Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Looking Ahead: This Week

OK, so we've got the NFL to look forward to next Sunday. College football's lineup next Saturday is a steep drop-off from last weekend. And MLB has very little energy right now, and I'm not sure why. Is it wrong to say that Emmitt's next performance on DWTS is the most dramatic sports TV event between now and Jags-Colts?

But this week is a lot more about OTHER, non-sports stuff on TV: The new shows, the season premieres of old shows. I appreciate how derivative "Studio 60" felt last night, but dammit, I can't help but like anything Aaron Sorkin does.

As for other new shows this week, I'm intrigued to see if "Shark" can pull off what is a very good premise. And I've been a little scared of the new season of "Grey's Anatomy" ever since I heard Bob Griese say on a TV broadcast how much he was looking forward to the new season.

That's all entree to the Comment question below (What new show are you most interested in this week/season? They can be new-new shows or returning old shows.) Anyway, as for a look-ahead to the rest of the week in the Big Three:

NFL: The first of the "Bye" weeks; for Kansas City and Oakland, the break is merciful. For Dallas and Chargers, a chance to reload.

I'd rank the Top 5 games of intrigue this way:
1. Jags at Colts
2. Bears at Vikings
3. Bengals at Steelers
4. Giants at Seahawks
5. Falcons at Saints

CFB: Who has the job of coming up with the "S" alliteration to describe the type of Saturday we're going to have in college football? I want that job.

If last week was "Separation Saturday," then this week is "Sucks-To-Be Saturday." There are two games of mild consequence, and not even that:

No. 24 Penn St at No. 1 Ohio St: If Notre Dame could put up 40-some on PSU, then Ohio St might put up 60. (No. 22 Arizona St at No. 21 Cal? Yes, this is how hard-up we are for decent match-ups.)

MLB: Scoreboard-Watching

AL Central/Wild Card:
Early week: DET at CWS, MIN at BOS
Weekend: DET at KC, SEA at CWS, MIN at BAL
Analysis: Looks like the defending champs are ready to fall away; they won't have a better shot at gaining ground than playing parallel to the Twins in Boston. Well, at least until they play the Twins head-to-head to end the season, I guess...

NL West/Wild Card:
Mid-week: PIT at LAD, ARI at SD, CHC at PHI
Weekend: PIT at SD, ARI at LAD, FLA at PHI
Analysis: So the Pirates and D'backs control the fate of the NL West (and possibly the Wild Card); Philly better keep pace at home.
But I'd trade the Phillies in the playoffs for Ryan Howard hitting 62-plus HR. In a second.

Comments question: What TV show from the new season are you most interested in watching? Let's divide this into two parts: (1) Returning shows and (2) new shows.

-- D.S.


Unknown said...
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Trent said...

1. The Office - The best comedy on TV, IMHO.
2. 24 - but I know we have to wait until January.
3. Law & Order SVU tonight (along with the DVR version of last night's CSI: Miami in Brazil, nice freakin' name)

1. Studio 60 wasn't bad last night
2. Friday Night Lights

Damn, am I stuck on NBC or what?

D. Ling said...

Returning... The Unit, which is essentially the 24 spin-off that was very good last year in its short first season.

Boston Legal should be money as well. Denny Crane.

All the new shows look like #@%$.

Christian Thoma said...

Returning: 24. New: Nothing. I'm down to just 24 and Numb3rs with my television viewing, I even stopped watching Fox on Sunday night. Don't get me wrong, I'm not decrying network TV, I just don't find it very good anymore.

What I'm really waiting for is the return of Futurama.

Unknown said...

New: I tried Studio 60 lastnight and enjoyed it. Wish it was on a better time slot though.

Old: My Name Is Earl/Office - just a great block of TV.

Also if you're only going to read my blog one time today be the day. I named my site Free Billy Volek and today he got traded that must be a sign right?

Dan Shanoff said...

Here's what I love about The Unit: Creators David Mamet and Shawn Ryan (who created "The Shield," which is in my Top 3 favorite shows on TV).

mattie said...

when in an hour long Sportscenter, they spend a half hour covering last night's boring snoozefest, another 15 minutes already talking about next week in the NFL, then covering the top college football stories for another 5-10 minutes, leaving the final 5-10 minutes to MLB and other sports.

Just wanted to add an AMEN to that. Look, I know ESPN paid through the nose for Monday Night Football, but come on. I felt like they ran through that unbelievable Dodgers game as fast as they could, almost like they were mad there was a story so much bigger than MNF that they had no choice but to lead the show with it. Then, after about 15-20 minutes of football, they managed to get to the Mets clinching the NL East. All this for a boring MNF game? Do they think they're helping themselves with this, that their viewers don't know better (and resent the hard sell)? Yeesh.

CorrND said...

Returning: Lost (a least for the beginning of the season; lots of stuff to resolve from the end of S2 before they drop into suckiness in the middle of the season again)

New: Kidnapped

Tony E said...

Returning: Lost
New: Friday Night Lights.

What gives on putting the Bears and Vikings game #2 on your list? We know the Vikings have gotten very lucky drawing an awful Redskins team and then a beat up Panthers squad with a bunch of bone heads, Chicago wins this one in a route 31-6

Brian in Oxford said...

The good thing about The Office and My Name is Earl is that I don't watch every week, so I'm not stuck seeing re-runs....as NBC would have said 15 years ago "It's new to me!"

anyways, is ESPN the tail wagging the dog? If they had baseball monopolize most of SportsCenter, with the last 10 minutes about a less-than-riveting MNF game, who would really complain?

Hockey was wiped off the public consciousness by ignoring it....if baseball gets the silent treatment, then it could slowly suffer a similar fate....we'd be left with the NBA (gack!) and a 35-week NFL season. (Featuring Peyton Manning, throwing for 10,000 yards in a season.)

Marcus T said...

Only new tv show I still watch: 24, and even that fell off last year.

I did watch Prison Break last year and enjoyed it, but now that they're out, I have lost interest. Especially since the episode last year when they showed how all the main cast ended up in jail. They're in prison, yes, but they're not "bad guys". I know its an old rule of tv/movies that you have to like the main characters to root for them, but I don't think that applied to this show.

Anyone tell me how the new season is going? Good? Bad? Same?

Jen said...

1 of consequence: Have you read Omar Vizquel's biography? Hilarious reading and you can finish it in a few hours. That guy is great.

"What It Means to Be a Buckeye" is a great book for any Buckeye fan...players relate their experience of being recruited, playing or not playing, winning the "Big One", etc.

I also like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, and Sue Grafton's Alphabet series, but I don't think those are of any interest to guys.

"The Great Raid" was on last night. It only got two stars (the joke between my husband and myself is that Pamela Anderson's "Barbed Wire" got two stars so we always check out a movie's rating to see if it is "better" than that) but is based on a true story about prisoners of war that were rescued right before they were to be killed during WWII. Benjamin Bratt stars. I only caught the end, but my husband loved it. (He's the war buff anyhow)
"All The King's Men" looks like it is going to be a great movie.

Unfortunately, and I hate to admit it to all of these guys, but I haven't been to the gym in over a year so I can't discuss workouts.

Now, for my shows:

I am mad I missed "Studio 60". Don't asked me HOW I got sucked into "Wife Swap" last night...I am hanging my head in shame. Oh, it's on after "Jeopardy!" Whew, my saving grace. We didn't change the channel.

New: Friday Night Lights, Tina Fey's show

Old: The Office, My Name is Earl, Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy (yes, that also scares me that Bob Griese is looking forward to this season!)
Weeds has already started...that show needs to be an hour long!

Anyone else ever watch "Huff" on Showtime? It was pretty good, but it got the ax.

Good thing these shows are on after my son goes to bed. I would feel like a real slacker!

Steven said...

Returning: Lost
New: Heroes

Joe said...

Only looking forward to old ones: Lost, 24, Family Guy and (why has no one said this yet?) House (!). As for new new shows? I might check out Studio 60 (via TiVo) and maybe The Nine (but only because it's slated to come on after Lost.

Christian Thoma said...

Why TV Is King, by Christian (High Point, NC)

1 of Consequence brings up a good question, and I will answer.

TV is the most popular discussion topic because of three reasons:

1) Ease of access--pretty much everyone has a TV these days

2) Commonality of experience--because shows typically fall into predefined categories (e.g. gritty cop drama or family comedy), the vocabulary used to discuss shows is static and well-known. For example, "I thought last night's episode of Everybody Loves Raymond wasn't very funny" wouldn't work if you transposed ELR with The Shield. However, you could use the same phrase (and should use the same phrase) for any CBS 'comedy' [Note: This is also why Sports is a popular discussion topic; the vocabulary is limited and universal, and two people who've never met before can easily fall into a discussion about a sports topic, even ones they're not overly familiar with]

3) Simultaneity of Experience--this is actually the most important reason. Even with the rise of DVRs, shows are on at a set time and are usually watched then. Therefore, there's a built-in expectation that discussion of the episode can happen the next morning, or even that evening in the right forum (not necessarily the Internet variety). Movies, although popular on opening weekend, can be hurt by this (especially with the increasing popularity of 'waiting for DVD'). Books, obviously, are destroyed by this (although the lack of a limited vocabulary for books or art is also an impediment)

My final thought on the subject: Because the potential interactive audience of a book, gallery opening, marathon, etc., is a lot smaller than a TV show or movie, in many ways discussing any of the former is really not a discussion; it's a lecture or sermon. Without the shared experience, there's a limit to how much time can be spent in discoursing on the topic.

And that's all I have to say about that

Jen said...

HAHAHA If Lee picked Ohio State he would have to roll around with a nut.

How could I forget "Family Guy"!? That show is classic.

Unknown said...

Dan i can tell you that I watched both STUDIO 60 and THE CLASS last nite and both were pretty good.

The Class is from the creators of Friends/Mad About You and is 8 pep who were in 3rd grade together reunited in their midtwenties

you can see it on google video if you missed it (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4650463418459767456&q=type%3Atvshow)

returning shows tho im lookin at BOSTON LEGAL, LOST, PRISON BREAK, and SCRUBS (starts late)

TBender said...

Another surprised commenter wondering why House hadn't been mentioned yet!

Old - House, Bones, Grey's

New - Jericho and Heroes, if I spend the effort to seek them out on the TV.

Trent said...

Jen brings up a good point and I forgot to mention one of my favorite returning shows.

Returning: Ohio State basketball. Its been a while, but I'm glad its back.

Christian Thoma said...


Agreed, although I can't help but think it would've been a lot better if LeBron James hadn't bolted for another show.

D. Ling said...

Is it too early to be ready for season 4 of Entourage? Damn you HBO only 12 episodes this season.

Unknown said...

Studio 6o had a pretty damn good first episode. I might make that a regular show for me.

But Dan..you HAVE GOT TO comment on Oklahoma's ridiculous stance after their loss. Their Prez gets involved? They threaten to cancel the UW game in 2008??
No great coach would do what Stoops is doing. Frankly, I'm searching for other people to praise for the OU 2000 championship team.

Phil O'Konski said...

Old: Lost, Office, How I Met Your Mother, Grey's (I know T.R. Knight from high school, so I have to root for that one)

- Studio 60 (Sorkin-itis),
- Jericho (I hope this is good, but I don't have high hopes)
- Nine, Kidnapped, Vannished - Good concepts, but all too similar and concerned about long-term investment for the chance the 2 of the 3 will be cancelled in 4 weeks.

Brien said...

For me ...

House ... Hugh Laurie is just so great as the guy you wanna smack in the head.

Monk ... if you haven't seen this, the way they keep putting Monk in situations where his OCD is not only a distraction, but also key to solving the crime, it's great writing.

Dead Zone ... very interesting takes on what a person with psychic abilities can do ... they've had that "power" used in myriad ways ... all very creative.

Boston Legal ... Bill Shatner doing a parody of ... Bill Shatner (as others have characterized him) ... and James Spader just drips smarminess ... well-written (they'll even go so far as to reference the fact that they're a TV show ... in one episode, Shatner's character, explaning his courtroom antics, says: "I can act. I won an Emmy, you know.")


Jeremy said...

Lost/Friday Night Lights

FreKy J said...

Soft-serve Saturday, because all the games have the consistency of McDonald's soft-serve.

Greg said...

Returning: Deal or No Deal

No love for Howie and the Howie-ettes? (And, ICYMI, the last player last night had a case worth $3,000,000, and took a deal worth $675K... if that's not drama, I don't know what is.)

And did anyone else think "30 Rock" and "Studio 60" were the same show?

The heroin sheik said...

Returning show would have to be prison break. I just download them to watch later in the week with the woman and it reminds me of why I liked tv in the UK. At least the commercials weren't in the shows. (Is it still like that, haven't been back in yrs?)

New shows would be the Knights of Prosperity. Donal Logue is hilarious but he is going up against house so he is fucked. I give it six episodes before it gets cancelled. They always cancel stuff I like: Kitchen confidential last yr, Fastlane the yr before, Platypus Man back in the day.

marcomarco said...

Battlestar Galactica 3.0

Best show I've seen in a long time (since Firefly anyway).

If you don't know about it, rent it.

If you do, be sure to check the webcast episodes here

Season 3 starts Oct 6th.

Sheldiz said...

New Show: Studio 60

Returning Show: Biggest Loser.

eh, its not like i had any street cred to lose....


marcomarco said...

Wierd Al rules

White and Nerdy

Brave Sir Robin said...

Returning: The Office

It's not even close folks. It's the best show on broadcast television.

Damian said...

Old: Lost, the Office, My Name is Earl and Scrubs

New: Heroes maybe...?

MoL said...

Saturday night finds the oh-so-underrated matchup of ND @ MSU. The Spartans have won 7 of the past 9 and is the team that has the most all-time victories against the Irish. Stanton & crew are going to pick apart the Irish defense. After that MSU will regress to its 2nd half fade into obscurity.

Old shows: How I Met Your Mother (Barney is amazing), Survivor (it's been a few years but I like the premise), and SVU. Then there is South Park...I just wonder what Matt & Trey have up their sleeves now.

New shows: Watched The Class and Studio 60 on monday. Both were ok but seem like they need to find their legs. Other then that, nothing really intrigues me except for maybe 30 Rock.

Badass Of The Year said...

Wow, this is great because I haven't really paid much attention to the new shows, thanks for the suggestions.

Returning shows:
Prison Break
The Unit
Fox's Sunday Night shows
Smallville - I'm sucker for Superman and the cast is easy on the eyes.

New Shows:
Friday Night Lights
The Nine