The Telefile
TNT and TBS Upfront 2012: Boldly Going Where Other Networks Already Went

Squeezed in between a week of high-profile broadcast network upfronts, Turner's cablers launched themselves into the TV conversation by hosting their big event at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom this morning. TNT's biggest new property is, of course, the campy Dallas remake, while TBS is clearly trying to move past their former "We saved Conan and bought the rights to Family Guy repeats!" image and instead focusing on the future, now claiming, "We saved Cougar Town and bought the rights to The Big Bang Theory repeats!" After excited executives talked shop about shows currently in development (not particularly worth noting) and sampling their new series, Conan O'Brien came out to do a bit about television bigwigs and their imaginary Craigslist postings. It was underwhelming, but he snuck in a few funny jokes about Turner having their upfronts at 9 AM next to Penn Station while this afternoon's CBS upfronts will be at li'l ol' Carnegie Hall, and managed to keep the tired NBC jabs to a minimum. And on the bright side, his set was a lot funnier than anything else previewed for the network.


Men at Work (Thursdays at 10 PM)
No relation to the Emilio Estevez-Charlie Sheen '90s film, the sitcom follows Milo (Danny Masterson), a recently-dumped guy who's trying to start dating again, with the help of his coworkers Tyler, Gibbs and Neal (Michael Cassidy, James Lesure and Adam Busch, respectively). Kind of like The 40-Year-Old Virgin but not memorable or remotely unique at all.

Sullivan & Son (Midseason)
Steve Byrne created (along with Cheers' Rob Long), executive produced (with Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley), serves as showrunner and stars in this series about a corporate lawyer who decides to quit his job and run his parents' (Dan Lauria and Jodi Long) Pittsburgh-based bar in a "working-class neighborhood." The teaser was terrible, which is pretty bad news for TBS, considering they've clearly put a lot of stock in Byrne.

Wedding Band (Midseason)
While this series is supposed to be about a Seattle-based wedding band, the clip presented featured Brian Austin Green accidentally popping a bride's breast implant with a champagne cork before her ceremony actually started. On the bright side, it's got The Office's Melora Hardin in it, and she's usually pretty great, right?

King of the Nerds (TBD)
TBS literally developed this show to be paired with syndicated Big Bang Theory repeats. Titillated? Then you'll be happy to hear that this reality competition dubbed "the ultimate nerd-off" is hosted by Revenge of the Nerds' Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong. Personally, I'd prefer a reboot of Beat the Geek.

Deon Cole's Black Box (2013)
Two trends in upcoming series are rip-offs of The Soup and late night series a la Bravo's success in Watch What Happens Live. This series falls into the former category, featuring comedian Deon Cole laugh at YouTube videos. Real original stuff.

Who Gets the Last Laugh? (2013)
Punk'd, basically.


Dallas (Wednesdays 9 PM)
The revival you've just been dying to hear about, the series is actually a continuation of the original series and not a reboot -- it even features Josh Henderson , Jesse Metcalfe, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Steve Kanaly, Charlene Tilton, and Ken Kercheval, with notable additions Jordana Bewster, Brenda Strong, Julie Gonzalo and Merlene Forte. Focusing mainly on John Ross Ewing II (son of J.R. and Sue Ellen) and Christopher (Bobby and Pam's adopted son), who both, as it turns out, grew up to be a lot like their fathers.

The Great Escape (Sundays at 10 PM)
Richard Eisen hosts as three two-person teams are "dropped into the middle of their own action/adventure movie" to compete for a cash prize. It's pretty much people blowing stuff up and getting stuck in tight spaces.

Perception (Mondays at 10 PM)
A crime drama starring Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscientist who works closely with the FBI, specifically agent Kate Moretti (played by Rachael Leigh Cook), to solve complex cases.

Major Crimes (Midseason)
A spin-off of The Closer starring Mary McDonnell, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan and Raymond Cruz, who all play detectives working for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Monday Mornings (2013)
Your typical medical drama from producer David E. Kelley, based on a novel of the same name by Sanjay Gupta. Jamie Bamber, Jennifer Finnigan, Bill Irwin and Alfred Molina star. Just please don't get it confused with Grey's Anatomy, because this one takes place in Portland, Oregon.

Boston Blue (2013)
A police docu-drama executive produced by Donnie Wahlberg that follows the "Gang Unit" of the Boston Police Department. It looks a wicked lot like a higher-budget Cops.

72 Hours (2013)
Teams of three strangers get dumped on a deserted island with nothing but a bottle of water and compete for a cash prize. Think Survivor plus the travel part of The Amazing Race, only no one will watch it.

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