Monday, September 01, 2008

Welcome To The New Stuff

It's appropriate that with Labor Day marking the end of summer and the beginning of fall, several new and returning shows are hitting the air tonight.

Perhaps the most intriguing is "Raising the Bar," (TNT, 10 p.m.), which will be taking over "Saving Grace's" timeslot for a few weeks.

It stars Mark-Paul Gosselar ("NYPD Blue") as a public defender and Gloria Reuben ("ER") as his boss. Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm In The Middle") plays a judge.

The series was created by Steven Bochco, who has produced some of the great TV of our time ("NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues") as well as some of the most forgettable ("Cop Rock"). Where will "Raising The Bar" fall on the Bochco scale? Early reviews have been mixed, so we'll wait and see.

COMING TUESDAY: The Telegraph's Charles E. Richardson reunites with Kenny Burgamy for the debut of the "Kenny B. and Charles E. Show" on WPGA-FM 100.9 from 6 a.m.-9 a.m., with the first hour of the show being aired live on WPGA-TV.

The talk show will provide a contrast to WMAC-AM 940's recently debuted talk radio program, hosted by Chris Krok.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: I gave up on "Prison Break" (Fox, 8 p.m.) at the beginning of last season as the show went ridiculous beyond even its own standards, but evidently someone is still watching it, so he or she will be up for tonight's two-hour debut. I'm still wondering how they will explain away how Michael's decapitated girlfriend is back to being a series regular.

A new "Saving Grace" (TNT, 9 p.m.) leads into "Raising The Bar."

To give equal time, I should note that the Republican National Convention kicks off tonight. You can catch the action at 8 p.m. on PBS and cable, or the key speeches at 10 p.m. on the networks.

Check last week's postings for "Reel Fanatic's" review of the season premiere of "Gossip Girl" (CW, 8 p.m.), followed by the season premiere of "One Tree Hill" (CW, 9 p.m.) as the network looks to get out of the gates early.

Finally, CNBC didn't do a good job of promoting it when it debuted last week, but "The Apprentice UK" (CNBC, 8 p.m.) airs its second episode as contestants face off for the opportunity to get a job with British tycoon Sir Alan Sugar. If you want a better version of "The Apprentice" franchise, check out the BBC America series "Dragon's Den" on Thursdays, in which would-be entrepreneurs seek backing for their projects from five UK millionaires. It's a much more interesting format than the artificial tasks contestants are given on "The Apprentice."


zodin2008 said...

A few addendums worth noting here, Phillip.

First, the GOP convention was stalled tonight thanks to Hurricane Gustav. Instead, the GOP canceled the major speeches expected from Joe Lieberman, Pres. Bush and Vice President Cheney, and First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain came out in subdued circumstances to let people know where they could make donations to help the victims of Hurricane Gustav.

It was a classy change from the blistering spectacle of the convention in Denver.

The reviews for TNT's "Raising the Bar" have been pretty negative and I hate to say this, but Mark Paul Gosselar's ridiculous looking hairstyle in the previews, along with the panned reviews, will keep me away tonight - no thanks.

Finally, "Prison Break" has gotten completely ludicrous, but with so few shows back, I will watch tonight and the next few weeks until Mondays fill up again.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, with Bochco, it's always hit or miss, but worth at least a look.

Obviously, all the convention stuff changed at the last minute.

Jonathan said...

I actually thought Prison Break got a lot better toward the end of last season, and this season's premiere was a lot of fun. The break-out of the Panama prison was actually handled better than the break-out from Fox River in the first season.

With them going after the company, they actually created a storyline that makes the continuation seem worthwhile. The explanation for Sara was as obvious as it seemed and the only way it would work.

Don't get me wrong; "Prison Break," is nowhere near being a great show, but as for escapist entertainment, it's as good as anything else on.