Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi The New Fall Season

By Devin D. O'Leary

JUNE 7, 1999:  May sweeps are over and done with, which means that everyone has wrapped up their season finales. All we have to look forward to now are endless summer reruns and cable, cable, cable. A surprising number of shows wrapped up for good ("Home Improvement," "Sister, Sister," "Happily Ever After," "Homicide," "Melrose Place," "Mad About You"). All of this means, of course, that we'll be having a surprisingly large crop of new shows to ogle come fall.

Last week, the networks announced their slate of fall replacement shows. Amid a roster overstuffed with doctor/lawyer dramas and hip, college-set dramas/comedies/dramadies were an inordinate number of animated shows. The success of cable's "South Park" (with all of its ancillary merchandising) has made broadcast networks sit up and pay attention to the idea of producing prime-time cartoons. Of course, most television producers have forgotten that animation is both difficult and expensive to produce, and has to be extremely good to break out of its niche audience (à la "The Simpsons"). Odds are very good that most of these shows won't even make it on to the air. Network execs may end up dumping many after seeing how expensive/lame the shows turn out to be.

So, for better or worse, here are the dozen new animated shows slated to appear next season:

"Argo and York" This one actually has puppets in it, but we'll lump it under animation anyway. The puppets, apparently, are in outer space.

"Bluesville" Here's an animated version of the comic strip "Baby Blues" -- which has never once made me laugh.

"Clerks" Yes, Kevin Smith's raunchy cult comedy is coming to Disney-owned ABC -- in animated form.

"The Downtowners" This überhip animated sitcom about two twentysomething slackers tries real hard to look like the comic book work of Peter Bagge (Hate).

"The Freshmen" Animated sitcom about buddies in college.

"Gary & Mike" A claymation series about two teens on a cross-country road trip.

"God, the Devil and Bob" This bizarre theological toon features the voices of James Garner, Robert Downey Jr. and French Stewart.

"In the Bleachers" Animated sitcom based on a comic strip I've never even heard of.

"Quints" This cartoon about five sisters has been touted as "'South Park' with girls" once too often for my taste. Oddly enough, Meg Ryan produces it.

"Sammy" David Spade voices this cartoon about a wise-ass little kid.

"TV Funhouse" Robert Smigel's demented toons are the only funny part about "Saturday Night Live" these days. Here, they get their own spin-off.

"Wake Up America" This dreary-sounding parody of morning news shows features life-size puppets.

Weekly Wire Suggested Links

Page Back Last Issue Current Issue Next Issue Page Forward

Film & TV: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

Cover . News . Film . Music . Arts . Books . Comics . Search

Weekly Wire    © 1995-99 DesertNet, LLC . Weekly Alibi . Info Booth . Powered by Dispatch