Let's take, for example, the new (and decidedly bizarre) shows debuting this week...
* Desperate Housewives (ABC, 9 pm, debuts Sun Oct 3) I tell ya folks, this one looks AWESOME. A cross between a comedy, prime-time soap, and murder mystery, Desperate Housewives tells the creepy and hilarious tale of a dead housewife and how her demise unravels the lives of her friends and family. And what a cast! Like the amazing Arrested Development, this show has dredged up a treasure-trove of B-list actor has-beens including Marcia Cross (Kimberly from Melrose Place), Nicolette Sheridan (Paige from Knots Landing), Eva Longoria (The Young and the Restless), Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark), and Felicity Huffman (SportsNight). Together these gals provide the perfect send-up of suburban trauma, with murder, sex, humor, intrigue, and most importantly, desperation. It's the kind of insane premise that just might work, and keep a desperate TV exec in high-priced hookers for another year.
* Cold Turkey (PAX, 10 pm, debuts Sun Oct 3) This show is not only FUNNY, it's CRUEL--two concepts I'm intimately familiar with. Ten contestants think they've been chosen to compete in an outrageous new reality show. What they don't know is that they are all relentless chain smokers who will be forced to live together in a house for three weeks and quit smoking--COLD TURKEY. Naturally, this is a totally insane idea, and if this show ends without a single person getting killed or at least being smacked in the head with a frying pan, I'll eat my hat!
* Boston Legal (ABC, 10 pm, debuts Sun Oct 3) Everyone remembers what a piece of crap The Practice was, right? That is until executive producer David E. Kelley stepped in and shit-canned half the cast. Removing the dead weight, he added ultra-eccentric characters played by James Spader and William Shatner. Then, at the end of the season, just when the ratings were on the rise, Kelley shit-canned the entire show! In an attempt to forever erase the stench of The Practice from our memory, Kelley has started once again from scratch, with Boston Legal. Starring Spader and Shatner as bat-shit crazy attorneys, Kelley proves once and for all that insanity SELLS.
* Model Citizens (PAX, 9 pm, debuts Mon Oct 4) Fashion models are good for two things: looking at and laughing at. Model Citizens is an even-nuttier version of The Simple Life, which takes a gang of real-life models and forces them to travel around doing nice things for the community. Be on the lookout for Tyra Banks sharing her blow with a preschooler!