So, what’s on Tuesdays this fall, now that Happy Days is gone?
The Tuesday lineup (new shows in blue)
|ABC||Dancing With The Stars||The Knights of Prosperity(8/9)Help Me Help You(8.30/9.30)||Boston Legal
|NBC||Friday Night Lights
||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Law & Order: SVU|
With the exception of ABC’s first two hours, there’s basically two options on Tuesday nights: legal/criminal procedurals or serial dramas. True, these flavors sometimes overlap (e.g., Veronica Mars), but they seem fairly distinct. A serious night of TV, Tuesday is.
Again, with the exception of ABC’s first two hours. They’ll likely dominate with Dancing With The Stars throughout the fall, and their sitcoms might have a shot as counter-programming (lighter than anything else on at the same time). Boston Legal should hold its own, but only in second place, and maybe not for good, as CBS’ Smith is off to a pretty decent start. This seems about the point (Season 3) that David E. Kelley shows start to falter a bit anyway, so it’s standard operating procedure. ABC shouldn’t panic, but it may want to serve up a better lead-in.
Over on CBS it’s wall to wall macho men (and a few macho women). This is the kind of night you can envision your Dad or uncle watching each week: good puzzles, lots of action, much male melodrama, and some nice-looking ladies. It’s good solid stuff, actually, and with the likes of Dennis Haysbert, Robert Patrick, and Ray Liotta around, it’s in capable hands.
That said, however, this man is gonna be over at the CW for the “girly” shows. I’ve watched Gilmore Girls religiously since it started, and am a bit trepidatious about this season, the first without Amy Sherman-Palladino at the helm (aside from a bad stretch in Season 4). I really hope they wrap it up this year (as the rumors have it), and go out in their inimitable style, rather than drag it out. Meanwhile, Veronica Mars got picked up (yay!), though only for a 13-episode order (ooh!). It’s getting a fair amount of retooling, though the cast and storylines remain largely intact. The numbers between these two shows are the CW’s most anxious moment of the fall, and their most prominent “crossing” of the old WB and UPN streams. I’m hoping that the indomitable Kristin Bell is still indomitable by 2007.
Over on Fox, grouchy Doctor House continues glowering at everyone, amidst much ratings and buzz. I have to admit I know nothing about its follow-up, Standoff, aside from the fact that it’s not holding a big chunk of the House audience.
NBC, perhaps borrowing a bit of the CW playbook (get it?) opens with a hormone-infused high-school football serial drama, Friday Night Lights, based on the book and film of the same name. I’m skeptical of its chances with any demo (especially against Dancing and Gilmore), and convinced that it’s a lousy lead-in to the Law & Order-orama that closes the night, but this is probably the best night for it under the circumstances.
Likely winner: ABC
Won my heart: CW