My latest NPR adventure: Tackling TV's penchant for extreme reinvention
When the new fall schedule drops, it's a game every experienced TV critic plays: Guess the reinvention.
Television basically has a core group of program types they build most series around. There's the cop drama, the lawyer drama, the medical drama and the family drama. There's the romantic comedy, the family comedy and the friends-like-family comedy.
And within that limited framework, somehow TV executives come up with about 30 new shows every year.
So its no surprise that the tried and true formulas get a fair bit of tweaking. But this year, it seems as if things are getting ridiculous.
NBC's Grimm takes a Law & Order-style cop "procedural" drama and spices it with and out-of-this world idea: The hero cop is a descendant of legendary figures who can see fairy tale villains disguised as average humans.
Fox's Terra Nova is a family drama with an even more pungent spice: time travel and dinosaurs! Imagine a supernatural drama crossed with a romantic drama and a medical drama -- turns out, that's CBS' A Gifted Man, which featured an arrogant surgeon regularly visited by the spirit of his dead ex-wife.
I had lot of fun poking through all the possibilities on NPR Monday. Check out the segment below:
And feel free to comment on this question: What's your favorite TV reinvention?