Will Fall 2011 Be The Season for New Nerd TV? (tldr: Nope.)

With Doctor Who returning to TV with its midseason premiere and Chuck entering its final season, we're guaranteed some staple nerd fodder on TV this season; but, as usual, all eyes are on the fresh crop of pilots from the harvest. Though we're still mourning what's been chucked and shucked (Locke and Key would have been amazing, wouldn't it?), we must now set our sights on the spread on the table before us.

Perhaps there will be some surprises, and I would love to be proven wrong, but at least as far as genre TV goes, this season looks bleak.


The Rundown: Sarah Michelle Gellar hides out in witness protection as her wealthy and missing twin sister and discovers, much to her surprise, that the life into which she's come might be more dangerous than the one she left behind.

What to Expect: The formula has drama and melodrama written all over it. That is to be expected, as it was picked up by the CW. Still, it has gotten some positive press since its Comic Con premiere for its great potential as a vehicle for an SMG comeback. And the action-adulty content sets it apart from the tween-centric programming of the CW as a whole.


The Rundown: Attractive (if oddly mature-looking) teens in a small town have supernatural powers, and the hot new girl in town pulls them all together. We'll say Buffy and Vampire Diaries had a bastard child that was babysat by Charmed.

What to Expect: lots of attractive-person brooding and attractive-person sex and attractive-person magic. It's the CW. What else could it possibly entail?


The Rundown: Imagine if Ben Linus from Lost and Jesus from The Passion of the Christ (or, Mel Gibson's: The Bible) teamed up to fight crime with a freakin' time machine by stopping it before it happens. JJ Abrams is serving up what looks to be a tangle of convoluted mystery, trying to recapture the can't-look-away allure of Lost.

What to Expect: The unexpected. Duh. It's JJ. Apparently, CBS is feeling pretty good about this, since they put it in the hot seat previously occupied by big-winner CSI. Reviews were kind of divided; some found the dialogue and plot way too heavy-handed, but others appreciated the intrigue.


The Rundown: Why?

What to Expect: Bosley is a suave 20something? Again I say, why?


The Rundown: Jennifer Morrison (House) stars in a show in which lost fairytale characters convene in the small Maine town of Storybrooke (GET IT?) where they suffer from amnesia about their true identities. The characters travel between the Real World and the Enchanted Forest.

What to Expect: On one hand, the formula sounds tried and tired. It could be mishandled so easily. But it's got a solid cast, Lost vets Edward Kitsis, Adam Horwits and Damon Lindelof at the helm, and the Goddess of Nerd TV the Most Honorable Jane Espenson (Buffy, Star Trek, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, Torchwood, BSG) is a Consulting Producer.


The Rundown:- It will be like Mad Men, but in the sky, chronicling the sexy lives of the sexy pilots and sexy stewardesses in the 60s.

What to Expect: Anachronism.


The Rundown: Boy genius/pretensious asshole Allen Gregory grows up with his father and his father's life partner. Jonah Hill voices the titular character. The idea is that hilarity will ensue.

What to Expect: According to some early reviews, disgusting humor that will send the FCC into a shock. But the comedy is more character-based than pop-culture based, which, in shows like this, is a good thing. Though, that will only carry the show as it avoids using the same obvious jokes over and over.


The Rundown: Zooey Deschanel plays herself, (ie a Manic Pixie Dream Girl) who moves in with three average guys she just met. Expect lots of indie music and hipster stereotypes.

What to Expect: Apparently the show's pilot won it the Most Exciting New Series at the Critics Choice Television Awards. Unfortunately, due to casting complications, the premise of the show was stomped on. Zooey was supposed to play the girl who moved in with three bro-ey best friends, but one of the best-friend actors dropped, and he is replaced in the second episode by a... new boy? So she's the Old New Girl? The Less New Girl? The Girl Whose Newness Has Worn Off Due to the Introduction of an Even Newer Character? Yikes.


The Rundown: Ill-fated high concept show about a family from the bleak future who travels to the dinsaur-y past in an attempt to save their bleak future. It has suffered from delays, rewrites, bad shooting conditions, and other difficulties, but it's finally coming to TV.

What to Expect: lots of pretty/fancy doodads and dinos, since it cost approximately seven bajillions dollars to make and is headed by His Honor Steven Speilberg. It's gotten years' worth of hype, so hopefully it will live up to the expectations; if not critically, then at least financially, since Fox jumped the gun and ordered the full 13 episodes.


The Rundown: Two paranormal investigators fight of paranormal crimes in a world in which fairy tales are real. Though the formula has been done before a million times over, it's set in Portland! And that will make it fun, right?

What to Expect: a lot of the same stuff we've seen over and over. The initial reviews were lukewarm, but it was conceived by Angel and Buffy vet David Greenwalt; there might be hope for it still.

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