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Collision Detection: the Fall TV Season

DVRs are such wonderful devices – except that they won't record three shows at once very well. Two tuners – two shows. Watch one show, record another, or record two and watch something you've previously recorded (I end up doing that a lot actually). Bottom line, you have to plan your viewing pleasure carefully, especially when the new fall season begins as it will in less than two weeks.

The big networks are notorious for showing weekly shows, well, weekly. Go over to FX, though, and you'll get multiple back-to-back showings of the latest episode of The Shield. And the USA channel isn't afraid to show you Psych twenty times a week because they've read your mind (or at least their consultant's reports) and know that's what you want. Oh sure, sometimes one of the big networks, like NBC, will show episodes a few days later on one of their (struggling) affiliates, like CNBC. They did that with Trump's Apprentice which I watched until I figured out it was a reality show.

So that you can start the new season of soon-to-be-cancelled programs on a high note, I've done some research so you won't have to. But first, let me tell you my biases. No reality shows (except Last Comic Standing and any of those shows that pit cakniving chef against cakniving chef), no cartoons (South Park isn't a cartoon, it's the NEWS!), pathetically sexed up comudramas like Desperate Hags, anything that's a hour long, has a laugh track, or the letters "CSI" in it. That said, take a look at these shows coming this fall and see if anything tickles your fancy.

Sunday night: Collision Free!

Valentine, Inc. – It's a new show, so who knows. The title doesn't shout testosterone and it's on the CW, so we should expect a teen demographic, but that doesn't mean it might not be fun. The premise says it all: A group of Greek gods live together and help mortals find their soul mates. It's worth at least one episode. It's up against The Simpsons on Fox and Sunday Night Football on ABC, so yeah, ratings should be good, because chicks have nowhere else to go.

Easy Money – Also on CW, it's a story about a loan sharking family, with Judge Reinhold playing a detective. I don't know what to expect, but the concept has potential and besides, when's the last time you saw Reinhold in anything?

The Unit – This special forces drama is timely and extremely well done. But so was E-Ring and that got cancelled during its first season. In its first two seasons, the action and intrigue on The Unit have been enough to overcome the utter boredom of the subplots involving the soldiers' wives.

Monday Night – Collisions:

At 8 PM, we have Gossip Girl on the CW, a show I got roped into by my daughters. It's actually a pretty good nonsensical drama about rich brats and their brattier parents in Manhattan. But it's up against Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles on Fox and Chuck on NBC, both of which are arguably more appropriate for me to watch.

Will Fred spend quality time with his daughters or boot them out of the home theater to watch robots from the future duke it out? Will either side wave the white flag? Will it be truce or consequences? One DVR can't record three shows, so what happens next? Only time will tell. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

By 9 PM, things get easier. Fox's Prison Break is cast against Heroes on NBC. Sounds like a simple coin flip to me.

At 10 PM, a new show on NBC, My Own Worst Enemy, stars Christian Slater as a "Bourne" again type character who has settled into the duality that is suburban life where his two identities are unknown, even to himself. Yeah. Enjoy. I give it five showings before they pull the plug.

Tuesday: Smooth Sailing

Hey, remember Beverly Hills 90210? Well it's back at 8 PM with the shorter 90210 title. That debunks the rumor that the CW was going to remake Gilligan's Island as Island with Al Gore as the skipper. Shucks. 90210 is supposed to be "somewhat edgier" (read: trashier) than the original, so expect a lot of forays into West Hollywood.

The 9 PM hour brings three new shows. The Mentalists on CBS sounds like an un-funny version of USA's Psych. On the CW, comes Privileged, about a journalist turned tutor who lives in Palm Beach, which makes the show probably worth watching just for the scenery (I'm so SICK of LA on backdrop!). Finally, on Fox is Fringe a show about a plane that lands with a crew and passengers who have all "died a grisly death." I'm going to watch just to see how a plane lands when the pilot is dead.

Eli Stone returns for a second season at 10 PM. I never thought I'd ever want to see George Michael in anything (or out of anything), but this moral-edy was a big hit the first time around.

Wednesday: A Good Night to Catch Up On the Stuff You Recorded Monday and Tuesday

The stupornatural gets it just deserts in Pushing Up Daisies about a guy that can bring people back to life. Aiding the police, he puts this power to use by bringing dead people back to life and asking them who killed them. No, I'm serious. When does the ACLU jump in and claim no crime has been committed if the victim is no longer dead? Only on ABC.

There's nothing at 10 PM that I'd want to watch, but my friend says Dirty Sexy Money is pretty good if for no other reason than it has Donald Sutherland in it.

And on a lighter note: Deal or No Deal, the show that only proves that Howie Mandell isn't dead, has moved to 9 PM because I guess, it was just too racy at 8 PM.

Thursday: A Veritable Wasteland

I know some people like Gray's Anatomy, but I just don't know why. It's back, have fun.

ABC's Life on Mars is adapted from a BBC broadcast and combines police work, time travel, a coma and a guy who cracks funny. And since its 1973, they don't have to be politically correct. I'm there!

Don't forget The Office. True, it violates my hour rule, but it has no laugh track other than the one I provide. Besides, I have a Dwight Schrute bobblehead on my desk.


Las Vegas used to be on Fridays on NBC, but they canned it. Too bad. Good news is, NBC brought back Life for a second season. It's about a police detective who served time for a murder he did not commit, was sprung after evidence of his innocence emerged, then sued the city of Los Angeles for a pretty penny, and took his old job back. Yeah, he has issues.

Saturday: All Right for Fighting.

If you want to play the "what's on" game too, AOL has a nifty guide that you should check out.

Many of my favorite shows aren't even ON the major networks, but that's a blog for another day. . .

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