TV News

FOX/NBC: Networks Giveth and Taketh Away

Although the big broadcast networks don’t officially announce their fall line-ups until next week, over at NBC and Fox some of the cat is already out of the proverbial bag.

Fox is expected to axe three dramas: the Jennifer Beals vehicle “Chicago Code”, “Lie to Me”, starring Tim Roth, and sadly for soap fans, “Human Target” starring Another World and Days of Our Lives alum Mark Valley.  In addition, two comedies will also fall: Christian Slater’s “Breaking In”  and “Traffic Light”. I’ve never seen Traffic Light and had barely even heard of it, so I can’t say I’m surprised at that cancellation.

Before we lament the complete demise of scripted TV, it should be noted the network is expected to renew the Vancouver-filmed “Fringe” (which makes this VanCity girl happy) as well as giving the go-ahead to several freshman shows.

Two new comedies are on the docket: “The New Girl” starring Emily Deschanel’s sister Zooey,  and “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” with TV veteran Jaime Pressly and As the World Turns’s own Dr. Reid Oliver, Eric Sheffer Stevens. (Aside:  I cannot wait to see ESS back on my TV screen!)

In the drama department, look for “Finder”, a weekly missing persons drama and a “Bones” spin-off. Also likely to find a home on the prime-time schedule is “Alcatraz”, another J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) produced series.

Over at the Peacock Network, current rumors suggest “Chuck” will be back for a fifth season as well as a season three for on the bubble drama “Parenthood”, although nothing has been officially confirmed. As a devoted fan of The Bravermans, I hope the scuttlebutt is true.   
In the new series category, NBC has reportedly given the green light to four new shows. “Prime Suspect” stars Mario Bello in the role Helen Mirren made her own. Good luck to Ms. Bello trying to fill those shoes.

“Up All Night” is a Christina Applegate vehicle co-starring Will Arnett as her husband. The two leads, both seasoned comedic actors, may make this a better-than-expected sitcom. Time will tell, although the premise seems a tired one.

Debra Messing will also return to network TV with “Smash”, which sounds suspiciously like “Glee” goes to Broadway. Steven Spielberg is a co-creator, which probably helped it make the line-up. Finally, “Whitney” is billed as a romantic comedy starring comedienne Whitney Cummings.

It’s also worth noting that “Wonder Woman” starring “Friday Night Lights” alum Adrianna Palicki, is still not a lock to make the line-up.  After generating a lot of early buzz, the David E. Kelly superhero show reportedly tested poorly. We’ll have to wait until next week’s official announcements to find out if the much-talked about remake finds its way onto the schedule.