1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Will Arnett on "Running Wilde"
Brian Bowen  /  Fox
Fox's "Running Wilde," starring Will Arnett, had a lot of potential, but squandered every bit of it.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 11/19/2010 1:20:16 PM ET 2010-11-19T18:20:16

They’ve had their chance and the best they’ve done is prove that not all new shows can be winners — they’re this season’s TV disappointments.

Every fall sees a slew of programs that fail to live up to their promised potential, don’t click with the home crowd or simply never stand out. No matter how much buzz these efforts had prior to premiere night, they all fell flat within the first few episodes.

The letdown line starts here.

'$#*! My Dad Says'
As it turns out, just because something is a gut-busting smash in series of 140-characters-or-less posts doesn’t mean stretching the material out to a half-hour sitcom will make the premise any funnier. Quite the opposite, actually, as CBS’s Twitter-to-TV “$#*! My Dad Says” proves.

Nothing kills a joke like an obvious set up, and this show routinely kills jokes before they ever had a chance with the help of the otherwise awesome William Shatner .

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

But bad or not (and there’s no doubt about it, it’s bad), “$#*! My Dad Says” pulls enough viewers to conceivably see a second season.

Story: Best new show surprises so far this TV season

'My Generation'
A show focused on the oddly intertwined lives of a pack of self-absorbed Gen-Yers? What’s not to like? Any part of it.

“My Generation,” ABC’s modern mockumentary with an “Up” series-like twist, followed the beauty queen, the punk, the brain, the jock, the overachiever, the rich kid, the wallflower and the rock star as they reunited to reflect on all the ways the aughts changed their lives (mostly for the worst). Yawn.

Two episodes in, “My Generation” got the well-deserved axe.

'Outlaw'
NBC’s “Outlaw” surely lost some potential viewers before it ever aired. The premise was just that bad. (TODAYshow.com is a part of msnbc.com, which is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Conservative Supreme Court justice and all-round jerk Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits) was content with life until his liberal defense attorney dad died. That’s when Garza suddenly changed his politics, changed his ways and quit the highest court in the land so that he could launch his own law firm. Really.

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

It took network bigwigs less than a month to make the “Outlaw” cancellation call.

'Running Wilde'
One of the biggest letdowns of the season is a series that should have been one of the most satisfying.

Fox was onto something when it gave “Running Wilde” the go-ahead. After all, with “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz at the helm and star Will Arnett taking on the central role of bumbling billionaire Steven Wilde, it seemed a safe bet.

Of course, things aren’t always what they seem, and the not-so-funny comedy with the excellent pedigree is a perfect example of that.

'Melissa & Joey'
Melissa Joan Hart returned to television in ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey,” the story of a local politician who found herself in need of a nanny, but a live-in “manny” played by Joey Lawrence worked just as well.

Between the casting and the “Who’s the Boss?” vibe, “Melissa & Joey” could have been a somewhat pleasing sitcom with retro appeal, but without the laughs or the chemistry, it falls short.

'The Whole Truth'
ABC’s courtroom procedural drama “The Whole Truth” is another effort that came with all the right elements, but still managed to disappoint.

Despite lead actors Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney’s involvement and can’t-lose (except when he can) producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the two-sided legal action didn’t hold viewer interest.

Maybe it was the same-old, same-old feel. Dueling perspectives from the prosecution and defense aside, the now-canceled “Whole Truth” seemed overly familiar in a TV schedule not exactly lacking courtroom action.

'Mike and Molly'
While opinions are mixed and the ratings are solid, “Mike and Molly” easily counts among the duds for landing so far off the mark from where it could have been.

The premise of a couple finding love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting works. No casting complaints with Billy Gardell and the likable Melissa McCarthy in the title roles. So where did the CBS show go wrong? The one-trick pony approach to humor.

Each episode packs rapid-fire fat jokes. To make matters worse, they aren’t very good ones.

'Hellcats'
The CW’s collegiate cheerleading dramedy “Hellcats” seemed set to fill this season’s guilty pleasure gap, but that didn’t happen thanks to flat characters and predictable banter.

It’s no “Bring It On,” which of course set the bar for tongue-in-cheek mean-girl cheerleading tales, and that’s the biggest disappointment of all. It could have been the TV version of rah-rah-oh-snap fun.

  1. Most popular

'Better With You'
The problem with relationship-based comedy “Better With You” is that it's just another bland, light-on-laughs sitcom. There’s nothing particularly new about the ABC offering.

Sure, it borrows a little from “Modern Family,” but it does so without capturing the charm of its inspiration. “Better With You” isn’t awful. It also isn’t any better than a slew of established options.

Dishonorable mentions go to the not-quite-bad enough (yet) “Outsourced” on NBC and CBS’ hotly hyped “Hawaii Five-0.”

Ree Hines likes to remind herself the universe needs balance. That’s why for every “Walking Dead,” there’s a “$#*! My Dad Says.” Follow @ReeHines and tell her your boob tube philosophy.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Discuss: Which new fall shows disappointed you the most?

So many looked so promising, but quickly let us down.

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    Why one dad wants to ban play dates

    7/28/2014 1:45:40 PM +00:00 2014-07-28T13:45:40
Breaking news
  1. Dozens hurt by strikes near Gaza hospital, refugee camp

    The attack caused some damage to the outpatient clinic, according to witnesses including an NBC News crew on the ground in the area.

    7/28/2014 2:40:10 PM +00:00 2014-07-28T14:40:10
  1. brandileigh080 via Instagram

    #DogDaysOfSummer: These pups and their owners offer all the cuteness you can handle

    7/28/2014 3:58:28 PM +00:00 2014-07-28T15:58:28