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Will it be a midseason smash?

Posted: January 27, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: January 27, 2012 6:00 a.m.

“SMASH” will debut Feb. 6 on NBC.

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It's midseason and the television networks are counting up the winners and the losers from the new fall television season that was launched with such hope and promise just a few short months ago.

My new favorite addiction is "Revenge." It's hard to know which show I like better, "Revenge" or "Shameless."

"Shameless" is on Showtime and therefore has a certain license to be "out of bounds."

The major networks still have to be bound by a few rules - even if it seems that those rules become fewer by the day.

However, now the midseason replacements are upon us. Will any of the newbies claim "breakout hit" status?

Will any of these new offerings replace "Revenge" and "Shameless" in my heart?

The most anticipated show of the midseason seems to be "Smash" - a show that seeks to take the musical television crown from "Glee."

Former American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee leads an ensemble cast in "SMASH," including Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, Jack Davenport and Anjelica Huston, in the story of making a Broadway play about Marilyn Monroe.

The show, with Steven Spielberg among its executive producers, will feature both original songs and popular covers, and has already landed cameos with Nick Jonas, Bernadette Peters and Uma Thurman.

"SMASH" premieres 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6 on NBC.

ABC'S highly anticipated new paranormal thriller, "The River," will premiere with two back-to-back episodes, 9-11 p.m. Feb. 7.

From the "Paranormal Activity" creator Oren Peli, "The River" documents a small crew's ill-fated search down the Amazon for a missing nature explorer.

Paranormal activity seems to be a popular theme for midseason shows.

On Fox, Kiefer Sutherland stars as a single father whose mute, 11-year-old son communicates through numbers In "Touch."

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Undercovers) and Danny Glover co-star in the drama from Heroes creator Tim Kring. As Glover explained to Sutherland in a preview: "Your son sees everything in the past, the present, the future. He sees how it's all connected."

The show premieres 9 p.m. Monday, March 9.

Also on Fox is "Alcatraz." The show premiered 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16.

From the "Lost" gurus J.J. Abrams and Elizabeth Sarnoff offer up a supernatural mystery about Alcatraz prisoners returning to modern day San Francisco after disappearing when the notorious prison closed. Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill headline the ensemble cast.

On the sitcom front, "Don't Trust the B... in Apt. 23" will premiere 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11 on ABC. After a naïve Midwestern girl's big city dreams are dashed during her first week in New York, she finds herself living with her worst nightmare in this hilarious, contemporary comedy about a female odd couple who are surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters.

This is one of the funniest shows I've seen. I hope the writing lives up to the promise of the pilot.

Perhaps the most amusing part of the show is the appearance of "Dawson's Creek" star James Van Der Beek, as himself.
Another show with potential is "GCB."

The show premieres 10 p.m. Sunday, March 4 on ABC.

It's an over-the-top "soap opera" set in Dallas. Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), former "Queen Bitch" in high school, is a recently divorced single mother of two children who returns to Dallas where she grew up. She meets her former school friends, who she used to mock: Carlene (Kristin Chenoweth), Sharon (Jennifer Aspen), Heather (Marisol Nichols) and Cricket (Miriam Shor). She and her children live with her 50-something mother Gigi (Annie Potts), who still acts like a 20-something.

This show has the potential to be everyone's new "guilty pleasure."

Midseason shows that have already debuted include: "Finder" and "Napoleon Dynamite" on Fox and "Are You There, Chelsea? and "The Firm" on NBC.

The sitcom "Rob" has already launched on CBS.

Sadly, it looks like the high flying drama, "Pan Am" will be grounded soon. That's a pity. "Pam Am" had a load of potential.
I don't know that the show was marketed correctly, it's "spy" subplot was the best part of the show.


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