Every spring the television broadcast networks trot out their fall and midseason lineups at annual presentations for advertisers and media. These so-called upfronts allow the networks to tell fans what shows are going to be renewed, what shows are getting the axe, and what they have in development.
Today we are presenting five new fall shows we’re on the fence about. They have great casts (Jeffrey Tambor! Sarah Michelle Gellar! Christina Ricci!) but the painful laugh tracks, hollow jokes and/or gimmicks may make the shows too painful to watch. These are shows that will live on our DVRs but may not last more than a few episodes, or they could turn into the best new things on television.
Disclaimer: Since we’re basing our judgment on clips and conjecture, we are prepared to eat our words when a few episodes air and we realize the grave errors we have made (we take our words with hot sauce AND mayonnaise) and/or bask in our brilliant ability to pick winners and we’ll be taking our talent to the horse track.
“Napoleon Dynamite” on Fox
Pro: We loved the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” …when it came out in 2004
Con: Seven-year old jokes may not be enough to sustain an entire season of episodes
“Two Broke Girls” on CBS
Pro: Whitney Cummings wrote and produced the show; Kat Dennings
Con: Laugh track; Not that funny yet
“Pan Am” on ABC
Pro: “Mad Men”-inspired; Christina Ricci
Con: Potentially clunky dialogue; Not actually being “Mad Men”
“Ringer” on the CW
Pro: Sarah Michelle Gellar a.k.a. Buffy is back as twins involved in a dark mystery; Nestor Carbonell from “Lost”
Con: It may not get the ratings to last
“Bent” on NBC
Pro: Jeffrey Tambor; Jeffrey Tambor; Jeffrey Tambor
Con: The trailer’s not that funny