Fall 2011 TV: ABC’s Once Upon a Time and Charlie’s Angels

Hey there…

As the studios begin marshaling their forces to show us what’s on the Fall 2011 slate for their lineups, I’m always intrigued by what the writers choose to reinvent. Some years the original shows are more prevalent than the shows retooled for modern audiences, but there’s usually a mix of good and bad regardless. This year ABC has announced two big shows already – Once Upon a Time and Charlie’s Angels – and they’ve offered a video peek as well as some background for each.

Once Upon a Time

The preview of Once Upon a Time really caught my attention. Let’s take the stable of fairy tale stories from Disney and put those characters into the modern world with a twist from two of the writers from LostEdward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. The premise is simple – what if fairy tales were real?

It has a great cast of people I’ve liked in other shows:

  • Robert Carlyle (TV’s Stargate Universe) as Rumpelstiltskin
  • Jennifer Morrison (TV’s House M.D. and How I Met Your Mother) – Emma Swan
  • Josh Dallas (Fandral in Thor) as Prince Charming/John Doe
  • Jared Gilmore (TV’s Hawthorne and Mad Men) – Henry
  • Ginnifer Goodwin (HBO’s Big Love) – Snow White/Sister Mary Margret Blanchard
  • Lana Parilla (TV’s Miami Medical, Swingtown, and Lost) – Evil Queen/Regina
  • Raphael Sbarge (TV’s Dexter and The Secret Life of the American Teenager) – Archie/Jiminy Cricket
  • Jamie Dornan – Sheriff Graham

Watch the preview and see what you think… As a fan of urban fantasy these days, I have to admit I’m looking forward to this matchup between Haven and fairy tales. If they kick it off with a bang in the season premiere and then do a slow reveal throughout the season, the merger of magic and storytelling in our world may capture more than a few fans along the way. If it’s too heavy handed, I worry that it will seem standoffish.

Short synopsis: Welcome to a world where fairy tales are real. Anna Swan is like any other 28 year old, until she discovers she’s a lost princess destined to save her world from darkness. Experience the passion project of executive producers/creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy). Once Upon A Time is a thrilling twist of our most beloved stories.

Charlie’s Angels

Now, though Charlie’s Angels managed to get three gorgeous ladies to step into the limelight as a new trio of Angels – Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly, and Rachael Taylor – I don’t know that I’ll be watching. With Smallville‘s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar producing the action with Drew Barrymore, I was hoping for a bit more. But the setup is the same as it was in the 1970s, minus the Farrah Fawcett hairdo.

Here’s the synopsis:

Get ready for the knockout hit of the year. Charlie’s Angels is back and hotter than ever. Meet three ex-bad girls who are earning their wings by busting the really bad guys. Together with legendary producer Leonard Goldberg and Drew Barrymore, Smallville‘s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar re-imagine the popular 1970’s series with more action, more eye candy and more heart than ever before.

Abby (Taylor – TV’s Grey’s Anatomy plus Transformers and See No Evil) was a spoiled Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Kate (Ilonzeh – TV’s General Hospital, Melrose Place) was a Miami cop who fell down the hole of corruption. And Eve (Kelly – TV’s Parenthood and Friday Night Lights) who has a talent for stealing and driving fast cars. The three work together with Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez, TV’s The Wire, Battle: Los Angeles and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) and Charlie (voiced by Robert Wagner – TV’s NCIS, Two and a Half Men, and Hart to Hart) recruit the ladies to take out the “really bad guys.”

Though I know ABC wants to join in the remake success CBS had with Hawaii Five-O this year ABC is riding high on the reboot of Hawaii Five O this year, I’m not sure they’re going to have the same luck with Charlie’s Angels for a couple of reasons. First, though there are beautiful women kicking butt, we’ve seen it before. And yes, I know that we’ve seen Hawaii Five O before as well, but the state of Hawaii hasn’t featured that prominently on TV since Lost, and on Lost the island didn’t exist! We’ve already seen many successful shows with a similar structure, such as Burn Notice and Covert Affairs, both of which are getting ready to kick off their new seasons this summer.

Here’s the preview for Charlie’s Angels:

So what do you think? Though I’m hoping that Once Upon a Time succeeds, somehow I suspect that Charlie’s Angels will probably succeed despite itself. ABC’s been on a roll with shows like Castle and Grey’s Anatomy, and Hawaii Five O, so maybe their knack for finding good shows will continue into the Fall? We can only wait and see.

Leave me some comments below after you watch both previews… I’m curious what you think!

–Fitz

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Too Much TV – Fall 2010

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Image by derekraugh via Flickr

We watch too much television at my house. We should probably seek professional help. Instead, we’re trying to figure out how to juggle DVR schedules and On Demand shows so we can watch everything we want to see… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA… [ahem]

Ok, now that I’ve had my nervous breakdown, let’s go through the list…

Last Thursday on the CW, I tried to watch the new Nikita. And though there were some good things (the action was cool, gadgets were cool, girls were beautiful) it just didn’t engage for me. I blame that not on Maggie Q, who plays Nikita in this incarnation of the story, but on the weak characters surrounding her. Shane West as Michael pales when compared to Roy Dupuis in the Peta Wilson-led La Femme Nikita of the late 1990s. And though I used to love Melinda Clarke, her Amanda pales against Alberta Watson’s Madeline from the ’90s series as well… I could go on, but suffice it to say that I won’t be watching again unless I’m very bored.

This week, we have only one show. It’s one my wife started watching and when I found time to see it, I actually enjoyed it…

  • Parenthood (ABC), Tuesday September 14, 2010 at 10pm CST/9pm MST

Next week is insane however…

Let’s start with Monday, September 20, 2010. Eight shows that we want to watch happen to air between 7pm and 10pm our time. Geez. And even if we only watch the first episode of a new series (I’m not convinced I’ll watch The Event, Chase, or Hawaii Five-O, but want to see the first episode to find out), that only reduces the list to 5 shows on a single night…

  • House (FOX), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Chuck (NBC), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS), 8:30pm CST/7:30pm MST
  • The Event (NBC), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS), 9:00pm CST/8:00pm MST
  • Castle (ABC), 10pm CST/9pm MST
  • Chase (NBC), 10pm CST/9pm MST
  • Hawaii Five-O (CBS), 10pm CST/9pm MST

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 is a little better…

  • Glee (FOX), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • NCIS (CBS), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Raising Hope (FOX), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 9pm CST/8pm MST

Wednesday, September 22, 2010, we only have a couple…

  • Undercovers (NBC), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • The Defenders (CBS), 10pm CST/9pm MST

Then Thursday (September 23, 2010) explodes again… Even though I won’t watch Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice (they’re my wife’s shows), that’s still seven out of nine shows…

  • Bones (FOX), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Big Bang Theory (CBS), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • S#*! My Dad Says (CBS), 8:30pm CST/7:30pm MST
  • Fringe (FOX), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • CSI (CBS), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Outsourced (NBC), 9:30pm CST/8:30pm MST
  • Private Practice (ABC), 10pm CST/9pm MST
  • The Mentalist (CBS), 10pm CST/9pm MST

And Friday (September 24, 2010) we only have a couple again:

  • Supernatural (CW), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • CSI: NY (CBS), 9pm CST/8pm MST

So in the first big week of premieres, we’re looking at… 25 shows potentially.

To add insult to injury for our poor DVRs, there are more premieres scattered throughout October and November too…

  • No Ordinary Family (ABC), Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Stargate Universe (Syfy), Tuesday, September 28, 2010,
    9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Human Target (FOX), Friday, October 1, 2010, 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • The Walking Dead (AMC), Sunday, October 31, 2010, 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Lie to Me (FOX), Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 9pm CST/8pm MST

That’s a lot of television and I’m guessing a few will fall by the wayside before too long, but still… As Keanu would say – “Whoa.”

What are you planning on watching?
–Fitz

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