Yes, the writers strike is still dragging on (although I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that we may be nearing the end), but that doesn’t mean we’re completely bereft of new scripted television. In addition to the upcoming returns of The New Adventures of Old Christine (Feb. 4), Jericho (Feb. 12), Family Guy (Feb. 17), Back to You (Feb. 26), Men and Trees (Feb. 27), and Reaper (Feb. 28), we’ve got a few new shows premiering this month as well.
WELCOME TO THE CAPTAIN (CBS)
Premieres: Monday, Feb. 4, at 8:30 PM
Time slot: Mondays at 8:30 PM EST
Description: Writer John Hamburg (best known for penning Ben Stiller flicks like Zoolander and Meet the Parents) brings us this single-camera comedy about a struggling young screenwriter (Fran Kanz) who moves into an old-fashioned Hollywood apartment complex stocked with the requisite collection of quirky characters, including his womanizing best friend (American Pie‘s Chris Klein), a washed up sit-com writer (Arrested Development‘s Jeffrey Tambor), a cute acupuncturist (Joanna Garcia), and a well-preserved seductress (Raquel Welch).
LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC)
Premieres: Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10:01 PM
Time slot: Thursdays at 10:01 PM EST
Description: Yet another dramedy based on a Candace Bushnell book about high-powered New York career women. This time How I Met Your Mother scribes DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler have given us 24‘s Kim Raver as the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine, Brooke Shields as a movie exec struggling to balance career and family, and Lindsay Price (last seen guest starring in HIMYM’s excellent “Spoiler Alert” episode as the annoyingly chatty Cathy) as a free-spirited designer looking for Mr. Right. I feel a little ill just typing all that, but hey, it can’t be worse than Cashmere Mafia, right? Please?
Premieres: Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10:00 PM
Time slot: Sundays at 9:00 PM EST
Description: This internet series from Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (the creative team behind My So-Called Life and thirtysomething) originally started as an experiment in programming free of corporate ownership and creative interference–and was promptly snapped up by strike-strapped NBC. The series, which has been running in eight-minute chunks on MySpace and the quarterlife web site, tells the ongoing stories of six people between the ages of 20 and 30 (it’s during this “quarterlife,” the series maintains, that many of life’s most important decisions are made), through the blog of the lead character, a would-be writer played by Bitsie Tulloch (of the internet serial phenomenon lonelygirl15). Whether a story designed to be told in eight-minute chunks will play well in an hour-long time slot remains to be seen, but I’m always inclined to give Herskovitz and Zwick the benefit of the doubt.