Less reality, more orginality

The air is crisper, the days are shorter, and everyone on campus seems to have a hacking cough. We all know what that means: It’s officially fall. With the end of the summer blockbusters, fall means that it’s time for the small screen to take precedence over the big screen. In other words, time to kick back and embrace your inner couch potato.

This season brings with it a host of new shows and one exciting trend: less reality TV! Out of the 26 new shows debuting on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and The CW, only three are reality shows. Of these three, at least one looks fairly interesting — and this is coming from a person with a strong hatred of anything to do with reality TV.

So, in the interest of saving you time and TiVo, here’s a quick rundown of the shows that look the most (and least) promising this season. One thing’s for sure: You won’t get them confused.

Back to You (Fox) Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 19. 8 p.m.

It’s a show set in Pittsburgh! The show stars Kelsey Grammer (anyone else love Frasier?) and Patricia Heaton (Ray’s wife on Everybody Loves Raymond), who play TV anchors for a small Pittsburgh television station. It sounds like that show News Radio — if anyone else remembers that.

Gossip Girl (The CW) Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 19. 9 p.m.

Now that The O.C. is gone, there has to be another drama about ridiculously wealthy high schoolers who have more money than brains. The CW to the rescue! The new series Gossip Girl follows a group of over-privileged New York high schoolers whose lives are chronicled by a mysterious blogger named Gossip Girl. She knows everyone’s dirty little secrets and delivers them directly to you via text messages. Developed by the creators of The O.C. and based on the popular book series by Cecily von Ziegesar, this show is guaranteed to be a hit with teenagers.

Kid Nation (CBS) Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 19. 8 p.m.

What do you get when you put 40 kids ages 8 to 15 in a deserted ghost town without adult supervision? Hopefully, it doesn’t result in a live-action reenactment of Lord of the Flies. This show looks like a fairly interesting social experiment — that is, if it doesn’t focus too much on crying children who want out.

Private Practice (ABC) Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26. 9 p.m.

Many suspected that the episode of Grey’s Anatomy which featured Dr. Addison Montgomery (actress Kate Walsh) in California was the setup for a spin-off, and here it is! Private Practice stars Walsh as a neonatal surgeon who’s leaving Seattle (poor McSteamy) in search of sunnier pastures. We can only hope that this show is half as interesting as Grey’s Anatomy, and the executives of Private Practice are banking on the fact that it will be as addictive.

Bionic Woman (NBC) Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 2. 9 p.m.

During the past few years, there have been a plethora of movies about guys with super powers — not so many featuring women. NBC is looking to change that. The resurrection of the 1976–78 series Bionic Woman is timed perfectly to satisfy the superhero fix that viewers need after a summer filled with superhero blockbusters like Transformers and Spider-Man 3. However, the jury’s still out on whether or not this series will have your “Spidey senses” tingling.

Big Shots (ABC) Premieres Thursday, Sept. 27. 10 p.m.

Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott, Christopher Titus, and Joshua Malina. Other than the fact that all of them have had recurring roles in fairly popular TV shows, they now all have something else in common: They’re all becoming high-ranking executives. ABC’s new show Big Shots features these four as execs who get together to talk about the two most important things in their lives: money and power. It sounds a little like Sex and the City, except this version is more like Sex and the Boardroom. Only one question remains — who gets to play Miranda?

Cavemen (ABC) Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 2.
8 p.m.

One of the first TV shows to be developed from a successful ad campaign, this sitcom follows the lives of three cavemen who end up living in a southern suburb. The series has already come under fire from critics as being a “racial metaphor.” As a result of these comments, ABC completely reworked the pilot. Apparently, making a TV show about stereotypes of a certain group of people isn’t “so easy a caveman can do it.”

You might have to triple-book your TiVo for Wednesday nights because it seems like the networks are pulling out all the stops for it. So, if you get the chance between studying, studying, and more studying, check it out. After all, anything’s better than watching another episode of Friends in syndication.