DONNA J. PLESH
THE TV SEASON
These women are stars
of new hit shows on the
this season. Clockwise
from the upper left:
Beth Behrs and Kat Denning of CBS' "2 Broke Girls,"; Emily VanCamp
of ABC's "Revenge"; Megan Hilty of NBC's "Smash"; Rachel Bilson of The CW's "Hart of Dixie"; Zooey Deschanel
of Fox's "New Girl."
Shows featuring women
were the enduring hits
By DONNA J. PLESH
The 2011-2012 TV season is drawing to a close with just a few more weeks to go in what is likely to be remembered as the season when women made a major step forward in headlining the casts of comedies and dramas.
The end of the season also marks the beginning, in a way, of the next season as later this month ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW will announce their 2012-2013 program schedules.
That said, heres a last look at the shows the five networks debuted last fall, a final report card if you will.
The network started the season with three new half-hour comedies, the Tim Allen headlined Last Man Standing, Man Up and Suburgatory. Of that trio
Man Up is, thankfully, long gone. Last Man Standing and Suburgatory are still airing. The latter has done a little better in the ratings, given that it is part of ABCs Wednesday night comedy bloc that includes the always-entertaining The Middle
and the Emmy-winning Modern Family. Allens series has a tougher hill to climb on Tuesday nights as it faces off against time slot rivals Glee on Fox and CBS highly-rated NCIS. I expect Suburgatory to get a second season, but I think Last Man Standing is on the bubble.
On the drama side, ABC is hitting 500, in baseball parlance. The network premiered four hour-long dramas last fall: Revenge, Once Upon a Time,Pan Am and "Charlies Angels. Both Revenge and Once Upon a Time have found an audience and are sure things for a second season, but the Charlies Angels reboot was pulled from the schedule so fast most people probably do not even remember that it was on. And Pan Am ended its run in February, with little chance of seeing a second season.
Even the network with the highest rated comedy in The Big Bang Theory stubs its toe every now and then. The network premiered two new comedy series, 2 Broke Girls and How To Be A Gentleman. Suffice it to say the less said about the latter the better. It just was just not a good show and it was not funny, whereas 2 Broke Girls, with breakout stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, has attracted an audience and often has some laugh out loud moments. It has been renewed.
Three dramas joined the networks schedule: Unforgettable, Person of Interest and A Gifted Man. The latter has finished its season run and I doubt very much it will return in the fall, whereas Person of Interest has already been renewed. But the jury is still out on Unforgettable starring Poppy Montgomery.
The networks big fall drama was the big and expensive sci-fi Terra Nova. Not even having Steven Spielberg as one of its executive producers could save the show from cancellation.
Things didnt get any better for the network with its comedy series, with three debuting last fall and only one left standing, New Girl, which has already been renewed for a second season. The blink-or-you-missed them Allen Gregory and I Hate My Teenage Daughter are gone as well.
Simon Cowells new music competition series The X-Factor has already been renewed. But for its second season it will have a new host and two new judges, with first season host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger shown the door.
The once Proud as a Peacock network has fallen on hard times when it comes to finding an audience for its shows. And with the new shows the network introduced last fall none did much to change that, though there were a few bright spots. The network started the fall season with three new comedies, and at this writing, only one is left standing, the Christina Applegate-starring Up All Night. (In my opinion the real reason to watch this show is Maya Rudolph; shes great).
Gone before you probably even knew it was on was Free Agents. And Whitney, starring Whitney Cummings (who is a co-creator of CBS 2 Broke Girls), is one of the networks bubble shows. But I wouldnt bet the farm that it will be back.
This leads us to dramas and the network debuted three. Of the three, The Playboy Club was quickly canceled, and Prime Suspect, a U.S. reboot of the great Helen Mirren-starring British series of the same name, was gone before 2011 ended. The sole survivor is the fairy-tale-esque Grimm, which the network has already renewed.
The network premiered four new shows last fall, three dramas and a reality show. Ringer brought Sarah Michelle Gellar back to the small screen but the drama has not done well in the ratings and is, at best, a long shot for renewal. Much more appealing is Hart of Dixie, a fish-out-of-water lighthearted drama starring Rachel Bilson. Its an on-the-bubble show that I feel should be renewed. That leaves The Secret Circle, a drama about supernatural goings on aimed at The Vampire Diaries audience. Though not renewed yet, I expect it will be back on the network come fall.
And about that reality show you say you dont remember it? Well, you are not alone. H8R was gone in a flash. Obviously the show in which celebrities faced off with people who hate them and tried to win the haters over appealed to no one.
So much for the shows that premiered last fall. But there have been some late bloomers among the mid-season premieres that have caught the eye of viewers.
For NBC the return of the singing competition The Voice has given the network good ratings and will return either in the fall or early next year, and Smash, the musical drama about putting together a new Broadway musical has already been renewed.
For ABC the half-hour comedy Dont Trust The B---- in Apt. 23 looks like it will return in the fall, but CBS Rob may be a long shot. Ditto for CBS cop drama NYC 22. Over at Fox the Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch will likely be back come fall, or mid-season, but the networks The Finder is a likely loser in the fall sweepstakes.
©2012 by Donna J. Plesh. The photos are courtesy of their respective networks. This column first posted May 7, 2012.
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