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Coming Soon in the 2008-09 TV Season: The 2007-08 TV Season

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USA Today runs a walkup to next week’s broadcast network upfront, where the big trend in new TV will be: less new TV. The upfronts are usually an intense preview of the coming fall season, with the networks screening trailers of pilots that they mail out to advertisers and critics soon afterward. This year, there’ll be fewer clips, because fewer pilots have been shot. The bad news: though I’ll still be going to most of the upfronts next week, I may have bupkes to report to you. The good news: the sessions will be much shorter than usual.

Among the handful of new shows that are expected or are already announced, USAT spots one trend: “Dramas that blend weekly procedural cases with expansive character development.” Intrepid readers may recognize that as the big TV trend of last fall (Life, Journeyman, Pushing Daisies, Moonlight…), one that didn’t pan out so well ratings-wise for the nets even before the strike.

But given the hurry-up mode TV development is in, the networks are lucky to have any new stuff on the air come fall. Isn’t originality too much to expect on top of that? It usually is.