FOX and NBC: Fall TV Preview 2012

The Upfront Market is upon us this week -- that's when the broadcast television networks present their new lineups for next season to advertisers. In the old days, we would have to wait until TV Guide's Fall Preview Issue to know what new shows were coming up, but now the Internet age makes us ordinary fans privy to all the behind-the-scenes deals, and the public hype for all the autumn series debuts begins months in advance.

Today we'll look at what FOX and NBC have lined up for us. Starting off with FOX, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed.  The network that gave us Fringe and New Girl and continues to give us The Simpsons and American Idol might be a bit gun shy after the failure of Terra Nova. FOX is only giving us three new fall series and two midseason replacements (not counting any upcoming reality shows).  Heck, even the CW will probably top that.  Scroll down for NBC's new offerings, which, in my always humble opinion, are much more interesting-- but you be the judge.

Ben and Kate - Sounds like a typical sitcom about an odd-couple pair of siblings, but will it rise above the rest and attract an audience? 

The Mob Doctor - It's a cross between a hospital show and a gangster series. Hopefully it will be the best of E.R. and the best of The Sopranos, blended into one drama. More likely, it might be a hodgepodge of cliches from both genres.

The Mindy Project - Mindy Kaling from The Office headlines her own situation comedy. We know she's funny, but can the rest of the show measure up?

The Following (midseason) - I liked its working title better (Mastermind), but this backup drama seems to be the most intriguing of everything FOX has to offer. Produced by Kevin Williamson who gave us Dawson's Creek and Scream, it deals with an ex-FBI agent, played by Kevin Bacon, hunting down a serial killer who has inspired a cult of copycat murderers.

The Goodwin Games (midseason) - In order to inherit millions of dollars, three sibs need to follow the eccentric wishes in their dad's will.


Now let's take a peak at what NBC has in store -- six new scripted series and ten possible midseason replacements waiting in the wings. The network definitely seems to want to remake its frayed image.

Animal Practice - Imagine House MD as a veterinarian. That's what the premise of this sitcom seems to be.

Chicago Fire - Firefighters in the Windy City, from the producers who gave us the excellent Western remake 3:10 to Yuma -- sounds promising.

Go On - A sportscaster, played by Matthew Perry, tries to rebuild his emotional life after suffering a loss. This is a comedy.

Guys with Kids - Three 30-something dads try to raise their new kids while refusing to grow up themselves.

The New Normal - A sitcom about a gay couple and the surrogate they have chosen to give birth to their child.

Revolution - I'm really looking forward to this one, which means I may have jinxed it and it will be the first to be cancelled. Produced by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek, Fringe) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural), it tells the hopefully epic tale of a post apocalyptic society when all electricity is lost and technology becomes useless. No cars, no computers, no refrigeration, no electric lights, no phones, no TVs -- sounds promising! The first episode was directed by Jon Favreau, the man responsible for Iron Man.

1600 Penn (midseason) - A family sitcom set in the White House.

Do No Harm (midseason) - Here's another interesting show -- a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Hannibal (midseason) - Will this TV series based on the early days of serial killer Hannibal Lecter be a hit or a miss?

Howie Mandel's White Elephant (midseason) - This game show is an expanded version of the Yankee Swap party game.

Infamous (midseason) - A detective goes undercover as a maid to investigate the murder of a childhood friend.

Next Caller (midseason) - A sitcom about an odd couple of talk radio hosts.

Ready for Love (midseason) - Eva Longoria hosts this reality show dating game.

Save Me (midseason) - Anne Heche stars in this sitcom about a woman who tries to completely change her life after a near deadly accident.

Stars Earn Stripes (midseason) - Celebrities (or pseudo-celebrities) compete in a bootcamp environment, recreating military exercises.

Surprise with Jenny McCarthy (midseason) - I used to love Jenny McCarthy. Now she's back with a variety show based on the premise of unexpected twists and turns for audience members.

Coming up, I'll look at what the other broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, and the CW, have in store. I might even examine some of the pilots that didn't make it. Stay tuned.

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