So far, we know NBC has picked up the following five new shows for 2010-11: Chase, Outsourced, Love Bites, The Event and Undercovers. We'll be hearing more about them after the upfronts.
Here's how I rank them: Cliche, Potential, Cliche, New FlashForward, New Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
I like Outsourced because it just sounds funny: a white guy whose company makes random stuff (like whoopee cushions) has to go to India and run the call center there. He has to train all those guys on all things American so they can handle the customers. This show has potential, but in all likelihood, I'm not going to watch. The premise sounds like it'll get old fast.
I'm mixed on The Event, because after ABC introduced Lost, the networks have all had a terrible time trying to get similar conspiracy theory/time traveling/supernatural/worldwide disaster dramas off the ground. I want to give The Event a try, but it'll probably go the way of Jericho, and Daybreak, and Invasion, and (probably) FlashForward and V: Cancellation city.
Undercovers, about married spies, is interesting (to me, anyway) for behind-the-scenes reasons: The casting was done colorblind. That's practically unheard-of in Hollywood! And what ended up happening? They cast two leads who were both biracial. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is South African and English, and Kodjoe is German and Ghanaian. Because I support this crazy newfangled notion of colorblind casting, I will be checking this show out.
I classified Chase and Love Bites as cliches because no matter how hard I looked at their descriptions, I could not find one shred of originality in either of them. Chase is about U.S. Marshals hunting down fugitives. It's basically the American version of Flashpoint. Love Bites (worst title ever) stars the hugely talented and funny Becki Newton from Ugly Betty (R.I.P.), but the premise is so tired: two single gals try to find love as their friends settle down and get married. It's Rules of Engagement minus David Spade.
(Pictured: The stars of Undercovers, Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Two of the most gorgeous people walking this earth. Eat it, Brangelina.)