Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Popcorn Trick's Fall Television Guide: Thursday

Ah, Thursdays...the night networks battle for since they can run movie commercials for the weekend. We all fondly remember the dominance NBC developed over the 80s and 90s with this night, developing shows that not only were popular, but entered the zeitgeist of our society and lived on. Shows like The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, ER...and now we've got...Well we've got some quality here and there, but the problem is nobody is watching it. CBS has staked their claim to Thursday nights with The Big Bang Theory (a show I've admittedly never watched but can't refute it's popularity) and other well, if rather still generically written sitcoms, and an hour of procedural action at 10, whether it's a CSI or most recently a Sherlock Holmes show (Elementary. I've never seen this show either, but if you want a Sherlock Holmes fix and are watching this instead of the BBC's Sherlock, well - I don't thin I can talk to you. Watching both is fine, of course). While ABC still rides the Grey's Anatomy train.

So while NBC gamely attempts to reestablish dominance, the other networks are comfortable (pretty much) with what they've got, because it seems to be working. Sure, CBS has some new sitcoms they're trotting out, but since they can be the meat in their established sandwich, it isn't too much of a risk.


The Big Bang Theory forges along, making nerd jokes aplenty. It's familiar, professionally executed and well performed. You can't ask for much more out of a sitcom. And, much like you're supposed to shiv the first guy you see when entering prison to establish you're not weak, CBS has decided to run two new episodes tonight.

Those will lead right into a new series called The Crazy Ones starring Buffy and Mork, or Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams as they're known here on planet Earth. It will be interesting to see Mr. Williams back on the small screen, and see if he can (loosely) contain himself and his schtick within the confines of a half hour show. And I'm not even sure CBS really wants him to. I'm guessing they would be fine for him to go all out and make the show completely about himself, so long as people tuned in. I'm not sure why SMG is orbiting his supernova in this though - either or of these two would be big enough for a show...I see her involvement eclipsing Williams' enough to possibly clip his wings. It's a dicey paella of a show which I can't imagine has found its course yet. Will it before audiences skip out on it? Remains to be seen.

Apparently Two and a Half Men is still on. That was news to me. It's on at 9:30 tonight, right before the big event of Sherlock going back to London on Elementary, which - I can't even talk about since he's from there so really it's not THAT big of a deal.


In this day and age, when a show gets huge ratings, you replay it. You hope the people that missed it get badgered enough by the people that did see it that they go ahead and watch the replay. It's called "Watercooler guilt watching" (I just made that up, but I'm going to go with it. Just pretend it's a thing. Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did big numbers, so ABC is running it again tonight. And why not? I bet they run it again Saturday night too.

We're also getting a 2 hour Grey's Anatomy because apparently there's still something interesting to be said about hospital romances. That's what this show is all about, right? I have never watched a minute of it. But it too does well so I don't begrudge it. Run it into the ground, ABC!


I think there's more X-Factor on tonight. My god there's a lot of singing on TV these days. And FOX has a monopoly, because after the reality show singing, we get fiction show singing with Glee. The Beatles are featured tonight because Paul McCartney wanted a new solid diamond yacht. I guess vanilla singing Beatles will do fairly well, but where does it go from here? Seems like a load is being blown early and I expect Glee's numbers to tumble down as the season goes.


Ah NBC. That you could earn money through critical acclaim NBC would have Paul McCartney's solid diamond yacht collection. But you can't, so they don't. Parks and Recreation returns, for a whole hour tonight, and maybe this will be the year people start watching.

After that we get not one but 2 episodes of Michael J. Fox's show, called The Michael J. Fox show, which is almost all you need to know about it. As in, the plot, story, characters (aside from Michael J. Fox) will all take a back seat to Michael J. Fox. This is the show NBC ordered a full season of BEFORE it had anything else other than its name (and presumably its star, with the aforementioned name). Unheard of! So they really want to see it do well. The problem is, after his Parkinson's (which apparently is featured prominently) is beaten to death with shaky jokes (pun and cringe fully intended, but before you judge me, watch the show) there doesn't seem to be much else there. And to build a show on a Parkinson's foundation...well it's nothing if not innovative, I guess.

10:00 gets Parenthood, which always felt like 6 Feet Under lite, especially with Peter Krause's involvement. When is Sportsnight coming back?

There you have it. Thursday nights. Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

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