Fox and ABC are hedging their bets for the new TV seasons with midseason replacements already announced as on the schedule.
Fox – Alcatraz – 9-10
Full (1/2) Season, Please Let It Return
Fox is playing with Monday nights. After Terra Nova ends its run, House is moving to the 8:00 spot, freeing up 9:00 for this J.J. Abrams piece. If Abrams name isn’t enough to get you to watch, let me throw these at you: Sam Neill, Jorge Garcia, Parminder Nagra. Let Sam Neill tell you what it’s about. All the prisoners were transferred off the island when the prison closed, or were they? The series could combine an over-arcing, serialized mystery and an anthology series (tracking down each of the 302 prisoners). Alcatraz falls neatly into the boxes of what I like: mystery, supernatural, proven track record for people involved. I hope this finishes its half season and comes back for the next season and the one after that. I’d like to like Terra Nova, but if it comes down to that or Alcatraz, I’m voting Alcatraz, if only so I can keep reading Jorge Garcia’s blog.
NBC – Smash – 10-11
Full (1/2) Season, Questionable Return
I have to admit: I was prepared to write this show off. Creating a Broadway musical as a TV drama? Then I watched the trailer and found myself caught up in the stories and characters. I like the cast: Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport (who I liked in the quickly gone Flash Forward). It’s got Broadway credibility with songs from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Broadway actors take a couple of the roles. Not sure about Katharine McPhee, but she was winsome in the trailer. I think it stands a chance to make it through the 2011-2012 season, and I’d guess the series will wrap up the audition question in the opening run. Will it make it back for the next season? It’s a tough call and it may have an even tougher battle sticking around. This could be one of my Murder One shows: great concept for one (or a 1/2) season, but nowhere to go after that.