The Vampire Diaries

Channel Guide - Large

If I were to call The Vampire Diaries stupid, I don’t think that too many people would be outraged or even ask me to explain why I had that opinion. Everyone would probably just assume that I wasn’t in to vampires or diaries or good-looking men with smoldering eyes and leave it at that. The show definitely has its fan base, and it’s a very devoted fan base, but it’s socially acceptable to not like The Vampire Diaries. Now, what if I were to call Mad Men stupid? The kind of inarticulate assessment that it’s perfectly OK to make when talking about The Vampire Diaries probably wouldn’t fly when talking about Matthew Weiner’s acclaimed drama (mainly because the show isn’t stupid and, even if it isn’t your cup of mid-afternoon booze, there are certain things about it that you have to concede—it’s thematically complex, well-written, pretty to look at, etc.). I happen to be a faithful Mad Men viewer but I know that there are people who find it painfully unwatchable and I also know that these people aren’t hillbillies (no offense to hillbillies) or unintelligent. Disliking a popular show is, of course, alienating—even when you’re steadfast in your opinion—but it’s also just incredibly frustrating; there’s a kind of emperor’s new clothes aspect to it where you’re left asking, what is it that I’m missing here?

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The final day of the broadcast television upfronts is upon us and The CW has released their fall schedule for the upcoming 2011-2012 television season. And we finally have a definitive list of all the new programming that will be coming up which includes: Hart of Dixies, Ringer, H8R and The Secret Circle. In case you were curious as to what the hell something called H8R might be, we have trailers for all the new shows below. As for any surprises on the schedule, there really aren’t any. But there is one change that could effect a returning series. Freshman spy show Nikita that we here at Film School Rejects spent all of this last season gushing over, has been moved to Friday’s at 8pm pairing it with Supernatural and putting it up against other genre television series such as Chuck on NBC. Another quick piece of news from the junior network is that the next season on One Tree Hill will be its last. Here is the full schedule and the trailers that were released:

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After weeks of negotiations between FOX and Universal over the production costs of hit medical drama House M.D., the show has finally been renewed for an eighth season on the network. The issue of the negotiations stemmed from the fact that FOX wanted to drastically cut the cost of producing the show since the recent drop in ratings from last season. Series stars Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Olivia Wilde, and Robert Sean Leonard are all signed on to return, but co-stars Lisa Edelstein, Jesse Spencer, and Peter Jacobson are all still in the middle of negotiations. However, their returns are almost a guarantee. In addition to the renewal of House, the network also picked up three pilots to series including the comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter starring Jaime Pressly, another comedy in the form of The New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, Bones (which also saw a renewal a week ago) spin-off Finder which had a back door pilot on the hit crime-drama a couple weeks ago, and the new J.J. Abrams series Alcatraz.

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With premiere week over I’ve compiled a list of the week’s top premieres from each night. The winner of each night is based upon the quality of the writing, the shows entertainment value and if it’s a new series, the shows sustainability. This year had some extremely heavy hitters and some of the best performances we have seen on the small screen. So without further ado, here are the winners of the FSR Fall 2010 Watch List (please note that this list only applies to shows that started before or during the week of September 19th). Sunday: Boardwalk Empire In what should come as no surprise, Boardwalk Empire was top dog on Sunday. I’m not big into period pieces which is why I really never got into Mad Men, but Scorsese has made me fall in love with the 20′s and Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi is a great lead and a guy I can’t wait to watch every week. If only Scorsese could direct every episode and not just the pilot.

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Welcome back, it’s time for the longest day of the week. That pivotal day before Friday when everything gets simple. Thursday is also a great night for television, and this year is no different. Actually, this year is probably the most jam packed night of the week on the small screen. Everything from cops to vampires to college to dead people to spys to India, this Thursday has it all. So go grab that 16oz beer from the fridge and some fresh AAA batteries for the DVR remote because here comes Part V of the FSR Fall 2010 Watch List!

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. There are three DVDs worth Buying this week including the dark, modern noir of the Red Riding trilogy, the very funny spy spoof, OSS 117: Lost In Rio, and the complete series run of Thriller, but there’s also several flicks worth Renting including Harry Brown, Flashforward, Tormented, and yes, The Vampire Diaries. See all of this week’s relevant DVD releases after the jump…

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