What we learned about the fall 2011 TV season at the ‘upfronts’


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After a weeklong stretch of sitting through the networks’ presentations of their fall schedules, the ‘upfronts’ are finally over. So what did we learn?

That Donald Trump has backed out of the presidential race (if he’d ever backed into it in the first place).


That NBC hopes that women can save TV. (From Debra Messing’s Broadway musical drama ‘Smash’ to Christina Applegate’s hipster-mom comedy ‘Up All Night,’ female-skewing scripted series dominate the network’s line-up.)

That ABC is seeking more balance for its male viewers. (Its new series ‘Charlie’s Angels’ (see photo at right) and ‘Pan Am’ may feature ensemble casts anchored by women, but those women are often a) attired in wet clothes or b) involved in ‘sexy entanglements’ with pilots.)

That CBS believes the sitcom isn’t dead. (Ashton Kutcher’s swooping in to save ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and the buddy comedy ‘2 Broke Girls’ tested better than any other pilot in CBS history.)

That Fox has single-handedly spawned Singing Competition Madness. (NBC’s ‘The Sing-Off,’ Oxygen’s ‘The Glee Project,’ and Fox’s own ‘The X Factor’ will follow the path of a little show called ‘American Idol.’)

That the CW’s banking on some familiar faces to boost its ratings. (Reuniting with the network are Sarah Michelle Gellar of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ who’s playing twin sisters on ‘Ringer,’ Rachel Bilson of ‘The O.C.,’ who’s playing a doctor on ‘Hart of Dixie.’)

And finally, that witches are going to destroy us all.


While you’re waiting for the locusts to descend, we recommend wiling the hours away browsing the new TV schedule and watching these preview clips from the new shows that are coming your way this fall.

-- Melissa Maerz