TV Preview

First Call

EW previews the best and worst fall shows -- We report from TV upfronts and tell you the most and least promising programs on NBC

EW previews the best and worst fall shows

As of press time, NBC, ABC, and The WB had screened some highlight reels of their new fall lineups. Here, our initial thoughts.

MOST PROMISING

THREE WISHES (NBC) This shamelessly heartwarming reality show, with Amy Grant trolling small towns granting the aforementioned three wishes, will please all happy-weepy fans of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Kids reading adoring letters to their adoptive dads? A young girl swimming fast as a dolphin after desperately needed surgery? Getting teary again. . .

MY NAME IS EARL (NBC) Jason Lee stars as a ne'er-do-well out to change his karma by righting all the wrongs he's inflicted on people. It may not be as funny as NBC thinks it is, but Lee's dreamin'-of-a-six-pack delivery is worth a few laughs.

THE NIGHT STALKER (ABC) This remake of the 1970s cult series — about a reporter (Stuart Townsend) investigating otherworldly deaths that may be linked to his wife's murder — has an eerie, X-Files vibe (fitting since it comes from The X-Files executive producer Frank Spotnitz).

LEAST PROMISING

THICK AND THIN (NBC) Jessica Capshaw plays a newly slim woman who must accept her hotness and ignore the onslaught of vapid weight jokes from her heftier parents (Sharon Gless and Martin Mull). It's a one-trick show, and that one trick is lame (and thankfully relegated to midseason).

E-RING (NBC) Subs, jets, cars, and even Ben Bratt on a bike! Despite hustle and purported urgency, this Pentagon drama from Jerry Bruckheimer looks like a drag. A loud, busy one.

SUPERNATURAL (THE WB) From O.C. exec producer McG, this drama about two spirit-chasing brothers rolls out all the clichés — like hot ghost chicks in flowing white dresses. Nothing's less satisfying than dull paranormal.

FREDDIE (ABC) Freddie Prinze Jr. tries to unbland his image as a bachelor housing several of his female relatives, including a grandma from the old country whose Italian barbs are translated into subtitles! The wacky family jokes are groaners in any language.

Watch this space next week for our takes on new series from UPN, Fox, and CBS.

Originally posted May 23, 2005 Published in issue #821-822 May 27, 2005 Order article reprints
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