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5 New Mid-Season Television Shows To Check Out...Or Not

January 2nd, 2012 10:00am EST

The Firm Every Jan. 1, I heave a sigh of relief because I not only made it through another year and survived the frenzied stress of the holiday season but also because mid-season television shows will be unveiled. Like Christmas presents from an adoring aunt, mid-season shows can be just what you need or exactly what you don't.

Check out five new shows you may or may not want to check out:

“The Firm” NBC

NBC took John Grisham’s best-selling novel and big screen hit, “The Firm,” and continued the story in the spin-off of the same name. It follows Mitch McDeere, the Memphis lawyer who brought down a Chicago crimeboss and has been on the run ever since. Ten years later, Tom Cruise’s McDeere is now portrayed with Josh Lucas’ (“J.Edgar”) rugged, Southern boy charm. He is out of witness protection and trying to revive his law career as a defense attorney for the every man. He unknowingly allies himself with another prestigious law firm with nefarious ties and thrusts himself in the sights of new and old dangers.

The trailer for “The Firm” plays like “The Good Wife” and USA’s “Burn Notice’s” lovechild with Lucas frantically wading through the Washington D.C.’s reflecting pool and using an antiquated pay phone to call for help. While the show may struggle to bring a 20-year-old premise into modern age, I believe the stunning cast of Josh Lucas, the force-of nature that is Juliette Lewis and “Battlestar Galatica’s” Tricia Helfer can heighten the old-fashioned legal procedural to something intriguing and addictive.

Find out if "The Firm" is unlawfully good or just unlawful on Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

If you can't wait until then, check out the NBC trailer below!

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“Rob”

I was thrilled to learn that Rob Schneider (“Jack and Jill,” “SNL”)—a hilarious comedian often relegated to third and fourth banana in Adam Sandler flicks—finally got his own sitcom. In CBS’ “Rob,” Schneider plays an all-American white guy who marries a Mexican-American woman…and her extended family. The premise sounds like it would be groundbreaking in 1984. In 2012, I’m not sure how you can build an entire show on someone being uncomfortable around minorities unless it's about Ron Paul. After viewing a few exclusive clips, I’m betting “Rob” won't make it until May Sweeps. The jokes are flatter than leftover New Year’s Eve champagne and borderline offensive—“I’m visiting from Mexico for the weekend. I’m not leaving…ever.” Ultimately, it’s a mistake to shoehorn a wickedly eccentric oddball like Schneider into the straight-man role, yet I hope this comedy can grow from immigration and “Yo quiero Taco Bell” one-liners into more inventive, colorful humor. Its survival more than likely depends on it.

Decide for yourself when “Rob” premieres on Jan. 12 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

If you're dying with curiosity, watch the trailer below.

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“It’s A Brad, Brad World”

Thanks to reality shows like “Project Runway” and “The Rachel Zoe Project,” I have a newfound love of fashion...and a hatred for its hefty price-tags. Thanks to the masterminds at Bravo who gave Brad Goreski his own show in “It’s A Brad, Brad World,” I can watch the escapades of Kate Spade’s Exclusive Brand Stylist without dealing with the perpetual, nasal-voiced complaints of new designer and new mommy, Rachel Zoe. The show details Goreski’s journey from assistant to stylist in his own right. I’m sure that his snark, addiction to fashion and ability to cry at the drop of a Vivienne Westwood hat all but guarantees an entertaining and fabulous hour of television.

“It’s A Brad, Brad World” premieres on Jan. 2 at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
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“Work It”

After watching the jaw-droppingly atrocious promo for ABC’s “Work It”—a timely sitcom that follows two out-of-work men (Benjamin Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco) who stoop to posing as women to get a job at an all-female sales company—I firmly believe that television executives really do green-light sitcoms based on a bet between co-workers.

As a female member of the 99 percent, I’m fairly certain the glass ceiling is still intact and all-women workplaces aren't even legal, even at Hooters. While the premise inspires cheap laughs, it would work better as a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, not as a full-fledged sitcom. I’d bet all of my Christmas gift cards that “Work It” will be yanked off the air faster than its male stars can shimmy out of their spanx, much like this season’s other gender-based sitcoms, “Man Up” and CBS’s “How To Be A Gentleman.”

On the other hand, “Work It’s” cross-dressing schtick might be awful enough to be entertaining, which equates to ratings gold. “Two And A Half Men” is still on the air, so anything is possible.

Tune into “Work It” for gender-bending fun on Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.
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“Smash”

The NBC network has been flailing for decent programming quite some time. It managed to scrub all of the sex, mystery and glamour of out of playboy bunnies in its heavily promoted and disappointingly tedious “The Playboy Club.” NBC really needs a television show that creates lightning in a bottle, magic on the small screen. They may have found it in the Steven Spielberg-produced, “Smash,” starring “American Idol’s” sweetest contestant, Katharine McPhee, Emmy-winner Debra Messing and Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston.

If you’ve grown weary of “Glee’s” absurd storylines and frenetic pacing, this is the answer to your musical TV show woes. “Smash” centers on the creation of a Marilyn Monroe-based Broadway production from creation to final curtain. McPhee plays the inexperienced ingénue fighting for any kind of break. Broadway star Megan Hilty is the stage veteran willing to do anything to finally land a leading role. Upon watching NBC’s extended preview, I was riddled with the same spine-tingling joy I felt while watching the first season of “Glee.” “Smash,” with its award-winning producers and actors, may be the (musical) knockout NBC desperately needs.

Find out if “Smash” hits all the right notes when it premieres on Feb. 6 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Check out this fantastic trailer for "Smash" below.

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Related: Adam Sandler, Amaury Nolasco, American Idol, Anjelica Huston, Battlestar Galactica, Brad Goreski, Debra Messing, Glee, John Grisham, Josh Lucas, Juliette Lewis, Project Runway, Rachel Zoe, Rob, Rob Schneider, Smash, Steven Spielberg, The Firm, The Playboy Club, The Rachel Zoe Project, Tom Cruise, Tricia Helfer, Two And A Half Men, Work It, Starpulse Exclusives, Television, Video, Cancellations, Reality, Comedy, Drama, Previews, TV Networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, USA, BRAVO

© 2012 Starpulse.com

Photo Credits: PR Photos; American Broadcasting Company; NBC Universal, CBS

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