Women’s Murder Club Friday, Oct. 12 (ABC)
Series Debut: A San Francisco cop (Angie Harmon) and her gal pals—who happen to be a medical examiner, a prosecutor and a reporter (!)—solve homicide cases that dumb ol’ men can’t, but still find time to accessorize fabulously and talk about Their Feelings, if not Professional Ethics. Women’s Murder Club is based on James Patterson’s series of coloring books, er, novels, so it already has a built-in audience of people who frequent airport bookstores and hack TV critics, most of whom will definitely be home on Friday nights, declaring this The Year of the Woman. (Wasn’t it The Year of the Nerds just a few weeks ago?) Prediction: Canceled by November and replaced with repeats of …
Men in Trees Friday, Oct. 12 (ABC)
Season Premiere: It was a moderate hit on Fridays last season; ABC moved it to Thursdays, where it maintained its moderateness; then it disappeared with five episodes yet to air—so WTF happened to Men in Trees? It wasn’t canceled; ABC just had to make room on the schedule for some crapfest called October Road. If you’ve forgotten what was going on with Anne Heche’s Alaskan soap opera in the eight months it’s been off the air, tonight’s premiere (a new episode filmed after but slotted before last season’s Lost Five) should clear everything up for you and your cats.
America’s Psychic Challenge Friday, Oct. 12 (Lifetime)
Series Debut: A “reality” competition series wherein 16 hucksters, uh, “clairvoyant individuals” from across the country “battle it out for the coveted title of America’s No. 1 Psychic.” Seriously. Saying “Shouldn’t they already know who’s going to win?” would be too, well, predictable. Besides, if John Edwards can go from talk-to-your-dead-relatives scam artist to genuine presidential candidate, who’s to say these crystal-shippers won’t make something of themselves? Oh, that was John Edward? Never mind.
The Fox Reality Channel Really Awards Saturday, Oct. 13 (Fox Reality)
One well-placed bomb in a Los Angeles auditorium last week would have rid us of nearly every reality-TV douchebag out there—just something to think about for next year’s Fox Reality Channel Really Awards, C4 hobbyists. Until then, there’s one reason and one reason only to watch this year’s cavalcade of Wikipedia footnotes: Hulking freckle Danny Bonaduce throwing Survivor assclown Jonny Fairplay to the stage floor face-first in a WWE-worthy display of spontaneous battery—finally, some actual reality! Have Fairplay’s teeth turned up on eBay yet?
The Search for the Next Elvira Saturday, Oct. 13 (Fox Reality)
Series Debut: Elvira was huge in the ’80s, as were her hair and tits—and yet it’s taken 20 years for someone to launch a search for the next one. What’s wrong with this country? Elvira’s Movie Macabre (featuring Cassandra Peterson cracking jokes and nearly falling out of her proto-goth dress during bad horror movies) was an L.A. TV cult item that went national and hit overload in the late ’80s with her own bad movie (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) and Halloween ad campaigns for bad beer (Coors—scary, boys and girls!). Apparently, she’s still working; The Search is for an assistant to help with Elvira’s annual Halloween gigs. Help with what? Hint: Underwire support technology hasn’t advanced as far as Victoria’s Secret would have you to believe.
Samantha Who? Monday, Oct. 15 (ABC)
Series Debut: Speaking of boobs, some network geniuses think there’s enough story in a sitcom about a raging bitch (Christina Applegate) who suddenly gets amnesia, becomes a nice person but then has to deal with all the people she screwed over in the past to span at least 13 episodes. Since ABC has about 64 new shows on its current fall slate, I think we can lose this one—after Cavemen and Carpoolers, that is.
The Mystery Science Theater guys take on a 1960 gladiator epic which, while quite homoerotic, can’t be as gay as 300. Damn. FilmCrewOnline.com
Meerkat Manor: Season 1
A “soap opera” about a bunch of weasels going about their weasel lives? And people watch this? Yeah, well, beats Cavemen. AnimalPlanet.com
Post-9/11 NYC melodrama, starring Adam Sandler as a different kind of mental recluse than you’re used to seeing him play. Hanky-time! Sony.com
Animated documentary (?) about the cutthroat world of penguin surfing, minus the preachiness of Happy Feet—and the happy feet. Sony.com
How to make up for the absence of Eliza Dushku? How about Henry Rollins as the host of a reality TV show who goes mutant-killin’? Sold! FoxHome.com
You Kill Me
Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni in the feel-good alcoholic hit-man dark romantic mob comedy of the summer. It’s an indie-flick. Go with it. IFC.com
More New DVD Releases (Oct. 9)
28 Weeks Later, CSI:NY: Season 3, Evan Almighty, Everybody Hates Chris: Season 2, Girlfriends: Season 2
CBS’ new musical casino drama (that’s right) doesn’t debut until Oct. 18, but a one-minute YouTube clip of Hugh Jackman singing “Sympathy for the Devil” (also right) surrounded by slot machines and showgirls should keep you laughing for at least a week.
Listen to Bill Mondays at 8 a.m. on X96’s Radio From Hell. Musical casino blogging at BillFrost.tv.