Friday, October 19, 2007

'Band' Together

Fox is hoping to capture the next wave of reality phenomenon tonight with the debut of "The Next Great American Band" at 8 p.m.

My question is, what took them so long?

You'd think this project would have occurred to the network that brings us "American Idol" two or three times a week. Instead of trying to find the next great American singer, finding the next great musical group would seem like a logical progression.

Sure, there's a battle-of-the-bands kind of feel to it, but I think this is actually more challenging than "AI," since everyone in the band has to be on their game and they have to be able to play instraments in addition to singing, plus have the charisma of an actual band.

I'm also wondering why Fox would put this on Fridays, when most of the target audience will likely be out listening to real bands in clubs across the country, because in theory, most of the "AI" audience should be checking "Band" out, at least initially.

AROUND THE DIAL: What is it about "Big Bang Theory" that you people like? Seriously. Someone please explain to me why this show is popular. It's not plausible, and it's not funny.

But the ratings are very good and CBS awarded the show with a full-season pickup on Friday. In addition, CBS is also picking up "The Unit."

Meanwhile, despite it being something of a disappointment both creatively and in the ratings, "Private Practice" will also get a full season's worth of episodes, probably not much of a surprise. ...

Sci-Fi announced Friday that it will produce the backdoor pilot, "Revolution," which begins production in January. The concept is of a space colony named New America that has a lot of the same problems we contemporary Americans do. The new colony considers seceding from good, old planet Earth.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: I mentioned "Women's Murder Club" (ABC, 9 p.m.) last week as something that is slightly amusing, but apparently people thought even more of it than I did as it pulled in strong ratings for a Friday. Having seen Episode 2, the show settles more into what will be its presumed format each week. It's based on the crime novels of James Patterson, about four women who band together through their jobs to solve crimes. It's followed by the premiere of "Men In Trees."

CBS is all-new, with "Ghost Whisperer" (CBS, 8 p.m.) kicking things off, followed by the continuing-to-disappoint "Moonlight." At 10 p.m., "Numb3rs" takes on a Da Vinci Code-like plot.

Please, please, please tune into "Friday Night Lights," (NBC, 9 p.m.) which delivers a pivotal episode that will advance the Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) storyline as the Panthers become divided over the team's new coach (Chris Mulkey). (Fans of the series will especially enjoy the scene between Tim Riggins and Buddy Garrity). It's followed by a new "Las Vegas."

On Saturday, pretty much the only new thing of note is "Torchwood" (BBC America, 9 p.m.).

Sunday brings a plethora of new things, but the best bet is Showtime, which delivers new installments of "Dexter" at 9 p.m. and "Brotherhood" at 10 p.m.


Jonathan said...

I was reading AOL's "Fall TV It List" yesterday and it had "Big Bang Theory" at number 2. I don't get it either. I've watched two full episodes and parts of two other ones, and it's just not funny, at all. I can even understand the appeal of what I consider to be mediocre sitcoms like "Two and a Half Men" or "My Name is Earl." Charlie Sheen and Jason Lee have fan bases that will watch them in just about anything. But "Big Bang Theory" doesn't have any kind of star clout, and it's just a bunch of nerds spouting babble around about physics and role playing games. What huge demographic does this appeal to?

I watched "Women's Murder Club" last week, and I agree with you for the most part. It's fairly entertaining even though it has nothing original going for it. I'm not suprised that it did decent numbers; it's a perfect Friday night show for older women who are staying in for the night. I just wish it wasn't on against "FNL," because we sure don't need anything taking viewers away from that show.

Phillip Ramati said...

Yeah, I don't get it either. There are always going to be differences about what people think is and isn't funny. I mean, I hated Home Improvement, but it lasted a long time. I think Frasier and Seinfeld are classics, but I know of people who don't like them.

But I just don't understand the success of Theory, especially when it runs opposite the much funnier Aliens in America.

Anonymous said...

I'll confess... I watch Big Bang Theory. Why do I like it? Namely... I'm a dork. I enjoy the World of Warcraft references. I chuckle here and there throughout the show. At half an hour a week, I don't mind sitting through some cheap jokes. I understand the shows not great, but it's something light and sort of funny when I'm in the mood for something light and funny.

Phillip Ramati said...

Hey Anon,

I know it's hard to imagine with someone being as cool as I am, but I'm a geek as well. But the humor in Theory just falls flat. And there's zero chemistry between the girl and the geeks, even just in regular interaction.