The start of another school year means hitting the books, getting up on time for class, and all of the fun homework assignments. It also means hitting the couch in time for your favorite shows, perhaps while youʼre trying to do those tedious assignments.We all need a half hour break sometimes, right? This fall there were many returning hit shows and a few highly anticipated new premieres.
As expected, NBC hit home runs with a 40-minute “Will and Grace” followed by a huge 90- minute “Apprentice” returning for a second season. NBC is also expecting great numbers from the much-anticipated “Friends” spinoff, “Joey.” Other favorites making their 2004 premieres this September are “Fear Factor,” “CSI,” “Scrubs” and “That 70s Show.”
The category of reality series is growing exponentially with returns of “The Bachelor” and “Survivor,” as well as an out-of-thegate hit, “Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.” Other newcomers are a boxing show, called “The Next Great Champ,” which premiered to dismal reviews, and
the “Complex Malibu,” an interior-design-show-meets-bad-soapopera.
Both of these are garnering some disappointing ratings for FOX. “Survivor:Vanuatu Islands of Fire” will feature 18 new castaways, and the teams will be men vs. women. Although “Survivor” likes to think that it was the show that launched the reality TV craze, there was a little show on MTV called “The Real World,” which debuted before the “Survivors”
concept had been presented. This season, “The Real World” is in Philadelphia, and MTV will also feature “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Sexes” this fall.
Another reality favorite is ABCʼs “The Bachelor,” where the format has changed, making it somewhat more interesting. Instead of one man choosing from all the women, there will be two bachelors and the group of ladies will choose the one who is worthy.
This should be interesting. NBC is expecting great things from its new drama “LAX” which stars Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood. The plot will revolve around the day-to-day drama of one of the worldʼs biggest airports.
Some think that Locklear is capable of attracting viewers no matter what show she appears on, so tune in to ﬁnd out. “ER” fans have a great season to look forward to this year. The premiere picked up right where
last season left off, and the drama is plentiful. The show will feature a guest appearance by Ray Liotta, who plays a patient. This is a performance worth watching.
“The O.C.” will also be back this season on FOX with more California twists; however, they are playing a couple of behind the scenes teasers before the big premiere, which should run before mid-October.
Overall, look for many strong returns of hit shows and try to ﬁlter through the onslaught of new ones, mainly reality shows trying to squeeze what is left out of creative ideas in that genre. NBC seems to have a great formula by bringing back “The Apprentice” and “Will and Grace,” which will be featuring many guest appearances, and audiences will tune in for “Joey” simply because heʼs Joey. So get your remotes ready and happy watching.