What’s New in Television: April 2011

As the broadcast television season begins to wind down, the nets don’t miss a beat with several new shows debuting this month.  So without further ado, it is time to take a look at some of the new offerings being served up by the networks this April.

“Chaos” – Let’s face it, most of the time when you change the channel over to the Tiffany Network, you are confronted with one of its many interchangeable crime procedural dramas whether it be NCIS, CSI, or Criminal Minds or one of their many spin-offs.  But every once in a while CBS tries something different, the audience rejects it, and the show gets cancelled before you ever remember it existed in the first place (Viva Laughlin anybody?).  This time something different is the spy dramedy “Chaos” starring Freddy Rodriguez as the rookie agent in group of vintage spooks.  Light fun, but hardly worth staying in on Friday night for. “Chaos” airs on Friday at 8/7 Central on CBS and debuts on April 1st.

“Camelot” – Didn’t enjoy the prevalent nudity of fellow channel compatriot “Spartacus” but still enjoy your action packed historical dramas?  Then “Camelot” is for you.  Another retelling of the tale of King Arthur, “Camelot” stars Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, Bond Girl Eva Green as Morgan, and a poorly miscast Jamie Campbell Bower (much better in the little watched AMC miniseries “The Prisoner”) as the young Arthur. “Camelot” was slated to bow on Netflix the day after its network premiere but instead will only be available 90 days after it hits the airwaves. “Camelot” airs on Friday at 10/9 Central on Starz and debuts on April 1st.

“The Killing” – Based on a highly successful Danish series, “The Killing” is a moody and hauntingly compelling murder mystery that plays out over twelve days in an equal number of episodes.  A show described as “spellbinding,” “The Killing” stars Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden, a homicide detective drawn into the quest to discover who killed Rosie Larsen along with the detective assigned to replace her played by Joel Kinnaman. “The Killing” is in the front runner position to be THE show of the spring, continuing the near perfect string of compelling dramas from AMC. “The Killing” airs on Sunday at 10/9 Central on AMC and debuts on April 3rd at 9/8 Central.

“The Borgias” – Apparently someone forgot to tell me that April is period drama month with “Camelot” and now “The Borgias” which nominally replaces “The Tudors” on the schedule.  Sex, swords, and Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI in this drama about a corrupt Spanish clan and the popes who ruled Renaissance Rome and the Catholic Church in the late 15th century into the early 16th century. “The Borgias” airs on Sunday at 9/8 Central on Showtime and debuts on April 3rd.

“Breaking In” – Christian Slater stars as Oz, the owner of Contra Security, a company that tests security systems.  Did you watch Slater’s last two attempts at television: “My Own Worst Enemy” and “The Forgotten”?  Of course you didn’t, so why break the streak because you do not want to watch “Breaking In.”  Who makes a boom goes the dynamite joke any more?  It’s 2011.  But if you must, “Breaking In” airs on Wednesday at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX and debuts on April 6th.

“Happy Endings” – Yet another romantic comedy from the wonderful people over at ABC this time with Elisha Cuthbert and…yet another Wayans…Damon Wayans Jr.  I give up. “Happy Endings” airs on Wednesday at 10/9 Central on ABC and debuts on April 13th.

“The Paul Reiser Show” – In an apparent need to rehash “Mad About You” and with a gaping hole in the Thursday night comedy block due to the outright audience rejection of “Perfect Couples,” Paul Reiser returns to the network that made him famous as himself, in a show about himself, and about what he’s supposed to do now that he’s extremely wealthy but unfortunately bored.  In a bad sign, NBC has only committed to airing four of the six episodes in the can especially for a show that NBC really didn’t want to air on any night. “The Paul Reiser Show” airs on Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC and debuts on April 14th.

“Game of Thrones” – Based on author George R. R. Martin’s best-selling “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels this fantasy epic is the most highly anticipated show of the year.  Staring a who’s who of Hollywood, “Game of Thrones” follows the violent dynastic struggles among noble families for control of the Iron Throne.  In development for over four years, “Game of Thrones” is an enormously expensive undertaking within the reach of only the premium cable net HBO. “Game of Thrones” airs on Sunday at 9/8 Central on HBO and debuts on April 17th.

“The Voice” – With much of the reality television buzz surrounding next fall’s launch of Simon Cowell’s “The X-Factor,” NBC has decided to rush out their ripoff this spring to try and steal some of the limelight and (hopefully for them) ratings with their new talent competition show hosted by Carson Daly and based on the Dutch show of the same name. “The Voice” requires the judges to render a verdict based solely on the quality of the voice of the contestant and not their looks, hence the title of the show. “The Voice” airs on Tuesday at 9/8 Central on NBC and debuts on April 26th.

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