The upfronts are the biggest annual events of the television industry. The networks announce their new fall schedules, and viewers get to spend the summer eagerly anticipating the mediocrity that is to come. We at “TV or not TV” worked tirelessly to provide you with this handy, dandy guide to Fall 2010 (suitable for printing and framing — right click to view larger or to save):
But wait, there’s more. Thanks to easily bribed mailroom clerks, we were able to acquire pilot episodes of all the new TV shows. What follows are brief summaries to wet your TV watching appetites:
No Ordinary Family: A one-hour dramedy about an incestuous clan of axe-murdering pedophiles who are anything but ordinary. Abe Vigoda co-stars as “Gramps.”
Detroit 187: A reality show chronicling the total population of the city of Detroit, all 187 of them.
Better Together: A sitcom about conjoined triplets. Markie Post plays their mother.
The Whole Truth: Tempest Bledsoe stars in this sitcom about a brutally honest OBGYN.
My Generation: A reality series featuring a “The Who” cover band comprised entirely of deaf mutes.
Secret Millionaire: Donald Trump doesn’t shower, shave, or change clothes for one month, then tries to bed every woman in Atlantic City. Any woman who takes him up on the offer wins $1 million. Spoiler alert: No one sleeps with Trump, even after they discover who he is.
Body of Proof: Loosely based on the movie “Clue,” which was loosely based on the Parker Brothers’ game “Clue,” which was loosely based on the early years of serial killer turned character actor Clu Gulager. Eve Plum co-stars as Ms. Plum.
The Defenders: Thomas Haden Church and Ian McShane star as Sven and Olaf, two aging European soccer goalies who balance their sports careers with their respective zany families. Lisa Kudrow co-stars as Sven’s wife Ursa.
Hawaii Five-O: Think you know what this series is about based on its title? Think again. It is about a woman who runs a convenience store in Cleveland, Ohio. Sounds bad, right? But you haven’t heard who is playing the woman. Two words: Ellen Cleghorne.
Blue Bloods: This series borrows a lot of the CGI from the smash hit “Avatar” and recycles the scripts from the second season of “Baywatch: Nights” (since nobody saw it anyway). When a race of blue-skinned aliens attempts to conquer Earth, it is up to Brick McHuge (Tom Arnold) to send them packin’. Oddly enough, this series co-stars Kam Fong as Chin Ho (through the magic of more amazing CGI).
Mike and Molly: Jenna Elfman and Tea Leoni co-star in yet another series about outwardly flighty yet inwardly intelligent women – because they each made a pact with the devil who promised them both fame on the condition they keep appearing as tired clichés.
S- My Dad Says: “G.I. Joe” was so popular on the big screen that they decided to bring it to the small screen in live action form. To help flush out the character of Cobra Commander, everyone’s favorite hissing, lisping terrorist, viewers learn in the pilot episode that he has a daughter named Cicily (played by Selena Gomez). Just watching Cobra Commander try to pronounce his daughter’s name will warm your heart.
The Event: Originally an Al-Jazeera series, this NBC remake features the public beheading of a different infidel each week. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney provide running commentary throughout each episode.
Chase: A reality series following Chevy Chase as he attempts to remind people that, at one point in history, he really was funny.
Undercovers: Jenna Jameson, Misty Mundae, and Ali Lohan play Bianca, Pastel, and Gem, porn stars by day, vice-cops by night. Or maybe the other way around. Or maybe both at the same time!
Law & Order: Los Angeles: The concept of conflict/resolution is raised to new heights as Dick Wolf sets the franchise in Heaven, where The Angels fight crime. Louie Anderson co-stars as God, a.k.a. the D.A.
Outsourced: This reality show is the 100% true story of the Proud Peacock’s 2010 prime time lineup. NBC farmed out the development of its new fall lineup to a group of chimps in the San Diego Wild Animal Park who spent most of the last six months smothering each other in fecal matter. Everything makes sense now, don’t it?
Love Bites: From Darren Star comes this light-hearted drama about Claire (Paula Poundstone), a modern-day cannibal searching for love in all the wrong places.
Outlaw: A new TV drama ripped from the headlines. Dule Hill plays the only resident of Arizona who isn’t a racist mouth-breather. As a result, other in the state consider him an outlaw and attempt to hunt him down. It is like “The Fugitive,” but with rednecks and hillbillies.
Lonestar: A talent show featuring Simon Cowell, who—at this point—is convinced nobody else on the planet is as talented as he is, so he serves not only as the show’s judge, but the lone contestant as well. Each week he butchers a different song and wrecks a well-known dance style. Guest stars drop by each week to offer advice, but Cowell just punches them in the face.
Raising Hope: Tori Spelling plays Gail Raising, a bipolar, anorexic, drunk who has been in rehab half a dozen times – but seventh time is the charm!
Running Wilde: Soleil Moon Frye plays Winona Running, a pompous socialite whose private jet crashes in a remote Bolivian rainforest. Befriending a local drug dealer (Emo Phillips), the prissy gal must adapt to a life where it isn’t what you wear that matters, but which wild jungle creature you can train to rip out the throat of your enemies.
The Good Guys: A coming of age story of Jack and Spencer (Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Phillipe) framed for murder, hiding out in Provo, Utah. The late Merlin Olsen was supposed to play Otto, a cantankerous landlord with a heart of gold, but the role has been recast and is now being played by Gary Coleman.