Bullz-Eye's 2007 Fall TV Preview: MyNetworkTV
Say "hello" to the new kid on the block. It's still early days over at MyNetworkTV, who've been trying to get their foot in the door as a contender since UPN and The WB merged into The CW last year, but they've got two new reality series which will be getting their premiere this season. Hey, everybody's got to start somewhere, right?
Jail (Tuesday, September 4 @ 9:00 PM, MyNetworkTV)
Starring: Officers from police departments and prisons around the country.
Producer: John Langley
Network's Description: The creator and producer of COPS now takes us behind bars. Shot on-location in cities across the U.S., the show follows prison inmates from their initial booking through their first moments in the slammer. Each episode captures the harsh and sometimes humorous reality of what happens to criminals once the sheriff throws away the key.
The Buzz: When a guy who's produced a show as long-running as "COPS" comes up with a new series, you'd best at least take a look. What we want to know, though, is why it took this long for someone to pitch the idea of doing a reality show that focuses on what happens after the arrest.
Pilot Highlight: When an arrestee claims to have been "the tall blonde in Beach Blanket Bingo,'" very few officers are surprised to discover that she is actually a he.
Bottom Line: Considering that it's up against "Dancing with the Stars" and "House," there won't be many people watching, but if it gets moved to a less-confrontational timeslot, "Jail" could easily find the same fanbase that's regularly drawn to "COPS."
Decision House (Wednesday, September 12 @ 8:00 PM, MyNetworkTV)
Starring: Lynn Toler, Tara Fields
Producers: Jay McGraw, Phil McGraw
Network's Description: The show will focus on couples in turmoil -- be it couples on the brink of divorce, newlyweds or couples planning to get married. Each couple will live in the "house" for 4 to 5 days with lawyers, counselors and crisis experts brought in to help. Will the relationship survive or is it over for good?!
The Buzz: Everybody loves Dr. Phil, and Dr. Phil loves his son, so, logically, we should love any show that's been created by Jay McGraw, right? The big concern, really, is whether it'll get controversial for the sake of controversy just to score ratings.
Pilot Highlight: When an abusive husband, who's being confronted about his supposed infidelity, reminds his wife that he's got just as much right to be concerned about her. "We had sex after knowing me for four hours, in the men's bathroom on the golf course," he says. "You gotta understand, that makes me wonder a lot."
Bottom Line: It's not that there's necessarily anything wrong with "Decision House," per se. It's just that there's already plenty of this kind of thing on daytime TV and that's not even counting Jay's dad. Do we really need something like it in prime time? If so, it's gonna need a better timeslot than one that's already occupied elsewhere by "America's Top Model" and "Deal or No Deal."