Faith, Media & Culture

As the TV network’s conclude their fall schedule announcements, I conclude my week-long fantasy about how I would program the sox major broadcasters (including the thus far-imaginary My Family Network) if it were up to me.  Here goes Part 5 of 5.

The CW Fall Schedule (New Show in CAPS). Details about the new shows are here. Following each nightly rundown are my comments, along with my self-indulgent thoughts on how things would look if I called the shots.

8:00 – Gossip Girl
To my mind Gossip Girl is not, and is unlikely to become, a mainstream hit.  Hart of Dixie, about a young female doctor from New York who inherits an Alabama medical practice sounds interesting.

JWK Alternative: 8:00 – The Closer/Rizzoli & Isles (Mid-season), 9:00 – Rizzoli & Isles/WINDY CITY
Some out of the box thinking here — which I realize is actually unrealistic (at least for this season). The CW is a joint venture of CBS and Time Warner (born out of the merger of old WB and UPN networks. As I’ve been writing this week, I believe the broadcast networks would be wise to avoid utilizing  cable sister channels as virtual competition for themselves and, instead, use them as an outlets to rerun their broadcast programming (adding to each shows cumulative audience).

But CBS (aside from the pay-cable Showtime) has no cable outlet. Time Warner on the other hand has no broadcast network of its own. What if the two companies were to work out a deal that would allow CBS to rerun its properties on TW’s TBS (perhaps renaming it CBS Encore) while TW would gain complete control of the CW which itself could be rechristened TNT Premiere (with reruns airing on the current TNT cable network).

The new TNT would be made up of the best of TNT, TBS and the CW. The new network would be more broad-based the the narrow CW demo of teen girls and could even break into late night with a one-two punch of TBS’ Conan at 11:00 PM followed by Lopez Tonight at Midnight.

As for prime time Monday, a good first schedule might include the two female-driven TNT crime dramas The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles. With long-running The Closer actually scheduled to close in mid-season, the CW-developed crime drama Windy City (aka Cooper & Stone), about female Chicago P.D. detectives, could be brought into the mix.

8:00 – 90210
9:00 – RINGER
Comments: The new 90210 is not a true hit — particularly when compared with the original Fox version.  Ringer, about a woman on the run from the mob who takes on the identity of her twin sister who, it turns out, is also on the run sounds a bit far-fetched even for television.

JWK Alternative: 8:00 – Hart of Dixie, 9:00 – Danni Lowinski
These two CW-developed shows, respectively about a young female doctor practicing medicine in the south and a young female lawyer practicing law out of a shopping mall kiosk, go together well and would make good counter programming to much of the night’s male -skewing programming.

8:00 – H8R
9:00 – America’s Next Top Model

Comments: H8R is a reality show in which celebrities try to convince someone who detests them (aka, I guess, a “hater”) to like them. Dumb.

JWK Alternative: 8:00 – Leverage, 9:00 – Memphis Beat
These two TNT light crime dramas are more likely to draw in the mainstream then the CW reality combo.

8:00 – The Vampire Diaries
Young vampires followed by young witches. There is some thematic flow there.

JWK Alternative: 8:00 – The Vampire Diaries, 9:00 – AWAKENING
Vampires followed by zombies. Thematic flow there too.

8:00 – Nikita
8:30 –  Supernatural
Comments: Nikita’s not an actual hit and Supernatural has probably run its course.

JWK Alternative: 8:00FRANKLIN & BASH, 9:00 – Men of a Certain Age
A pair of male-oriented shows with strong casts should work on a quiet Friday night.

While CW doesn’t program weekends, TNT certainly has a enough programming on its shelf to cover the two nights. Here’s how those lineups could look:

Saturday: 8:00 – Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, 8:30 – Are We There Yet?, 9:00 – Meet the Browns, 9:30 – FOR BETTER OR WORSE
A quartet of Tyler Perry-produced sitcoms on a night when sitcoms have traditionally worked.

Sunday: 7:00 – America’s Next Top Model/MILLION-DOLLAR PYRAMID (Mid-season), 8:00 – HawthoRNe, 9:00 – FALLING SKIES/HEAVENLY (Mid-season)
TBS plans a revival of the Dick Clark game show $100,000 Pyramid hosted by Conan O’Brien sidekick Andy Richter. Up it to a cool mil and let it fill in between rounds of America’s Top Model. – Both shows would lead smoothly into the nurse drama HawthoRNe. Put on TNT’s biggest ticket item, Steven Spielberg’s alien invasion epic Falling Skies at 9:00 PM. After that runs its course, replace it with the Touched by an Angel-ish Heavenly. All in all, that would be a pretty strong lineup, I think.

Okay, this is out of my system now. I’ll be back with the regular format on Monday.

Till then…

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11