Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fox says, "Let's go crazy"

The Fox Network, whose programming selections veer wildly between outhouse (American Idol, Cops, The Simple Life) and castle (24, the surprisingly fine House), ends Fall Preview Week with a slate of new shows that appear to, well, veer wildly between outhouse and castle.

Here's a sampling of what Rupert Murdoch and company have in store for next season:
  • The Gate: Inside the "deviant crime unit" of the San Francisco Police Department. There's a punch line just waiting to happen — "isn't 'deviant crime in San Francisco' redundant? — but as a longtime Bay Area resident who loves me some Babylon by the Bay, you won't hear it from me.

  • Bones: Forensic anthropologists solve crimes by studying skeletons. Anyone here remember Gideon Oliver?

  • Prison Break: The life and times of a Death Row inmate. Now that sounds fun and exciting. Kind of like Charles in Charge, only the "Charles" isn't Scott Baio — it's Charles Manson.

  • Reunion: This has the potential to be a novel concept — each episode will check in on the lives of six high school friends in a different year of their adult lives. But what do they do if the series gets renewed for another season? Seems as though this would be a difficult premise to sustain for very long. But I said that about 24 too.

  • Head Cases: Chris O'Donnell stars as an attorney with mental health issues. Maybe that's why he signed that contract for Batman and Robin.

  • The War at Home: A kids-against-parents generation-gap sitcom of the kind that's been done to death in a thousand variations (Family Ties, Boy Meets World, Malcolm in the Middle, et al.).

  • Kitchen Confidential: Another sitcom, this one about a former superstar chef reduced to hurling hash in a franchise restaurant because he's a self-destructive alcoholic. (Obviously, someone didn't learn a lesson from Emeril Lagasse's ghastly sitcom of a few seasons back.)
What is it with Fox and crazy / deviant / whacked-out people this season?

Oh, I forgot...Rupert Murdoch. Never mind.

(This article is cross-posted to my film/television blog at DVD Verdict.)

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