Question: Which fall pilots would you deem worthy of my time?
Answer: I finished watching the last of the pilots over the weekend and I have fantastic news: For the first time in recent memory, the good fall shows easily outnumber the bad ones at least based on the pilots I saw. As Desperate Housewives taught us, the second and third episodes tell us much more about a show's creative bones than a season premiere. With that said, here are the fall offerings that have the most FauxVo potential.
* Friday Night Lights (NBC): Three words: Sign. Me. Up.
* Smith (CBS): Ocean's Eleven for the small screen, in which every member of the ensemble could easily headline their own show and many of them have. This season's best-produced pilot is also the darkest.
* Jericho (CBS): Surprisingly engrossing, considering it's Everwood: The Day After. Let's hope this whole North Korea crisis simmers down by fall.
* 30 Rock (NBC): If you like Tina Fey's shtick, you're going to love 30 Rock. And I defy you not to chortle at every syllable that comes out of Alec Baldwin's mouth. The dude is a comic genius.
* The Nine (ABC): I'm not crazy about the whole bank-robbery conceit, but the cast sells it like a stack of three-dollar bills.
* Six Degrees (ABC): It's Crash minus all the proselytizing. I think my pal J.J.'s got another winner.
* Betty the Ugly (ABC): My pick for most satisfying pilot. Allow me to be the first to say, "God bless America Ferrera!"
* Daylight (ABC/midseason): If you can get past the preposterous 24 meets Groundhog Day premise and I did you're going to have a blast.
On that note, I'm off to cover the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, which means AA is going on a brief, three-week hiatus, returning on Aug. 2. But wait this postscript gets better. In addition to penning the global phenomenon that has become my Press Tour Diaries, I will be breaking scoop throughout the tour on my Ausiello Report blog. My PT Diaries will also be posted on the Ausiello Report, so if you haven't already bookmarked the page, this would be a good time to do so. All the fun begins this Saturday with Day 1 of CBS. For my loyal fans, that means you have exactly four days to get those cases of Diet Raspberry Snapple shipped to the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena. (I can't wait to see how many I get this year!)