Opinion: Fall TV line up lacks originality, diversity

Opinion: ‘X Factor’ is less than or equal to ‘American Idol’ (or one of those other singing shows)

Raytevia Evans

Raytevia Evans

Raytevia Evans is a second-year graduate student studying magazine journalism and the managing editor of KentWired. Contact her at [email protected].

Every year around this time, I start gearing myself up for the new fall TV season because I practically live for it. I’m a real sucker for new series, and honestly, I’m embarrassed to even mention in this column some of the shows I watch or how much TV I watch in a week — whether it’s on the original air date or online.

This week marks the beginning of the fall season and series premieres. What I’ve noticed is that the fall line-up seems vaguely familiar, and as always, it’s lacking in the diversity department. I feel like I notice this every year but this is the first time I can actually say it in a public forum, so here it goes.

CBS’s new show “Unforgettable” is about a female detective (Poppy Montgomery) who remembers every single detail of everything that has ever happened to her. When she approaches a crime scene, she looks at it completely differently from her colleagues because of her memory (which happens to be some sort of disease), catching small pieces of evidence that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Of course, she sees this gift as a blessing and a curse, considering the only details she can’t remember are the details of her own sister’s murder.

First of all, I strongly support TV shows with a female lead part; they don’t come around often and I won’t be surprised if this doesn’t make it past maybe four seasons because that’s just what happens to these types of shows. However, once I read the summary on CBS’s website, it just didn’t feel original.

CBS didn’t completely remake an old TV show (as ABC has decided to do with “Charlie’s Angels”), but it seems as though they’re recycling an old idea. Yes, this is to be expected of show business just like beats are reused over and over again in music. I guess the good thing about this is this plot is way too interesting to retire; therefore, networks seem to just take turns creating shows that are vaguely similar to this one.

Besides lack of originality, the presence of minorities is pretty scarce in the lineup — another issue that doesn’t really surprise me. I think this problem nags me a little more than the recycled plots. Out of all of the new and old TV shows starting on CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox this fall, only one of them (Shondra Rhimes’ ABC show “Scandal”) has a lead character who is not Caucasian.

I watch everything from “Desperate Housewives” (ABC) to “Parenthood” (NBC) and I enjoy every single second of it. But I live for the day when network TV will recognize and take advantage of the mountain of talent that is black Hollywood. In the meantime, I’ll have to deal with what TV gives me. So, bring on this year’s fall lineup.