Fall TV Verdicts – 2012

Just about all of broadcast TV’s new fall shows have aired at least two episodes now, so I think it’s time for a look at which ones soared, which ones got off to a rough start, and which ones nosedived. I’m dividing this list up into several groups so you can get an idea of what my preferences and interest levels were going in.

Shows I Haven’t Seen and Never Plan To:

Out of the 20 new shows that have debuted so far, the list of those I haven’t seen is pretty small: 7. I hate country music, so Nashville was out. The rest (Made In Jersey, The Mob Doctor, Partners, Emily Owens MD, Chicago Fire, and Vegas) I wasn’t interested in for one reason or another. One is already canceled, two more aren’t far behind, and none of the seven shows has been a breakout hit. I feel pretty happy with my choice not to watch them, and expect maybe 1-2 to reach a second season (not holding my breath, though).

Shows I Never Planned to Watch but Did See the Pilot:

For two shows, I checked out the pilots knowing I’d never commit to watching the show. It was easy to tell from the previews that 666 Park Avenue wasn’t my type of show, but I had a chance to watch the pilot early as a TV blogger, so I tried it out. It seemed well done, but I didn’t enjoy it. The New Normal I watched out of a morbid curiosity to see how awful it would be, and aside from one or two heartfelt moments, it was utterly terrible. I didn’t laugh once.

Comedies I Thought Would Be Awful but Didn’t Mind:

Another show I got a chance to watch early was The Neighbors, which wasn’t as terrible as the previews made it out to be. I’ve seen the first two episodes, and might watch more if I’m caught up on most of my other shows and in the mood for a comedy. Guys With Kids I didn’t intend to see, by my siblings said it was pretty good, so I watched a few episodes. Both shows are more family-oriented comedies, which usually bore me, and I don’t really laugh during them, but I like having extra comedy shows to watch on dreary days.

Comedies I Like but Wouldn’t Cry Over Their Cancellation:

Every new comedy not in the above lists fits in this section. Many of them are great, but I haven’t gotten attached to any comedies so far this season. That’s probably a good thing, as Animal Practice has already been canceled. Go On is probably the best of the lot, and I expect it will return for a second season, but The Mindy Project (my pilot review here) and Ben and Kate (pilot review here) are far from out of danger despite their full-season orders. These shows are heartwarming and humorous, but they’re not laugh out loud funny. Plus, none of the characters grip me in that “I would hate to see them go” way. It could come with time, and I’ll keep watching these shows until they get terrible or get canceled.

Dramas That Didn’t Wow Me In Their First Two Episodes:

Revolution was hyped to be awesome, Beauty and the Beast was critiqued to be terrible. I was disappointed by Revolution’s pilot, but enough was done right that I gave the show another episode. When Miles was still the only character I enjoyed watching, and the rest of the show failed to interest me, I decided to stop watching. It’s too bad, because from the premise it seemed like exactly the type of show I would enjoy.

I just watched the second episode of Beauty and the Beast, and really noticed the terrible, terrible dialogue people were complaining about in the pilot (my review of it here). I so want to love this show, but the writers are making it very hard. I’m still not sure if I’ll watch a third episode. I want it to pull a Vampire Diaries and start getting really good after a few episodes, but I don’t know if there is enough backstory for the mythology of the show to grow. Also, in the second episode, several procedural issues bugged me (Don’t uniforms clear buildings? Are detectives allowed to be present during the autopsy of someone they killed?), and Cat had a sister appear out of nowhere. The first episode got good ratings for the CW, but the second quickly dropped, so it might not get time to improve. Might be better to replace it with the midseason Cult, to bring over Matt Davis (Alaric) fans from The Vampire Diaries. (I know I had no plans to watch the show, but after marathoning through The Vampire Diaries, Matt Davis has become one of my favorite actors, so I definitely plan to give Cult a few episodes to impress me.)

As I was writing this, I kept thinking, I wonder what Revolution and Beauty and the Beast would have been like with Joss Whedon in charge? Can’t wait for S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Dramas I Love:

The three drama shows I was most looking forward to turned out to be the ones I loved most this season. My favorite pilot episode, Last Resort (my review here), hasn’t quite lived up to its potential in subsequent episodes, but it still keeps me glued to the screen almost every minute. Its low ratings don’t signal much hope for renewal, but ABC shows regularly do poorly in that timeslot. ABC did order 2 more scripts for the show, so it’s unlikely to get pulled from the schedule immediately (I was starting to worry about that), but that may be just to give the show some sort of resolution. All the same, I’ve tried to temper my attachment to the show and just enjoy it while it lasts.

Elementary (my review of the pilot here) has been just as awesome as I hoped. I’ve been completely won over to the idea of a female Watson, and it’s been nice watching their friendship slowly grow over the past few episodes. Both annoy each other like crazy, yet their respect and admiration for each other is beginning to build. The cases seem to have an extra twist compared to most crime drama shows, which fits well with the need to bring in a consultant. I’m really sorry for the people who have a hard time understanding Jonny Lee Miller’s brisk British accent, but I feel the speed helps convey Sherlock’s fast mental process. Oh, and the opening credits are amazing:

Last but not least, Arrow has been amazing so far. While the pilot (my review here) had a good deal of the plot revealed in preview clips and therefore wasn’t quite as engaging, the second episode (my review here) had everything I was looking for: great action sequences, insightful character moments, and hints at series-long mythology-building. The second episode got the exact same excellent rating as the first (double that of typical CW “steady performers”), so I’m looking forward to this show being around for a while.


Three great dramas. Three good comedies. That’s my haul from broadcast TV’s new fall shows, and I managed to find a show I liked on every single network. I think 3, maybe 4, will stick around for a second season.

Which new shows will you keep watching?

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New Fall 2012 Shows – Which Pilots Do You Plan to Watch?

(Uber-cool photo above from TheInsider.com)

Thanks to sneak peaks and early releases, the fall broadcast TV season is well underway, even if most shows don’t premiere until next week (or later). Into the bunch are thrown 21 new scripted shows – which of these do you intend to check out?

Please vote in the poll for all the shows for which you plan to see (or have already seen) the pilot episode. Then leave a comment and let me know which shows you’re most excited about!

Which broadcast show pilots do you plan to watch (or have already seen)?

View Results

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IMDb: Fall TV: Top Ten New Shows – a list by IMDb-Editors

IMDb presents a list of their picks for the top ten new shows – and I agree with just about the entire thing! Each show has a photo and a brief description, followed by thoughts from the site’s editors. I enjoy that they push past all of the hype and nitpicking to give an honest look at how well the pilot episodes work and where they see shows going from there, both good and bad.

#1 Last Resort

My favorite of the pilots I’ve seen so far (admittedly mostly comedy). Great suspense, great characters, awesome possibilities for future stories. I just hope it’s not handicapped by a competitive time slot. Full pilot review here.

#2 Arrow

Dark Knight, archery division. While I haven’t seen the pilot yet, IMDb puts Stephen Amell’s acting somewhere between Tom Welling’s Superman and Christian Bale’s Batman, which is good enough for me! An awesome superhero show for the fall is needed after enjoying superhero movies and Alphas all summer.

#3 The Mindy Project

This was a “see if the pilot’s any good” show for me, but since episode one had an unexpected quirky rom-com charm, I plan to stick around for several more episodes. Pairing this with New Girl is brilliant. Here’s my review of the first episode.

#4 Nashville

One of the few shows I disagree with on this list, mostly since I hate country music and don’t usually like shows that run solely on relational drama (give me murders, spies, bombs, crimes, aliens, cool powers, and other worlds for my drama fix). But if it’s your cup of tea, enjoy away!

#5 Elementary

The third in my trifecta of most-anticipated new dramas this fall (for the others, see #1 and 2 above). I have a feeling the pilot will be a bit spoiled by the promos, so I’m more looking forward to the second episode. And since Sherlock is already reimagining the traditional Holmes stories, I’m glad this show will focus on new stories. Update: my review of the pilot is here.

#6 Ben and Kate

A heartwarming little gem that I look forward to seeing more of. See my full review of the pilot here.

#7 Hunted

I don’t follow many cable shows unless they air on USA, Syfy, or TNT, so I had no idea this cool-looking spy drama from Cinemax even existed. If the pilot shows up online I may have to try it out.

#8 Go On

The pilot was great, the second episode a little less so, but I’m definitely giving this show a few more episodes to find its stride. I think the main thing is that the characters don’t feel like family yet, but that usually requires several episodes for most shows. I just hope the writers will be able to find the right balance between humor and pathos as most of the characters deal with pretty significant losses.

#9 Vegas

One of the other exceptions I’d take off this list – not that it isn’t well made, it’s just not a show I care to watch. I don’t watch many historical shows, unless they’re set in a time and place I love (looking at my list of tags, that’s pretty much medieval England, but there are others). Las Vegas doesn’t interest me at all. Neither does the 60s. I don’t really care about the conflict between a sheriff and a mob boss, and the main cast doesn’t feature any actors of whom I’m a huge fan. So even though I have no other broadcast shows to watch at 10pm on Tuesdays, I won’t be watching (at least this sounds better than Unforgettable, though).

#10 Revolution

This, along with Beauty and the Beast, was in my second tier of new dramas to try out, so my anticipation level wasn’t as high, but I was still hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t. While the pilot had some great moments, very little about it pushes me to watch the next episode. Since it conflicts with Castle, I’ll probably save it to watch online, but I have a feeling this is one of those shows that’ll get put off until I’m so far behind I stop watching. I do plan to watch at least the second episode, to see if it gets better.

For pics, plot descriptions, and IMDb editors’ thoughts on these 10 shows, visit the link below.

IMDb: Fall TV: Top Ten New Shows – a list by IMDb-Editors.

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Fall TV 2012: When Are Your Favorite Shows Coming Back?

Fall TV kicked off a little early this year, with NBC showing early premieres of new shows Go On and Animal Practice, and launching the second season of Grimm mid-August. But when do the other shows come back? Keep reading!

As per TV Breakroom’s focus, this list only includes live-action, scripted shows. (For those who simply must have their competition TV: The Voice comes back 9/10; The X Factor, 9/13;  Survivor, 9/19; DWTS, 9/24;  and The Amazing Race, 9/30.) We’re also listing by day of the week, so you can get a better idea of which shows you can watch live and when you’ll need to start using your DVR or watching some shows online later. This is mostly for broadcast shows, but a few cable ones will be listed as well. All times listed are Eastern, and new shows are in bold.


September 16:

9PM – Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

September 30:

8PM – Once Upon a Time (ABC)

9PM – Dexter (Showtime)

9PM – The Good Wife (CBS)

9PM – Revenge (ABC)

10PM – 666 Park Avenue (ABC)

10PM – Homeland (Showtime)

10PM – The Mentalist (CBS)

October 14:

9PM – The Walking Dead (AMC)



September 3:

8PM – Switched at Birth (ABC Family)

September 17:

8PM – Bones (Fox)

9PM – The Mob Doctor (Fox)

10PM – Revolution (NBC)

September 24:

8PM – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

8:30PM – Partners (CBS)

9PM – 2 Broke Girls (CBS)

9:30PM – Mike & Molly (CBS)

10PM – Castle (ABC)

10PM – Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

October 8:

8PM – 90210 (The CW)

9PM – Gossip Girl (The CW)



September 11:

9PM – Go On (NBC – time period premiere)

9:30PM – The New Normal (NBC)

10PM – Parenthood (NBC)

10PM – Sons of Anarchy (FX)

September 25:


8PM – New Girl (Fox – special episode)

8:30PM – Ben & Kate (Fox)

9PM – NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)

9PM – New Girl (Fox – time period premiere)

9:30 – The Mindy Project (Fox)

10PM – Private Practice (ABC)

10PM – Vegas (CBS)

October 2:

8PM – Hart of Dixie (The CW)

8PM – Raising Hope (Fox)

October 16:

9PM – Emily Owens, MD (The CW)

10PM – Covert Affairs (USA – season resumes after 9/18 summer finale)

October 23:

9PM – Happy Endings (ABC)

9:30PM – Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 (ABC)



September 12:

10PM – Guys With Kids (NBC – preview sneak peek)

September 26:

8PM – Animal Practice (NBC – time period premiere)

8PM – Criminal Minds (CBS)

8PM – The Middle (ABC – one hour premiere)

8:30PM – Guys With Kids (NBC – time period premiere)

9PM – Law & Order: SVU (NBC – two hour premiere)

9PM – Modern Family (ABC)

9:30 – The Neighbors (ABC)

10PM – CSI (CBS)

October 3:

8:30PM – The Neighbors (ABC – time period premiere)

9PM – Supernatural (The CW)

October 10:

8PM – Arrow (The CW)

10PM – Chicago Fire (NBC)

10PM – Nashville (ABC)

October 17:

9:30PM – Suburgatory (ABC)



September 13:

9PM – Glee (Fox)

September 20:

8:30PM – Up All Night (NBC)

9PM – The Office (NBC)

9:30PM – Parks and Recreation (NBC)

September 27:

8PM – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

8PM – Last Resort (ABC)

8:30PM – Two and a Half Men (CBS)

9PM – Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

9PM – Person of Interest (CBS)

10PM – Elementary (CBS)

10PM – Scandal (ABC)

October 4:

8PM – 30 Rock (NBC)

October 11:

8PM – The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

9PM – Beauty and the Beast (The CW)



September 21:

10PM – Haven (Syfy)

September 28:


9PM – Fringe (Fox)

9PM – Grimm (NBC – time period premiere)

9PM – Made in Jersey (CBS)

10PM – Blue Bloods (CBS)

October 19:

8PM – Whitney (NBC)

8:30PM – Community (NBC)

9PM – Nikita (The CW)

October 26:

8PM – Touch (Fox)

November 2:

8PM – Last Man Standing (ABC)

8:30PM – Malibu Country (ABC)

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