As difficult as it may be to believe, not everyone loves The Only TV Column That Matters® as much as Tube Town fan Sarah and her circle of lawyer-lady pals. She calls City Weekly whenever the column doesn’t run (like the week of July 28, for example) and leaves a verbal smackdown on voicemail—you don’t mess with attorneys, especially female attorneys traveling in packs. BTW, I’m in the market for a Sugar Mama.
Getting back to the barely established point: As consistently great as you know it is, Tube Town is not taken seriously by certain organizations within the good ol’ boys club of TV journalism. Yes, I’m whining about the Television Critics Association again—I do this every year; you should be used to it by now.
Sure, I didn’t apply to the TCA quite in time for July’s summer TV press tour in Pasadena (where the major networks schmooze the press about their upcoming “best ever” fall season), and City Weekly is as likely to pay for two weeks of me hanging out in SoCal watching new TV pilots and following Lauren Graham around as it is to cover my cable bill—but it’s the principal, damn it. The TCA gets all snooty when you mention you’re with one of those “alternative newsweeklies,” and they shut you out completely when you toss off something as innocent as, “Yeah, well, my weekly TV column will crush all daily TV column challengers in a steel-cage death match—name the time and place, jabroni!” Go figure.
So, after sneaking into the TCA summer press tour once again—I simply told security that I was the white guy voted out of the Big Brother house—I’ve got all the goods on the new shows for the 2000-2001 TV season, just for you. (If you happen to be traveling in the state of California, I’ve hitched back as far as Barstow and need a ride. Thanks.)
Mondays: Yes, Dear (CBS) is a two-family sitcom featuring ex-stars of Boston Common, The Mike O’Malley Show, Cold Feet and Jesse, all of which are very, very canceled—get ready for the early return of Ladies Man. Deadline (NBC) is a gritty drama from the creators of Law & Order starring Oliver Platt as a crusading journalist digging up dirt on the bad guys … you can do that? Cool. Boston Public (Fox) is David E. Kelley’s high school drama with a twist: The focus is on the teachers, not the students. God, I miss Snoops. Girlfriends (UPN), Kelsey Grammer’s (Frasier) sitcom about sassy African-American gal-pals, is strictly for those who’ve never heard of Living Single.
Tuesdays: The Michael Richards Show (NBC), a still-unscreened-for-critics sitcom, stars Seinfeld’s Kramer as a zany detective—no one’s seen it yet, and no one wants to. Tucker (NBC) stars Married With Children’s Katey Sagal as the live-in aunt of a suspiciously Malcolm-in-the-Middle-like teenager. DAG (NBC) stars David Allen Grier as a Secret Service agent stuck guarding the first lady (red-hot Delta Burke). Following the Hilary Regime, this is going to be a tough sell. Dark Angel (Fox), James Cameron’s übercool sci-fi epic, stars Jessica Alba as a genetically enhanced military experiment who escapes to find her family and kick deadly kung-fu butt in tight leather outfits. Oh yeah.
Wednesdays: Gideon’s Crossing (ABC), another hospital drama … next? The Bette Show (CBS), the anointed hit of 2000, stars Bette Midler as herself starring in Cybil Shepard’s Cybil, or something like that. Welcome to New York (CBS) is a TV-show-within-a-TV-show sitcom starring Christine Baranski (Cybil, coincidentally) as a high-strung producer with a very small nose. Titans (NBC), Aaron Spelling’s brazen Dynasty update (starring Yasmine Bleeth and Victoria Principal), answers the eternal question, “Is there anything worse than Dynasty?” Don’t Ask (Fox), starring John Goodman as a gay dad, is in the process of being heavily retooled and is expected to finally air as The Michael Richards & John Goodman Show. The $treet (Fox) is producer Darren Star’s (Sex and the City) drama about sexy young Wall Street stock traders. Uh-huh. Come back, Jennifer Love Hewitt! All is forgiven!
Thursdays: Cursed (NBC), also known as The Steven Weber Show, inherits the perennially doomed 7:30 p.m. timeslot, which explains the name confusion. It doesn’t, however, explain why someone gave Steven Weber a show. The Lone Gunmen (Fox, beginning January 2001), an X-Files spin-off starring Mulder’s wacky hacker buds is shrouded in secrecy, but more guns are rumored to be added in the form of Jennifer Love Hewitt—to the chat room, fanboys! The Gilmore Girls (The WB), starring M.Y.O.B’s Lauren Graham, is just Providence meets Dawson’s Creek … did I mention Lauren Graham? Mrrooww.
We’ll continue on to the weekend line-ups for fall in the next action-packed episode of Tube Town—stay tuned, lawyer-ladies. Oh, and the rest of you, too.