The 2005-2006 TV Season, A Report One Month In

Well, how are the TV freshmen faring this year? As usual, it's a mixed bag, but this season already boasts one break-out hit and it's on the same network as most of the big hits from last season: ABC. Of course, I'm talking about Commander-in-Chief starring Geena Davis. Apparently Steven Bochco will be the show-runner there soon, and ABC has picked up the remainder of a full season of 22-episodes, known in the industry as "the back nine."

Other shows that have been granted the reprieve of a full-season pick up are: Supernatural on the WB (first five episodes blogged here by yours truly...), Criminal Minds - which airs on CBS against Lost, so I haven't seen it - and CBS's dire Love-Hewitt vehicle The Ghost Whisperer.

On Fox, Monday night's literal "break out" hit, Prison Break got the order for 22 episodes, making it a full seasoner. This development will make my wife exceedingly happy, because she likes looking at Wentworth Miller. A lot. Also on Fox, David "Angel" Boreanaz's new series Bones gets the tag for a complete season, so it won't be going anywhere soon.

The two best new sitcoms of the season - My Name is Earl starring Jason Lee and Everyone Hates Chris (on NBC and UPN) respectively have gotten a vote of confidence for the remainder of the season as well.

What's not coming back? The first casualty of the season was the Chris O'Donnell series Head Cases on Fox. The network canceled it after two episodes aired. Inconceivable on NBC was next. And word just came out that Don Johnson's WB show Just Legal is a goner, along with Sex, Love and Secrets.

And what about the "sci-fi" troika of the season, Invasion-Threshold-Surface? Well, CBS is happy enough with Threshold to grant it three additional episodess. Invasion is doing well in its time-slot, so hopefully word about a pick-up will come soon. I have grave concerns about the life-span of Surface. In the past, NBC hasn't done so well by sci-fi, cancelling the original Star Trek back in the 1960s, and V:The Series in the 1980s. We'll see what happens.

Also gone for good: The Simple Life on Fox. Hopefully this cancellation heralds the end of "celebrity" reality TV. I also hear that Martha Stewart's version of The Apprentice is not the powerhouse house that was hoped for.

And I think it's still too early to know anything about Night Stalker, which I prefer to Supernatural (and Threshold, for that matter).

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