Every year, I fly to NYC for the TV network Upfronts. Upfronts week is when the four major broadcast networks (and their underappreciated adopted misunderstood step-sister who was raised by wolves, The CW) present their upcoming fall programming to the advertisers. It’s about selling their product to the people who buy it, so the networks put on quite a show — they throw big parties, they host red carpets, they make Joshua Jackson take like a zillion pictures with strangers, it’s a whole thing. And it’s a lot of work, a lot of early mornings and late nights and ruining your favorite shoes in the inevitable rain.
It’s simultaneously the best and worst part of my job. Like, don’t get me wrong, it’s super fun, but this year it all made me so tired that when I left NYC, I paid $35 extra to check my carry-on because the thought of actually carrying it on was too exhausting to even imagine.
Anyway, the point of all of those words is this: Upfronts make me tired. But when I get home to LA, TV networks reward my hard work by sending me pilots. I’ve now watched pretty much all the pilots from all the major networks. (I skipped ones I knew I wouldn’t like, like ABC’s “The Neighbors,” a sitcom about extraterrestrials in New Jersey, and CBS’s “Made in Jersey,” a drama about a girl from Jersey who decides to be a big fancy Manhattan lawyer which is just a WILD concept because nobody ever comes to Manhattan from New Jersey because Manhattan is just so glamorous and edgy and blah blah blah not interested. This makes me sound like I hate New Jersey, but I don’t. I totally watch “Jersey Shore.”)
We’re not allowed to actually review the shows yet because some of them may undergo changes by the time they air in the fall, and also because posting reviews now does the networks very little good, promotion-wise. If you run in certain social media circles, you’ve probably seen TV reporters tweeting about the shows, but not saying much of anything substantial. We’re not trying to torture you guys by keeping the goods to ourselves, we’re just not allowed to review right now. It’s sort of an unspoken deal with the networks — if they give us screeners, we’ll adhere to their embargo.
Having seen most of the screeners, I’ve decided which ones I’ll be watching next season, and I figured I’d put together a little schedule — not only for my own peace of mind, but because a lot of you guys share my TV tastes or, for some bizarre reason, trust my TV tastes.
(Note: At work, we haven’t really discussed who will be covering what shows yet, so this will probably change depending on what gets assigned to my beat list, but this is what I’d be watching if I wasn’t limited by my job.)
So here’s what I’ll be watching this fall. New shows are in italics (with links to where you can watch clips).
8:30 p.m. – “Partners” (CBS)
9:00 p.m. – “Gossip Girl” (The CW)
DVR: “The Voice” (NBC), “Bones” (FOX)
8:00 p.m. – “The Voice Results” (FOX)
9:00 p.m. – “New Girl” (FOX)
9:30 p.m. – “The New Normal” (NBC)
10:00 p.m. – “Parenthood” (NBC)
DVR: “Happy Endings” (ABC), “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23″ (ABC)
8:00 p.m. – “The Vampire Diaries” (The CW)
9:00 p.m. – “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
10:00 p.m. – “Scandal” (ABC)
DVR: “Elementary” (CBS), “Glee” (FOX)
9:00 p.m. – “Fringe” (FOX)
9:00 p.m. – “Revenge” (ABC)
10:00 p.m. – “666 Park Avenue” (ABC)
DVR: “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Yes, that’s a metric fuckton of TV, but I get paid for this stuff, and I also get to (legally!) watch on east coast time, so I get a head start.
I kind of feel like I’m a grown up now, because for the first time in my life, I’m watching more shows on ABC than I am on The CW (or The WB, RIP). I’m going to tune in to “Gossip Girl” against my better judgment because it’s the final season, but I have a feeling I’ll drop off after a couple episodes, because I just don’t really love the show anymore and I think people who watch TV they don’t like are crazy in the head.
The “New Girl” vs. “Happy Endings” clash is the worst timeslot battle of all, though I will say that “Elementary” vs. “Scandal” on Thursday nights was a tough one for me. I’m really psyched for “Elementary” — the pilot was excellent. (Also, to me, it feels much more similar to “House” than to “Sherlock,” oddly enough.) I think Wednesdays will be my favorite night, though — so excited for the whole “Supernatural” team that they got bumped out of that Friday slot and back to midweek.
I’m actually more excited for midseason than I am for the fall offerings, to be honest. At midseason, I’ll be adding “The Following,” “Carrie Diaries,” “Do No Harm,” and probably “The Goodwin Games.” Maybe “Cult,” too.
What are you gonna watch?
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