May. 20th, 2011

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I don't know what to make of the fact that NBC's new Fall schedule includes a show named Grimm, described as "a dark but fantastical cop drama about a world in which characters inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales exist"...and they'll be airing it on Fridays at 9:00.

You can watch a preview of Grimm here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/05/16/136365928/nbcs-fall-schedule-the-dramas.

Watch that and tell me it doesn't look and feel like Supernatural. It even has the whole family-business angle, since the title character is supposed to be descended from the actual Brothers Grimm, who apparently were...hunters.

Could Supernatural possibly have enough clout that one of the Big Three networks ordered a show with almost the same premise to run in the exact same timeslot? If I were Eric Kripke, I'd be both flattered and pissed off. I'd also be thinking that it was time for SPN to shape up. I hope the new head of the CW feels the same way. All in all, I find myself strangely enthused about Season 7. Sera Gamble's got some supervision, the CW has a brand-new chief executive with serious network chops (he was running ABC when they were flying high with "water-cooler" shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives), and now one of the biggest networks has scheduled a copycat show against them. They'd better be bringing their A-game.

Also in the unoriginal ideas department, another NBC show is The Playboy Club, which I can only imagine aspires to duplicate some of Mad Men's glamour with its setting in early 1960s New York. Prime Suspect is an Americanized version of the great British crime drama, but of course this being America, they weren't bold enough to cast a woman of Helen Mirren's age in the lead role and instead went with ER's Maria Bello. Perhaps it's sort of like "dog years" -- in American TV years, Maria Bello actually is Helen Mirren's age. Rounding out the lineup, Smash just sounds like its trying to ride Glee's coattails.

Boy, I know there are no new ideas under the sun, but it sounds to me like the NBC executives just went channel surfing and built a schedule based on what everyone else was doing. I do have to admit I'm a little proud of Supernatural for inspiring what sounds (and looks) like such an obvious ripoff. If the show has a classic rock soundtrack and Det. Grimm drives a muscle car, I will laugh my ass off.

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