Three Fall Premieres That Took Flight

October 19, 2014

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After spending 13 years in the Broadcast industry, it should be no surprise to anyone that I have always loved watching television. I remember as a kid begging to stay up late enough to watch Growing Pains and Who’s the Boss and feeling like Brandon, Donna, Kelly, Brenda, David and Dylan from 90210 were my friends. It has always been a bit of an escape for me. So naturally when the new shows get rolled out, I am like a kid in a candy shop. Every year there are some standouts and some that I am amazed even made it to the pilot phase. It makes you wonder what was passed on if shows like #Selfie got the green light. Here are my two cents on the September pilots, grab a bag of popcorn and sit down.

Marry Me
NBC
Tuesday, 8:30pm-9pm

This is a story about a young couple, Annie (Casey Wilson from Happy Endings) and Jake (Ken Marino from Role Models) who have been together for six years, not living together or engaged. After a Mexican vacation, where Casey assumes Jake will propose and doesn’t, she completely flips out. Little does she know, he is down on one knee behind her with all of their family and friends hiding throughout the apartment.

I am not giving anything away with this plot line as this all happens within the first 5 minutes of the pilot. I expected to find this sitcom overly predicable with way too many cringe inducing scenes. However, I found myself laughing for most of the episode. It is a well-written comedy with that witty banter that you can only wish you had with your friends and significant other. There were a few scenes where I saw way too much of myself in Annie. For those of you that know me well enough, I am sure you will be able to pick out those scenes. My prediction is that it gets picked up for the season, but I am not sure about longevity. It has a very similar feel too Happy Endings and that didn’t find enough people to keep it afloat.

When looking at Marry Me’s time slot competition, it isn’t up against very strong contenders which include: Manhattan Love Story, a new sitcom on ABC, The Flash on the CW, Utopia on Fox and long-time audience favorite, NCIS on CBS. The only show that could potentially steal share away is faltering Manhattan Love Story, but it has not received great reviews. The rest of the mentioned shows are completely different genres and key audiences, so I am hoping that it finds it niche.

Added to my lineup.

Stalker
WBZ
10pm-11pm

Stalker is an hour-long semi-serialized crime drama created by Kevin Williamson, probably best known these days as the guy behind Fox’s serial killer series The Following, but here, he’s also revisiting territory he covered writing Wes Craven’s Scream movies. Out of all of the pilots I have watched, this is by far my favorite.

Stalker stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as Jack Larsen and Beth Davis respectively, two cops on the LAPD’s threat assessment unit, which deals with guys who won’t take no for an answer. Each week highlights a new bad guy and how the team brings him/her to justice. In addition, we get a sneak peek of Beth’s past, which may include a stalker of her own, and Jack’s reasons behind moving to L.A! There are many plot layers involving the stalkers and character development that will have you on the edge of your seat.

It is up against a few veteran programs, such as Nashville and Chicago PD. However, both are showing major signs in their ratings decline year over year. Therefore, Stalker provides something that the others aren’t; something that is a little racy and slightly violent. I believe that it will get picked up and appeal to the people who were avid viewers of shows like The Following and those that love serial cop dramas.

Added to my line up.

The McCarthy’s
CBS
Thursday, 9:30pm-10pm

The sitcom comes to Southie! Created by Brian Gallivan, The McCarthy’s is a multi-cam sitcom about a sports-crazed Irish Catholic family living in Boston who are trying to figure out their son Ronny (played by Tyler Ritter), who’s gay. Rescue Me’s Jack McGee plays the dad and Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) plays the mom. I watched this pilot begrudgingly, solely due to the fact that it stars Joey McIntyre. As many of you know, I will sit through anything if it stars a member of the New Kids on the Block! I was however, disappointed as I felt that the Boston accents were overreacted, the set was a little unrealistic and the jokes were off the mark. Come on Joey, you are from Jamaica Plain for heaven’s sake!

In terms of the competition, A to Z is the only other comedy in this time block, but it has received low ratings. Other non-comedic shows include, Scandal, a popular drama on ABC that garners high shares for this block, but based on the premise, it would be catering towards a different audience. Reign and Gracepoint, on the CW and FOX respectively, round out the time period. Reign, like many CW programs, is heavily DVRd and really doesn’t see substantial ratings until Live+3 is factored in and with a younger audience. Gracepoint is a new 10 episode drama that has been likened to The Killing on AMC. Neither show seems to pose much a threat, so I think that The McCarthy’s could potentially get picked up for the season.

Added to my lineup due to NKOTB factor.

– Teresa