What to watch, what not to watch… If only there were a way to know what was good without having to sit and watch shows that may get yanked off the air. Well a friend of mine (well more like a friend of a friend) is out in Los Angeles and works on one of the ABC sitcoms (as a scriptwriter I think). Being an insider, he is familiar with the politics and buzz and this is his opinion of the upcoming season:

I’ve seen 80% of the new pilots, and I’ve read almost all the one hour ones, so here are my thoughts by network:

ABC

Pushing Daisies–(Wednesdays at 8)–best pilot since Lost and Desperate Housewives. I can’t really describe how cool this is. It’s funny, romantic, charming, with a great sense of humor. It’s fabulous. It’s about a guy who can bring people back to life, so he helps a detective figure out who killed murder victims to cash in on the reward, but when his childhood girlfriend becomes a victim, the world’s greatest unrequited love story begins. WATCH THIS OR I WILL DISOWN YOU.

Dirty, Sexy, Money–(Wednesdays at 10)–it’s like a new version of Dallas. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read it and I’m really excited.

Big Shots–(Thursdays at 10)–think of it as Desperate CEOs. I haven’t seen this one either, but I loved the script and the cast is great. It’s definitely an estrogen heavy take on men, but it’s a great companion to Grey’s I think. Speaking of Grey’s

Private Practice–(Wednesdays at 9)–it’s the Grey’s spinoff. If they show enough of Kate Walsh’s legs, I’ll watch. Absolutely. Otherwise, I’ll be hesitant.

Women’s Murder Club–(Friday at 9)–ABC tries to do a procedural with Angie Harmon. Who knows?

Samantha Who–(Monday at 9:30)–Christina Applegate plays a woman who comes out of a coma and realizes that that she was a bitch and maybe that’s not who she wants to be. Probably the best sitcom they’ve got, but looking at what else they have, that’s not saying much.

Carpoolers (Tuesdays at 8:30)–Nobody I know who’s seen this thinks it’s funny. Actually I don’t know anbody who’s seen this. That’s a bad sign.

Cavemen (Tuesdays at 8)–Eh.

Cashmere Mafia (after Dancing with the Stars finishes)–the lesser of the Sex and the City clones coming this year. The better one (Lipstick Jungle) comes on NBC in January after football.

NBC

Chuck (Mondays at 8)–one of the two best pilots imho. Hilarious. You have to buy into the central premise, but it’s wonderful after that. Basic plot is that Chuck gets sent an e-mail that allows him to know all the CIA/NSA data, so he becomes the nation’s most important intelligence asset, despite the fact that he works at the Nerd Herd. (think Geek Squad.) I mean, you have to love a pilot that involves a ninja breaking into an apartment. Definitely check this one out.

Journeyman (Mondays at 10)–think a romantic Quantum Leap. guy keeps jumping back and forth to other parts of his life and wants to keep his 1997 girlfriend from getting on a plane that will crash and kill her. It’s confusing and I wasn’t big on it.

Life (Wednesdays at 10)–about a cop who was in prison for 13 years, is exonerated by DNA evidence and rejoins the police force. As police shows go, it was kind of interesting. A great lead character well played by Damien Lewis.

Bionic Woman (Wednesdays at 9)–when Katee Sackhoff isn’t on screen, it sucks. And that’s 65% of the time. Andy’s cigar smoking friend won’t help when he shows up in the second episode.

FOX

Back to You–this half hour sitcom with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton is expected to be a hit. Haven’t seen it, but buzz is good

K-Ville (Mondays at 9)–it’s a cop show set in New Orleans. Nothing else really matters. It’s not great, but the New Orleans thing will completely determine how you feel about the show

And there’s a bunch of reality shows till January. At that point, watch New Amsterdam and skip The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

CBS

Cane–(Tuesdays at 10)–Jimmy Smits in a Sopranos-esque family drama about a Cuban rum/sugar business. It’s ok. Hopefully it will get better. Consider watching.

The Big Bang Theory (Mondays at 8:30)–from the creator of Two and a Half Men. If you like it, you’ll like this.

Moonlight–(Fridays at 9)–it’s a detective show about a vampire, but it’s not from Joss Whedon. I saw the original pilot, and it was horrible. But they recast 3 of the 4 roles, completely reshot the entire thing, so I haven’t seen that version. I don’t know about it, but it has Jason Dohring (Logan from Veronica Mars), so that gives me hope.

Viva Laughlin (Sundays at 8)–a musical about a guy opening a casino in Laughlin. You’ll either buy it or not. Most people I’ve talked to haven’t. Even though Hugh Jackman’s in the pilot.

CW

Aliens in America–(Mondays at 8:30)–the best new sitcom. A nerdy teen has no friends, so his mom decides to get a foreign exchange student, thinking that will raise the kid’s cool quotient. She’s not ready for a Muslim to come into the family. Very cute, funny, and charming.

Gossip Girl–maybe the worst new show. And it’s full of so much estrogen, I will personally revoke your man card if any of you guys watch this. Kristen Bell’s involvement be damned.

Reaper–a slacker discovers on his 21st birthday that his parents had sold his soul to the devil and now he has to become the devil’s bounty hunter. Even though it was directed by Kevin Smith, it wasn’t that good. No need to watch more than one.

Life is Wild–(Sundays at 8pm) Think 7th Heaven set in Africa. If I were a kid, I’d eat this up. As is, I enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t that great.

That’s pretty much it. Ignoring anything on cable and what not. Again, if you’re not watching Mad Men on AMC. Shame on you. You should be.

Hope you found it helpful… Looks like I’ll try to make time to watch “Chuck” and “Pushing Daisies” and likely not waste my time with the rest. And having not seen “Mad Men” on AMC yet, I’m thinking maybe I should…