We all know commercials are full of lies, and ABC proved it yesterday. Those Geico commercials stress how hard it is for cavemen, but now they have their own network sitcom. Can the Verizon guy and the AFLAC duck be far behind?
In addition to adapting an ad, ABC yesterday unveiled - deep breath, now - 11 new series for 2007-08, and it will premiere eight of them this fall. It's a star-studded lineup.
Christina Applegate gets a new sitcom. Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin and Jill Clayburgh head a show about a rich family and an idealistic lawyer. Tim Daly, Taye Diggs and Amy Brenneman join the Grey's Anatomy spinoff. Swoosie Kurtz, Kristen Chenoweth, Anna Friel and Chi McBride lead a series, Pushing Daisies, that ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson said, "is like nothing you've ever seen on television."
And then there's Oprah Winfrey. She'll helm Oprah's Big Give, premiering mid-season, which will tour the country throwing money around. "I couldn't be more thrilled she's going to do a prime time series for us," McPherson said.
Also waiting in the wings: returning Lost, October Road and Notes From the Underbelly, which will be joined by a lawyer show with a twist (the guy has visions), another new take on Sex and the City, and a sitcom from Ashton Kutcher set in a high school.
Strangely, with new shows every weeknight and an entirely new Wednesday, there were no surprise cancellations. In addition to such obvious freshmen ratings casualties as The Nine, Big Day and Six Degrees, the Alphabet dropped George Lopez, The Knights of Prosperity and What About Brian. Yet somehow, According to Jim still lingers on life support. At least for now.
New dramas premiering in fall:
Pushing Daisies (Wed. 8 p.m.) Big-shot producer/director Barry Sonnenfeld and Heroes' Ryan Fuller run what ABC publicists call "an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy in a forensic fairy tale about a young man with a very special gift." His touch brings dead things to life, but can it save what sounds like an overstuffed stew?
Private Practice (Wed. 9 p.m.) Leaving McSteamy and McDreamy behind, Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Addison heads for Los Angeles, where she'll encounter a whole McTeamy of McSchemeys.
Dirty, Sexy Money (Wed. 10 p.m.) From undertaker to attorney, Krause gets all the glamorous jobs. Will cash corrupt his character's soul?
Big Shots (Thu. 10 p.m.) Hold onto your hats, girls. Alias' Michael Vartan is back, joined in the star-recycler by Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Joshua Malina (The West Wing) and former funnyman Christopher Titus. They play a merry band of CEO's in a series that supposed to have a Desperate Housewives tone.
Women's Murder Club (Fri. 10 p.m.) Resembling refugees from CBS, four gals, including Law & Order's Angie Harmon, with disparate skills, bring down the bad guys in this police-lawyer-medical examiner-reporter procedural based on the James Patterson novels.
New fall comedies:
Sam I Am (Mon. 9:30 p.m.) Applegate's an amnesiac who learns that she wasn't exactly the nicest person before her accident.
Cavemen (Tue. 8 p.m.) Who needs insurance when you've got your own TV show? Overseen by some folks from 3rd Rock From the Sun, the series will look at "racial relationships and minorities in this country," McPherson said. "It gives you the ability to offend everyone and offend no one, except for the cavemen themselves." Do viewers count?
Carpoolers (Tue. 8:30 p.m.) Four more guys hanging out (somebody's done some secret research), this time in the HOV lane. Faith Ford's in the show, too. Maybe she plays a motorcycle cop.
ABC's Short List
Men in Trees
Brothers & Sisters
The Knights of Prosperity
Help Me Help You
What About Brian
In Case of Emergency