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Fall TV: 4 Sitcoms for Fall

by Rachel Cericola, TV editor

America could really use a laugh. As funny as Donald Trump's hair can be, most of what's on TV today just isn't cutting it. Bottom line: It's crap. Can the new fall season turn some of the frowns upside-down? At this point, I'd just settle for being less irate. Armed with the TV Guide Fall Preview, here's a look at four promising sitcoms for the upcoming TV season.

Everybody Hates Chris

Everybody Hates Chris It's hard to believe that the UPN could actually have something this promising.

Although he doesn't always transfer to the big screen so well, on TV, Chris Rock kills. The comedian created this sitcom and serves as a producer. One place you won't see him: in front of the camera. However, you will recognize Rock as the show's narrator, but don't expect "The Wonder Years."

The series focuses on the story of how the humorist came to be so snide. Set in 1982, each week shows us a little piece of the hell that 13-year-old Chris (Tyler James Williams) got to go through, which includes, without being limited to, being bused to a predominantly white middle school and dealing with the day-to-day of his new Brooklyn neighborhood.

"Everyone Hates the Pilot" will premiere Thursday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on UPN.

You May Also Recognize

  • Terry Crews (Julius Rock) from "The Longest Yard;" currently shooting "The Benchwarmers."

  • Tichina Arnold (Rochelle Rock) from "On the One" and "Big Momma's House."

My Name is Earl

Earl "Earl" has had a lot of buzz. Then again, so did "Coupling." The thing that sells me on this show is its male lead, Jason Lee. It's about time someone gave this guy a TV show, or at least some credit. I've been reading Web rumors for quite some time that buddy/director Kevin Smith wanted this guy to take the lead in the next Fletch as well as the big-screen adaptation of "The Green Hornet," but studios just won't buy his box-office draw (yet they are handing "Superman Returns" to an unknown). If the plot works, there's no doubt Lee can pull it off.

Which brings us to the concept: A small-time thief hits a $100,000 jackpot and decides to start making amends -- all 250 of them. If the show is a hit, will Earl run out of good deeds? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. The show seems pretty creative and the commercials are very quirky -- which might sink it. After all, most viewers don't seem to like shows that make you think, as we've seen with "The Job," "Freaks and Geeks" and the incredibly funny, yet hanging-by-a-thread, "Arrested Development."

"My Name is Earl" premieres Tuesday, September 20 at 9:00 p.m. (EST) on NBC.

You May Also Recognize

  • Jaime Pressly (Joy) from "Joe Dirt" and "Not Another Teen Movie;" just wrapped "Venus & Vegas."

  • Ethan Suplee (Randy) from "Cold Mountain;" just wrapped "Art School Confidential."

How I Met Your Mother

Mother It's a cute idea: Ted's best friend Marshall is about to get married, prompting him to wonder if he'll ever find a soul mate. You won't have to hang on through multiple seasons to find out if this boy ever meets his dream girl. The show flashes ahead to ruin the happy ending, but the real story here is how Ted actually meets and gets the girl.

It's sort of a conventional sitcom -- except that it's set in 2030. It's also narrated by Bob Saget. I can't possibly imagine how the series will stay afloat for more than one season, but the concept sounds interesting enough to give it a chance. Stars Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie") and Alyson Hannigan (Buffy's "Willow") are certainly strong enough to pull in an audience -- but neither happens to be one of the main characters. Nice casting!

The network must have some faith in this one though (make your own assumptions on whether or not that has any stock), since it's nicely sandwiched in between mega-hits "The King of Queens" and "Two and a Half Men."

"How I Met Your Mother" premieres Monday, September 19 at 8:30 p.m. (EST) on CBS.

You May Also Recognize

  • Josh Rader (Ted) from "Not Another Teen Movie."

  • Jason Segal (Marshall) known for "Freaks and Geeks;" he also just finished "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny."

  • Cobie Smulders (Robin), who was last seen on "The L Word."

Love, Inc

Love Inc. This one has got to be a hit. Why? Because superstar Shannen Doherty got replaced before the cameras even starting rolling. (Seriously though, she needs a "Melrose Place"-style comeback.)

A group of savvy women offer Manhattan's loveless tips on how to get sex in the big city. Of course, all of this is ironic, considering each of their own love lives turns out to be a complete mess. While the plotline might not hook you, the credits will: it's executive produced by Marta Kauffman, the force behind "Friends." It also doesn't hurt that one of the writers/co-executive producers is Liz Tuccillo, whose resume includes "Sex and the City" and the huge-selling book "He's Just Not That Into You." There are also a few familiar faces in the cast, including Holly Robinson Peete (I will always know her from "21 Jump Street," although she has had a huge string of TV hits after that, including "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper") and Doherty's replacement, Busy Philipps ("Dawson's Creek" and "Freaks and Geeks").

"Love, Inc." premieres Thursday, September 22 at 9:30 p.m. (EST) on UPN.

You May Also Recognize

  • Reagan Gomez-Preston (Francine) from "Beauty Shop" and "Love Don't Cost a Thing."

Posted by Rachel Cericola on September 3, 2005 5:27 PM
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