I'm sure you've already noticed — from the parades, the fact that your mail hasn't been arriving, and the way everyone gets the week off of work — but this is Shark Week, when the Discovery Channel generates a week of shark-themed programming. (Tonight: Sharkzilla, which is, surprisingly enough, not a SyFy movie, and the Mythbusters shark special.) (Trivia: Did you know the decorative shark that is traditionally displayed on or near Discovery's Silver Spring, Md. headquarters to celebrate this special week is named "Chompy"? He is.) (Discovery spells it "Chompie," but they are clearly wrong-ola.)
I know what you're thinking: Why doesn't all of the upcoming fall television season feature more sharks? Well, the truth is that not every fall show could really make use of more sharks. I am thinking of Ready For Love, NBC's new dating reality show where three unctuous dudes date a bunch of women displayed in plastic boxes. I cannot imagine what sharks could possibly do for that show.*
At the same time, there are certainly shows on the schedule that could incorporate sharks to great effect. Allow me to suggest a few revised versions of fall shows featuring more sharks.
Malibu Country (ABC). This fish-out-of-water comedy takes Reba (formerly McEntire, now just "Reba," a one-name icon kind of like "Chompy") to California. When they get there, Reba learns that a large shark is menacing the nearby beach, and she transforms herself into a shark hunter and proceeds to win over her highfalutin' California neighbors. There are still medicinal marijuana jokes, because that aspect of this show is definitely not changing.
Beauty And The Beast (CW). After the beautiful whatever-she-is gets chased around for a while by the guy with the scar who is somehow termed a "beast" for the purposes of this remake, she decides that she needs to dig deeper in her efforts to embrace that which the rest of society fears, and falls in love with a sensitive shark named Cooper.
Guys With Kids (NBC). Every week, the three dads who star in this family comedy prove once again that men really are capable of parenting by rescuing their three tiny babies from the jaws of three sharks. And every week, the mothers go, "You wrestled a shark? I was in labor for eighteen hours!" Everyone laughs, the women hit the men with their purses, AND SCENE.
Hotel Hell (Fox). Gordon Ramsay examines a series of hotels to see what's wrong with them, and he yells at the owners. But finally, after several weeks of nobody listening, he throws the owner of a charming but dirty bed and breakfast to a shark.
Revolution (NBC). In this tense drama, the world has to figure out how to move on after all the power goes out and batteries stop working because apparently, physics and chemistry have been suspended. A new subplot opens when we discover that all the sharks in the world have used the suspension of science to break out of their tanks, flee to the ocean, and set up their own power generation system, which the humans now have to negotiate to access. The negotiations get off to a bad start when the shark negotiator comes into the negotiating room and hums, "Daaa-duh! Daaa-duh! Da-duh! Da-duh! Da-da-da-da-da-da ... ha ha, just kidding, I'm not that kind of shark at all. BUT I NEGOTIATE LIKE ONE."
The Mob Doctor (CBS). This is a show about a doctor who works for the mob. After she's been working for the mob for a while, she is asked to treat a shark belonging to a mobster. She acquiesces, but after she fixes the shark, the shark demands that she treat it for life, or it will eat her and everyone she knows. The name of the show is changed to The Shark Doctor, and the rest of the episodes are devoted to the mob trying to reclaim their doctor and being defeated, over and over again, by the shark.
Animal Practice (NBC). It already has a monkey, and everyone knows sharks are better than monkeys. If a shark came into a scene riding a tiny ambulance, you have to admit: You'd pay attention.
Partners (CBS). The office where the lead characters in this buddy comedy work is invaded with tiny sharks who live in the pipes. Out of fear, both of them go into hiding and are never seen again. This workplace buddy comedy is instantly four thousand times better, even if it's just an empty set where people walk around going, "Where are the guys who used to work in this office?"
Elementary (CBS). This is actually a reasonably good show, but there's nothing that can't be improved by being replaced with animatronic sharks. In this case, the puzzle-solver would be a shark named Sharklock, and the assistant would be a fish named Flotsam. So you would have Sharklock Holmes and Flotsam. That is a show, right there.
666 Park Avenue (ABC). This is the show where this attractive young couple move into a sort of haunted, possessed apartment building run by Satan and Mrs. Satan. (Or possibly Satan and Mr. Satan. We don't know.) While there are plenty of scares in the pilot, I think it's safe to say that unlike "haunted scary devil house," "apartment building haunted by the ghosts of deceased sharks" would be an original idea.