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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

The new Fall TV season: cougars, spinoffs, a FlashForward and the choice between quality or Jay Leno

14

September

Falltv2009 At a time when there's an ever-shrinking difference between cable and network TV for the consumer, does the concept of a new fall season even matter much anymore?

Surprisingly, at least to this critic, it does. Cool as cable has become, it still doesn't offer enough solid entertainment to make up for the three months when the networks turn into havens for bad reality shows and series too lame to air when it really counts.

But this fall, like every one in recent years, fell like a serious watershed. If last year was about recovering from the writer's strike's long shadow, this fall is about a choice:

Tv_guide_fall_season_preview_2009Is network TV going to keep trying to give us expensive, high-quality fictional shows, or will it sell out for something cheaper?

 On Sunday, I laid out the choices in our annual Fall TV preview; turns out TIME magazine is right, Jay Leno is the future of TV (and if these guys who snuck into one of Leno's test shows are right, the future looks an awful lot like the old Tonight Show.) Whether his new 10 p.m. show works or not holds the answer to the question asked above -- so we all better be looking hard when he returns to the small screen tonight.

If you want to see my capsule reviews of all the new shows, click here -- and for a list of dates when all the fall's shows return to new episodes, click here.

And here's preview clips from the two best pilots of the fall season. What are you looking forward to?

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:01pm]

    

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