Few new shows on Wednesday night...possibly because Modern Family on ABC has such a death grip on the evening, or possibly because all the networks have locked in on their Wednesday night strategy and dammit they aren't changing it for anyone! Not sure why, but we'll still dive in and take a look at what could happen...
It was over 20 years ago when I first tuned into watch a bunch of people stranded on an island trying to win a million dollars. And somehow Survivor is still going strong. Well, still going at least. It's difficult to infuse fresh thinking in such a traditionally structured game. But the producers have been game and some things have worked, mostly to do with creating narratives for the contestants. This year it appears the tension is being created by asking the contestants to screw over someone they have had a relationship with. I think. Haven't watched the show in awhile since I know what's coming - backstabbing, weightloss and vomiting up hamburgers. The players might change, but the editing never does.
CBS is also sticking with their procedurals Criminal Minds and a CSI at 10. Not sure what people see in Criminal Minds, as it's an extremely disturbing show. I'd like the NSA to keep a list of faithful viewers as it's one thing to watch a show about a serial killer once in awhile, but to continue to revisit the concept, week after week...
Sticking with the shows that got them here, ABC is premiering Modern Family tonight with an hour long episode. Before that we get a new The Middle, which I believe is the only successful show that no one admits to watching, and a new show called Get in the Game, starring James Caan as a gruff little league baseball coach. Did he lose a bet? Was Brian Dennehy not available? Is Brian Dennehy mad that James Caan is encroaching on his bread and butter roles? Can we get a show where James Caan and Brian Dennehy are neighbors that don't like each other and continually escalate pranks against one another? Is anyone out there writing this down?
Back on track, I love James Caan, but not when he's neutered like this. I can't imagine this show will do that well.
Also, surprisingly, Nashville is back on the air at 10:00. Seems like ABC is going to take one more stab at getting eyeballs on this critics' darling. I wonder if network executives feel even the tiniest twinge of guilt when they cancel a really good show?
While not a new show, a big change: Revolution is moved to tonight, leaving it's Monday timeslot and beautiful lead-in of the Voice to maybe build an audience at 8:00...Revolution is an interesting show...wildly inconsistent last year, it never seemed to grab audiences, mostly because it never knew which character to completely latch onto. That, coupled with the numerous story lines and characters made for a show with a great concept but lousy execution. Seriously, we went from a point where we learned there was no electricity to a major war with factions and a resistance group. SLOW DOWN REVOLUTION! There's plenty to explore and develop without pinning the gas pedal down the entire time. I understand that there was a backlash to Lost and that people thought it moved too slow, but you know what else Lost had? Great ratings! Weekly buzz! You don't have to answer all the questions so soon if you build interesting mysteries and have an eventual plan in place to answer them. I feel like Revolution got so caught up in explaining the power outage and wanting to make sure we all understood it they rushed through the episodes to get us there and now no one understands anything.
Take a breather, focus on some of the characters a little more, give us some complexity, and you will have a good show on your hands. The Walking Dead hasn't come close to telling us what happened with the zombies and people keep turning into that!
Also, Law & Order:SVU is back, fulfilling the contract the United States has with Dick Wolf to ensure there is always a Law & Order on somewhere. Tonight it's 2 hours, so I'm guessing we'll get a Dateline or test pattern next week at 10 from NBC.
And we thought Seth McFarlane was cozy with FOX. Simon Cowell must have something over the network execs at FOX, because we once again have The X-Factor, another music competition that involves judges, teams, categories and hair gel. The one thing it doesn't include is drama. There's just too much going on, but it obviously makes money, so we're subjected to it.
And that's your Wednesday nights. Pretty boring actually. Thursday is where it's gonna start getting bloody. Until then...
Missed Monday and Tuesday's previews? Check them out here and here.