2011-2012 TV Season: Monday

For the most part, the networks are sticking with proven formulas on Monday nights: ceding half-hour sitcoms to CBS. ABC isn’t touching its successful Monday night Dancing with the Stars/Castle set up. No word on what replaces Dancing come midseason.

With the exception of CBS, no one is placing sure bets on new shows for the night. Fox and ABC are the only other nets trying out something new and their shows are scheduled to run only to midseason when another new show comes to take its place.

CBS – 2 Broke Girls – 8:30-9
Full Season, Likely Return

Look, CBS isn’t stupid. Sandwiching the new comedy between How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men (NOW WITH ASHTON KUTCHER in case you’ve been under a rock) pretty much guarantees this sitcom makes it to May. The alternative after HIMYM is the last half of a reality show. That may not be a bad idea if the dialogue and delivery are as contrived as they appear in the promo video. The nutshell: two girls waitress in a diner: one is a hard-working wise cracker; the other, a newly broke former millionaire. The image in your head after reading that sentence? Yep, that’s how it plays out. Kat Dennings from Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist stars. More TV cred from Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and James Burrows (everything else).

Fox – Terra Nova – 8-9
Makes It to Midseason, Questionable Return

Poor Jason O’Mara. Doomed to appear in series that look really good and could work, but that don’t catch on. See: Life on Mars. On the other hand, I liked Life on Mars and I think I’ll like Terra Nova. Spielberg is an executive producer. Stephen Lang is in it. I’m in. O’Mara and his family are refugees from the year 2149, sent back in time to colonize amidst the dinosaurs. Naturally, not all dinosaurs are friendly, and the colony may not be on the up and up. Production values look high and the marquee names should keep this on to its scheduled midseason end. Will it be back? Hard to say.

NBC – The Playboy Club – 10-11
Makes It to Midseason, Unlikely Return

Another show that’s only slated to run to midseason and another that’s hoping to capitalize on the critical success of Mad Men. It’s the 1960s and Chicago’s Playboy Club is hopping. Heh. It’s about rich men and women trying to get ahead in the world. I expect gender politics will crop up among the mob boss murder scenes and Frank Sinatra tunes. Eddie Cibrian is the male lead. Laura Benanti, more known for Broadway than TV, is the Bunny Mother. It could be interesting, but up against Castle and Hawaii 5-0, it doesn’t stand much of a chance for the long run.

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