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Laugh! Cry! Cringe! It's TV's new season!

Nikita It's a world of slumming millionaires and poopy-mouth parents, of horny fat people and murderous bitches, of val-gal assassins and plane-crash survivors trying to get back home. (No, not those plane-crash survivors! A whole new batch.) It's the world of the 2010-11 television season, and we got a beguiling, amusing and perhaps slightly horrifying peek at it last week.

Every May, broadcast TV bosses gather in New York to ply potential advertisers with copious quantities of free food and liquor and a tantalizing -- or, sometimes, not -- glimpse at the fall schedule in a weird mixture of bacchanal, commerce and shamanism known as the upfronts.

Upfronts are the most glorious time of the television year, since none of the new series has yet bombed or undergone gazillion-dollar production delays while their stars try to escape jail or rehab. Every show looks heart-poundingly dramatic or head-bangingly funny or soul-shatteringly sentimental in the tightly edited preview reels provided by the networks.

Well, almost every show. At Fox's upfront, the crowd was noticeably unparoxysmic with laughter over Running Wilde, the network's prize new comedy. ``It seemed strangely, you know, unfunny,'' one perplexed attendee said. Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly, who a couple hours earlier had called Running Wilde ``the coup of the year,'' suddenly began mixing his vodka with Maalox.

For more moments of hilarity, bravado, idiocy and gastrointestinal distress from the upfronts, read my full story in Sunday's Miami Herald.


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