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2005 Fall Schedules: The WB

Here's what I don't understand about The WB's fall schedule. Well, there are actually several things I don't get, starting with "Who watches this stuff?" and working down to "Seriously, there are people tuning in for this stuff?" But the specific thing that, for me, passeth all understanding is the way they've got their Friday schedule set up.

It starts with an hour of Reba reruns. Apparently, those of you who picked it to win the 2001 Dead Pool were misinformed, as it's now charging into its fifth season with a new show on Fridays and two reruns on Sundays. And later on Sunday, they've got Blue Collar TV, on which Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy romp around while the audience tries to remember if there wasn't a fourth guy in the Blue Collar Franchise at some point. So far, no problem. But crammed in between Reba and the Foxworthy Gang is... Charmed. And maybe it's just me, but it seems like the demographic for a sitcom starring a country singer and the demographic for a sketch comedy show starring rednecks are roughly the same, but is that the same people who want to watch pert young witches? I would hypothesize that it is not, and that perhaps the WB would be better served by putting, say, something more Southern in that slot.

And yes, I realize that this is the time slot things are already in. Too bad. I'm commenting about it now. See, they could take Charmed and put it back-to-back with their new Supernatural show. It stars Jared Padelecki (whom you might remember as Dean from Gilmore Girls) and Jensen Ackles (who was on Smallville as someone called Jason Teague, although I personally don't remember him) as brothers who drive around in a '67 Chevy Impala searching for their missing father.

But it's not all deadbeat dads on Supernatural -- they also hunt down evil monsters! You might think it sounds silly to have a show in which two guys drive aimlessly around the country and battle ghosts, and you'd be correct. The WB is hoping to distract you from that fact by reminding you that they've done spooky shows before. Some might find it a bit odd that they brag about Buffy the Vampire Slayer when they let that show fly away to UPN. But I guess they know what they're doing.

Another new show I was worried about at first was Just Legal -- I just don't think the world is ready for Barely Legal: the Series on network television. And you'll note how I'm not doing a joke about how the WB isn't really a "network." I'm saving that one for UPN. Anyway, this one is a show about a nineteen-year-old lawyer who can't get any work because he's so young. Naturally, he hooks up with a broken-down old ambulance-chasing lawyer played by Don Johnson, because that's what you do in this sort of situation. And then they become, if I might quote from the WB press release, "defenders of the accused and crusaders for the unjustly wronged." Come to think of it, it's not Barely Legal: the Series, but that doesn't mean it can't still be terrible.

Speaking of bad shows (which is a segue that tends to be used a lot this time of year), Related is a lot like The Odd Couple, but with four people, who are all hot chicks. You've got your 19-year-old college student who just switched her major from "pre-med" to "experimental theater." You've got your event coordinator who has to deal with demanding celebrities (who will, I suspect, be exactly as famous as "people who need to cameo on a WB show to promote a new project"). There's a corporate lawyer. And there's a legal-aid lawyer, who is listed as "TBD" in the press release but appears to be Laura San Giacomo in the pictures. Apparently, she's going from "young and idealistic" in Just Shoot Me to "mothering and idealistic". I was going to wonder why she was jumping all the way up to a 33-year-old character, but IMDB says she's actually 43.

And then there's Twins, which is based on the well-known comedic principle of putting two dissimilar people next to each other and saying, "Look! They're not very similar at all!" In this case, you've got a lingerie model (Molly Stanton, who used to be on Passions) and a successful businesswoman (Sara Gilbert, who was the best part of Roseanne). It seems they get into all sorts of conflicts which have to moderated (or something) by their parents, Mark Linn-Baker (Perfect Strangers and My Favorite Year, which was a really good movie) and Melanie Griffith (well, I'm sure you know who Melanie Griffith is). The gimmick is that the smart twin takes after their father (because we all know that smart people aren't as attractive as idiots) and the model takes after their mother. I'm assuming that heartwarming hilarity will ensue, although I honestly can't see how.

I'd list the WB shows that aren't returning, but except for Jack and Bobby, I don't recognize many of them. Big Man on Campus? The Mountain? Drew Carey's Green Screen Show? No idea.



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