiot Ball: Basically, if a character does something completely out of character which is stupid, the writers gave them the Idiot Ball.  Petrellis have a problem with this as Peter is the frequent carrier, and Nathan carrying it with pride at the beginning of Volume 4.  I think Parkman has the ball now, one minute mourning his “girlfriend” who didn’t even like him by wanting to kill the world, then being elated at finding out she’s alive, then depressed that she died for real and wants to kill himself, then finding out he’s a father and now wants to get back with his ex-wife.  Hiro was given the ball almost literally by being mind-wiped to think that he was 10 years old.  Sylar gets the ball every time he has an idenity crisis or wants to find his father.
  3. Breaking the Gamebreaker: They start off with showing all of these awesome characters with awesome abilities.  Once the writers realized that they were getting too powerful, they take away their powers in the dumbest ways imaginable.  Peter can absorb other people’s abilities even when he’s not paying attention?  First, we’ll give him amnesia, then we’ll have his father take his abilities, then he’ll gain it back but can only absorb one at at time and only by physical contact.  Hiro can travel through time?  First he can’t figure out how to control it, then once he can, he’ll refuse to use it, then we’ll wipe his mind so he thinks he’s 10, then we’ll take his powers, then we’ll give him Time Stop back, but even that physically hurts him now.  Sylar has a full range of abilities but is getting too powerful too fast?  So we’ll give him the Shanti virus which gets rid of his abilities, then we’ll have him get the antidote which first brings back his telekinesis, then we won’t say it on the show, but tell fans that he only has his original ability (intuitive aptitude) and has to start over from scratch, then show that he can absorb like Peter, then have him reject that and continue to kill people, then have him remember to absorb again, have him be evil, have him be quasi-good…
  4. There’s No Endgame (not really a Trope): I think my biggest problem is that there’s no point anymore.  There’s no big secret, there’s no huge bomb to stop, no big questions.  All of the questions we had at the beginning have either been answered in a throwaway line or negated by plot developments.

I think I’m just going to keep my Volume 1 HD DVD set (as much good at that will do me) and pretend that that’s all there is (I’m not sure if you knew, but originally that was going to be the end and the next season was going to focus on other characters).  There is too much the writers ignore from the rest of the seasons for them to be of any use to me.

I’m not saying that you should give up on it, I’m just saying why I have.  I might think of more reasons later and will update this post when I do.