Question: After the embarrassing debacle of Viva Laughlin, I figured network TV wouldn't ever touch musical dramas ever again. Then Ryan Murphy surprised the naysayers with the out-of-the-box success of Glee. Then came along my personal favorite Smash last winter, and the also-great Nashville this fall. Now I read a couple months ago that Fox was trying to revise Fame. My question is this: Have you ever known of a time when so many music-based shows have been on TV? Is it because of the success of American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor? And do you think there is room on TV for possibly four musicals, or will they cannibalize each other for viewers? I've noticed Glee has been down in the ratings, and for a year-four show targeted at the fickle teen market, is this expected? Have you heard any buzz on Smash? I thought Season 1 was great, but I did notice the weak links too, which seem to have been corrected. I hope Season 2 really gets grittier and goes more behind-the-scenes a la West Wing instead of the soapy melodrama of S1. Thoughts? — Sean
Bravo recently announced that it will add a fifth night of original programming, so it's developing a slew of new original series, including another Real Housewives franchise and a scripted dramedy about male prostitutes. Read our snap judgments on the lineup and then tell us in the comments section which series have the potential to be your newest guilty pleasure.
Million Dollar Decorators
What It Is: High-end interior decorators in L.A. work with the multi-million-dollar budgets of their wealthy clientele.
Snap Judgment: We love shows about the hubris of the rich, but is this the financial climate for a show about squandering money?
Tune-In, DVR or Pass: DVR
Get those claws out Gossip Girl Upper East Siders, because there's a new cougar in town! OK, she's not quite a full-fledged cougar age wise, but Madchen Amick has just been cast as a May-December love interest for Nate aka Blair's high school-aged ex. EW reports that Amick, who played a casino wife on the "blink-and-you-missed-it" Viva Laughlin, will play Catherine Mason when Gossip Girl returns to the CW on Sept. 1.What do you think of a cougar crashing the Gossip gang? Erin FoxRelated Gossip Invades the Hamptons Use Our Online Video Guide to Watch More Gossip Girl
Question: What's the latest on Kevin and Jason on Brothers & Sisters? I'm hearing some disturbing rumors about who Kevin chooses, and it's not Jason. Don't tell me we wished death on Viva Laughlin for nothing!
Answer: Regardless of how the Scotty/Kevin/Jason triangle plays out, you did not wish death on Viva Laughlin for nothing. Believe me, the world is a much better place without that crappy show in it. Having said that, and without giving too much away, I can tell you that Kevin's initial choice isn't necessarily his ultimate choice.
Question: While we all know what a calamitous effect the current strike will have on the fall newcomers, what effect (if any) will it have on new midseason shows? Have they been given enough lead time to remain intact, or will they disappear altogether from the schedule, done in by a lack of new scripts?
Answer: Depends on the show. Those that have been in production since late summer/early fall will probably have banked enough episodes to at least get their customary tryouts. The good news for these shows is that if the strike keeps going, the networks may just let them ride it out even if the ratings aren't up to snuff because of the need for original programming. You'd have to be a complete stinker like Viva Laughlin to be yanked off the air after only two or three episodes in this environment ...