The Shows – Citytv, NewNets, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB

And Go!

And Go!

Citytv Toronto & Vancouver, Thurs. 8-8:30 p.m.

New Nets, Fri. 10-10:30 p.m.

13 x 30 min., debuts Sept. 13

the story: This guerrilla-style comedy/improv Canadian production features award-winning comic Bruce Hunter as he takes two improv performers to different locations and nabs innocent bystanders to take part in spontaneous street skits.

the cast: Bruce Hunter (Second City, Puppets Who Kill, The Red Green Show), others TBA.

the backing: And Go Inc.

the verdict: A passel of harmless fun might be just what many viewers are craving as an antidote to heavier stuff. TP

Battlestar Galactica

Citytv Toronto & Vancouver, time-slot TBA

60 min., debuts in January

the story: The long-awaited remake of the 1978 series and follow-up to the highly rated 2003 cable mini-series, this dramatic series is an intriguing re-imagination of the sci-fi, cult classic adventure.

the cast: Reprising their original roles are Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice, Selena, Stand and Deliver), Mary McDonnell (Donnie Darko, Mumford, Dances With Wolves), Canadian Tricia Helfer (C.S.I., Jeremiah), James Callis (Bridget Jones’ Diary, The Scarlet Pimpernel).

the backing: Universal Television and Glen A. Larson Productions, with Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Touching Evil) and David Eick (Battlestar Galactica, The Agency) as executive producers.

the verdict: Probably can’t lose, especially with some of the original creators at the helm. TP

Jack & Bobby

NewNets WB, Sunday 8-9 p.m.

60 min., debuts this fall

the story: Two bright young brothers grow up with an eccentric single mother whose personality helps to shape both and secures one of the boys a place in the history books. Set in present day with flash-forward interviews of the future President McCallister’s White House staffers and first lady.

the cast: Academy Award, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope), Matt Long, Logan Lerman (10-8), Canadian Jessica Paré (Stardom).

the backing: Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti/Liddell Productions, Shoe Money Productions. Creator/executive producer Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Dawson’s Creek), creator/co-executive producer Vanessa Taylor (Everwood), creators Steve Cohen and Brad Meltzer, with executive producers Mickey Liddell (Everwood, Go) and Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, Ally McBeal) and director David Nutter (Smallville, Without a Trace).

the verdict: This one’s got class written all over it and if it goes over as well as Everwood and The West Wing, it’ll find a captive audience. TP

Life As We Know It

NewNets/ABC,

Thurs. 9-10 p.m.

60 min., debuts in Sept.

the story: Teen girls aren’t the only ones to experience angst. This series follows the life and times of three teen boys – a jock, an artsy type and a bookworm – as they work their way through adolescence. Oh yeah, Ozzy’s obnoxious daughter Kelly Osbourne is thrown in to steer the boys in the right direction.

the cast: Kelly Osbourne (The Osbournes) and Sean Faris (Undressed).

the backing: Executive producers are Stu Bloomberg, Francie Calfo, Gabe Sachs (Freaks and Geeks) and Jeff Judah (Freaks and Geeks). Creator is Melvin Burgess.

the verdict: The show’s obviously aiming for the Clearasil set. The problem is they’re already committed to The O.C. Like Freaks & Geeks and My So-Called Life, this series has cult potential, but probably a short lifespan. SW

Lost

ABC, Wednesdays 8-9 p.m.

60 min., debuts this fall

the story: A plane crashes. Only 48 people survive the wreckage and are forced to adapt to their new surroundings – a deserted island.

the cast: Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), Naveen Andrews (The English Patient) and Harold Perrineau Jr. (Oz).

the backing: This series comes from the mind of J.J. Abrams of Alias fame.

the verdict: The question is: will viewers watch a scripted show about people left to fend for themselves on a deserted island? Although it doesn’t face any strong competition in the soft Wednesday at 8 p.m. time-slot, this one could go either way. SW

Rodney

ABC, Tuesdays 9:30-10 p.m.

30 min., debuts this fall

the story: Stand-up comedian Rodney Carrington is your typical Joe who can’t seem to hold down a job during the day as he continues to pursue a stand-up comedy career in seedy dives at night.

the cast: Rodney Carrington, Jennifer Aspen (Party Of Five) and Amy Pietz (Cursed).

the backing: Creators are Rodney Carrington, David Himelfarb (also exec producer) and Ric Swartlander. Himelfarb produced the Damon Wayons vehicle My Wife & Kids.

the verdict: Looks like ABC is planning a guy-friendly block of programming on Tuesday nights with My Wife & Kids, George Lopez, According to Jim, Rodney and NYPD Blue. Sandwiched between modest hit According to Jim and veteran cop series NYPD Blue – while avoiding the January return of American Idol in the 8 p.m. time-slot – Rodney has been given a good shot at succeeding. SW

Clubhouse

CBS, Tuesdays 9-10 p.m.,

60 min., debut TBA

the story: Drama about a 16-year-old who becomes a man in a world of overgrown boys when he lands his dream job: batboy for the legendary, albeit fictional, New York Empires professional baseball team.

the cast: Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan), Mare Winningham (Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), Christopher Lloyd (Taxi), Kirsten Storms (Days of Our Lives).

the backing: Spelling Television with heavy-hitting executive producers including Mel Gibson (The Passion of the Christ, Braveheart), Aaron Spelling (this season alone: Summerland, Silver Lake and Bounty Hunters), E. Duke Vincent (And the Band Played On, Day One), Daniel Cerone (Charmed), Ken Topolsky (Party of Five).

the verdict: Likeable series with blue-chip backing, but predicted to strike out, partly because it’s not an appropriate heir to a time-slot formerly occupied by legal drama The Guardian. TP

Crazy For You

NBC, time-slot TBA

30 min., midseason debut

the story: Nate (whose family members were so brilliant that they’re now insane) and Marni (an occupational therapist who sees the world through rose-coloured glasses) meet and, despite their differences, fall in love. Craziness and laffs ensue.

the cast: Josh Cooke (Century City), Jennifer Finnigan (Crossing Jordan), Darius McCrary (Kingpin) and Tom Poston (Newhart).

the backing: NBC admits that situation comedies are in trouble. They’re expensive to make and struggle to compete with the current crop of reality fare. It is with this logic that the Peacock net is holding back on debuting sitcoms like Crazy For You until later in the season, when they hope people begin to tire of local nobodies-turned-celebrities.

the verdict: While there may be viewers who long for the return of Mad About You, there seems to be nothing original about this pilot whose title borrows heavily from the Paul Reiser/Helen Hunt series. SW

Medical Investigation

NBC, Fridays 10-11 p.m.

60 min., debuts in the fall

the story: If there is an extraordinary medical situation that can’t be tackled by ordinary physicians and surgeons, these medical marvels are ready to don their white lab coats, grab their stethoscopes and bring their illegible handwriting to any hospital in the country. The super-squad features Stephen Connor (Neal McDonough) as its divorced leader, and the ‘heart and soul’ of the team, Dr. Natalie Durant (Kelli Williams).

the cast: Neal McDonough (Boomtown), Kelli Williams (The Practice), Anna Belknap (The Handler).

the backing: MI’s lead-in, Third Watch, should provide some viewers if they haven’t already had their share of sirens and defibrillators. Don’t be surprised to see an ER doctor or two making a cameo during sweeps month, if the series lasts that long.

the verdict: ER may be enough medical drama for a viewer to handle. The series also doesn’t have any real star power to attract the casual viewer. SW

The Complex: Malibu

Fox, time-slot TBA

debuts late August

the story: Unscripted, Americanized version of Australia’s mega-hit The Block. Couples compete to renovate and decorate condos in California’s toniest beach community, after which their creations are sold at public auction and the couple who nets the biggest profit will receive a grand prize.

the cast: TBA.

the backing: Kickoff Productions in association with FremantleMedia North America, with Ted Haimes as executive producer.

the verdict: Adding suspense to the increasingly popular home decorating genre will likely prove to be as ‘fair dinkum’ here as it was on the other side of the Pacific. TP

Big Man on Campus

WB, time-slot TBA

debuts midseason

the story: On a beautiful college campus with lots of beautiful students, things get ugly in a reality series with not one but two cutthroat competitions. First, the school’s sorority sisters pick the hottest frat boy around, but then the tables turn as he chooses his campus queen from among those co-eds.

the cast: TBA.

the backing: Next Entertainment Studios and Telepictures, with executive producer Mike Fleiss (creator of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette).

the verdict: Setting a reality show in academia is definitely a fresh twist, plus a potential opportunity to capture a viewing segment that hasn’t yet sampled this format. TP

Blue Collar TV

WB, Wed. 9-9:30 p.m.

30 min., debut TBA

the story: Another round of stand-up and sketch comedy, redneck and otherwise, from Jeff Foxworthy, whose Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie was the highest-rated film ever on Comedy Central. This summer, Foxworthy and cohorts Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy will tour again, poking fun at everything Middle America holds dear.

the backing: Riverside Products, Warner Bros. Television and Bahr/Small Productions, with executive producers Fax Bahr (Mad TV, In Living Color), Adam Small (Mad TV, In Living Color), Jeff Foxworthy and J.P. Williams

the verdict: Adorable Jeff Foxworthy can do no wrong in this reviewer’s eyes. But his comic approach isn’t appealing to everyone and he’s got a highly competitive time-slot. TP

Commando Nanny

WB, Fridays, 8:30-9 p.m.

30 min., debut TBA (last-minute pick-up by CTV)

the story: Based on the true life of Mark Burnett, who’s now the king of reality shows, but first arrived in the U.S. as a 22-year-old ex-commando from the British Special Forces and took a job as a nanny, with comic results.

the cast: Gerald McRaney (Major Dad, Simon & Simon), others TBA.

the backing: Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) and David Flebotte (The Bernie Mac Show) and director Gary Halvorson (Friends).

the verdict: Too bad the Internet rumour that the title role would go to real-life commando Jessica Lynch turned out to be a hoax because, without her, this series may prove to be Mark Burnett’s first professional failure. TP

Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show

WB, Wednesdays 9:30-10 p.m.

30 min., debut TBA

the story: Drew Carey and his funny friends are back with more live improv comedy based on sketch ideas from the audience. But this time they’re combining improv with animation, courtesy of green-screen technology that can create actual movies.

the cast: Drew Carey, others TBA.

the backing: Garden Suite Productions, with Drew Carey and Ron Diamond as executive producers.

the verdict: Viewers who are about ready to say toodle-oo to Drew Carey may give him one last chance thanks to the clever addition of green-screen techniques to a tired format. TP

Global Frequency

WB

Debuts midseason

the story: Mark Burnett’s first foray into drama is based on a series of books about a covert intelligence agency.

the backing: From Warner Bros. Television and Cloudbreak Entertainment. TP

Studio 7

WB, Thursdays 9-9:30 p.m.

30 min., debut TBA

the story: A mixture of the reality and game show genres told from the contestants’ point of view as bright young things bunk in together in a luxurious Manhattan apartment. Meanwhile, they endure seven grueling elimination rounds testing their knowledge of population culture, world events, science and literature to win a large cash prize.

the cast: TBA.

the backing: Diplomatic Productions, with Michael Davies (Who Wants to be a Millionaire?) as executive producer.

the verdict: This clone of The Apprentice, minus Donald Trump and his high-stakes challenges, might just be the first new show to hear the immortal words: ‘You’re fired.’ TP

Wannabes

WB, time-slot TBA,

debuts midseason

the story: Yet another twist on the reality formula aims to reveal what it’s really like to be a beautiful but naïve young actress trying to achieve stardom in Hollywood. The ultimate winner will land a juicy role on an upcoming production from The WB.

the cast: TBA.

the backing: Warner Bros. Television, with Jamie Kennedy (The Jamie Kennedy Experiment) as executive producer.

the verdict: A potential antidote for fame-obsessed youngsters hooked on American (and Canadian) Idol, this A Star Isn’t Born recipe should have cautionary value. But it probably won’t. TP