While NBC has “Sunday Night Football,” Fox has its animated powerhouse line-up, ABC, CBS and Showtime look like they are going head-to-head-to-head. So where is the threat? It‘s in the 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. time slots.
What are the offerings? They are power-packed. And it looks like there is going to be blood left—everywhere once Sunday night is done—in more ways than one.
ABC’s Sunday night is about good vs. evil
“Once Upon a Time” gets a 7:00 p.m. lead-in with a “Once Upon a Time” one-hour special reviewing everything that happened last season. ABC hopes to get the fans pumped up (and new fans up-to-speed) for the second season premiere which promises to be quite a payoff when Regina (Lana Parrilla) loses her powers and the citizens of Stroybrooke come after her. The question is: how long will that good karma last for Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow (Ginnifer Godwin)?
“Revenge” like “Once Upon a Time” has a large fan base—one that has been salivating since last May to find out what is going to happen to their favorite and most despised characters. ABC hasn’t had a night-time soap this popular since the likes of “Dynasty” in the 1980s so hopefully they will keep the twists and turns coming to keep their viewers loyal.
“666 Park Avenue” is the ‘implied’ satanic horror melodrama about a young couple who gets entrance into Manhattan’s Upper East Side world of money, power, and the other thing that always goes with it—evil. ABC’s veteran bad woman Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty”) and anti-hero/villain Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”) headline this soapy-glitzy fall from grace and eternal battle for anyone’s soul who wants something badly enough.
ABC is banking on America’s fascination with fx’s “American Horror Story” but they shouldn’t forget that this is cable and they can go much further with the sex and violence. Will ABC be able to go far enough for the expectation of the horror viewer without offending the “Once Upon a Time” and “Revenge” crowd?
CBS is about who can stay in any race the longest—and survive
“The Amazing Race” has always been popular and this year the show is raising the stakes and making the prize money $2 million. For that female audience who doesn’t believe in the fairy tales and happy endings that “Once Upon a Time” provides, CBS has cast one team to appeal to all those frustrated wives and girlfriends out there who are NFL widows, or basically, women neglected in any form—James and Jaymes the Chippendale stripper team. For anyone who needs their reality TV fix.
“The Good Wife” is back is its fourth season and promises to be more drama and tension-packed than ever. The first four-minute sneak preview for the show lets the fans see just how Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) copes with an abusive, powerful husband who is stalking her. Even if you have never watched the show, this four minutes might make you an instant fan—unless you are some sort of physically abusive male-partner. Then it is advised you probably need to get yourself into therapy and an anger management course unless you want to end up like Kalinda’s prey. And we haven’t even seen what happens with Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and her screwed up marriage. Or her rising career in law.
“The Mentalist” is also back. A solid performer for CBS. Watch sparks fly and possible jealousies surface in this show’s season premiere. Something needs to happen in this long-running popular procedural favorite among CBS viewers.
Note to CBS viewers:
CBS is running warnings along its show’s websites that they might have a time conflict because of overages on NFL game times during the season. Be warned that any of your DVR settings need to be checked and double-checked because apparently big men in their tight little pants who get paid millions of dollars to throw a ball around, and their equally self-important commentators, want to pretend they are worth all that cash they are earning, so your favorite shows could get pummeled to the sidelines.
Showtime is about blood, gore, family drama, mental illness and Emmys
“Dexter” is the longtime favorite that has finally taken its fans where they have been hoping to go. What happens when Dex’s (Michael C. Hall) adopted sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), finally finds out what he is? Guess what? Tonight the viewers finally get to see what will happen. And everyone knows Deb sometimes likes to do the right thing—to a fault. Will she survive? Will she understand? Will she end up in plastic wrap? This should be a great season.
“Homeland” is just off its Emmy-winning blitz in time for its second season premiere. Even if viewers don’t like tension-fraught Manchurian Candidate-like storylines, they should watch Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) deal with her life as a bi-polar, now former CIA operative trying to piece herself back together after last season’s truly upsetting finale where fans were forced to watch her willingly undergo electro-shock therapy to help her with her manageability issues. It certainly doesn’t help that she not only slept with the enemy, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) the first season, but fell in love with him. What is she going to do this season? Knowing Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, the shows writer-producers, the audience will need to take some Xanax or Valium and a straight scotch to relax after each episode.
If you don’t subscribe to Showtime, you might want to consider one less restaurant night out a month in exchange for these two shows.