The premiere week primer
Next week is a big week in network TV, as they premiere the bulk of their new and returning series. Below is a rundown of highlights.
King of the Hill (Fox), Sept. 18 at 6:30pm: Not new, but notable because this will be the last season of the long-running, still popular animated series.
Kitchen Confidential (Fox), Sept. 19 at 7:30pm: The excruciatingly charming Bradley Cooper stars as Anthony Bourdain's alter ego in this new comedy titled after the New York chef's spicy memoir. Former cult TV actors Nicholas Brendan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), John Francis Daley (Freaks and Geeks), not to mention Cooper (Alias), are just a few members of this swell ensemble cast.
How I Met Your Mother (CBS), Sept. 19 at 7:30pm: More cult TV actors find work. Freaks and Geeks' Jason Segel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Alyson Hannigan join Neil Patrick Harris (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Doogie Howser, M.D.) in a series about love, life, and finding the right woman.
Arrested Development (Fox), Sept. 19 at 7pm: Hilarious, slightly off-kilter series about the spoiled and uproariously clueless Bluth family returns on a new night.
My Name Is Earl (NBC), Sept. 20 at 8pm: This might be the most original new comedy to premiere this season. Jason Lee stars as a petty thief who decides to set his past wrongs right. Ethan Suplee (The Butterfly Effect) stars as his deadbeat brother Randy, with Jaime Pressly as Joy, his ex-wife from hell. Shades of Raising Arizona and a knockdown-funny script make this a must-see.
Invasion (ABC), Sept. 21 at 9pm: Not reviewed at press time. Eerie things happen in a small Florida town following a hurricane. A lead-in by the blockbuster Lost should help boost the profile of this already talked-about new series.
Lost (ABC), Sept. 21 at 8pm: What's in the damn hatch? Where did those creepy Others take Walt? Is everyone on the raft dead? Will Shannon and Sayid finally get it on? Nothing I mean nothing is peeling me away from my TV on Wednesday night.
E-Ring (NBC), Sept. 21 at 8pm: Oooh, Benjamin Bratt ... oh yeah, and Dennis Hopper star as military men who protect the world from evil at the Pentagon. Since I saw the original screener, Sarah Clarke (24) has been cut as Bratt's wife, and Kelly Rutherford (Melrose Place) added as a defense department attorney, according to Entertainment Weekly. Too bad for Clarke, but really, her enormous talent was wasted playing a born-again house frau.
Everybody Hates Chris (UPN), Sept. 22 at 7pm: Not reviewed at press time. Enormous buzz about this new sitcom based on the childhood of comedian Chris Rock.
Launching premiere week are the 57th annual Emmy Awards, Sept. 18, on CBS. Check local listings.
The Biscuits Need Dough!
The Biscuit Brothers, the enormously entertaining half-hour children's show featuring the musical talents of Austin-based Allen Robertson, Jerome Schoolar, and friends, might be a thing of the past if something doesn't happen soon: meaning, they're in need of some dough. About $200,000 worth of dough, to be specific.
Filmed and produced entirely in Austin with a cast and crew of four, the team has managed to produce an extraordinary program, fueled on a love for music, a "can-do" attitude, and the goodwill of local entities like the Pioneer Farms (where they film on location free of charge) and folks like Willie Nelson (who's lent his voice-over talent because he's a fan).
Now, the Biscuits find themselves in a chicken and an egg situation. In order to potentially snag national carriage from PBS, and perhaps see some payment for their work, they need more than the 13 episodes they have in the can. But in order to make more episodes, they need money.
Schoolar is the first to admit that now is an awkward time to make pleas for support. "Right now, I'd much rather see people send their small donations to help Hurricane Katrina victims," he said.
But maybe, just maybe there's an angel with deep pockets out there? All I can do is ask.
Haven't seen The Biscuit Brothers? Tune in Fridays at 10:30am or Saturdays at 9am on KLRU. In October, they can be seen weekdays at noon on KLRU2 For more information, visit www.biscuitbrothers.com.