September means the beginning of the fall television lineup. All of the major networks premiere their hopeful new shows of the fall, but the reality is most of them won’t last and will be distant memories.
As usual, reality television is pretty big this season. It seems that more reality programs are being produced than ever with no apparent end in sight. The formula seems pretty simple: You add people who want to be famous, producers who want to make a major buck without shelling out a boat load of money, you mix it all together and you’ve got the latest reality program that spawns new celebrities and annoying catch phrases.
It seems that the ideas in reality television well are running a bit dry as different networks are running the same shows -with altered names. In case you haven’t already tuned into Fox’s Trading Spouses, ABC’s Wife Swap might be more up your alley. Either way, both shows focus on having an excuse to get rid of your significant other for a few weeks.
Two of the most anticipated shows this season include the return of a tyrant and a friend all on his own.
The Apprentice returns for its second season after a stellar first year that spawned the annoying appearance of T-shirts bearing the phrase “You’re fired.” The Donald hopes the second round of mini-hims will have what it takes to rule part of his business empire. Hopefully this season will see the appearance of an Omarosa-like villain who everyone can love to hate.
The show with the highest – or maybe the lowest – expectations this season is Joey, starring Matt LeBlanc. Joey picks up where Friends left off; everyone has gone their own way, and Joey’s in Los Angeles trying to make it big. The odds of the show surviving may be pretty slim, as few spin-offs manage to avoid the landfill of cancelled shows, but maybe the loyal Friends viewers will help Joey out.
On the talk show front, Oprah is returning for her millionth season. This means more shows on her favorite things and learning how we can live our most fulfilling life. This might not be that appealing to binge-drinking coeds, but it’s hilarious to watch her audience of house-moms have orgasmic reactions when Oprah predictably does giveaways on her favorite things show.
If the inundation of new and returning fall shows is a bit confusing, here’s a definitive weekly lineup.
Arrested Development (Fox) – Though the show was nearly canceled last season due to poor ratings, it’s the funniest show you’re not watching. This show about the hilariously dysfunctional Bluth family makes your own family problems seem minimal.
The Benefactor (ABC) – This new series is an Apprentice knockoff with a knockoff Donald Trump, better known to many as Mark Cuban. He’s looking to give away a million dollars to who he feels is most deserving after putting them through a series of tests.
Scrubs (NBC) – Zach Braff, the brilliant writer, director and star of the movie Garden State returns to his day job along with his other comical comrades. Who ever knew a hospital setting could provide 30 minutes of comedy.
America’s Next Top Model (UPN) – Who would have thought the UPN could produce such quality television? The third installment of this reality show in search of a budding model makes you ask the question: Do we really need more models on this earth? No, but it’s fun watching them duke it out over the last rice cake.
Joey and Will and Grace (NBC) – Even without Friends, Thursday will always and forever be must-see TV, minus the dreadful ER of course.
Commando Nanny (WB) – If Joan of Arcadia is a repeat, tune into this new reality show in which a former British Special Forces commander moves to the 90210 to become a nanny.
Give the tube a rest and go see a movie. Or better yet: Pick up a book.
Patrice Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.