The Peacock is Strutting, Baby!

Good Monday, dear readers! Hope your weekend was a strange and interesting as mine. I'm excited today though, not because I have to go back to work. Not because I'm doing pretty well this weekend in Fantasy Football (though that helps), not even because there's Monday Night Football on tonight. Nope, I'm excited because (at this point in the season) NBC's Monday night lineup is my favorite in TV.

Let's face it, NBC was a little downtrodden. Really ever since "Seinfeld" wrapped up, the proud Peacock has been in decline. "Friends" and E.R. propped it up for a while, and "Will and Grace" did its best, but the network wasn't the same. CBS brought in fifteen variations of "C.S.I." and "Everybody Loves Raymond" (and seriously, does 'everybody' really love Raymond? I don't!) and took over the number one spot. Fox made a play by stacking its two biggest draws, "American Idol" and "24" at midseason. Even ABC made a move with two smash hits, "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost." NBC waited in the wings (no pun intended, although I used to love 'Wings').

Then last season a new sitcom starring several actors known for their film work premiered. The quirky "My Name is Earl" was a surprise hit for a network that hadn't had one in a while. NBC quickly paired "Earl" with their other strange new sitcom, "The Office" which after a disappointing short first season, was finding its own voice. They gave these new comedies coveted Thursday night slots, placing them against stiff competition from the other networks and showing their belief in the shows. It paid off. Both of the shows have done well (critically and commercially) and they (combined with the acquisition of "Sunday Night Football" have created a lot of buzz for NBC's new shows.

That brings me to the Monday night lineup. I've already sang the praises of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" the new show from the creators of "The West Wing" and "Sports Night." It's smart, it's funny, and it's just plain good. But I come not to praise Sorkin. I'm here to praise the other Monday night drama on NBC, "Heroes."

I am a huge comicbook geek (like that wasn't painfully obvious). I grew up reading Spiderman, and X-men especially but pretty much any superhero would do. For the last five years I have stuck with "Smallville" on the WB network. It showed promise in the beginning but was overall disappointing and has continued to be. I read about the development of superhero TV shows and waited with baited breathe for each one. Most of them just fell apart (the Generation X series that ended up being a one shot TV movie), and others just plain stunk (Mutant X, the horrible X-men ripoff). That's why late last season when I started hearing about the new NBC series, "Heroes" I wouldn't get my hopes up. I decided I would stay out of this one, I was so sure that it either wouldn't happen, or would be terrible when it arrived. Then I saw the trailer this summer. In about five minutes worth of footage, it became clear that this wasn't going to be "Mutant X." It seemed like equal parts "Unbreakable", "X-men", and "Lost." Now that I've seen the pilot in its entirety, that description is just about perfect.

If you ever liked superheroes, if you ever read comicbooks, or if you are one of the millions of people who tuned into "Lost" on a whim, and found yourself mesmerized by the mystery, then by all means tune in to "Heroes" tonight. The Drunken Rogue says you won't be disappointed.