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September 09, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-09

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 9, 2003

ARTS

RUN FROM YOUR TUBE ...
THE FALL 2003 GUIDE TO WHAT'S NEW ON TV
By Doug Wernert and Adam Rottenberg

Whoopi - NBC, Tuesdays 8 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 9

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H
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Premise: Whoopi Goldberg plays a former
one-hit wonder diva in a sitcom set in a hotel
bar/lounge.
Chances for success: Goldberg's star power
is on the decline and the humor looks juvenile
at best. NBC's Tuesday-night ratings have been
waning and this does not appear to be the solu-
tion.
Prediction: Whoopi will return to doing
what she does best; making "uplifting" movies
as a singing nun or blocking with her center
square.
Happy Family - NBC, Tuesdays 8:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 9
Premise: Former sitcom heavyweights John
Laroquette and Christine Baranski unite in this
comedy as empty-nest parents still dealing with
their grown children's problems.
Chances for success: With bookends of
"Whoopi" and the declining "Frasier," "Happy
Family" better be as funny as HBO's "Curb
Your Enthusiasm" to have any chance of sur-
viving.
Prediction: Even with numerous Emmy's
between them, why can't Laroquette and
Baranski spot a lemon? NBC sure is shaping
Tuesday to be a night of Must-Flip TV, espe-
cially with the addition of everyone's favorite
"Good Morning Miami." It has two likable
leads, but then again so did "Gigli."
Jake 2.0 - UPN, Wednesdays 9 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 10
Premise: A computer technician, actor
Christopher Gorham, becomes a secret agent in
a modern-day "Six Million Dollar Man."

Chances for success: Genre TV often leads
to failure, but if "Jake" gains even a small cult
following, it may be able to survive on the des-
perate UPN. However, David Greenwalt's other
cult hit, "Angel," airs at the same time on the
WB. There might not be enough room for two
genre shows at the same time. Greenwalt's last
effort "Miracles" was critically acclaimed, but
suffered from public apathy.
Prediction: Poor scheduling may cause
"Jake 2.0" to log off prematurely.
The Mullets - UPN, Sneak preview Thurs-
days 9:30 p.m., moves to Tuesdays 9:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 11
Premise: From "The Simpsons" producer
Josh Weinstein comes the story of two brothers
who have the same haircut and last name.
Chances for success: Centering your show
on a redneck haircut does not necessarily trans-
late into viewers. UPN's track record with
comedies leaves something to be desired as
well.
Prediction: Has UPN not learned anything?
Move over "Shasta McNasty," "Homeboys in
Outer Space" and the "Secret Diaries of
Desmond Pfiefer," UPN is still looking for a
new lowest common denominator. UPN will
likely take out the shears and trim this waste of
time from their schedule.

ourtesv of NBC

Carnivale - HBO Sundays 9:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 14
Premise: Set in the Depression-era Dust
Bowl, the battle of good and evil takes the
forefront amidst a travelling carnival filled
with freak show oddities.
Chances for success: With an outlandish
premise and dark undertones, it would seem
destined for failure if not on everyone's
favorite channel - HBO. This is the network
that made a drama about morticians talking to
dead people a water cooler sensation, so
"Carnivale" should not be any different.
Prediction: It inherits the coveted HBO
Sunday slot, like it could fail. Millions of

viewers are bound to make this HBO's next
breakout hit. But that damn "e" on the end
must stand for something ...

Eve - UPN, Mondays 8:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 15

Premise: Rap star Eve plays a modern
woman going through the trials of life and
love.
Chances for Success: Joining UPN's
racially-fueled line up of comedies might
enable this show to succeed. However, UPN
should consider creating shows based on con-
tent rather than solely the ethnicity of the
actors.
Prediction: Eve should stick to her day
job. Without being on UPN, Eve would be in
for a Ruff Ryde. This sitcom looks on par
with LL Cool J's lame "In The House"
attempt as opposed to Will Smith's success in
the genre.
All of Us - UPN, Tuesdays 8:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 16
Premise: This comedy about a family
learning to coexist is based on the real life
domestic situation of celebrity couple Will

Smith and Jada Pinkett.
Chances for Success: UPN Tuesday is
sure shaping up to be the worst night of tele-
vision since ... UPN Tuesday last season.
Smith's previous sitcom foray was a hit, but
he is nowhere to be found on this lackluster
effort.
Prediction: Viewers won't be 'Gettin'
Jiggy Wit' this show for long because it will
have a short stint on the air. What's next, a
crummy show featuring Nick Lachey and
Jessica Simpson? Too bad MTV already
took that idea.
Rock Me Baby - UPN, Tuesdays 9 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 16
Premise: Dan Cortez returns to situation
comedy as a rock disc jockey fathering a
young son with his wife.
Chances for Success: Cortez was mildly
amusing on MTV, but annoying on the insuf-
ferable "Veronica's Closet." It looks less like
"WKRP in Cincinnati" and more like
"WCRAP on UPN."
Prediction: This one goes out to you Dan
- get a new show now because you will need
a job in a couple of weeks.

espionage should appeal to fans of "24"
looking for an alternative to the comedies
and reality programming on the other net-
works. If ABC is patient and willing to wait
on ratings, then they may have another
"Alias" on their hands in spite of the not so
"Friends"-ly competition.
Prediction: It will be difficult to be a "Sur-
vivor" on television's toughest night. On the
bright side, the title does feature the word
"Matrix," and this summer proved how little
content matters when that word is involved.
Luis - FOX, Fridays 8:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 19

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Threat Matrix -ABC, Thursdays 8 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 18
Premise: An inside look at special agents
in the Department of Homeland Security in
their effort to keep the nation safe.-
Chances for Success: The action and

Premise: Character actor Luis Guzman
("Boogie Nights") comes to network televi-
sion playing the owner of a donut shop.
Chances for Success: The Friday schedule
does not look favorable for comedies, even
with the moderately amusing "Wanda at
Large" as its lead in. Guzman is best known
for being a humorous addition to the cast, not
a leading man.
Prediction: Guzman will promptly return
to bit parts in bizarre movies. "Luis" looks
like it belongs on UPN Tuesday rather than
Fox Friday, and that's not a compliment.

- -
-W
W--

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Two and a Half Men - CBS, Mondays
9:30 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 22
Premise: Charlie Sheen plays a jingle
writer whose brother and nephew move into
his beach house.
Chances for Success: Following monster
hit "Everybody Loves Raymond," and featur-
ing a big-time Hollywood name in Sheen,
even a hackneyed premise won't deter ratings.
"Becker" is proof of that fact.
Prediction: You have to be really messed
up to want to move in with Charlie Sheen.
Sheen should really stick with the drugs and
the hookers, he was better back then.
Las Vegas - NBC, Mondays 9 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 22
Premise: James Caan stars as the head of a
successful casino set in the Sin City.
Chances for Success: NBC may have a
hard time drawing in young males during
football season, while older audience may be
glued to CBS's conservative programming.
Prediction: Don't bet the farm on this one.
It appears as if it might "crap out," even with
Sonny Corleone, but the bright lights could
provide solid entertainment.
Navy N.C.I.S. - CBS, Tuesdays 8 p.m.

Premise: A spin-off of CBS's "JAG," it fol-
lows a team of military investigators search-
ing for evidence connected with the Navy.
Chances for Success: Inheriting "JAG"'s
old time slot will probably make it easy for
the geriatric audience to continue getting their
fill of military dramas on Tuesday nights.
Prediction: In addition to the show being
redundant, since "JAG" is still on the air, the
title itself repeats the word "Navy." CBS was
successful with their last spin off and this one
should have similar success.
The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H. - CBS,
Wednesdays 10 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 24
Premise: A story about small town life for
three brothers is the premise for this new
drama.
Chances for Success: David E. Kelley is a
master of creating quirky characters and situa-
tions. This appears to be a new version of the
classic "Northern Exposure," but the "Law
and Order" juggernaut may be too much to
overcome.
Prediction: Kelley's shows often start
strong out of the gate, but then again, he also
made "Snoops." The main concern is if the
show can avoid the Kelley Curse of becoming

Premieres Sept. 23

increasingly absurd.

Joan of Arcadia - CBS, Fridays 8 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 26
Premise: A familial drama in which the
teenage daughter (Amber Tamblyn "General
Hospital") speaks to God in different visages.
Chances for Success: It needs some divine
intervention and CBS may be providing it by
pairing it with "JAG." Spiritual-themed shows
have worked before for CBS, and this may
continue the trend.
Prediction: St. Joan must be spinning in
her grave to have her name desecrated in this
manner. It's a night of rest for the televisions,
so CBS may have to channel God on their
own to save this show.

Miss Match - NBC, Fridays 8 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 26
Premise: Alicia Silverstone portrays a
divorce lawyer who plays matchmaker on the
side.
Chances for Success: Silverstone returns
to the spotlight in this Darren Star ("Sex and
the City") vehicle aimed at a female audience.
Following the debacle of "Batman and
Robin," Silverstone is still waiting for her
career to fully recover.
Prediction: The premise is extremely
absurd and it only appeals to young females
and almost none of them are home on a Fri-
day night. We're still upset about "Excess
Baggage" anyway.
Hope & Faith - ABC, Fridays 9 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 26
Premise: Kelly Ripa stars in yet another
program, this time as a failed soap opera
actress who moves back in with her sister.
Chances for Success: Joining the new
TGIF, sitcom veteran Faith Ford and talk show
host Ripa add name value to a ridiculous con-
cept. The block seems more family-oriented
than in the past, and this show fits that idea
well.
Prediction: Kelly Ripa needs to return to
her other three day jobs. Nice work by ABC to

a

confuse the audience even more by having
Faith Ford play, of course, Hope.
The Handler - CBS, Fridays 10 p.m.
Premieres Sept. 26
Premise: Joe Pantoliano plays an FBI
agent training new recruits in Los Angeles.
Chances for Success: If the "JAG" crowd
can stay awake past 10 p.m. on Friday nights,
there might be enough of an audience to make
this show work. If not, CBS will have to rely
on the Pantoliano name to attract viewers.
Prediction: Didn't this show come out as a
movie a couple months ago under the title
"The Recruit?" The Friday night slot may be
giving this show the "Ralphie treatment."

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