By now you’ve most likely seen the racy Gossip Girl ad campaign displayed to the right. Conservative watchdogs barked like mad when the campaign first appeared in magazines and on bus stops nationwide. How dare the show allude to the fact that kids have sex! Like, WTF? And use an obnoxious code language only understandable by those under 18 (and who are totes lazy idiots)! ROTFLMAO, for real!
Teens, on the other hand, loved them. This is their world: high sexual drama and hyper-creative language creation. The ads perfectly encapsulates everything that makes the show attractive to young viewers: pretty people with pretty problems texting each other on pretty cell phones.
The controversial (and grammatically challenged) ads are already proving valuable. The show has already been picked up for another season. Gossip Girl is so insanely popular amongst the cyber set that The CW has stopped letting people view episodes online in an attempt to force them to watch the live shows. Faux-GG’s are popping up everywhere (we might be a stolen WiFi connection away from the return of Hard Harry); hell, Gawker practically owes their Google Page Rank to the massive number of random NYC’ers fanatically texting in celebrity encounters. Obviously, this trend is not going away.
Since Hollywood is nothing if not derivative, it’s only a matter of time before other primetime shows begin cannibalizing the Gossip Girl-created abbrevation marketing technique. In fact, I can picture those ads right now…
Other TV Shows Trying the Abbreviation Marketing Campaign:
A most unexpected silver lining has developed from the interminable WGA Writer’s Strike. Variety is reporting that Friday Night Lights (my current fav show), is seeing a much-needed boost in the ratings and is close to a third season renewal. With nothing else on TV besides a bunch of musclemen in spandex running around whomping on civilians and waiting for Hulk Hogan to start making good with the No Holds Barred set stories, and the curious sensation that the brand new Law & Order episodes on NBC are merely the same ones you’ve watched over and over again on TNT, USA, TBS and A&E except now Jesse Martin looks a little more Orbach-ianly craggly and Elton from Clueless gets to suck and blow crazy criminals instead of crazy Brittany Murphy, America has finally come to their senses and realized that FNL is the greatest collection of televisional awesomeness since POTUS got into a bike crash and Rob Lowe meta-boned a pro on the pilot for The West Wing.
So for maybe the first time in forever, a poorly-rated critical darling is actually being given a chance by discerning viewers (Somewhere in the world, the Bluth family is collectively shedding a self-absorbed tear – and probably doing the chicken dance at Michael). Thanks to a move away from its first season timeslot amidst the heavy commercial hitters of Wednesday nights and into the barren wasteland of Moonlight and Women’s Murder Club suckage, FNL is now the No.1 show in its 9pm time period with viewers 18-34 (the most coveted of demos). Surging DVR viewing of FNL by people that actually have lives on Friday nights and wait till Sunday to ignore Brothers & Sisters and lock their doors to “enjoy” seeing Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Connie Britton, Kyle Chandler and Aimee Teagarden make up the prettiest cast of pretty people in the history of hotness, boosts the ratings of the show another 18%.
Other boons to the show are that it has the most affluent viewers of any primetime drama, the show costs half a million less per episode to make than most network hour-long’s, and also, the small bit about the show being utterly effing amazing. And thankfully, because the production of the show is as ninja as the final product, there are still 4 more episodes left to air. Plenty of opportunities to hook new viewers and keep them coming back (and maybe go back and buy the revelatory 1st season on DVD).
All this leads to the most improbable result of primetime TV shutting down and ruining entertainment: Friday Night Lights will get a third season renewal. FNL fanatics were amazed the show even made it to season two! And with this season stepping away from the complex emotional plots of season one and into the cloying soap opera histrionics that are required of a hipster indie network drama desperate for a mainstream audience (Threesomes in Mexico! Tyra and Landry kill a guy and dump his body! Julie Taylor unleashes her life-altering cleav!), none of us would have been surprised if new viewers just didn’t get why we were so enamored with the plight of the scrappy Dillon Panthers. But in the face of unrelenting network pressure, disinterested viewers, Taylor Kitsch’s spot on Jordan Catalano impression, signs of shark jumping (Riggins is stealing drug money now? Really?), and the indefensible fact that the show is about Texas high school football, a subject nobody cares about outside of Texas, this beautifully shot and expertly acted drama about life and love in a sports-obsessed small town is getting a third chance. And I couldn’t be happier.
It raised an interesting question for me: what would I give up to save my favorite TV show?
If my favorite show on television was on the brink of cancellation, what I would sacrifice to get 13 or 22 episodes more? For Friday Night Lights the answer is easy: I would give up this. Exactly this. The sting of losing the back 10 on my other 16 shows is dampened knowing that I’m getting an extra 10 (at minimum) from my favorite one.
I’ve already seen 60+ eps of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve laughed a little less each time at the 100+ eps of Scrubs. The Office is a weekly retread of Steven Carrell twitches. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to get anything new on House this year (OMG, he makes another last minute revelation! It’s actually a rare form of Fatal Hangnail Disease! Brilliant! Let’s forgive him for being a d-bag because he saved this one annoying guy from a fate worse than band-aids!). Heroes is on the decline, Lost wasn’t even going to do a full season anyway, How I Met Your Mother is plateau-ing, and though I love Gossip Girl with the intensity of a thousand burning 90210 reruns, I’m always going to have a teen soap opera to lust after. This one is particularly great, but not so mind-bottling that I would choose Blair Waldorf over Lyla Garrity.
So in thinking about it, I really don’t mind having nothing but Idol to watch this spring. Take it all away, that’s fine, because come September, after all this strike bullshit is resolved, I’m gonna get to see Coach Taylor try to win another State Championship, and all will be right with my entertainment world.
Just for funsies, here’s what I would give up to save some of the other shows on TV:
- To save Private Practice, I would give up… eating Buncha Crunch at the movies (I haven’t wanted to pay four bucks for a three handfuls of brown sugar in awhile, anyway.)
- To save Scrubs, I would give up… hating J.D. for always whining about having to hook up with insanely hot girls (poor baby, Heather Graham, Amy Smart, Keri Russell, Elizabeth Banks and Sarah Lancaster wanna bang you! It truly is a hard knock life.) Also, in honor of Turk, I will abstain from eating sweets during it’s Thursday night timeslot every week. Even if it’s jelly beans.
- To save My Name Is Earl, I would give up… the chance to ever see the Alvin and the Chimpmunks movie. Sacrifice is hard, but I’m up to the challenge.
- To save Pardon the Interruption, I would give up… Around the Horn. I prefer Tony Reali as Stat Boy and Jay Mariotti can go screw.
- To save Two and a Half Men, I would give up… Two and a Half Men. (I prefer my Ma-Sheen stoned out of his mind, effing porn stars and mad dogging Denise Richards to PG-13-ing it up on CBS. Sue me.)
- To save Boston Legal, I would give up… doing my impression of Ace Ventura doing his impression of Shatner from that episode of The Twilight Zone. And that sucks, because I used to slay people with that one. Theeeeeere’s… SOMETHINGONTHEWING! SOME… thing!
- To save Law & Order: SVU, I would give up… every memory I have of Matthew Modine. I was never that big a fan of Gross Anatomy and Memphis Belle is only good for Billy Zane (he’s a cool dude).
- To save 30 Rock, I would give up… The Office. Jim and Pam are together, so what more awkward Michael Scott stuff am I gonna miss? And will it be better than Werewolf Bar Mitzvah? Or “ICU81MI”? Or an impromptu rendition of “Midnight Train to Georgia”, with Grizz and Dot Com as the Pips? Or the line: “It’s after 6 o’clock Lemon. What am I, a farmer?” I think not.
- To save Gossip Girl, I would give up… In N Out for a year. As much as I love a good Protein-style Double Double, if I don’t get my weekly fix of Leighton Meester being evil, Kelly Rutherford being awesome, the gratuitous Blake Lively in tight jeans ass shot, the less subtle than Smallville Nate and Chuck HoYay, or the sweet, sweet narrational tones of the former Veronica Mars, well, I’ll go a little nuts.
- To save Lost, I would give up… internet porn. … just kidding! Boobs always trump Matthew Fox, as much as the Vantage Point trailer kicks ass. That’s a true story.
- To save American Idol, I would give up… my hatred for Reese Witherspoon. Yeah, I said it! I would get right with the Cruel Intentions devilface, let her transparent bitchiness go and try to remember how much I liked her in Pleasantville and Election. I’d even give Sweet Home Alabama another chance (though you can’t make me like Josh Lucas). I’ll do whatever I can for just a few more precious moments with Simon, Paula, Randy and Ryan. Oh Seacrest, how I’ve missed your flat ironed hair, unflappable demeanor in the face of Simon’s gay jokes and obnoxious emphasis on the wrong syllable style hosting. I wouldn’t give you up for anything. THIS! Is the end of the post!
What would YOU give up to save your favorite show?
Let me attempt for one moment to try and conjure up the appropriate words for how utterly, disgustingly, punch a kitten in the face cute Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson are standing next to each other at The Spike TV Video Game Awards.
Here is the breakdown, cute girl by cute girl:
Rachel Bilson is quite possibly the cutest tiny brunette working in Hollywood right now. No one holds a candle to how adorable she is seducing Chuck Bartowski with a sandwich, reigning in Seth Cohen’s acres of shit, or making Zach Braff seem palatable in the Garden State rip-off. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Rachel Leigh Cook have passed the torch. Ellen Page dropped a cabal of pithy Juno-esque toss-offs before high-tailing it out of the ring to ironically drink a Big Gulp, text Michael Cera and download Rise Against mp3′s, or whatever else stupendously hip thing hipster Canadian indie darlings like to do to show how stupendously hip they are. The inarguably awesome Leighton Meester, currently seen destroying Chuck Bass’ hopes and dreams and dropping her V-Card into Nate Archibald’s khaki pants, put up a Blair Waldorf-inspired fight, but in the end could not hide from the fact that she is in fact a strawberry blonde (and not nearly as awesome as Lily van der Woodsen). And as far as Natalie Portman goes, she’s definitely all-time, but I just can’t sit through her movies anymore, so she’s gonna sit on the sidelines until my insulin levels are regulated again from the trailer for Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
Kristen Bell is apparently on a James Brown “hardest working cute blonde in show business” inspired jaunt through geekdom. Dropping the awesome in Heroes, narrating Gossip Girl, appearing in a Star Wars fanboy movie called Fanboys wherein she dons the infamous gold bikini and thus earns her everlasting cred in the social awkward circles of life, voiced a character for Assassin’s Creed, and wore a freakin awesome yellow Chewbacca shirt to Star Wars Celebration IV this summer that made me nearly go Buffalo Bill and drop her into my secret dungeon well (Veronica Mars puts the lotion in the basket…). That’s all AFTER pwning the TV set with Veronica Mars, and BEFORE her upcoming star turn in 2008′s big Judd Apatow-produced romcom Forgetting Sarah Marshall (where I’m sure she’ll show the good graces not to call the film sexist target=blank, like some other ungrateful / annoying blonde TV tarts who are currently ruining their hit network dramas with obnoxious “sex with George” storylines, and who will remain nameless. cough Heigl cough.)
On their own they could make entire terror cells perform the care bear stare with just a tilt of their head and one sheepish grin, but put together in one place and the two girls become positively radioactive with cuteness. If scientists could bottle their cuteosity in liquid form it would cure feline leukemia and bring fairies back to life faster than a Martin Scorsese Lifetime Achievement Award standing ovation. Put on the Periodic Table of Elements their abbreviation would be Qt.
They are so freakin cute they make baby polar bears look like festering gobs of diarrhea. Rainbows look like hurl next to them. A two year old wearing a tutu and big sunglasses dancing around a golden retriever puppy would be like looking at a particularly spicy genital wart next to a picture of Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson.
This photo would make Quagmire’s head explode. This photo, when placed next to a DVD copy of Patch Adams, goes nuclear and turns the disc into dust like Peter Petrelli and the Shanti virus. I would c-punt a litter of bunnies if this picture asked me to.
Might as well look like this:
When up against this:
Good god damn this is the cutest picture of two cute actresses taking a cute picture of two cute actresses being cute. That sentence was a palindrome of cute. The picture deserves it’s own Wikipedia page where under “Related” it gives you a link to entry page for the term “cute”. When confronted with these two girls standing next to each other, the Blake Smoke Monster from Lost would turn pink and cook them fat free brownies.
What I’m saying is that I tend to think Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson are pretty cute.
With the Fall TV season now a full month in, I have finally seen every new show (save a few insignificant ones – Cane, anyone?), passed judgment on everything and can now reveal my Official TV Watching Schedule. I’ll take you through it day by day, telling you why I like what, and what I’m not watching and why. It’s gonna be a full television disclosure. I’m gonna answer questions like a Lost season finale (only without the crazy fake ass beard).
So sit back, grab your TiVmote and prepare to bloop bloop!
Chuck – A nice, easy way to start the primetime week. I’m not completely blown away by either the action or the comedy, but I do dig the actors and the attempt at pulling the whole thing together. “Chuck” is a good lead, it’s nice to see Adam Baldwin back on TV (I finally caught up on Firefly this summer and thoroughly enjoyed it), and I can’t get enough of Captain Awesome. I also like how the producers go out of their way to put Yvonne Strahowski in her underwear as much as humanly possible. Why did Sarah have a fight in her slinky grey ass-high robe last week when the outcome was never in jeopardy and there was no reason for the fight to begin with? Who cares, because we got to see a Strahowski blackflip backside peekaboo and it turns out the whole affair was a chickfight between a be-robed Sarah and a red-headed ninja. It’s not even possible to calculate the awesomeness of that gratuitousness. And that’s the type of thing that gets shows season pass-ed in The 209.
How I Met Your Mother – Still a solid sitcom, though they have GOT to find better things for Robin, Lily and Marshall to do. Ted and Barney are doing fine trolling for girls (I was particularly pleased that the season premiere started out with Barney finishing his “Legen… DARY”), but I can’t sit through too many more “Robin has wacky dating hijinks”. Especially if they’re gonna involve skeezy Latin pop stars. Lawyered! Oh, and don’t think for a second that me and A-Train haven’t already purchased our very own championship belt, cause we have. If they can figure out a way to make Marshall and Lily relevant, and a reason for keeping Robin around her ex-boyfriend, there may be hope for the season yet.
Heroes – Here are the five things currently killing this show:
1. WAAAAAAAY too boring a storyline for Hiro. Who, by the way, could not be more useless to the overarching plot of the show, and is reaching Charlie-level heights of annoyingness. We know you’re gonna end up being Kensei, so just get it done and blink your ass back into 2007. I don’t get to see Ando if you’re not around and I need my fill of fun comic sidekicks.
2. WAAAAAAAY too lame new characters. Maya and Alejandro do not have ANYTHING interesting going on. No, not even with Sylar in the mix. Go cry me a black river and wake me when they hit New York in six episodes. This reeks of Nikki and Paolo, but without a much needed buried-alive resolution.
3. WAAAAAAAY too much Matt Parkman. Seriously. Is he really necessary? Who in their right mind would grant custody of a fugitive seven year-old to a divorced, burnt out ex-cop recovering from four gunshots to the chest and his illegal immigrant roommate (even who happens to be smart. And still boring.)? I call shenanigans.
4. WAAAAAAAY too much time spent without Kristen Bell showing up already. Let’s step to it, people. The faster we get Veronica Mars on stage, the sooner we get to see the scene where Ali Larter, Hayden Panetierre and Kristen pillow fight over who’s the hottest blonde on the show. SPOILER ALERT: The answer, by the way, is Mr. Muggles.
5. WAAAAAAAY too many characters. I can barely remember everyone’s names and I’ve seen every episode. Let’s kill off all the newbies, and Parkman and maybe Ali Larter, and get down to business with the Petrelli’s, the Bennet’s, Hiro and Sylar.
That all being said, the show still kicks ass and I wouldn’t dream of missing it.
Journeyman – One of my three favorite new shows of the Fall. I didn’t realize how much I missed a time travel drama on network television till I sat down to watch the pilot. I’m intrigued by the rules of the game here, like the dynamic of Dan seeing his ex on his journeys and his wife getting pissed back at home. And I’m curious how they are going to explain his continued absences (surely SOMEONE has to see him disappear at some point). Kevin McKidd is a fantastic actor and a great, very watchable series lead. I couldn’t dig this show more.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON MONDAYS
Aliens in America – I actually liked the pilot, I just have no time for it. This, like Everybody Hates Chris, is just gonna have to be a good CW show I never get into.
The Big Bang Theory – Hate the Galecki. The Cuoco does nothing for me. And that other guy wore my awesome beige Flash shirt in all the promos and now I can’t wear it anywhere without people asking me if it’s an homage (shut up, people!). I have nothing but dislike for this show. Even if CBS were the only station you could watch on your television, I would still recommend doing something else at 8:30 on Mondays. Like watching the end of MNF, or the second half of Chuck, or Aliens in America, or internet porn.
Samantha Who? – I got burnt by a Christina Applegate sitcom once before (Jesse, anyone?), and it’s not happening again. Barry Watson doesn’t help, either.
House – Still plugging along on Hugh Laurie’s endless charisma. I’ve kinda missed the old team, but am buoyed by spending time with Kumar and the hot lesbian from The O.C. (rent Alpha Dog to see her get down naked-style. The movie blows, but that scene is worth it in spades. Spades, son!). My only bit of contention is that Cuddy is becoming more and more ineffectual. Can we get her a storyline, please? One that doesn’t involve her going on a date that will eventually be ruined by House? Because we’ve seen that six times already. Or her telling House he can’t do something and then totally caving. Cause we’ve seen that eleventy-billion times.
Reaper – I’m at odds with this show. I like Bret Harrison. I like Ray Wise. I have a mad crush on Missy Peregym (yes I saw Stick It in theaters. Look, it’s not called GymNICEstics!). And the presence of Kevin Smith is never a bad thing. But the formula is already played out and we’re only on episode five. The freak of the week thing never lasts, just ask The X-Files and Smallville, so here’s hoping they come up with some sort of mythology they can dip into now and then. Also, getting Missy back into her leotard for some tumbling wouldn’t hurt.
Law and Order: SVU – Nothing much to say about this show. Love the Meloni and the Mariska. The Belzer still needs a chemical peels worse than Bill Murray and Tommy Lee Jones combined. And the ching ching still rocks it.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON TUESDAYS
Cane – Nothing against Jimmy Smits or Hector Elizondo, two actors I respect, but I have exactly zero interest in this show. And I’m a sugar fiend! (Cane = Sugar? No? Anyone? Bite me.)
Cavemen / Carpoolers – Yeah, right. I’d rather watch Ellen cry about dogs for an hour. At least that’s legitimately funny.
Damages – This one just got away from me. Watched the first 6 or so eps and just fell off track when the season started. The same thing almost happened with Burn Notice, but I like that show more. I’ll catch a marathon or wait for the DVD. So nobody post spoilers.
Pushing Daisies – I like it, don’t love it. The whimsy is nice and all, but I feel like I ate a King Size back of jelly beans by 8:47. And a little Kristin Chenowith (pun intended) goes a LONG way.
Gossip Girl – My favorite new show of the fall. I’m a sucker for a teen soap and this is trash of the filthiest order. The girls are crazy hot, the drama is ridonkulously melodramatic, the parents are all ILF’s, the clothes are ludicrous, the hair is headshakingly bad and the storylines are as old as Gabrielle Carteris. Also, Kristin Bell. I am unabashedly in LOVE this show. I don’t want to talk out of turn, and we’re gonna need to wait and see how the show falls together a bit, but this might be better than The O.C. This question definitely deserves its own column at some point.
Private Practice – Started off creaky and shameful, is slowly working its way to being credible. Could very well end up better than Grey’s (especially if Shonda keeps on with the execrable Gizzie storyline). And I’d never pass up the chance to watch Kate Walsh do anything for an hour, especially when anything includes naked towel dancing. Though I could do with a LOT less Amy Brenneman.
Dirty Sexy Money – The third of my favorite new rookies. The cast is uniformly excellent, from Donald Sutherland (who rules all) to Peter Krause returning to his Casey McCall likeability to Natalie Zea being crazy, hot and crazy hot as Karen Darling to William freaking Baldwin happily throwing down with a tranny. And that’s all before we get into Tamara Feldman (who could throw down with Megan Fox, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down). I could watch the antics of the Darling family for years to come. And I hope I get that chance.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON TUESDAYS
Bionic Woman – Tried hard to like it, but eventually had to accept that the show blows ass. Michelle Ryan does nothing for me. Growing up in the Valley I’ve had my fair share of crazy blondes, so Katee Sackhoff does less than nothing for me. And I can’t stomach Isaiah Washington (even when he’s getting a Bionic beatdown). I might have slogged through it as a change of pace to Private Practice but I can only tape two shows at once and I love Gossip Girl too much.
Kid Nation – I was completely wrong about this show. I thought it would be the biggest show of the year, and as it turns out, it blows harder than Cavemen. They had the kids cutting the head’s off chickens. At 8pm! I nearly booted my Chicken Pad Thai. Child Exploitation, thy name is CBS Reality.
Life – Liked the pilot, but my Wednesdays are already too packed. I’ll catch it when Dirty Sexy Money is in repeats.
30 Rock – I could listen to Tracy Jordan be Anne Heche-crazy for days. I am appealing to the California DMV for my very own “ICU81MI” liscense plate (hilarious!). And then there’s the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah I wish my Mom had let me have:
The Office – Can we please all agree that the hour long episodes were a bad idea and move on? Thank you. So much filler I couldn’t stand it. Thought I was watching season four of Dawson’s Creek for a while there. Though I’m really liking Jim and Pam as a couple. It was a great choice to not to draw that storyline out. I particularly enjoyed this moment (I love how happy they are about the whole thing, like they couldn’t want to tell someone):
Grey’s Anatomy – OK, I’m never gonna stop watching this show, but holy jeebus, if it was ever gonna happen it would be because of the Gizzie (George & Izzie). Izzie has become such a contemptable character. After the scene of Meredith telling Lexie about her Mom’s death, I started liking Mere again (a feat I never thought possible), which makes Izzie the current worst character on network television (even worse than the ghost of Dawson Leery, Carrie Bradshaw and Ally McBeal put together). If they don’t end that ridiculous, painful, ill-conceived plotline before November sweeps I am seriously gonna consider thinking about maybe not watching every second of each episode. And I mean it!
Scrubs – Gotta watch the final season, even if it’s not funny anymore.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – Just to get a base!
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON THURSDAYS
Big Shots – I hated myself enough when I watched Sex and the City, I don’t need a bigger dose of self-loathing from the male version.
Friday Night Lights – Took me watching four straight episodes from the Bravo marathon, a plea from TwoP and Bill Simmons and my desire to have a sports show on my schedule for me to finally give this show a chance. And let me tell you, it was worth it. This is one of the best shows on television. Superbly written, directed and acted, with powerful storylines, big issues, and fascinating characters. If you can get past the football stuff and the Texas nonsense, there is a whole lot to love about FNL. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton put on an acting clinic each week, and there skills are free. Check out everything that’s going in their eyes in this scene:
Brilliant. I picked up the first season on DVD for fifteen bucks last week (and it came with a money back guarantee), and I can’t wait to tear it open and catch up.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON FRIDAYS
Moonlight – I want to like this show so much. Sophia Myles is hot, Shannyn Sossamon is a guilty pleasure. I’d follow Jason Dohring anywhere. But the lead actor is so so so terrible. Makes me long for David Boreananas terrible. And the writing is atrocious. If Fridays are the TV equivalent of the January movie dumping ground, Moonlight is released on the 5th of the year, every month.
Women’s Murder Club – The only new show I haven’t watched yet. This could go either way. I love me some Angie Harmon, but procedurals never do it for me unless they involve Christopher Meloni punching somebody in the face. I’ll let you know…
There is nothing good on TV on Saturdays.
Family Guy – The Star Wars tribute episode may be the funniest hour of entertainment of the entire year, and that includes any 60 minutes of Superbad, Knocked Up or any combination of any episode of the Thursday night NBC sitcoms.
See what I mean.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON SUNDAYS
Viva Laughlin – The only way I’m voluntarily watching Hugh Jackman sing is he if he’s doing his berserker attack with adamantium claw action (should I call you Logan, Weapon X?). And even then I’ll probably be thinking it’s gay (and by that I mean retarded) (and by that I mean I’ve been watching too much House).
So that’s the schedule. Seventeen shows, of which a whopping SEVEN are rookies! What a great slate we got this year. And it only gets better in January when Idol and the Terminator show shows up. Now if I can only find the time to watch everything. It’s a problem. But the kind of problem I don’t mind having.