Now that U.S. upfronts are over and the new and returning shows have been announced, it's the Canadian networks' turn to fight for shows that'll air in the 2012-13 fall season.
Citytv was up first, and quickly made it known that bringing the funny was their main goal -- the network has filled six of seven nights with comedy blocks. But don't count out dramas just yet. Citytv also added four new dramas to their lineup.
Mondays might be City's strongest day, simulcasting with CBS for the first half of the night. "How I Met Your Mother" kicks off at 8 p.m., followed by the new comedy "Partners" and the second season of "2 Broke Girls." "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" follows the three CBS sitcoms, and NBC's "Revolution" (from J.J. Abrams and Erik Kripke) ends the night.
Article Continues After Slideshow! [All Captions Written By Chris Jancelewicz]
What happens when an exuberant, irresponsible dreamer who always says "yes" moves in with his overly responsible little sister to help raise her five-year-old daughter? This show! Our Verdict: Looks cute, charming and fun, plus the child will give Lily from "Modern Family" a run for her money.
At the ominous address of 666 Park Avenue (The Drake), anything you desire can be yours. For the residents, the desires will all be met, courtesy of the building's mysterious owner, Gavin Doran (Terry O'Quinn, "Lost"). But every Faustian contract comes with a price. When Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor, "Transformers") and Henry Martin (Dave Annable, "Brothers & Sisters"), an idealistic young couple from the Midwest, are offered the opportunity to manage the historic building, they fall prey to the machinations of Doran and his mysterious wife, Olivia (Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty"). Our Verdict: Looks creepy yet sexy. Works best for fans of the horror and suspense genre.
Polly (Sarah Chalke) is a single mom who's been divorced for almost a year, so, like a lot of young people living in this economy, she turns to her parents for a little help. Polly and her daughter Natalie move back home with her eccentric parents Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins) and Max (Brad Garrett), a couple who are full of life, which always seem to collide with hers. Our Verdict: With these comedy veterans of the small screen, this show promises to be filled with hilarity.
The Gilchrists are just the average American family dealing with all the everyday issues -- like a grown kid who's forced to move back home, children who are smarter than their teachers, and a stepmom (Jenna Elfman, "Dharma and Greg") desperately trying to win over the kids. They're loving, fun and a little crazy. In other words, just like everybody else, with one huge exception: they live in a very special house. The White House! Our Verdict: A bit far-fetched, but again the cast is filled with TV pedigree, so who knows? It could work with Bill Pullman playing the president.
"The Bachelor Canada" is the Canadian version of the perennially successful "The Bachelor" franchise. This nine-episode, original, reality series will feature an all-Canadian cast including the host, bachelorettes and of course, the highly sought-after bachelor, Brad Smith. Our Verdict: This show promises to be high in drama, catfights and over-the-top pettiness. Even a 30-second clip caused us to have heart palpitations.
When Reba Gallagher (Reba McEntire) discovers that her husband, Bobby, (Jeffrey Nordling, "Desperate Housewives") a country music legend, has a cheatin' heart, her world is turned upside down. Reba dreamt of becoming a country star herself, but put her career on hold to raise a family. Now she's questioning all of that, big-time. With the ink on her divorce barely dry, Reba packs up her sharp-tongued mother, Lillie May (Lily Tomlin), her two kids and the U-Haul and heads for sunny California to begin a new chapter. Our Verdict: Fans of Reba will dig this, for sure. Everyone else might take a bit of time to adjust to her specific brand of humour.
Award-winning journalist, best-selling author and popular television personality Katie Couric hosts this fall's most highly anticipated, new weekday talk show. Broadcasting live from New York City, Katie will be timely and topical -- blending entertainment, information and stories in the news into a compelling mix. Katie will be talking about what's going on in the world and she will be interviewing celebrities, authors, experts, newsmakers and ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell. Our Verdict: Suspiciously, her name also has five letters -- like O-P-R-A-H -- and even Couric herself isn't denying her approach is nearly identical to the former daytime maven. If all works out, this could be a blockbuster.
"Partners" is a comedy based on the lives of creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (creators of "Will & Grace"), about two life-long best friends and business partners whose "bromance" is tested when one of them is engaged to be married. Joe (David Krumholtz, "Numb3rs") is an accomplished architect who leads with his head and not his heart, especially in his love life. That's in stark contrast to his gay co-worker, Louis (Michael Urie, "Ugly Betty"), who is spontaneous, emotional and prone to exaggeration. Our Verdict: It's only natural that the "bromance" show would emerge -- but do these two have the comedic chops to pull it off? It remains to be seen.
Our entire way of life depends on electricity, so what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. Our Verdict: Like "Lost" mixed with "Fringe" mixed with "The Walking Dead," this show looks like a sci-fi fan's dream.
It's 1984, and life isn't easy for 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw. Since their mother passed away, Carrie's younger sister Dorritt is more rebellious than ever, and their father Tom is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own. Carrie's friends -- sweet, geeky Mouse, sarcastic and self-assured Maggie and sensitive Walt -- make life bearable, but a suburban life in Connecticut isn't doing much to take her mind off her troubles. Our Verdict: Catnip for "Sex And The City" fans, this'll be an instant hit, no matter how pandering and far-fetched the plotline is.
ABC's "The Middle," "Suburgatory" and "Modern Family" continue to dominate on Wednesdays with new show "The Bachelor Canada" -- hosted by Tyler Harcott ("Junkyard Wars") -- rounding out the night with its 90-minute airings.
The second season of ABC's "Last Man Standing" moves to Fridays, followed by the Dan Harmon-less "Community" at 8:30 p.m. The final season of "Fringe" will air in its usual 9 p.m. timeslot with repeats of "Mantracker" capping off the night.
Reba McEntire's new comedy, "Malibu Country," kicks off Sunday nights, followed by "Happy Endings." City will simulcast ABC's hit series "Revenge," which moves to its new day and time, leading into the creepy-sounding thriller "666 Park Avenue."
Overall, not bad. As a "Happy Endings" fanatic, I'm saddened to see it on family-friendly Sunday nights since, let's face it, it isn't the most family-friendly show. ABC's got it right, pairing "Don't Trust the B" and "Happy Endings" on Tuesday nights, but I guess there was only so much City could do. (Asking them to drop "2 Broke Girls" -- which I can't stand, due to its predictability factor and ba-dum-bum delivery -- from its lineup is out of the question, I suppose.)
City's midseason will feature new series "Hannibal," the "Sex and the City" prequel "The Carrie Diaries," "1600 Penn," "The Goodwin Games" and "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)."
Over at City's sister station, OMNI, "Rules of Engagement" (one of my favourites -- don't judge me) will begin its syndication stint and air weeknights at 7 and 7:30 p.m., while "Rock Center With Brian Williams" will air on Thursday nights at 10.
The Rogers stations are also upping their talk show quotient, with "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" heading to OMNI and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airing on City, along with Katie Couric's new daytime show, "Katie."
The complete Citytv primetime schedule (in ET):
8 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
8:30 p.m. Partners
9 p.m. 2 Broke Girls
9:30 p.m. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
10 p.m. Revolution
8 p.m. Raising Hope
8:30 p.m. Ben and Kate
9 p.m. New Girl
9:30 p.m. The Mindy Project (s, Fox)
10 p.m. Private Practice
8 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. Suburgatory
9 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. The Bachelor Canada
8 p.m. 30 Rock
8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation
9 p.m. Person of Interest
10 p.m. Scandal
8 p.m. Last Man Standing
8:30 p.m. Community
9 p.m. Fringe
10 p.m. Mantracker
8 p.m. The Bachelor Canada (repeats)
9:30 p.m. Less Than Kind (repeats)
10 p.m. Murdoch Mysteries (repeats)
SUNDAY8 p.m. Malibu Country 8:30 p.m. Happy Endings 9 p.m. Revenge 10 p.m. 666 Park Avenue