Last year, Sunday nights were void of any real television. “Sex and the City” ended, leaving its loyal viewers to plan something else to fill in the time when they would usually be sitting on the edge of their seats, blessed by good Sunday night television. Things changed, however, when ABC enlightened viewers with the campy, superbly-act ed, always quirky “Desperate Housewives” and the sarcastic wit of the spin-off from “ThePractice,” a new drama dubbed “Boston Legal.” “Desperate Housewives” stars Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher, and Marcia Cross as women all dealing with family life and the suicidal secret of their best friend Mary Alice. Watching these women is not only entertaining, but brings back the nighttime soap opera that is definitely at the top of its game.”Boston Legal” stars William Shatner and James Spader as satirical lawyers, priding themselves on sarcasm and their own arrogance.
On top of these engrossing new dramas, a reality program scheduled in the 8:00 timeslot, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is stirring up ratings as well. The reality program, taking a high road in the midst of trashy reality programs, deals with remodeling homes for families desperately in need. Last week, Ty Pennington and his team of experts remodeled a home for a family where the mother and father are both deaf and their youngest son is blind and autistic. Their oldest son takes care of his family and at the end of the show he was awarded money for college. The team built a home that allowed the family to receive high-tech alarms that blink rapidly so they will be able to see them. The house also had technology for their youngest son, who tends to wander, so his parents and brother can keep an eye on him. The show provides miracles for families in need and America has tuned in.
Other shows that have created a buzz on Sunday nights are NBC’s drama, “American Dreams,” set in the ’60s, where the oldest son is fighting in the Vietnam War while the family deals with issues at home. NBC also breaks into the ratings war with the ever popular “Law&Order: Criminal Intent” and “Crossing Jordan,” which follows “American Dreams.” “Law&Order: Criminal Intent” has been critically acclaimed for its acting and takes a real look into the depths of the criminal mind. “Crossing Jordan” follows a female forensic pathologist who stops at nothing to get the job done. On CBS, “Cold Case,” a show that gives a new look at forensic evidence, was shelved and is now being reopened, starts at 8:00 p.m.
Fox mixes in its own creative scheduling with the 16th season of “The Simpsons” taking off and then sailing right into the 8:30 time slot where “Arrested Development” (which received the Emmy Award for Best Comedy earlier this year) continues to round out a very successful hour of television. “Arrested Development” is a new spin on comedy, a look at a dysfunctional family gone even more awry.
All four networks are giving viewers new reasons to stay on the couch on Sunday nights, with a great mix of reality television, on the edge of your seat drama, and quirky comedies. People began to give up on Sunday nights but now Sunday night television is back, and it truly is better than ever.