TV News Roundup: New Shows, Guest Stars, and Crushed Dreams

Matthew PerryCan you believe it? We’re already a whole month into the Fall TV season, and sadly Mad Men and The Jersey Shore will end their seasons. (It had to happen folks, we can’t have fist pumping guidos frolicking around with some classy ad men to balance it out.) So as we enter this exciting month of finales and trial periods for the newbies, the television sphere is all abuzz. Here’s the rundown of what may or may not be headed to the small screen soon.

Over at NBC, The Event is starting to hit its stride, and critics are even comparing it other shows with fanatic followings – that’s right, it’s getting comments about being the next Lost or Heroes or 24. Really. Despite these praises, the show’s ratings aren’t matching up, so it makes sense that creators are searching for a way to hook more viewers. Enter 24 veterans executive producer Evan Katz and actress Necar Zadegan (who you may remember as the president’s wife in season 8). Zadegan is signed on to play a mysterious new character with potential for a recurring role. Taking the 24-esque route could potentially bring in the 24 fanatics who had their beloved series ripped out of the prime time lineup, and I’m sure that’s what NBC is hoping for. I hope it works because it would be a shame for something that NBC is doing right to fall by the wayside – they’ve been scraping the bottom of the barrel for a while and it’s about time they enjoyed some success.

ABC’s also got some new stuff coming down the line. Matthew Perry is returning to television with his new show called Mr. Sunshine. (Hey, if Monica can do a show without Chandler, then Chandler can do one without Monica, okay?) Perry’s already got a guest star lined up for his new endeavor, tennis great Jimmy Connors. He’s play himself (what a stretch) and he’s challenge Perry’s character to a charity tennis match (wow, another stretch). I’m not sure about a Matthew Perry sitcom, but I’ve bet big money that it will at least be better than Joey.

Once Dancing with The Stars comes to an end, ABC already has the next show all lined up. It’s a really creative replacement – Skating with The Stars. Revolutionary, isn’t it? The show will start November 22 and bring more flickering stars into American homes to participate in an identically-structured skating competition. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Thankfully, ABC Family managed to tap into their taste-meter for a second, killing the pilot for a new show called Strut. Get this, it was a show about a Vegas show girl who becomes a drill team instructor – on a channel with the word “family” in the name! They were trying to get Jenna Elfman as the lead, but she wisely rejected that offer (smart move lady; I don’t see any way that the Showgirls-meets-Hellcats show could have been a good move). I guess Elfman was the last straw, because they pulled the plug shortly after the rejection, but I bet she just saved them from wasting time on a show that I’m pretty sure was going to crash and burn.

Source: Entertainment Weekly, The Ausiello Files