The shows – CTV

Alice, I Think

Alice, I Think

30 min., midseason debut

The story: Misadventures of a 15-year-old girl in small town B.C. Based on the popular teen book.

The backing: Slanted Wheel Productions (Plague City) and Omni Productions (Robson Arms).

The verdict: Well, exploiting small town shenanigans did help Corner Gas ascend to its place as CanCon ratings royalty…mix in a little teen girl angst and we might have a winner.

Close to Home

CTV/CBS, Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m.

The story: Hard-nosed prosecutor heads back to work after mat leave and tries to juggle work, family and maybe even a little postpartum depression.

The cast: Jennifer Finnigan (The Bold and the Beautiful), John Carroll Lynch (The Drew Carey Show), Kimberly Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Christian Kane (Friday Night Lights).

The backing: Jerry Bruckheimer Television, with executive producers Jonathan Littman (The Amazing Race) and Jim Leonard (Thieves).

The verdict: Juicy time-slot (it leads into The Amazing Race) and Bruckheimer’s golden touch could be a winning combo for this one.

Commander-In-Chief

CTV/ABC

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Ambitious working mom is about to become first female American president.

The cast: Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise), Donald Sutherland (M*A*S*H), Kyle Secor (Homicide), Harry J. Lennix (Ray).

The backing: Touchstone Television, Battle Plan Productions, with exec producers Rob Lurie & Marc Fryman (Line of Fire).

The verdict: Probably one of the highest-profile of the new shows. Early buzz largely positive. Odds are in this one’s favour.

Criminal Minds

CTV/ CBS

60 min., midseason debut

The story: FBI profilers analyze – you guessed it – criminal minds.

The cast: Mandy Patinkin (Chicago Hope), Thomas Gibson

(Dharma & Greg), Shemar Moore (Birds of Prey), Matthew Gubler (The Life Acquatic).

The backing: Touchstone Television, Paramount, with exec producers Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy), Ed Bernero (Third Watch), Jeff Davis (Fathers and Sons) and Deborah Spera (Fathers and Sons).

The verdict: Strong cast, and the public seems endlessly fascinated by criminal minds. Prognosis: lukewarm.

Crumbs

CTV/ ABC

30 min., midseason debut

The story: Gay Hollywood screenwriter returns to hometown in Connecticut to re-connect with his eccentric family, complete with recently divorced mid-life-crisis parents and polar opposite meathead jock brother. Oh, and the family doesn’t know he’s gay.

The cast: Fred Savage (The Wonder Years), Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun), Eddie McClintock (The Sweetest Thing), William Devane (Knot’s Landing).

The backing: Touchstone Television, with exec producers Marco Pennette (Caroline in the City), Mike Tollin (Smallville), Brian Robbins (One Tree Hill), Joe Davola (Smallville).

The verdict: Jane Curtin is excellent as always, but she may not have enough devoted fans to carry this oddball sitcom.

The Evidence

CTV/ABC

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Brooding detective and his funny-guy partner/buddy work the homicide beat. Episodes open with ‘the evidence;’ storyline makes everything fall into place.

The cast: Nicky Katt (Boston Public), Orlando Jones (MADtv), Martin Landau (Intimate Portrait: Halle Berry).

The backing: John Wells Productions, Warner Bros Television. Exec producers Sam Baum, Dustin Thomason, Gary Fleder (The Shield).

The verdict: If the public appetite for CSI rip-offs is still whet, this show just might have a chance.

Ghost Whisperer

CTV/CBS, Fridays, 8-9 p.m.

The story: Young newlywed communicates with spirits of dead people and relays important messages to the living. So, basically it’s Medium without the kids.

The cast: Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five), David Conrad (Profiler), Aisha Tyler (CSI).

The backing: Touchstone Television, with exec producers John Gray (Helter Skelter), Ian Sander (Profiler) and Kim Moses(Profiler).

The verdict: Might be able to ride on the coattails of newfound public interest in mediums, thanks to, well, Medium. Unfortunate Friday night time-slot, but it does lead into Nip/Tuck. Tough call.

Invasion

CTV/ABC, Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m.

The story: Hurricane tears through otherwise peaceful Florida town, disrupting the life of a park ranger and his ‘modern’ family, consisting of his reporter wife (pregnant), wife’s conspiracy-theorist brother, two kids from a previous marriage, ex-wife, ex-wife’s new husband – the goofy-with-sinister-undertones town sheriff, and the sheriff’s teenybopper daughter.

Lost yet?

The cast: Eddie Cibrian (Third Watch), Kari Matchett (Plague City), William Fichtner (Black Hawk Down).

The backing: Warner Brothers Television,

with exec producers Shaun Cassidy (American Gothic), and Thomas Schlamme (The

West Wing).

The verdict: Sweet time-slot heading into Lost. But the space invasion/ government cover-up theme may alienate viewers who aren’t, y’know, conspiracy theorists and sci-fi nerds.

Jeff, Ltd.

30 min., midseason debut

The story: Egomaniacal marketing exec good at his job, but not lucky with the ladies.

The cast: Jeff Seymour (the eleventh hour)

The backing: Bootleg Films & S.S. Productions

The verdict: ‘Edgy’ Canadian sitcoms don’t tend to fare well. Time-slot will be key.

In Justice

CTV/ABC

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Debonair, egomaniacal lawyer sets up high profile ‘Justice Project’ to investigate and overturn wrongful convictions. Each episode focuses on one case, loosely based on real ones.

The cast: Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), Jason O’Mara (The Agency), Daniel Cosgrove (Beverly Hills 90210), Constance Zimmer (Good Morning, Miami).

The backing: Touchstone Television, exec producers Robert & Michelle King (The Vertical Limit), Stu Bloomberg (Life as We Know It).

The verdict: Interesting spin on legal dramas: getting people out of jail instead of putting them in. Solid writing, solid cast. Looking good.

The Miracle Workers

CTV/ABC

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Reality show featuring medical superstars treating the seriously ill, cash-strapped patient-of-the-week who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford access to medical specialists.

The backing: DreamWorks Television, with exec producers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (Las Vegas) and David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe (The Surreal Life).

The verdict: People love real-life feel good stories. As one of the only new reality shows hitting the scene this season, it won’t have to face reality over-saturation.

Looks promising.

The Night Stalker

CTV/ABC

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Crime reporter searches for truth about his wife’s murder (he’s the prime suspect.) His hunt for answers, with a little help from his sexy sidekick, leads him to other mysterious cases.

The cast: Stuart Townsend (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Gabrielle Union (Bring it On).

The backing: Touchstone Television, with

exec producers Frank Spotnitz and Daniel Sackheim (X-Files).

The verdict: Spotnitz & Sackheim pretty much guarantee the show’s street cred with sci-fi nerds (a large & devoted, therefore lucrative audience base).

Twins

CTV/WB, Sundays 5-5:30 p.m.

The story: Two sisters (twins!), who are as different as night and day, are about to take over the family underwear business from their parents, who are also as different as night and day! One twin is mousy but smart, and the other is a lingerie model, but not too bright.

The cast: Sara Gilbert (Roseanne), Melanie Griffith (Working Girl), Molly Stanton (Passions), Mark Linn-Baker (Perfect Strangers).

The backing: KoMut Entertainment, Warner Brothers Television, exec producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick (Will & Grace).

The verdict: Lousy time-slot. Tired comedic formula. (Opposite siblings! Hilarious!) Prognosis: negative. Sorry, Melanie – looks like you’ll need another vehicle to get your career back on track.

What About Brian?

CTV/ABC

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Thirtysomething bachelor wonders why he’s still single while all his friends have coupled off. Married friends try to live vicariously through him, yet are also anxious for him to join their married club.

The cast: Barry Watson (7th Heaven), Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction), Matthew Davis (Legally Blonde), Polly Shannon (Street Time).

The backing: Touchstone Television, Bad Robot, with exec producers Dana Stevens (City of Angels), J.J. Abrams (Alias), Thom Sherman and Bryan Burk (Lost), Anthony & Joe Russo (Arrested Development).

The verdict: Well-written and engaging. Plus, Barry Watson has a built-in teen following from his days as a 7th Heaven hunk. The time slot will be the determining factor, but so far it looks promising.

Whistler

60 min., midseason debut

The story: Rich people and all their scandalous interactions in a high-end resort town.

The verdict: Canadian dramas don’t have a great track record, ratings-wise, and without CTF funding, the odds aren’t in this one’s favour.