Survival of the Fittest: 2010’s New Shows

Earlier this month, the American networks  announced the series that would be filling the airwaves come Fall 2010. As always, the question for many is which of these shows will survive and which will fall by end of season. Did you know that only 1 in 3 new shows survives to season two? Here’s my take on how the upcoming fall season will play out, based purely on what I’ve been able to glean from press releases, trailers, etc. and my own gut (which, in fact, predicted the fall of Flashforward long before most)…

ABC (American Broadcast Network)

Better Together
Time Slot:
Wednesdays 8:30-9:00pm
Cast: Debra Jo Rupp, Jake Lacy, Jennifer Finnigan, Joanna Garcia, Josh Cooke, Kurt Fuller
Thoughts: Based on reviews and the sample scenes available after upfronts, this show seems to be a pretty typical ‘relationships/family’ sitcom, which one would guess makes it a decent fit for the The Middle, Cougar Town, Modern Family block. However, I’m sensing this show is less like any of the above than another ABC comedy, one from a few years back: Big Day. That sitcom was also pretty standard humour, and it even shares two castmembers with Better Together in Josh Cooke and Kurt Fuller (both of whom I’ve wanted to see successfully launch a new comedy for ages). The show was amusing but unadventurous, despite having a decent cast with a few particularly skilled actors upping the ante. That show, however, had a difficulty gaining traction with viewers, and I get the same sense from Better Together. Plus, I get the sense that its style of humour is so at odds with the abundance of quirk in the block that, rather than bridging The Middle to Modern Family, it may hurt The Middle when people decide they’d rather avoid the less-sophisticated Better Together, even if it undergoes a Cougar Town style uptick in quality.
My Prediction: 7 and out, though I’ll likely be sad to see it go.

Body of Proof
Time Slot:
Fridays 9:00-10:00
Cast: Dana Delany, Geoffrey Arend, Jeri Ryan, John Carroll Lynch, Nicholas Bishop, Sonja Sohn, Windell Middlebrooks
Expectations are low on Fridays, which I think will be the saving grace for Body of Proof in its first season. Anchored by a strong actress fresh off a multi-year run on one of ABC’s aging hits, based on what sounds like a decent script, I see two futures for the show: 2-3 seasons anchoring ABC’s Fridays, low-rated and old-skewing but not enough to see the show leave the air for a while, or a surprisingly successful season that sees it move onto another night for an additional 2-3 years, doing middling-but-acceptable ratings on an average night of the week.
My Prediction: Survival for 2-3 years.

Detroit 1-8-7
Time Slot: Tuesday 10:00-11:00
Aisha Hinds, D.J. Cotrona, James McDaniel, Jon Michael Hill, Michael Imperioli, Natalie Martinez, Shaun Majumder
Thoughts: Just like pretty much every standard cop drama, this one will not see a season 2. Audiences are exhausted by the genre, and this one seemingly has nothing to make it stand apart from what’s already there. It may do decent, but it will skew old and recieve middling-to-bad reviews. ABC will have no reason to order a season 2. Another Trauma, this time on ABC’s slate.
My Prediction: Cancelled in front 13.

Happy Endings
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: Adam Pally, Casey Wilson, Damon Wayans Jr., Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe, Zachary Knighton
Not good. Another ‘relationships/friends’ comedy with a scattered cast and a bland description. Though I desperately want to see Eliza Coupe succeed, this won’t be the vehicle to help her do so.
My Prediction:
Order will get cut to 6 episodes before it airs and it will be burned off in the Wednesday block. No season 2.

Mr. Sunshine
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: Allison Janney, Andrea Anders, James Lesure, Matthew Perry, Nate Torrence, Portia Doubleday
Thoughts: My main worry is that this, one of their pilots with the biggest buzz, has been the equivalent of buried in the back yard. This, plus the fact that the sample scene wasn’t exactly hilarious, has me wondering whether the show is as good as I expect. That said, I suspect the show’s their secret weapon, and they’re holding it back for when Better Together flops on Wednesday.
My Prediction: Will get a season 2, even if just barely.

My Generation
Time Slot:
Thursdays 8:00-9:00
Cast: Anne Son, Daniella Alonso, Jaime King, Julian Morris, Keir O’Donnell, Kelli Garner, Mehcad Brooks, Michael Stahl-David, Sebastian Sozzi
Thoughts: The show doesn’t seem anything special (and recalls failed series like The Class and Reunion), and I predict it will do middling ratings and slowly decrease over the course of the season.  It’ll be replaced by Off the Map, as ABC will see the chance for an all-Rhimes night as impossible to resist.
My Prediction: Thirteen and out.

No Ordinary Family
Time Slot:
Tuesdays 8:00-9:00
Cast: Autumn Reeser, Christina Chang, Jimmy Bennett, Julie Benz, Kay Panabaker, Michael Chiklis, Romany Malco, Tate Donovan
I can’t shake the feeling that this show will be really successful, despite kicking off a night with no lead-in. The cast is recognisable as hell, the premise is a draw, and its biggest competition are Glee and NCIS, neither of which are aimed towards the audience I think will be attracted to it. All I can think of is Heroes, which opened big, and only leaked viewers over the course of four seasons due to low-quality product. I’m excited by the possibilities.
My Prediction: 3-5 seasons.

Off the Map
Time Slot: Held for midseason.
Cast: Caroline Dhavernas, Enrique Murciano, Jason George, José Julián, Mamie Gummer, Martin Henderson, Valerie Cruz
Another high-profile pilot held back for midseason, oddly enough. I expect this to fill the 8:00 hour Thursday after My Generation ends its short run, in hopes that creating a 3-hour Rhimes hour will create a hit ABC can move next season to kick off another night. Or perhaps it will follow the Wednesday comedies; Rhimes likes her whimsy, after all.
My Prediction: I expect the show to see a second season; where it goes beyond that depends on whether the show can create compelling stories, as Rhimes’ first show did early on.

The Whole Truth
Time Slot:
Wednesday 10:00-11:00
Cast: Anthony Ruivivar, Christine Adams, Eamonn Walker, Joely Richardson, Rob Morrow, Sean Wing
Thoughts: This show bombed back when it was called Justice.
My Prediction: Six episodes is being generous.

By My Count: 4/9 or 44%. A good development season. A lot of saves for ABC, though, so expect even one of the above predicted to survive (either Body of Proof or Off the Map) to maybe get the axe.

CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System)

Bleep My Dad Says
Time Slot:
Thursdays 8:30-9:00
Cast: Nicole Sullivan, Stephanie Lemelin, Will Sasso, William Shatner (+ lead to be recast)
Thoughts: This show is in a high-pressure position, bridging the gap between breakout hit The Big Bang Theory and sinking elephant CSI. Awareness seems to be high, and I think even with a nobody supporting cast, William Shatner is enough to anchor the show for a while. I foresee another 8 Simple Rules…, in fact, though I desperately hope this show does not follow in that show’s footsteps in one particular way…
My Prediction: Unless they completely fumble this opportunity, at least 3 seasons.

Blue Bloods
Time Slot:
Fridays 10:00-11:oo|
Cast: Bridget Moynahan, Donnie Wahlberg, Dylan Moore, Len Cariou, Tom Selleck, Will Estes
Thoughts: This show will be another Cane or Kings: ambitious, anchored by a beloved patriarch, but forgotten in a nothing timeslot. The older women demo worked for CBS for the past few years, so I’m unsure as to why they think trying something completely new (CSI:NY/Blue Bloods) will work on a night nobody’s managed to gain any traction on.
My Prediction: Will get a back nine, but not reach season 2.

The Defenders
Time Slot:
Wedensdays 10:00-11:oo
Cast: Gillian Vigman, Jerry O’Connell, Jim Belushi, Jurnee Smollett, Tanya Fischer
Thoughts: Though part of me wants to say this show is doomed, I really think it will see a season 2. Two annoying, mediocre actors who nonetheless have anchored mysteriously long-lived series in the past, and the type of show only CBS could make work.
My Prediction: Two seasons.

Hawaii Five-O
Time Slot:
Mondays 10:00-11:00
Cast: Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Scott Caan
Thoughts: Based on positive reviews, an excellent cast and a time slot I’d hesitate to call competitive, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this show will last 2-3 seasons. I can easily see it collapsing, especially as the ‘young’ demo it seems to cater to don’t even know what the original is beyond pop culture references from other shows/movies, but I have a good feeling about this one.
My Prediction: 2-3 seasons.

Mike & Molly
Time Slot:
Monday 9:30-10:00
Cast: Billy Gardell, Katy Mixon as Victoria Flynn, Melissa McCarthy, Nyambi Nyambi, Reno Wilson, Swoosie Kurtz
Chuck Lorre doesn’t fail, especially at CBS. A renewal is almost guaranteed.
My Prediction: I’m betting 3-6 seasons, right now; this is the beginning of a new How I Met Your MotherThe Big Bang Theory situation, I think.

Criminal Minds 2.0
Time Slot:
Held for midseason
Cast: Beau Garrett, Forest Whitaker, Matt Ryan, Michael Kelly
My Thoughts:
It’s a matter of pride for CBS’ spinoffs to survive. I can’t see CBS cancelling it unless it completely bombs.
My Prediction: It’ll make three seasons, almost definitely.

By My Count: 4/6, or 66%. That’s abnormally high, but CBS just cleared house of almost all of their bubble shows, and they were conservative in their pilot orders (6 vs. typically over 10), so I can see a few stays of execution until next year. Still, they haven’t gone above 50% since before 1999, so The Defenders or Hawaii Five-O may not survive til season 2.

The CW

Time Slot:
Wednesdays 9:00-10:00
Cast: Aly Michalka, Ashley Tisdale, Gail O’Grady, Heather Hemmens, Matt Barr, Robbie Jones, Sharon Leal
Flat-out bad reviews citing the show as an outright Glee knockoff, combined with The CW’s general level of fail in recent years and the fact that Hellcats is up against ABC’s comedy block, lead me to believe the show will not last long.
My Prediction: Dawn Ostroff‘s pride will require they order a back nine, but this will not see a second season.

Time Slot:
Tursdays 9:00-10:00
Cast: Aaron Stanford, Ashton Holmes, Lyndsy Fonseca, Maggie Q, Melinda Clarke, Shane West, Tiffany Hines, Xander Berkeley
Thoughts: What sounds like a strong pilot, combined with a decent time slot and a potentially perfect lead in, seems a shoo-in for renewal. Especially as its competition is Hellcats.
My Prediction: Season 2. Beyond that, I don’t know. It might skew male and end up buried at 3pm Saturdays, knowing Ostroff’s record.

By My Count: 1/2, or 50%. They’ve never not renewed one of their new shows, and having only 2, I think this is most likely.


Bob’s Burgers
Time Slot:
Midseason; Sundays 8:30-9:00
Cast: Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal
Thoughts: I think show has a chance, being another cog in Fox’s Sunday animated block, but I’m not willing to bet on its survival. Animated shows are a hard sell these days. Remember The Goode Family? Yeah, me neither.
My Prediction: 6 eps and out.

Time Slot:
Mondays 9:00-10:00
Cast: Adrianne Palicki, Bryce Johnson, David Keith, Eloise Mumfor, Jimmy Wolk, Jon Voight as Clint Thatcher, Mark Deklin
Though the odds are against this show, as it’s apparently smart and contreversial, I’m getting this feeling it will be a quiet hit after House. It won’t destroy the competition, meaning CBS’ powerful comedy block, but it will do just fine.
My Prediction: 3 seasons and out.

Mixed Signals
Time Slot: Spring, Tuesdays 9:30-10:00
Cast: Alexandra Breckenridge, David Denman, Kris Marshall, Liza Lapira, Nelson Franklin
Thoughts: One of many disposable, carbon-copy sitcoms that appear, and die quickly, every year.
My Prediction: Order cut to 7 or 8 and no season 2.

Raising Hope
Time Slot:
Fall, Tuesdays 9:00-9:30; Midseason, Wednesdays 8:00-8:30
Cast: Garrett Dillahunt, Lucas Neff, Martha Plimpton, Shannon Marie Woodward, Skyler Stone
I feel pretty positive about Raising Hope, despite it looking a bit weaker than Greg Garcia‘s previous show, My Name is Earl. I think it’ll suffer against Dancing With the Stars in the Fall, but definitely compete when up against ABC’s The Middle in midseason.
My Prediction: 2-4 seasons.

Time Slot:
Midseason, Mondays 9:00-10:00
Cast: Billy Lush , Delroy Lindo, Devin Kelley, Jason Clarke, Jennifer Beals, Matt Lauria, Todd Williams
I’m of two minds about this show. I feel strongly about it, but I’m really worried about Southland-style performance. I get the sense that though the show will be excellent, it won’t perform that well.
My Prediction: 2 seasons.

Running Wilde
Time Slot:
Tuesdays 9:30-10:00
Cast: Jayne Houdyshell, Joe Nunez, Keri Russell, Stefania Owen, Will Arnett
Thoughts: Though I expect the show will be beloved amongst fans, I think the show will be doomed by a poor performance by its pilot, leading to trouble picking up additional viewers later. The show will, run after American Idol at some point in the season, but I don’t see the show returning for a second season.
My Prediction: Back nine, no season 2.

Terra Nova
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: TBC.
Thoughts: I have no read on this show. I have this horrible feeling this will be an expensive, expensive flop, a la NBC’s Kings. It’s a little too out there, and unless Fox has a massive promotional campaign, it’s a huge risk for potentially small reward.
My Prediction: No season 2.

By My Count: 3/7, or  42%. Though the percentage is a bit high, Fox is being awfully conservative with it’s pickups this season (7 vs. 10+ almost every other year since 1999), and 3 pickups is typical for them.

NBC (National Broadcasting Company)

The Cape
Time Slot:
Held for midseason .
David Lyons, Dorian Missick, James Frain, Jennifer Ferrin, Keith David, Ryan Wynott, Summer Glau
I want to predict success, and I think it’s possible, but I keep seeing a The Cape: The Complete Series DVD in my head. That said, I could see it finding a degree of success at 10 on Mondays after The Event.
My Prediction: Probably one season and out.

Time Slot:
Mondays 10:00-11:00
Cast: Amaury Nolasco, Cole Hauser, Jesse Metcalfe, Kelli Giddish, Rose Rollins
Though this Bruckheimer pilot achieved a lot of buzz around pickup time, I can’t help but recall my mantra: it’s a hard world out there for bland procedurals. And though the lead seems to have some charisma, that seems to be a lesson Chase is destined to learn.
My Prediction: Back nine, yes; second season, no.

The Event
Time Slot:
Mondays 9:00-10:00
Cast: Blair Underwood, Ian Anthony Dale, Jason Ritter, Laura Innes, Sarah Roemer, Scott Patterson, Zeljko Ivanek
I feel like The Event is the next Flashforward: Big opening, but weak writing (which I got a feel of from the preview scenes) letting it down and leading to bleeding ratings.
My Prediction: No season 2.

Friends With Benefits
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: Danneel Harris, Ian Reed Kessler, Jessica Lucas, Ryan Hansen (+ 1 role to be recast)
Thoughts: I have every indication this is a pretty weak pilot, and nothing I’ve seen has indicated it’s anything more than one of the filler comedies that wash in and out with the tide every season.
My Prediction: If it makes it to air, 5 episodes.

Harry’s Law
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: Aml Ameen, Brittany Snow, Kathy Bates (+ 1 role to be recast)
I feel like Harry’s Law is going to be successful. Perhaps it’s the strength of Kathy Bates combined with the legacy of David E. Kelley talking, but I see a sleeper hit here.
My Prediction: 3-4 seasons.

Law and Order: Los Angeles
Time Slot:
Wednesdays 10:00-11:00
Cast: TBC.
Thoughts: Not sure how to call this one. The only Law and Order still standing is Special Victims Unit, and that one’s proven to be pretty time slot dependent. Still…
My Prediction: The show will, at worst, limp through 2-3 seasons, unless its ratings are a complete trainwreck.

Love Bites
Time Slot:
Thursdays 10:00-11:00
Cast: Becki Newton, Greg Grunberg, Jordana Spiro
Thoughts: Despite a strong cast that play well in previews, I worry this one will be a victim of its own anthological style. Especially as its lead in is new comedy Outsourced at the end of the Thursday comedy block, which  means Love Bites is perched precariously on its shoulders. I’m worried.
My Prediction: No season 2, sadly.

Time Slot:
Fridays 10:00-11:00
Cast: Carly Pope, David Ramsey, Ellen Woglom, Jesse Bradford, Jimmy Smits
Thoughts: You think this has a chance?
My Prediction: No back nine.

Time Slot:
Thursday 9:30-10:00
Cast: Anisha Nagarajan, Ben Rappaport, Diedrich Bader, Jessica Gower, Parvesh Cheena, Rebecca Hazelwood, Rizwan Manji, Sacha Dhawan
The show will do alright, nothing spectacular. The ratings won’t set the sky aflame, but they will be decent enough, especially with the upscale audience that loves the rest of the block, that the show will survive.
My Prediction: Will see season 2. After that, I have no idea.

The Paul Reiser Show
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: Amy Landecker, Andrew Daly, Ben Shenkman, Duane Martin, Koby Rouviere, Omid Djalili, Paul Reiser
With such a low order in a year where NBC ordered anything that moves, I’m not hopeful.
My Prediction: 1 season, if it surfaces on air at all.

Perfect Couples
Time Slot:
Held for midseason.
Cast: Christine Woods, David Walton, Hayes MacArthur, Kyle Howard, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Olivia Munn
I doubt this will air. The Platonic ‘bland couples show’.
My Prediction: 4 episodes max.

Time Slot:
Wednesdays 8:00-9:00
Cast: Ben Schwartz, Boris Kodjoe, Carter MacIntyre, Gerald McRaney, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessica Parker Kennedy
Very hopeful for this. A very likely success.
My Prediction: Multiple seasons.

By My Count: 4/12, or 33%. Right around NBC’s typical numbers.


Ultimate By My Count: 16/36, or 44%. My guesses were a bit on the safe side, it seems, as 1-3 more shows than I predicted will likely be cancelled. That said, I’m intrigued to see how accurate these guesses end up playing out over the course of the next year or so. In some cases, I hope I’m very wrong, but shows live and die every year. Good luck to every show in the running!

So, what do you think?

5 Responses to “Survival of the Fittest: 2010’s New Shows”
  1. tr_uce says:

    I really enjoyed reading your predictions. I must say I agree with a lot of them. And like you I also hope that I’m wrong about some of my predictions. LOVE #$%* My Dad Says on Twitter but the trailer, YIKES! I liked Ryan Devlin, not so much William Shatner. Wishing 4 a more ArchieBunker/KenTitus vibe. However, I was surprised at how much I liked the trailers for Mixed Signals, Body Of Proof, Hawaii 5-0 & especially Mike And Molly (which I didn’t think I’d like at all). And I’ve got a soft spot for Jimmy Smits so I’m pulling for Outlaw. Lastly, I hope we’re both right about Perfect Couples such wowza what a crapfest! Thanks again for sharing.

  2. R. Lackie says:

    Hey tr_uce! Congratulations on being our first-ever commenter who isn’t related to me!

    I’m hoping #$%* is like Big Bang Theory, which had a steep learning curve but figured itself out by midseason. Being a fan of Smits and Dana Delany, I’m pulling for their Friday shows even if I’m really, really unsure about seeing either one make it to season 2. And yeah, Perfect Couples was pretty brutal; it’s another ‘100 Questions’, I think.

    Thanks for commenting! Come back soon! 🙂

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