Ah, The Beauty Of The Fall TV Season

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Vol 37 Issue 43

New Harry Potter Film Turns Children On To Magic Of Not Reading

LOS ANGELES—Around the world, children are being turned on to the magic of not reading by the blockbuster film Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone. "My daughter Julia never liked to sit passively and stare at a screen, but this new movie has really locked the power of her imagination," said Hannah Foss, 38, of Dayton, OH. "She can't put her books away fast enough." "Movies are great," said Tarzana, CA, 10-year-old Emily Hart. "You can see exactly what the characters look like without having to guess."

Security Guard Can't Afford To Relax For So Much As Six Hours

LAKELAND, FL—Mel King, the night security guard at 2300 Office Park Drive, can't afford to let his guard down for even six hours, the 47-year-old said Tuesday. "In a job like this, you have to be on full alert every once in a great while," King said. "Lose your focus for three or four hundred minutes, and the place could be robbed blind." King said he makes sure never to drift from his post more than twice per shift or stray from his ritual 3 a.m. viewing of back-to-back episodes of Riptide.

Drug Addict Looking For More Enabling Girlfriend

AUSTIN, TX—After breaking up with girlfriend Karen Guglia last week, cocaine addict Rob Everson, 26, announced that he is looking for a more enabling girlfriend. "I need a woman who'll give me my freedom and let me be me," Everson said Monday. "I don't need somebody who's going to be on my case all the time, telling me I need to clean myself up or I'm gonna die. When you love someone, you encourage them to pursue their interests."

Mad Lib Filled With Swears

PORTLAND, ME—The popular party amusement Mad Libs was misused for profane purposes Monday, when Peter Leff, a Portland-area 12-year-old, filled the blank spaces on a "Space Adventure Mad Lib" entirely with swear words. "Prepare to shit the enemy," Leff had Space Commander Mr. Garrick say. "Set all pussys on fart and brace for blowjobs."

Headphones-Wearing Pedestrian Loudly Proclaims Iron Man Status

MINNEAPOLIS—Local resident James Gaines loudly proclaimed his Iron Man status Monday while walking down Hennepin Avenue wearing a Sony Discman. "I am Iron Man," Gaines announced in a deep, foreboding voice before launching into his dark, personal tale of madness and revenge. Gaines has previously declared himself "hot for teacher," "a teenage lobotomy," and "a street-walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm."

Reality TV On The Decline

After nearly two years of ratings success, reality TV programs are losing out to traditional sitcoms and dramas. Why?
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Productivity

Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Challenging long-accepted scientific convention, a group of leading MIT scientists published a report Thursday positing that, under certain rare and specific conditions, a so-called “productive weekend” is theoretically pos...

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Ah, The Beauty Of The Fall TV Season

Is there anything that compares to the majesty of the fall TV season?

In late October, when the last of the repeats fade into darkness, it's time to pour a cup of hot tea, pull a favorite blanket up over your knees, and sit back and watch the network programming change. What a welcome relief it is after all those oppressively hot months of sizzling summer blockbusters!

Sure, the summer movie season, with its exciting trips to the multiplex and dramatic box-office showdowns, has its charms. But by the time the fall season rolls around, I'm good and ready for a break from all that. Fall is when the colors of my Sony 36-inch TV really come alive.

There's so much beauty to behold during the fall TV season: the deep brown of Jessica Alba's hair, the vibrant red and amber hues of Kelsey Grammer's sweater vests, the rustling of Calista Flockhart's skirts. Every year, there are those moments that are absolutely breathtaking, those special times you wait for: the familiar lilting strains of Peter Boyle's voice on Everybody Loves Raymond, the gradual unveiling of a new subplot on Law & Order, the crisp, cool air emanating from ER's Anthony Edwards.

Everything is so magical in the fall, you hardly know where to turn your eyes. Should it be to ABC's The Drew Carey Show? Or to The West Wing on NBC in the same time slot? There are scarcely enough hours in primetime to enjoy it all!

Fall is also the time to reap the benefits of all the seeds planted so carefully in the spring. This year, we found out who the father of Rachel's baby is on Friends, and that Buffy is no longer dead. After months of anticipation, it was worth the wait.

Speaking of waiting, there's less of it during the fall than at any other time of year. Happily, with the days getting shorter, the prime-time lineup comes earlier and earlier each day. You get home from work, turn on the TV, and, before you know it, the Third Rock From The Sun syndicated rerun is over, and primetime programming has fallen upon the land.

While much of the joy of the fall season is seeing the TV seasonal cycle completed with the return of all your favorite shows, fall also affords the opportunity to experience the wonder of the new. Shows like The WB's Smallville, NBC's Crossing Jordan, CBS's The Guardian, and ABC's My Wife And Kids were all welcomed into the world this fall. There's nothing quite like that first taste of the fresh faces the fall has to offer.

For some, the fall is synonymous with hunting season. These adventurous types love searching through TV Guide, never knowing what exciting made-for-TV movie or miniseries will jump out at them next. Meanwhile, for the little ones, the fall season holds no shortage of excitement, either. What child doesn't look forward to all that Halloween fun, from the It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special to the The Simpsons' Halloween spectacular, not to mention all the fun commercials for candy and costumes?

And, lest you think things peak in October, the fall season gets even better come late November. That's the time of year when, after some shows have flown south, and the dead series have fallen from the line-up, a peaceful calm falls over TV land. There's no longer any movement of shows from time slot to time slot. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better time for TV-star-gazing than a clear, static-less November night. Looking up from my couch to see the bright faces of Will And Grace's Debra Messing and The District's Craig T. Nelson, well, it almost chokes me up.

It is important, though, to remember that fall is not entirely about relaxation and fun. Fall is the time for storing up for the long winter ahead. I've been working hard every day, setting the VCR to tape shows like Inside Schwartz, The Bernie Mac Show, and The Ellen Show before they wither and die, lost forever.

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