It’s been nearly four months since the 2004 fall television season began, which is plenty of time to see what new shows are worth watching for the duration of their seasons. Some have found the audience and status they deserve, and the worst have been weeded out. With the midseason replacements just weeks away, The Daily TV staff takes a look at the best and worst of fall 2004 so far:
Must See TV
Wednesdays at 9 p.m., UPN
Although UPN has the reputation for missing the mark with its programs, “Kevin Hill” is the exception. Taye Diggs is comfortable in his role as a suave lawyer who finds out he has a baby. Diggs is also able to find balance between being a ladies’ man and a father. Now, with the custody of his baby at stake, it will be interesting to see how the show evolves.
Wednesdays at 8 p.m., ABC
No other TV drama has as deep a cast of characters as “Lost,” and that’s due to the survivors’ enthralling backstories that are revealed each week. Instead of being merely a show about surviving on a deserted island, “Lost” delivers plenty of conflict to satisfy the viewer. And the castaways have learned that the island isn’t deserted after all, leading to another heart-stopping chapter in what has already been a wild ride.
Tuesdays at 9 p.m., FOX
Watching the medical drama “House” is like being treated to an extremely sensual back massage, except with more witty banter. It feels good to see the camera swoop in stylistically, revealing the inner-workings of the human body, and the dynamic camera angles are like the soft hands of a skilled practitioner easing away the tension from sore muscles. Dr. House’s witty commentary in his interactions with his patients is beyond hilarious. Every episode, while chock-full of thrills and twists, is also gut-wrenchingly funny and depicts the eccentric and anti-social doctor as a unique physician.
Sundays at 9 p.m., ABC
Scandalous primetime soap operas have moved to the suburbs — Wisteria Lane, specifically — and America couldn’t be more hooked. The biggest phenomenon of the fall, “Desperate Housewives,” has helped resurrect ABC by giving viewers attractive, half-dressed women and deadly blenders. The humor — outlandish at times, subtle at others — complements the show perfectly. The suburbs have never looked this good.
Thursdays at 8 p.m., NBC
Despite the hype, when Joey Tribbiani moved to Los Angeles, not all “Friends” fans followed. The plotlines have been hit-or-miss, and Joey’s new pals lack the chemistry of the New York gang. It still seems hard to believe that the goofiest member of the “Friends” cast could carry his own show. The jury is still out, but a spin-off was a better career move for Matt LeBlanc than making another movie with a baseball-playing monkey.
“C.S.I.: New York”
Wednesdays at 10 p.m., CBS
The endless corpse parade continues as the “C.S.I.” franchise trucks on. This time, the ever-popular Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes hold the magnifying glasses in this successful drama series. The New York edition was not given the fanfare of the Miami spin-off and, due to its already dark surroundings and tone, lacks the more glamorous atmosphere of its glitzier relatives
Fridays at 10 p.m., CBS
“Dr. Vegas” tanked so hard that its existence has been wiped from the network’s online records, which, considering the quality of the program, is probably a good thing. Mixing Rob Lowe in the ultra-hip stylings of Las Vegas with the ultra-square stylings of medical jargon and business management, “Dr. Vegas” was bound to be a complete flop. Not even the recent gambling craze could have saved Lowe’s latest effort. And, as the worst scripted show of the season, it simply isn’t worth the effort to continue writing about this debacle of a show.
Tuesdays at 9 p.m., CBS
“Clubhouse,” a trite series focusing on the most boring teenager alive (Jeremy Sumpter) and his job as batboy for a fictional baseball team, wound up cheesier then a Hallmark TV movie. Christopher Lloyd and that guy who used to be Superman (Dean Cain) couldn’t even help in their limited supporting roles. Thankfully, CBS benched “Clubhouse” for good.
“Father of the Pride”
Tuesdays at 9 p.m., NBC
Riding the wave of CGI success on the big screen, NBC brought “Father of the Pride” to help revive a demolished lineup. The clich