Fall 2011 Network TV – Friday’s New Hits and Misses

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Each day this week we’ve been looking at the new shows that joined the network TV lineup this Fall. In our final installment, we’ll be focusing on both Friday, notorious as the night genre shows go to die, and Sunday, which in recent years has been claimed by cable networks as their spotlight night. Today we’ll spend some time talking about Showtime’s Homeland, ABC’s Pan Am and Once Upon a Time, as well as NBC’s Grimm.

Read on to see what’s getting screen time here at MLD.


KevinMLD: I thought Homeland was an interesting, tense and suspenseful adult cable drama. The main reason I didn’t go back for more was I don’t find the horrors of war or the things soldiers endure to be particularly entertaining. I know some people seem to love war movies, they just make me feel sick. I did like the show and the cast though. I may revisit it when other shows go into their winter rerun cycle.

PTB: This show got lost in the mix of new shows on our DVR, but what I’ve seen of it certainly looks intense, plus I like Claire Danes. Showtime was sadly a casualty of our recent contract renewal, but this might be something I’d go out of my way to see.

Once Upon a Time

KevinMLD: This is hardly a unique observation but Bill Willingham had better be getting royalties on this. If not he should sue. You shouldn’t be able to announce plans for a tv series based on an established property not make that series and then release a nearly identical though watered down series a few years later under a different name.

PTB: The connection to the Fables comic book series has to be part of any discussion of this show, but we can’t really talk about it without also mentioning it’s television competition, Grimm. Grimm is never going to be the show for me as a monster-of-the-week / police show and watching these shows back to back really made me appreciate how much I enjoyed Once.

Angelique: If I have to watch a fairy tale show this is the one. Plus the kid is cute.

KatieD: I really like it. Although I did chuckle a few times that the “horrible, terrible fate” was to live in modern times. Is it really THAT terrible here?

KevinMLD: Cue the Louis C.K. bit about how everything’s amazing right now and nobody is happy.

PTB: My only complaint here is that I thought the special effects could have been more special. The fairy tale world, particularly the “curse,” just lacked some light and color and there is some smoke monster precedent to live up to and ABC.


KevinMLD: I didn’t watch Grimm but I suspect I’d feel the same way about it as I do Once Upon A Time. Is it true the Sheriff is the Big Bad Wolf?

PTB: Not exactly, he’s called a “Grimm” and his bloodline has a history of hunting down creatures of the night. He’s actually working with a partner who’s a “blut bad,” one of a race of Big Bad Wolves.

KevinMLD: It’s like NBC and ABC picked up the rights to Fables over the last few years, took a hard look at it, and decided it was too much for them to pull off. So they took the elements of it that they loved, stamped a new name on series and claimed it as their own. It’s borderline criminal.

PTB: I certainly don’t have the perspective on what comes from Fables, but as mentioned earlier Grimm’s monster-of-the-week / police show format isn’t for me. Plus, Angie’s terrified by it.

Angelique:  I wasn’t so much terrified as I was annoyed with how dumb it was.

Pan Am

PTB: This show had a number of pleasant surprises in the pilot. I had no I idea what to expect other than it being an attempt to create a Mad Men style period show. The feel of it was spot on and it looks great, but the stewardess/spy angle was what really intrigued me.

KatieD: Are you still watching Pan Am? I watched the pilot and while I agree that I was pleasantly surprised, I haven’t kept up with it.

PTB: I haven’t kept up with it, but it’s something I think I’d like. I saw the beginning of the show last Sunday and continue to be impressed with its aesthetic.

Weekend shows that no one’s making time for:

A Gifted Man

Allen Gregory

Sundays have a history of long running shows and Once Upon a Time has already been extended for a full season. Pan Am is also enjoying some success for ABC, but currently only 5 additional scripts have been ordered.

Wrapping up our discussion for the week, we leave you with our personal picks for the top new shows added to the lineup this Fall.

AngeliqueSuburgatory – Wednesdays at 8:30PM on ABC.

KatieD: Revenge  – Wednesdays at 10:00PM on ABC.

KevinMLD: 2 Broke Girls Mondays at 8:30PM on CBS.

PTB: SuburgatoryWednesdays at 8:30PM on ABC.

Read more about TV’s new offerings for 2011 on MyLatestDistraction.
and keep up with our reactions to what’s on each night all this week.

Thursday’s New Hits and Misses

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