Ray Wise and Bret Harrison in Reaper by Michael Courtney/The CW
A few thoughts after sitting through an L.A. satellite feed of CW's Upfront presentation on Thursday, which was more impressive (the Pussycat Dolls performance aside) than I expected.

The Reaper looks much funnier than I expected. Should have guessed given that the appealing lead, Bret Harrison as a schmo who learns his parents sold his soul to the devil, is best known for sitcom work ( Grounded for Life, That '70s Show, The Loop). Ray Wise is a scream as his demanding new boss, aka Lucifer. Only drawback: Reaper's time-slot competition includes another largely comedic series about a reluctant nerdish hero, NBC's Chuck. Is there room for two?

Also getting a good response: Aliens in America, with its Muslim exchange student fish-out-of-water befriending his classmate/host, a nerdy social pariah. This looks perfectly suited as a companion piece to the similarly sardonic Everybody Hates Chris.

Gossip Girl may well become a brand-appropriate hit, but I'm personally weary of shows about overprivileged "teenagers" who look and act like they're in their 30s, and the whole gossip-via-Blackberry/Sidekick gimmick makes them come off as an even more self-absorbed and unlikable tribe than usual. (I was amused when CW confirmed that when One Tree Hill returns, it will have jumped forward in time four years to post-college graduation. For once, this cast will finally be able to act its age.)