September 28, 2008 / 10:17 PM / 10 years ago

What's new for the fall TV season

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The new fall season is upon us. Here’s what (not) to watch on television in October.

Actress Kristin Chenoweth, star of the ABC series "Pushing Daisies", arrives at the Disney ABC Television Group summer All Star party in Beverly Hills, California in this file photo from July 17, 2008. Photo taken July 17. REUTERS/Fred Prouser


ABC’s “Pushing Daisies” 2.0 unveiled

After creator Bryan Fuller’s protracted negotiations with ABC this summer over just how weird “Daisies” should be (we can’t make this stuff up), the network agreed to a style that’s, oh, about 31% less confusing to viewers who are just waiting around to watch “Private Practice.” Side effects might still include uncontrollable bouts of bemusement.


Hey, where did CBS’ “Moonlight” go?

Crazed fans in denial of the cult favorite’s cancellation will tune in to CBS at 9 p.m. to discover the premiere of the new dramedy “The Ex-List.” CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler might spend the night at a safe house.


Ratings in for “SmackDown!”

Now that “WWE SmackDown!” has moved from the CW to MyNetwork TV, its solid premiere ratings will spur nostalgia for spandex in Burbank. Expect the CW to give serious consideration to repackaged “Gossip Girl” catfight scenes as a new wrestling franchise.


Real premiere week ratings released

With DVR penetration jumping from 20% last fall to at least 26% next month, today’s release of the Live+7 Nielsen ratings offers an increasingly accurate measure of viewership. All the trades publish a story saying this, then resume running overnight numbers.


Gil Grissom’s long goodbye

Cherish William Petersen while you can; he’ll be there for the season opener of CBS’ “CSI,” but he’s handing over the gloves to Laurence Fishburne on December 11. The biggest suspense will be whether TV’s most-watched drama can weather a key casting change. To borrow forensics parlance, switching your lead character midseason is like performing an autopsy in a moving ambulance.

ABC, NBC look abroad

It’s Foreign Exchange Day as two adaptations of scripted overseas formats are put to the test. NBC will hope its own take on the Aussie hit “Kath & Kim” fares more like “The Office” than “Coupling.” With its adaptation of BBC’s time-warp cop drama “Life on Mars,” ABC hopes viewers don’t think they’ve somehow traveled back to 2007 to watch NBC’s “Journeyman.”


World Series, Game 1

By this time Fox has stopped complaining about the playoffs interrupting its fall schedule. But if small-market teams go the distance, the bellyaching will have just begun. Fox chairman Peter Liguori might want to pray that the Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers don’t meet in the Fall Classic.


NBC’s draft pick

The new quirk in NFL scheduling kicks in this eighth week of the season, with NBC getting to pick which game it broadcasts. The Peacock will need every ratings point it can squeeze in the competitive fourth quarter. Will it be Jets games with new QB Brett Favre? Perennial favorites New England Patriots? Only safe bet: It won’t be a team from Los Angeles.


November sweep begins

Think of it as Ben Silverman’s Groundhog Day. If the NBC co-chair can see just one of his new shows become a bona fide hit, it assures six more months of employment.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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