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This Spring in Television

Never settle for cartoons.

Spring is here, which means the networks have crunched the numbers, analyzed the data, and shed the empty calories of failed Fall programs … for the most part. There aren’t a whole lot of new shows starting this Spring, so I’m going to tell you both what to watch for and what you should already be watching, because as witnessed by the fact that Two and a Half Men is consistently the top-rated sitcom, America has no idea how to watch TV.

New Shows:

  • Human Target (Fox) – Apparently based on a DC Comic and an old series on ABC, this show stars Mark Valley (Fringe) as some sort of elite bodyguard who lives on the edge. Expect high-paced action and plenty of gun-play, this is Fox after all. Should be some good dumb fun. Premieres Jan 17
  • Life Unexpected (CW) – It’s a “Dramedy” on the CW. Not interested. Premieres Jan 18
  • The Deep End (ABC) – They’re calling it “Grey’s Anatomy with lawyers.” I’m calling it poor timing. I’m sure a show about a bunch of pretty twenty-somethings poised to make millions off the plight of others will do great in this economy. But what do I know? I write about TV for free. Premieres Jan 21
  • Undercover Boss (CBS) – Look people, if you quit watching these lame reality shows, the networks will actually have to hire some real production crews and writing teams to make some quality programming. Promote the economy, don’t watch this show. Premieres Feb. 7
  • Parenthood (NBC) – This show employs what I like to call the shotgun method of producing, basically you load up a movie or TV show with as many recognizable names as you can and hope you hit something. This one stars Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, and Erika Christensen and is based on the 1989 Ron Howard film of the same name. I’m sure people will watch this, but I’m still upset about the whole Leno-sticking-around debacle and the fact that they cancelled Southland just so Leno didn’t throw a temper tantrum and will probably just move him back after the Olympics anyway. If they screw Conan, I’m calling for an NBC boycott. Who’s with me? Premieres March 1
  • The Marriage Ref (NBC) – Another lame NBC attempt to pinch pennies rather than produce real shows, this is a reality show about couples having stupid arguments that need TV to settle them. And we wonder why people are smuggling explosives in their underwear. Watch this show and the terrorists win. Premieres March 14
  • Justified (FX) – This show’s on cable and I usually stick to network TV, but cable is quickly turning into the only way to find good TV these days. Justified stars Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, Die Hard 4) as a sharpshooting US Marshall in his hometown Kentucky. Think of it as a modern spaghetti-Western with Timothy Olyphant as the modern-day Clint Eastwood. Premieres March

Returning Shows that Should Already be on your Radar:

  • 24 (Fox) – As ridiculous as this show is getting, there’s still nothing like sitting down to watch Kiefer Sutherland run around, shooting guns and torturing bad guys for an hour to get the blood pumping. It’s good, old-fashioned, American fun. Premieres Jan 17
  • Flash Forward (ABC) – This was my favorite drama of the Fall, and I’m mainly including it here because it comes back so late in the season. I just hope they don’t stretch this blackout out too long. Premieres March 4
  • V (ABC) – It’s all been done before, but I can’t stop watching. It’s just very well done. Another late starter. Premieres March 30
  • Glee (Fox) – You know my thoughts on this show. I want more satire and less non-plot-moving musical interludes, but there’s worse out there. Premieres April 13
  • Project Runway (Lifetime) – This one is only here so Megan knows when it starts. That and it’s one of the few “real” competition shows out there. There’s no time for pointless drama when Tim Gunn has you running around NYC (yes, they’re back in NYC) to design a dress for the likes of Nicole Richie. Premieres Jan 14
  • Southland (TNT) – NBC cancelled it so that Leno could move to 10pm and ruin the ratings of local news across the country and TNT picked up all the episodes already shot. They’ll start by airing all the episodes from the first season and go straight into the new season. This was my favorite drama of last year. Let’s hope TNT picks up more episodes. Premieres Jan 12
  • Lost (ABC) – NBC should take note, this is how you experiment with television programming and succeed. The Lost writers had an ending in mind almost from the very beginning and this season, we’ll see it. What is the island? Will they ever really get off? Will J.J. Abrams work in any cast members from Felicity? All of these questions have been promised answers in this, the final season of Lost. I hope FlashForward follows suit and gives us viewers a definite ending to look forward to. Premieres Feb 2

  • Facebook User

    Megan from Felicity was essential in Star Trek.

  • DrChocolate

    Not that anyone will notice this comment but Human Target is gay.