Much has been said recently about the importance of the Internet when it comes to TV watching. Today’s viewers don’t simply tune in to a show and then forget about it until next week. Instead, many will watch the show… And then re-watch the show online… And post to a show message board… And search for spoilers… And…

But this hasn’t happened with the new shows of the fall season. Don’t get me wrong — there are some pretty good new shows out there. However, with a few possible exceptions, you don’t hear a peep about them on the Internet. What’s up with that?

Simply put, this fall season gives us nothing to keep the Internet-savvy viewer hooked. But what does it take to wed your television show to the Internet?
Science fiction and fantasy draw the obsessed and the nerdy from their fanfic to the televisions. Long-arc suspense shows (think 24 and Veronica Mars) inspire desperate fans to seek out plot twist solutions. And then there are the teen shows (Gossip Girl, 90210 and the powerhouse that is Glee). Programs filled with soapy teen angst just make the Internet come alive.

New Show Winners
No Ordinary Family and The Event fit into the sci-fi genre. Nikita and Undercovers skirt around the edges of the long-arc suspense thriller. And Hellcats has the soapy teen genre down cold.
New Show Losers
Legal procedurals (take your pick) and silly comedies dominate the fall schedule. No Internet love there. Honestly, does anybody really care what’s going to happen on Outsourced next week?

Stupid people have little influence over the Internet. Make a show smart, and all of the self-proclaimed TV geniuses out there will never shut up. A smart, twisted comedy like Arrested Development still has more of an online presence than, say, Mike and Molly.

New Show Winners
Lone Star got cancelled, so that’s out. The Event will either be intelligent or just frenetic. The smartest show of the fall season? Raising Hope — a comedy about a bunch of idiots and a baby.

New Show Losers
Every other comedy. Plus any procedural that forgets how many procedurals we’ve all seen over the years. This is a bad time for intelligence on TV.

Play with our emotions. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Hey, a show can even make us vomit if we still want to come back for more.

New Show Winners
For the most part, the new shows of the fall season have the emotional impact of a toothpaste commercial.

New Show Losers
Just about all of them. The laughs aren’t big. There are no tears. And, while $#*! My Dad Says often makes me want to vomit, it’s not in a good way.

On the Internet, we need characters to love. We need characters to hate. We need characters to endlessly dissect or to pair off in an infinite number of love matches.
Raising Hope.jpg
New Show Winners
Safe to say that only Raising Hope really wins here. Even baby Hope has more personality than just about anyone else on fall TV.

New Show Losers
The No Ordinary Family folk are nice but not gripping. The spies on Undercovers barely manage human. The rest of fall TV’s new characters don’t even merit a mention.

A show needs to shock the viewer who has seen everything, because literally everything is already on the Internet. Only surprise can truly inspire a dedicated spoiler junkie or message board regular.

New Show Winners
The Event is trying, and it may get there since no one has a clue about what’s going on. And I guess it’s a surprise that Outsourced is doing well…

New Show Losers
It’s best not to think about the rest of the new shows.

Do the new fall shows meet these criteria? Not much. A few come close on a point or two, but no new show fulfills enough of the steps to be Internet worthy.

(Images courtesy of NBC, The CW, CBS, FOX)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.