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New Bionic Cavemen Anatomy Chronicles
Or… 2007-08 Television Preview
By Bert Ehrmann
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Fort Wayne Reader
A few weeks back, with much glitz and glamour, the television networks debuted their schedules for the 2007-08 Fall season. Though next season, much like every other television season the last 20 years, has its share of wacky sitcoms, "rebellious defense attorneys" and "rogue cop" dramas, there are a few interesting and unique series set to debut next Fall.
The network hurting the most for ratings last season was NBC. Other than Sunday Night Football, Deal or No Deal and, to some extent, Heroes, not much seemed to be working for the network. Both their highly publicized dramas Studio 60 and The Black Donnellys were canceled after a handful of airings and their much-touted Thursday night comedy block of My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs managed to deliver the worst Thursday night ratings to the network since at least 1987.
With the success and excitement surrounding Heroes last season, next season NBC will debut a spin-off series titled Heroes: Origins set to complment (or dilute) the original next Fall. Also on NBC is the reboot of the classic 1970s spin-off Bionic Woman. Produced by David Eick (Battlestar Galactica), Bionic Woman has received the most positive pre-season buzz of all the new shows, which makes Bionic Woman the winner of the "Kiss of Death, Sure to be Canceled First” Award. This time Jamie Summers (Michelle Ryan) is "bionicized" by a secret government agency after a car crash. Fans everywhere, me included, want to know whether or not the show will include the bionic-sound along with the bionic-action – bwahhhhhhh!
Also on NBC is Journeyman, about a man who can travel back in time in order to alter people's lives (Quantum Leap anyone?) and the mid-season replacement The IT Crowd. Much like The Office, The IT Crowd adapts a hit British comedy about office workers, this time those working in the IT department of a large corporation.
ABC takes the award for oddest show of the season 2007-08 with the comedy Cavemen that's "inspired by the Geiko commercials." Has Baby Bob and his leap from Quiznos commercials to his own CBS sitcom taught us nothing? Grey's Anatomy fans will be happy to hear that, like Heroes, the show is officially successful enough to also warrant a spin-off, Private Practice, set to air Wednesday nights next Fall. Is there enough estrogen to go around in America to support both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice?
Did I say that the oddest show of the season was Cavemen? That was before I heard about Swingtown on CBS, about a neighborhood of swinging couples in the sexually liberated 1970s. Is it just me, or does Swingtown sound like it belongs on HBO rather than formulaic-drama lovin’ CBS? Also on CBS is the musical Viva Laughlin, another remake of a British series. Livin' La Viva Laughlin follows a family trying to run their own casino in Laughlin, Nevada.
Both CBS and FOX have series about immortal law enforcement officers. On CBS the series is called Moonlight and is about a vampire who moonlights (get it?) as a private investigator – which I'm sure is NOTHING like the private investigator vampire series Angel (1999). There's been no word, as of yet, on whether Frankenstein, The Wolfman or The Creature from the Black Lagoon will guest star on Moonlight.
New Amsterdam on Fox follows an immortal police officer who has patrolled the streets of New York City since is was known as New Amsterdam in the 1700s. Seriously, "immortal", "vampire" – what's the difference other than a bit of blood between friends every now and then?
The second "women kick butt" series of the 2007-08 season is a television version of the Terminator series called The Sarah Connor Chronicles also on Fox. Set to debut next January and run straight through to May, ala 24, Lena Headey (300) plays the title role as she and her son John flee from the killing machines bent on his destruction. I'm hoping that sometime later in the season we'll finally get to see the Spartans of the movie 300 pitted against the Terminators, who wouldn’t watch that? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.