Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Midseason Preview: Cable & Premium Shows

There are so many new and returning shows premiering on cable and premium channels in the next three months. TV With The Foot focuses on scripted dramas and comedies. If I included reality shows, this post would be unfathomably long for a blog post. As much as I'd like to (I really wouldn't), I don't know every last detail of every scripted drama and comedy on cable and premium channels. Television programming's fractured now, so, at the very least, anyone who's reading should find something to watch in the cold, dark months of January and February, the two worst months of the year. There's the final season of Spartacus to look forward to, a three hour block of original SyFy programming, and the third season of Game Of Thrones. Plus, so much more to pick and choose from. Total noise, am I right?

ABC FAMILY

SWITCHED AT BIRTH

Created By Lizzy Weiss

What Season? 2nd Half of season 2

Premiere Date: Monday, January 7 at 8PM

Thoughts: Switched At Birth is described as a charming series that harkens back to a dearer era in the late 90s when The WB and the mascot frog existed. ABC Family loves to premiere a season, run episodes for two months, break for three, air a holiday special no one asked for, and return with the second half of the season. Also, every returning ABC Family show returns explosively. Anybody that watches Boy Meets World in the early A.M. knows about the channel's obsession with 'explosive.' It's like the text is written by a NFL broadcaster.

BUNHEADS

Created By Amy Sherman-Palladino

What Season? 2nd Half of season 1

Premiere Date: Monday, January 7 at 9PM

Thoughts: I included Bunheads' "Pilot" in my Best Episodes series last week. I stopped watching the show after "For Fanny." I got a headache from the overwhelmingly quirky characters and never wanted to hang out with the characters again. Bunheads had poor ratings, but it's back for the second half of season two. I assume Boo is still derided by her bunhead friends for not looking like a stick and dancing like an angel. Sutton Foster has terrific presence on the screen. Palladino's dialogue is still sharp and cool to listen to. She's one of the rarer writers with a distinctive voice on television

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

Created By I. Marlene King

What Season? 2nd Half of season 3

Premiere Date: Tuesday, January 8 at 8PM

Thoughts: I asked a girl I know if I'd be able to write about one episode of the series during my popular "Random Guy watches your show and breaks down the musical cues" thing in the summer, because she likes Pretty Little Liars. She said no. Well, then. Have the PLL discovered A's identity yet? Every PLL preview includes teases about the shocking revelation regarding A. A's still out there, doing stuff and getting the girls to react wildly with surprise.

THE LYING GAME

Created By Charles Pratt, Jr.

What Season? 2nd Half of Season 2

Premiere Date: Tuesday, January 8 at 9PM

Thoughts: I like watching The Lying Game randomly because of Alexandria Chandro. I don't follow the story. The twin drama eludes me. Again, the ABC Family trailer fails to help uninformed viewers become informed--shots of anguished teenagers as loud noises play and the narrator makes bad puns on the title when explicating plot, which he does poorly--is as useful as a boat on a frozen pond.

AMC

THE WALKING DEAD

Created By Robert Kirkman; Developed for the Screen by Frank Daranbont

What Season? 2nd half of Season 3

Premiere Date: Sunday, February 10 at 9PM

Thoughts: The first half of season three ended on a cliff-hanger. Daryl and Merle were surrounded by the angry folk of Woodbury as the Governor accused Merle of being a betrayer and a terrorist. Rick's group were labeled terrorists. The Governor lost an eye, his daughter, and more of his mind. Meanwhile, Carl welcomed a new group into the prison, led by the popular character from the comics, Tyrese. Rick's arc in which he slowly loses his mind is fascinating to watch. The highlight of Rick's arc through eight episodes of season isn't heroic displays at Woodbury, but, rather, his dark day in the isolated hallways of the prison as he mourned the death of his wife.

BBC AMERICA

RIPPER STREET

Created By Richard Warlow

Premiere Date: Saturday, January 19 at 9PM

Premise: (from BBC America's press release, November 2012) In the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders, can anyone keep order in the blood stained London Streets?

Thoughts: The mystery of Jack The Ripper will continue to be fictionalized 100 years from now by writers because it's endlessly interesting. Ripper Street should have the high production values typical of BBC America. Ripper Street follows detectives trying to solve the Ripper murders. The premise, as you've seen, is short and yields little. The trailer is similar. Ripper Street has gotten better reviews than BBC America's other period piece about crime that aired in the summer.

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

SPIES OF WARSAW

Created By Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais

Premiere Date: Wednesday, February 6 at 9PM

Premise: (from BBC America's press release, November 2012) David Tennant (Single Father, Doctor Who, Hamlet) and Janet Montgomery (Made in Jersey, Black Swan, Entourage) star in the new Dramaville miniseries, Spies of Warsaw, based on the New York Times bestselling author Alan Furst's acclaimed spy novel.

Thoughts: The BBC loves period piece about spies. The Hour combined BBC nostalgia with espionage intrigue in its first season. Now, Spies of Warsaw combines the second world war with espionage intrigue. David Tennant and Janet Montgomery. Montgomery was introduced to American audiences in her short-lived series Made In Jersey.

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

ORPHAN BLACK

Created By Graeme Manson & John Fawcett

Premiere Date: Saturday, March 30 at 9PM

Premise: (from BBC America's press release, October 2012) The enthralling new (10 x 60) drama from Temple Street Productions stars previously announced Tatiana Maslany (Cas & Dylan, Picture Day) in the lead role of Sarah, an outsider and orphan whose life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her.

Thoughts: Sarah's life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her, but the dead woman isn't the only woman who looks just like her. It's a great hook for the show. The trailer lasts 31 seconds and darts between Sarah and the women who look like her. What's it all about? Tune in the 30th of March to find out.

Chance of Weekly Review: 81%

CINEMAX

BANSHEE

Created By David Schickler & Jonathan Trooper

Premiere Date: Friday, January 8, 10PM

Premise: (from Cinemax's press release, October 2012) Executive produced by Alan Ball, Greg Yaitanes, Peter Macdissi, Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler, the primetime action series stars Antony Starr ("Rush") as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pa., where he continues his criminal activities, even as he's hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier.

Thoughts: Alan Ball, in a Behind the Scenes featurette, opines on his theory that every small town, no matter how idyllic, has darkness. Banshee is a bad town with bad people. Actors claim none of the characters are likable. A producer explained the complexity of the characters wherein the villains may become sympathetic later in the series. Alan Ball's an executive producer. Besides American Beauty, Ball's fictional work, whether other movies or an adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse stories, is awful. True Blood's one of the worst TV shows ever. Banshee seems worth watching until Alan Ball appears and you think, "Oh yeah, you hated True Blood."

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

COMEDY CENTRAL

WORKAHOLICS

Created By Adam DeVine, Ander Holms, Blake Anderson, Connor Pritchard, Dominic Russo & Kyle Newacheck

What Season? 3

Premiere Date: Wednesday, January 16 at 10PM

KROLL SHOW

Created By John Levenstein, Jonathan Krisel & Nick Kroll

Premiere Date: Wednesday, January 16 at 10:30PM

Premise: (from Comedy Central's press release, December 2012) Nick Kroll comes to COMEDY CENTRAL in several forms! From an inappropriate basketball ref to a renowned canine plastic surgeon and the fabulous " Fabrice Fabrice ," Kroll weaves his extensive cast of characters into the new sketch, pop culture weekly series "Kroll Show."
Thoughts: I'm not interested in Nick Kroll's sketch comedy. The promos airing on Comedy Central decreases my interest in the program.

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

THE BEN SHOW

Created By Ben Hoffman

Premiere Date: Thursday, February 28 at 10PM

Premise: (from Comedy Central's press release, December 2012) "The Ben Show" is a sketch show/man-on-the-street hybrid starring comedian Ben Hoffman. Between sketches, Hoffman works towards a personal goal, like forming a band, going on a blind date, buying a gun or returning to his home town in Kentucky.
Thoughts: The Ben Show mixes sketch comedy and docu-reality. I included it for the sketch comedy element. The premise of The Ben Show would attract an audience on MTV, too, what with the emphasis on blind dates, forming a band, and returning home to Kentucky.

Chance of Weekly Review:

SOUTH PARK RETURNS SPRING 2013

FX

JUSTIFIED

Created By Graham Yost
What Season? 4
Premiere Date: Tuesday, January 8 at 10PM
Thoughts: Critics think Justified's second season may've been an abberation. Season 3 wasn't strong, from what I read. Oh, well. I don't watch Justified. I read/heard about it during its second season, but I heard way less about it last season. Critics grumbled about it when it got discussed. I've no idea what's in store for season four.

ANGER MANAGEMENT

What Season? 2

Premiere Date: Thursday, January 17 at 9:30PM

ARCHER

Created By Adam Reed

What Season? 4

Premiere Date: Thursday, January 17 at 10PM

LEGIT

Created By Jim Jeffries & Peter O'Fallon

Premiere Date: Thursday, January 17 at 10:30PM

Premise: (from FX's press release, November 2012) In Legit, Jim Jefferies is an edgy, foul-mouthed stand-up comedian from Australia, in his mid-30s and living in LA, struggling to make his life and career more "legit," only to find it a difficult, uncomfortable uphill struggle every step of the way.
Thoughts: I didn't find any more information about the series besides the premise. I suppose Jim Jeffries will play a fictionalized version of himself. DJ Qualls plays a friend of his. For years I thought Qualls was a DJ, because he rose to fame in the late 90s during the boom of MTV DJs. The last TV show I saw Qualls in was a season two episode of LOST.

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

THE AMERICANS

Created By Joe Weisburg

Premiere Date: Wednesday, January 30 at 10PM

Premise: (from FX's press release, December 2012) The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.

Thoughts: FX's trailer doesn't reveal a thing about the plot. The final frame of the trailer reveals the Soviet symbol painted across houses, an image which suggests Soviet era KGB drama in the United States of America. FX is the cable home to consistent dramas. I don't doubt The Americans will be a provocative work of drama.

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

HBO

GIRLS

Created By Lena Dunham


What Season? 2

Premiere Date: Sunday, January 13 at 9PM

Thoughts: Girls ranked among many critics' Top Ten list. Lena Dunham sold a book for over 7 figures, and she's either young or older than me by a couple of months. Judd Apatow stops by to co-write Girls episodes whenever he wants. Meanwhile, I'm lucky if DISH bots comment on the blog's posts. I'd like to watch Girls. I watch way too much lousy shows and write about them, though.

ENLIGHTENED

Created By Mike White

What Season? 2

Premiere Date: Sunday, January 13 at 9:30PM

GAME OF THRONES

Created By David Benioff & D.B. Weiss (George R.R. Martin authored A Song of Ice and Fire)

What Season? 3

Premiere Date: Sunday, March 31 at 9PM

Thoughts: Once again, Game Of Thrones is part of HBO's spring schedule. I don't write about spring
launches because two previews in twelve months is already a bit of an overkill let's be honest. Game Of Thrones added so many new actors for so many new characters in season three. A Storm of Swords is the best novel of the series so far. I won't tease what's to come--just know that awesome stuff is going to happen in the third season. Catch up on the first two seasons of the show because you won't want to miss season three.

NETFLIX

HOUSE OF CARDS

Created By Beau Willimon

Premiere Date: Friday, February 1

Premise: (From Netflix's press release, October 2012) "House of Cards" is based on the BBC miniseries of the same name. This wicked political drama slithers beneath the curtain and through the back halls of greed, sex, love and corruption in modern Washington D.C.

Thoughts: Netflix knows they made it as a company when they're written about in TV With The Foot. Oh, what's that? They know they've made it when they launch an original series starring Kevin Spacey? Yeah, that makes more sense actually. Political dramas don't appeal to me. I watched Boss in Fall '11 and didn't remember anything seconds after each scene. Similarly, Spacey's threatening tone of voice and odd inflections lost me seconds into a scene. Netflix will make all 12 episodes available on February 1. I don't subscribe to Netflix.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Created By Mitchell Hurwitz

What Season? 4

Premiere: April 2013

Thoughts: I will subscribe to Netflix for Arrested Development's, perhaps, unnecessary return. Mitch Hurwitz created a horrible comedy starring Will Arnett and Keri Russell in 2010 that really made me second guess the decision to bring back AD. What if whatever worked no longer works? What if the fourth season is the equivalent of the Star Wars prequels to the die-hard Star Wars fans? I couldn't confirm an April launch for the season. I'm hoping for the best.

SHOWTIME

SHAMELESS

Created By Paul Abbott & Andrew Stearn

What Season? 3

Premiere Date: Sunday, January 13 at 9PM

Thoughts: I watch Shameless mostly as I write reviews for OUAT. I like what I watch. It's humorous. Emmy Rossum is a terrific lead. I never thought I'd enjoy a William H. Macy role, but his Shameless character is fun to watch. Shameless has batshit crazy plot movement and then it has heartfelt moving scenes about family and love. I think the show's better when the humor is dialed up instead of the drama. What I do know, thought? I'm busy writing about the nonsense on ABC's fairy tale show during Shameless.

HOUSE OF LIES

Created By Matt Carnahan

What Season? 2

Premiere Date: Sunday, January 13 at 10PM

CALIFORNICATION

Created By Tom Kapinos

What Season? 6

Premiere Date: Sunday, January 13 at 10:30PM

Thoughts: I mentioned the fact about Tom Kapinos running Dawson's Creek into hell its last two seasons, right? I also mentioned that Kapinos admitted he used Dawson's Creek to learn how to run a show, right? Kapinos made so many mistakes and bad judgment calls on The WB's melodramatic teen drama, but he learned from the experience. Californication goes on.

STARZ

SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND

Created By Steven S. DeKnight


What Season? 3rd and Final

Premiere Date: Friday, January 25 at 9PM

Thoughts: The final season of Spartacus is welcomed by me because I haven't watched the series, and I'm looking forward to DeKnight's next series. DeKnight is an all-time great TV writer-director in The Foot. I'm going to watch Spartacus because I owe it to Mr. DeKnight. If you follow DeKnight on Twitter, you know the final season teases are worthy of an abundance of exclamation marks.

SYFY

MERLIN

Created By Julian Jones

What Season? 5

Premiere Date: Friday, January 4 at 10PM

CONTINUUM

Created By Simon Barry

Premiere Date: Monday, January 14 at 8PM

Premise: (from Syfy's press release, December 2012) The time-traveling police drama Continuum stars Rachel Nichols (Star Trek, Criminal Minds) as Kiera Cameron, a cop from the future who finds herself trapped in the present day.

Thoughts: SyFy Original Movies are the joke of television. SyFy Original TV Shows should help improve their reputation. I have a soft spot for SyFy TV shows. They're different, insightful, and surprising. Alphas is one of my favorite shows. Eureka's final season inspired a blog post that inspired the most passionate response I've gotten in the few years this blog's been running. Genre TV is simply more interesting to me than the best cable shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Girls, etc. I'll try to watch Continuum, but a man has a finite amount of shows he's able to watch before he feels like quitting TV watching forever.

Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

BEING HUMAN

Created By Anna Fricke & Jeremy Carver; Toby Whithouse created the U.K. series

What Season? 3

Premiere Date: Monday, January 14 at 9PM

LOST GIRL

Created By Michelle Lovretta

What Season? 3

Premiere Date: Monday, January 14 at 10PM

Thoughts: SyFy ran Lost Girl for nine months. I wrote about season one and loved a great deal of it. Season two was a mess. I wrote about the premiere, the magic lantern episode, and the finale. Season 3 will explore the darker side of Bo's succubus nature. Hopefully the writers delve into Bo's roots. Lost Girl can't execute big arcs. The series succeeds when Bo and Kenzi, and their friends, fight evil and hang out at Trick's bar afterwards. Lost Girl's an example of a genre show I'd like to be less focused on arcs centered on saving the world.

BATTLESTAR GALATICA: BLOOD & CHROME

Created By Bradley Thompson, David Eick, David Weddle & Michael Taylor

Premiere Date: Sunday, February 10 at 9PM

Premise: (from SyFy's Press Release, November 2012) This highly anticipated chapter in the Battlestar Galactica saga takes place in the midst of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, gifted fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino, The Borgias), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Full of ambition and hungry for action, Adama quickly finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton, Alcatraz). With only 47 days left in his tour of duty, Coker desires an end to battle as much as Adama craves its onset.

TBS

COUGAR TOWN

Created By Bill Lawrence

What Season? 4

Premiere Date: Tuesday, January 8 at 10PM

Thoughts: ABC cancelled Cougar Town and TBS saved it. TBS will air fifteen episodes of one of America's underrated sitcoms. Let's hope that Community continued the Cougar Town jokes without Dan Harmon.

TNT

MONDAY MORNINGS

Created By David E. Kelley

Premiere Date: Monday, February 4 at 10PM

Premise: (from TNT's press release, October 2012) This powerful new series comes to TNT from award-winning producer David E. Kelley and practicing neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, M.D., on whose book the series is based. Set at the fictional Chelsea General Hospital in Portland, Ore., Monday Mornings follows the lives of doctors as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings.

Thoughts: Hospital dramas are less appealing than political dramas. Monday Mornings is different from other hospital dramas. I did not know about Monday morning meets to talk about what went wrong. This allows the characters to be flawed and imperfect from the beginning. The best doctor characters, e.g. Jack Shepherd, are compelling because they fix things at work but they can't fix anything in their personal life. If anything, Monday Mornings makes me want to watch every Jack episode of LOST.
Chance of Weekly Review: 0%

DALLAS

Created By Cynthia Cidre (David Jacobs created original Dallas series)

What Season? 2

Premiere Date: Monday, January 28 at 9PM

SOUTHLAND

Created By Ann Biderman

What Season? 5

Premiere Date: Wednesday, February 13 at 10PM

Thoughts: Good for Southland--still on the air a couple of years after a network cancelled them. Police dramas are between medical and political dramas for me.

USA

OVER UNDER

Created By Sheila Callaghan

Premiere Date: Friday, January 4 at 10PM

Premise: (from USA's press release, November 2010) OVER/UNDER comes from Fox Television Studios in association with Universal Cable Productions. It is written by Sheila Callaghan ("United States of Tara") and executive produced by Dan Halsted ("Garden State," "Witchblade"). A day trader with a massive gambling problem is fired from his job six months after a bad trade costs his firm millions. Shut out of the job market, he and his beautiful, photographer wife retreat to a neighborhood on the cusp of gentrification. He finds an unlikely partner and starts to turn his life around in an unexpected way.

Thoughts: Gambling dramas are slightly above police, medical and political dramas--to continue the theme of the latter half of this preview.

SUITS

Created By Aaron Korsh


What Season? 2nd half of Season 2

Premiere Date: Thursday, January 17 at 10PM

WHITE COLLAR

Created By Jeff Eastin

What Season? 4

Premiere Date: Tuesday, January 22 at 10PM

NECESSARY ROUGHNESS

Created By Craig Shapiro & Liz Kruger

What Season? 2

Premiere Date: Wednesday, January 23 at 10PM

PSYCH

Created By Steve Franks

What Season? 7

Premiere Date: Wednesday, February 27 at 10PM

Friday: FOX & CBS!

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.