Fall TV October Report Card

In a fall season destined for mediocrity, critics singled out Fox's edgy series Lone Star as the favorite among the unremarkable.

Lone Star survived two airings before getting pulled from the Fox schedule with DOA ratings and no expectation of even a feeble pulse. Audiences didn't want to watch a story about a Texas con man, no matter how charming, juggling two wives and two lives.

It was also two strikes and you're out for ABC's My Generation, a nighttime soap dressed up as a documentary. The premise of high schoolers who were the subject of a documentary 10 years earlier being revisited by the same film producers never seemed viable. There were too many storylines and not a single compelling character.

Additionally, NBC has benched the Jimmy Smits courtroom drama Outlaw, and will air the remaining four episodes at 8 p.m. Saturday on NBC.

Don't believe any of the network hype: This season has produced exactly zero hits. Unlike the superb 2009 fall offerings, there isn't a Glee, Modern Family or Good Wife in the bunch. No new series has been able to crack into the Nielsen top 10 slots and only a few have even crashed the top 25

At best, the new fall shows are treading water. Let's take a look at the Fall TV Report Card:


Hawaii Five-0 (CBS): This escapist action series set in Hawaii blends in gobs of humor, making it one of the most watchable new series. The series has snagged viewers by topping off a night of solid CBS comedies. Book this one for another season, Danno.

Mike & Molly (CBS): Another Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men) comedy gets a good push from the established comedies including Men leading into this new series about a cheery couple grappling with weight issues. It's one of the few making it into the top-25 rated broadcast shows.

Blue Bloods (CBS): A multigenerational cop series starring Tom Selleck is drawing good numbers for a Friday night, and is running strong in overall ratings -- even though it doesn't show as strong in younger viewers who are probably out on the town anyway.

No Ordinary Family (ABC): A live-action Incredibles series about a family with newly acquired super powers has grabbed the attention of viewers.

Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC): This gritty cop show starring Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli has been holding its own in the timeslot, and even beating NBC's sophomore show Parenthood.


Better with You (ABC) : This should be doing better, placed between ABC's strong sophomore series The Middle and mega-hit Modern Family, but viewers are drifting away from this tedious comedy.

The Defenders (CBS): Those wacky boys Jerry O'Connell and Jim Belushi are doing fine against the weak ABC series The Whole Truth, but could get some competition if Law & Order: Los Angeles picks up any steam.

The Event (NBC): After a strong start, this alien conspiracy series is starting to slip -- not a good sign for a new show.

Law & Order LA (NBC) : Backed by a strong franchise name, this series didn't even crack the top 25 series.

Nikita (CW): The remake starring Maggie Q is keeping its head above water, but it's not yet the hit The CW needed.

Raising Hope (FOX): A funny comedy, but paired in a timeslot with the critically panned Running Wilde, it's a show still trying to find its way.

Running Wilde (FOX): From the creator of Arrested Development, this had one of the worst pilots ever. Even though the second episode was better, it still struggles.

$#*! My Dad Says (CBS): This widely panned series has a nice protected slot between Big Bang Theory and CSI, which handed it a nice audience sampling. By the second week, audiences decided not to take a second helping.

Undercovers (NBC): The only thing keeping this low-rated series on the air is the pedigree behind the scenes. Creator J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost) carries enough clout to give this series at least a few more weeks.


Chase (NBC): The tough lady marshal isn't getting much traction on Monday night, where the series is getting killed by Castle and Hawaii Five-O. It needs a change of venue or a mercy killing.

Hellcats (CW): Cheerleaders, mean girls and college angst don't make a compelling combination in this silly dramedy.

Outlaw (NBC): The series about a Supreme Court justice with a gambling problem who ditches the bench for private crusading never rang true.

Outsourced (NBC): Even with a top series lead-in like The Office, this sitcom about an India-based call center can't make the sale. Ratings are down, and there's no hammock protection here. Outsourced doesn't keep the previous audience, and no one is tuning in to The Apprentice at 10.

The Whole Truth (ABC): Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney, can you handle the truth? This show blows and viewers are looking elsewhere.