Returns Tuesday, January 13th at 8PM on Fox
I have no argument that Idol is not still crazy popular nor that it doesn't make real careers for the winners and many runners-up, but it has just gotten so out of hand with its commercialization within the episodes, that it's just too much and it needs to be laid to rest already before it truly is two hours, two days a week of wanna-be stars singing advertising jingles on the back of a Ford pick-up... oh wait.
Airs Mondays at 10PM on ABC
A) Beauty and the Geek was cute and fun, but it's been canceled for a reason. B) Beauty and the Geek looks like it was way, way better than this. C) Remember last season's Crowned all about inner (and outer) beauty? Yeah. I didn't think so. Yes, True Beauty is produced by Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher who've had plenty of success with shows right up this alley, but basically it's too straightforward and unimaginative to make any sort of splash in our midseason viewing pools.
Airs Saturdays at 8PM on CBS
Another one Ashton? Really? Apparently it was too late once Opportunity Knocks failed in the fall season to pull this one... that has to be why this is actually airing, right? I have to say I didn't actually watch the Game Show in My Head premiere, but did anyone and isn't that the point? And why? A) The title pretty much makes me want to denounce television entirely. B) It airs on Saturday nights. And we say a Friday slot is a death card. Sorry Ashton, but it seems these days game shows really don't hack it... unless your Howie Mandel, and even he's pushing it (note Howie Do It in Part 2 of this list).
Premieres Thursday, March 19th at 9PM on NBC
While this one may have a bit of promise, the basic description alone probably turns many "proud" primetime viewers away: "Inspired by the biblical story of King David, this contemporary soap is about a typical small town guy who becomes involved with high society and politics and rises to the top against all odds." First, many TV watchers are immediately bored upon seeing something's based on the Bible or some other very historical reference, and second, you can't openly call something a soap opera if you want solid primetime viewership. There's something snobby about us primetime-only viewers who refuse to accept that any of the dramas we watch are soap-like because of the over-the-top outrageous silliness we stick to what it means to be a soap.
Airs Mondays at 9PM on MTV
If they'd done a spin-off with Brody from the reality phenomenon The Hills about two seasons ago, and it was an entirely different idea, I think it would have been a fantastic guilty MTV pleasure. But now Brody's done enough LA morphing that he's a little too annoying of a famous person for doing nothing. Plus the show idea and execution is more than awkward - dating shows are dumb and superficial enough, but what respectable and normal guy is going to go on a show to try to be friends with another guy? And what semi-famous guy is actually going to become and stay friends with the "winner?" I wondered before the show started what "challenges" they could do that wouldn't be totally stupid and really awkward, and I have a feeling even if I watched the whole season, I would still be left wondering.