Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Which current shows will get picked up? My speculation.

Upfronts are only a couple of weeks away. That’s when the broadcast networks (remember them?) set their Fall Schedules. At the moment they’re screening and loving all their pilots in Los Angeles. Soon they fly back to corporate headquarters in New York to make their final decisions. And as a wise agent once said about pilots “they all turn to shit over Mississippi.” So it’s hard to speculate on what pilots will get ordered. Plus, you don’t know any of them, so at this point what do you care?

This is sort of weird Upfronts seasons. It’s just not the same without big viewer campaigns to save CHUCK. I hate when traditions die.

But here’s the latest scuttlebutt on the current shows that are on the bubble. Read this right now because in an hour it could all change.

FRINGE was already picked up for 13. GRIMM was already picked up. NBC is doing an interesting thing with GRIMM. They’re continuing production and their second season will premiere right after the Olympics in August. I imagine by June, after already working year round, everyone on the writing staff will be seeing monsters popping out of each other's heads.

SMASH already got picked up. No, it doesn’t get good ratings, but yes, NBC likes to be invited to Steven Spielberg parties.

PRIVATE PRACTICE looks good for 13 with the tiny caveat that it'll be their final season.  

HARRY’S LAW is on the fence. If Kathy Bates could lose 20 years that would go a long way towards renewal. Let’s see how good a writer David E. Kelley is if he can pull that off.

NBC’s Thursday night comedies are all up for grabs. COMMUNITY is this year’s CHUCK. I’m personally hoping that PARKS & REC makes the cut. They did wonderful work this year.  THE OFFICE should be back... but I don't with who.  To me the big question is 30 ROCK. They’re already in syndication and Alec Baldwin has begun his annual “I’m leaving” mantra. Ratings have sucked but that’s true across the board for NBC. I would imagine it’s Tina Fey’s decision as much as NBC’s as to whether she wants to tee it up one time.

If there’s a God, WHITNEY will be gone.

Remember the big climax in BONNIE & CLYDE when they’re both gunned down in a hail of thousands of bullets? Imagine ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA as Bonnie & Clyde, except Bonnie & Clyde had a better chance of survival.

BENT is gone, which is no surprise considering how NBC burned off the show then set its ashes on fire.

UP ALL NIGHT could go either way. It generally beats whatever’s on TELEMUNDO so for NBC that’s a big plus.

AWAKE is taking a new story line. In one reality he wakes to find his show cancelled. In the other he wakes to find his show picked up by Adult Swim.

Surprisingly, LAST MAN STANDING is on the bubble. I thought ABC was thrilled with this Tim Allen traditional comedy but apparently not. At the end of the day I think it will survive. After all, it has Nancy Travis! 

CASTLE is another show that’s not a slam dunk but should squeak by. Hey, the CASTLE books are better than the CASTE show anyway.

CBS may have only one slot for a CSI spinoff. So it’s either CSI: MIAMI or CSI: NEW YORK, or they could just compromise and have CSI: CHARLOTTE.

ROB might get picked up. I’d prefer to see WHITNEY renewed for ten years.

DON’T TRUST THE B is, for my money, the best of the B-driven shows. Could go either way. If you like it, watch it, DVR it, and watch it another fifty times. 

Still in contention is GCB because it's owned by ABC.  

BODY OF PROOF does well enough overseas that ABC might stay with this Dana Delaney procedural. That show always kills me. They do autopsies in room with glass windows. And people just walk by, ho hum. 

RINGER is a goner. Sarah Michelle Geller is not as big a star as she thought she was… even on the CW.

NYC 22 – There was always the question: what happens when these cops are no longer rookies? I don’t think they'll have to worry about that.

COUGAR TOWN or HAPPY ENDINGS? Depends on whether ABC wants to keep the small older audience or small younger audience that these shows attract.

SUBURGATORY – on ABC it’s on the bubble. If it were on NBC it would be the jewel of the schedule.

MISSING will be when the Fall Schedules are announced.

PAN AM – as dead as the real Pan Am.

THE RIVER – they’ll be crying one.

UNFORGETTABLE – CBS renewed everything else around it. Maybe they just forgot. Doesn’t look good.

THE FINDER – Can’t hold AMERICAN IDOL audience, which shocks me because the same people who like bad singers also like procedurals. It’s gone.

SCANDAL – I think it will survive. And Shonda Rhimes still has about one more year as ABC’s Teacher’s Pet.

A GIFTED MAN – flatline.

TOUCH – Kiefer Sutherland is a plus, the ratings are a minus. Will probably be back but they will ask Kiefer to start killing people.

THE SECRET CIRCLE – not promising. Maybe if they cast better looking girls.

BREAKING IN – This cat has only two lives. I expect it to be gone.

Other factors also come into play. License fees for one. There will be a lot of negotiating. Networks will offer renewals for reduced license fees. Whether the studios can produce them for those fees is another story. And then there are the pilots. If a network feels it has a strong batch of new shows it will be more likely to dump bubble series. If the development slate flames out, current shows might get a reprieve. Which explains CHUCK… year after year after year.

Good luck to your favorite show. Again, the winds could change and BENT anchors a night while BIG BANG THEORY gets canceled. You just never know.

58 comments:

Megan vW said...

While I share your hopes for Whitney TV By the Numbers has it as a likely renewal and they're usually pretty good on predictions.
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/04/29/bubble-watch-the-cw-will-cancel-more-than-2-shows-will-nikita-be-one-of-them/131300/

Richard J. Marcej said...

After reading through that list I didn't realize how many network shows I DON'T watch. I'd never heard of most of those titles! (and I'm not some young viewer distracted by video games and the internet, I've been a primetime viewer for over 40 years!)

The network's quick trigger finger has turned me off from trying out anything new they may come out with. Why should I waste my time on a program when there's a very good chance that the network won't give it mor than 2 or 3 episodes.

Jeremiah Avery said...

Richard, I know what you mean - looking at the list of shows, quite a few had me go "didn't know that was on the air".

It seems, for the past few years, shows I like have ended but nothing really has come along to "replace" them. There's less and less on broadcast tv that is worth my time.

There's some study that says the average viewer watches 28 hours of tv a week. Even counting the shows I watch on cable, it is far less than that for me.

While some shows on NBC have been good, I wonder if the trouble with them finding an audience is due to the bad rep NBC has had for the past few years so people just write-off the shows?

Jeff Quest said...

I've found Awake to be the best drama on network tv and cable tv right now. Which I'm sure means it will be canceled.
Somehow they've taken a concept that seems hard to sustain and really make it work episode after episode.

Curt Alliaume said...

I thought "Castle" had already been renewed, but no definite evidence.

Sarah Michelle Gellar announced over the weekend she's pregnant, so that presumably means "Ringer" is definitely a goner. Despite her proclamations to the contrary, I'm sure she's ticked the show was shoved last year from CBS to The CW.

Mary Stella said...

My favorite new show of the season, Once Upon a Time was renewed already, I think. I'm one of the somewhat small viewing audience that loves Smash.

I like Scandal, but so far it's a "watch if I remember to" show and not a "must-see or must-DVR" show.

Tom Quigley said...

Ken said...

"UP ALL NIGHT could go either way. It generally beats whatever’s on TELEMUNDO so for NBC that’s a big plus."

I know an actress who just got a part in a show on Telemundo that airs at the same time as UP ALL NIGHT did, so guess who I'm rooting for?...

Que pasa, Baby!

Jaime J. Weinman said...

"Whitney" is one of the better comedies of the season, with the best performance in a new comedy (not Cummings; Chris D'Elia). It's not a great show but it never really deserved the hate, and I hope NBC renews it.

Chris said...

In the universe where Big Bang Theory gets canceled, Rob is funnier than Seinfeld and Roseanne is a nice lady with great legs. Also, Charlie Sheen is sober.

brian t said...

Cougar Town is a funny one - in both senses of the word. I get the feeling that it's "over the hump" now and is going to hang in there. It's like they've built the platform, now they can play on it. But then I may be the wrong person to have an opinion on this, since I still don't get why "Mr. Sunshine" got axed!

Terrence Moss said...

@jeremiah - NBC has trouble finding an audience because their shows have become far too niche and insider for general audiences, far from the broad, mass appeal multi-cams from their 80s and 90s heyday.

David, I agree with Jaime. "Whitney" has gotten a lot of sh*t over the course of their season and rightfully so based on the first half. However, it evolved into a pretty decent ensemble comedy with an actual point-of-view, which was missing in the first 10 or 15 episodes.

It's ratings suck, but it deserve a second season based on how the final six or eight episodes came together.

Becca said...

What are some TV shows from the past that you felt were canceled too soon? This is a question flung out there into the universe for anybody who wants to answer.

To me, the absolute zenith of "gone too soon" TV shows has to be Freaks and Geeks. Produced by some guy named Apatow -- though it was really the brainchild of Paul Feig, who isn't as famous as Apatow and therefore doesn't get enough credit for this brilliantly autobiographical coming-of-age series --F&G also starred, amongst others, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, and James Franco. Wonder whatever happened to them once this superlative show was canceled after a handful of episodes? I guess we'll never know...

Jen said...

I've been really impressed with Grimm. They've handled the mythology of the show just right, with lots of standalone stuff to ease viewers into it. As much as I hated that early in the season it was only on every two to three weeks, I like the fact it's left the last 6 episodes of the season to be aired consecutively. I think that is building a really nice audience for it - and on Friday night even.

I was reluctant to watch because it was NBC, but after the first episode, I knew it was something interesting.

Matt said...

Cougar Town

I cannot watch this show. It's a chaotic mess of nervous energy that has me wanting to fastball my remote through the screen after only 7 minutes.

Please .. make it go away.

typ said...

I still can't stand NBC for not keeping BENT up. I was really looking forward to seeing many seasons of it.

The Milner Coupe said...

I agree with most your picks. I have to, since I've never heard of most of these shows. I do hope you're wrong about The Finder though, I like that one. The stories are a bit much but the cast is great.

Couger Town has a good cast too but it's so... I don't know... stupid.

Matt H said...

@typ I agree. I was enjoying the 2 episode a week situation as it went.

Ken, what is it about Bent or the situation it came into that had NBC running for the trash can so quickly?

Sidenote: I listed to your panel on The Nerdist: Writer's Panel today. You and the others were great. Bill Lawrence is the man.

Jeremiah Avery said...

@Terrence Moss, very true about the shifting to more niche programming. If NBC was a cable network, the ratings would actually be average to really good, but as a broadcast network - ouch!

I read an interview with the producers of "Modern Family" and they said how NBC passed on the show since they already had plenty of single camera shows. Yeah, that was a really smart decision there.

@Becca, I also enjoyed "Freaks and Geeks". It was great seeing a show set in a high school that wasn't just about the moronic "in-crowd".

"Whitney" improved a bit towards the end of the season. A great deal of the quality is from Chris D'Elia, I believe.

jcs said...

"NYC 22" is surprisingly bland and I'm wondering why Robert De Niro's name is associated with that show. The show feels like there's never been "The Wire", "The Shield" or "Southland" (which I hope will stick around on TNT).

I'd like to see "Awake" get renewed. I think Jason Isaacs is doing a great job, but it's going to be difficult to keep the premise of the show fresh for more than two seasons.

I don't have much to say about the new network comedies. Nothing appeals to me right now. I'm still miffed about the cancellation of "Men of a Certain Age" on TNT. Great writing, excellent performances by everybody involved and a painfully funny look at guys in their 50s.

Matt said...

Ken - Friday Question -

Recently, "METV" reran "Love, American Style." This is the first time I've watched the show from a writing perspective and I really admire how the segments are tightly written, funny and well paced. I wonder what your thoughts are on this show as an example of how to get right into a story, on creating characters and dialog.

Thanks,
Matt

Anonymous said...

Ken - Have you seen Best Friends Forever? It's refreshingly different. What do you think?

Richard J. Marcej said...

"What are some TV shows from the past that you felt were canceled too soon?"

The first show that comes to mind is a short lived comedy/drama from 1980 called "United States". It was written (I think) by Larry Gelbert (because of that there was a lot of comparisons to M*A*S*H*)
It was another one of those shows that was never given more than several episodes to try and acquire an audience.

As for those shows on the current list, I watched (and very much enjoyed) the first episode of "Awake" but I didn't tune back the next week because I was sure it would be a show that NBC wouldn't stick with and I wasn't going to commit to it if the network wouldn't.

Cory said...

Alec Baldwin already said he was coming back for a 7th season, and I don't think he'd announce that if NBC hadn't already told them they were being renewed.

Frank said...

Hope Ken was joking when he said ROB might get picked up as it should be left in the gutter.

Jeffrey Mark said...

Since I rarely watch the Big Four networks, I have no idea the dreck that's on these daze. One show I love (does anybody out there know about it or even watch it?) is Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck as the police commissioner of NYC. Three generations of NYC cops in one family. Great family-cop show combo exploring family bonds in police matters. Great cast - check the show out...hope it gets renewed.

A few past "it's a crime they got canceled" shows: Square Pegs - 1982-83 - remember that one with Sarah Jessica Parker? Sweet, quirky show never given a chance. How about the brilliant "Buffalo Bill" with Dabney Coleman? They killed it after a season...or maybe two. Went over people's heads, had an amazing cast of characters. I agree with "Freaks & Geeks" - brilliant but never given a good shot at the big time. Not mass appeal enough - cancelled too soon. oh well, that's show biz...

Bruce B. said...

The sort of person who reads this blog tends to be pretty TV savvy, and yet here in your comments section several have commented that they didn't even know some of the titles mentioned in today's blog were even on the air. Wow. I admit, I didn't recognize some titles. How did things get to this point?

benson said...

@becca Not enough people watched it, but Gary David Goldberg's short lived Brooklyn Bridge was very well written and performed. My other favorite was Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night. Another one that went too soon.

Ryan D. said...

I really like BENT. I like its pacing, its writing, and Amanda Peet. But it gets canceled, and shows such as HAPPY ENDINGS and TWO BROKE GIRLS get picked up? Help me understand, Ken, please ...

D. McEwan said...

The Office is still NBC's highest-rated comedy. It'll be back. 30 Rock will be back; Alec has stated he will remain and Tina wants one more season. Studio 60 on Sunset is dead though.

Harry's Law is highly unlikely to return. I don't think anyone needs to cancel The River. I believe only three people watched all 8 episodes, and that probably doesn't even include Spielberg. I gave up after episode 3. They called it the next Lost when it was merely the next show to be lost.

Community has been so great lately, with the Ken Burns Documentary-parody episode and the Law & Order-parody episode that I sure hope it stays, though Chevy may be cancelled.

I'm sure Castle is safe, but it is sure getting pureile, last night's episode being a new low point.

NYC 22 has surprised me by being better than I expected. And anything rather than watch GCB opposite it. You literally could not pay me to watch GCB. Well, you could, but it would take 4 figures per episode.

Cougar Town is dead. It won't be back.

What's odd is that Revenge hasn't been renewed yet. It's a critical darling and building a good-sized fan base. Oh, and it's terrific, the best new show of this last season. It's like a Dynasty for now, only EVERY character is Alexisis.

The early renewal of Smash baffles me. Let's take last night's episode, for instance. Talk about no trace of Reality: the leading man quits with zero notice the day of the tech because he got a TV series. Excuse me? Didn't he sign a contract? They're doing out-of-town tryouts, but the writer of the book and lyrics doesn't bother to come, because she won't be needed to do any rewrites, cuts, or additions or anything. On what planet? Or just marvel at the tiny idiocy of seeing Debra Messing flipping pancakes while wearing oven mittins. I have to assume that neither the director nor Messing have ever been in a kitchen, or one of them might have pointed out that no wears oven mittins to flip pancakes unless they're doing the flippng with their hands instead of using a spatula. Idiotic!

Anonymous said...

What impresses me most about SMASH is how different Jack Davenport is here compared to his work in Coupling. Now if only they could work Sarah Alexander into it.

Montreal Guy

HourOfLead said...

I soooo agree with you on Whitney. I think the main difference between that show and her other one, 2 Broke Girls, is that she's not on screen, which bolsters it's likeability.

Well, that and Garrett Morris.

Phillip B said...

The last time I was crushed by a sitcom cancellation was "The Nights and Days of Molly Dodd" way back in 1987.

As a viewer I realize there are variables beyond quality involved in the network decision making process, but these are the relatively early cancellations I always figured were mistakes, or simple acts of vengeance:

Police Squad! (1982)
Dana Carvey Show (1996)
Mary (1985)
Buffalo Bill (1983)
Arrested Development (2004)
Undeclared (2001)
Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990)

And I have a special soft spot for "Angie" - crushed by ABC in 1979. At least twice it made it me laugh hard enough that liquid came out of my nose...

tb said...

Why do all these shows have such STUPID names? I mean, just look at that list. Jeez...

gottacook said...

Anonymous: Sorry, but Best Friends Forever was pulled from the schedule several days ago. Never saw it myself.

Philip B: I could also come up with such a list, and I do remember Angie - Donna Pescow!

I would really like to see Suburgatory live on - the Wednesday-evening hour of The Middle and Suburgatory constitutes the only comedies I happen to see regularly these days, and they often shine. Perhaps if ABC is unhappy with it, Suburgatory could end up on NBC - this sort of thing used to happen more often with comedies, or so it seems (I'm thinking of Get Smart moving from NBC to CBS, and Taxi from ABC to NBC, if memory serves), but I also realize that in both of those cases the show lasted only one more season.

I did try watching Last Man Standing once, and lasted about five minutes before having to switch; too-loud laughter in response to not-funny jokes. The only reason I tuned in was to see Nancy Travis, who deserves better.

Kevin Jq said...

I can't believe there's a chance Parks & Rec could get canceled and Whitney survives, I loathe seeing her again in those obnoxious promos trying to be seductive. F*ck her!

What about Hawaii Five-O? Are people still watching that? Tonight's episode is an extra special double dose of shitty acting.

D. McEwan said...

Sadly and inexplicably, Kevin, Hawaii Five-0 constitutes a solid hit and has already been renewed. I gave up on it after about 4 identical episodes.

Phillipo B, I have to agree with you about Buffalo Bill. I loved that poor, doomed show.

Jack Davanport is so annoying on Smash (When will he hit on Agelica Houston?) that last week I had to rewatch The Talented Mr. Ripley to remind myself why I like him. Of course, rewatching The talented Mr. Ripley is hardly a tiresome chore. More like a great couple of hours.

71dude said...

I have nightmares of NBC cancelling "Awake" and renewing "Whitney".

I'm surprised at how much "Last Man Standing" has improved after that awful pilot. Nancy Travis was really funny tonight. I think it will be renewed.

"Rob" had a decent cast but wretched writing.

Too-quick cancellations: George & Leo, Almost Perfect, Mr. Sunshine (with Jeffrey Tambor), Joe Bash (with Peter Boyle), Brooklyn South.

cshel said...

You ruined my day, Ken. I had no idea my beloved PARKS & REC was in peril. Now I'm anxious. It better be coming back, NBC!

cadavra said...

I wouldn't write off HARRY'S LAW just yet. It's NBC's highest-rated scripted show in total viewers (granted, they're mostly over 50, but still), has already won one Emmy, and like all Kelley shows, does extremely well with folks with the highest per-capita income (granted, they're mostly over 50, but still). NBC's bench is still extremely weak, so I don't think they'll toss it without really giving it some thought. To a lesser extent, this is also true of UNFORGETTABLE, but if CBS does cancel it, I can see NBC snapping it up--though with my luck, they'd probably cancel HARRY'S LAW to make room for it.

I also think ROB could survive. Its ratings were quite good, and as the first network sitcom with a largely Latino cast since Lopez' show went off years ago, I don't think CBS wants the backlash.

Most unjust early cancellations (modern era): STUDIO 60, BRISCO COUNTY JR. and OUT OF PRACTICE.

R's Woman said...

Rooting for Happy Endings - it's hysterical!

Smash and Scandal are so ridiculous (the latter moreso than the other) - and they're my guilty pleasures!

Don't care for much else out there.

Thanks for the really funny rundown, Ken!

D. McEwan said...

I would never call the cancellation of Studio 60 "unjust" or "early." It was terrible.

I hope you're right about Harry's Law, as I enjoy it, but then, I'm over 50, in fact, over 60, so to the networks, I don't count.

The Milner Coupe said...

Two shows that bit the dust early and made me hate anyone who lives within 100 miles of Hollywood were...

The Texas Wheelers - back in the prehistoric seventies. Jack Elam and his sons Gary Busey and Mark Hamill.

John From Cincinnati - all my favorite things, surfing, God, David Milch, surfing, Dayton Callie, Keala Kennelly, surfing. Great, great, great cast and love it or hate it, a story somebody actually thought about.

David Baruffi's Entertainment Views and Reviews said...

You know, I understand the "Whitney" jokes, but it did get better as it went along. It's kinda got a second-tier "Mad About You" thing going for it. Don't get me wrong, it's not really worth watching, except when it was compared to what else was on, but still, me having to say that shows just how bad network TV has become. I mean, who the hell are these people saving shows like "Chuck" or "Fringe" or crap like that. Those shows sucked! Why are we saving these shows that nobody's gonna remember two years from now, much less five or ten. It's frustrating; it's shouldn't be this hard to find go TV, and nobody's watching it when it's on. You know what, good for NBC for sticking with shows like "30 Rock," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," etc. despite bad ratings. At least they're making an effort to keep good shows. Yeah, they have to keep on "The Biggest Loser," crap too, but you know, I get the trade-off. Hell, I like "Smash". I wish Aaron Sorkin would write some of the dialogue once in a while, but other than that it's good, dramatic, and frankly different from everything else, including from "Glee". It's actually got characters I can believe actually exist. I'm tired of procedurals for procedurals sake, I'm tired of fantasy for fantasy sake, I'm tired of combining the two just to combine them, and I'm tired of trying to force myself to laugh at "New Girl", without also feeling queezy. I swear, TV used to not suck so bad. Even when we they used to label the crap shows, "TGIF", it was better than some of this junk. Thank God for "Dont Trust the B----...", you're right, that show is funny as hell. Practically everything else on ABC makes me start thinking things like, "Maybe 'Family Matters' wasn't as bad as I thought." Agh! I want good TV! Yeah, I wish I had cable, but still, I used to be able to find it without having to pay for the channels.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Again, the winds could change and BENT anchors a night while BIG BANG THEORY gets canceled.

The Big Bang Theory is locked in through season 7.

Question Mark said...

If you're NBC and *nothing* is getting ratings, you might as well make a few bucks by holding onto Parks & Recreation and Community until they hit the syndication jackpot. P&R is wrapping up S4 and Community is wrapping up S3, so they're both pretty close already.

Also, perhaps more to the point, if you're NBC and *nothing* is getting ratings, why try to start again from scratch with yet another brand new show? At least Community/P&R have a small but passionate audience who will watch no matter what, whereas a new show won't even have that audience.

A_Homer said...

I have had to spend time in Europe over the pasty years, I've noticed on German TV what used to be a process of waiting to get an American sitcom (usually years later) is now more or less half a season difference, even though it isn't clear the sitcom is a serious hit. So in the old example it would be Becker still runs as does Frasier etc... But I'm talking that sitcom with Zoe Deschanel for example, already in German?? So I wonder if already early on licensing these "hits" off to Europe helps to keep them alive in the U.S. market.

emily said...

They better renew JUSTIFIED or I may go all Raylan Givens on them...

Bill White said...

Your line about AWAKE made me laugh. You're funny! You should write comedy for a living.

Brian Phillips said...

Friday question: While looking at the first season of "Wings" on Netflix, I noticed that one of the producers was Roz Doyle, which, of course, is the same name of Peri Gilpin's character on "Frasier". I know you have mentioned how other characters in other shows have gotten named. Are there any other stories as to how the characters on "Frasier" were named? I seem to recall from Kelsey Grammer's autobiography that he balked at whatever the original name of his character.

Anonymous said...

Community is unique in that it jumps the shark every goddamned episode! After it's cancelled, Harmon should hire himself out as a jump-the-shark consultant for other drowning shows.
He's like "Dexter." He's good at something that's bad!

Brian Phillips said...

I partially agree with David Baruffi. I don't think "Whitney" is a modern folk classic, but it seems to have started as a "Whitney's friends will find this funny" show to a funnier show. Also, Chris D'Elia is quite funny. Take a look at this scene for evidence: http://bit.ly/IUmPdN

The issue I have with Whitney Cummings acting is this: If you notice the expression on her face at the end of the clip, that is roughly the same face that she uses throughout the show. Lessons would help and as much as she is lambasted on this blog, Roseanne's behavior on-set may or may not have improved over time, but her acting did. I don't know if it merits having her cast next to Meryl Streep, but I am not writing any checks.

I don't think "Fringe" is terrible, but it does have a rather large buy-in at the beginning of the show. If you don't watch it in some kind of order, it is an expensive parade of horror, bald guys and glyphs. One either likes it or doesn't.

It was my wife's idea to buy the "Studio 60..." DVD and I have a higher opinion of it than I did when I first saw it. Heck, John Goodman FINALLY got an Emmy for some of his work, long overdue, because of it, even though I didn't like his role! S60OTSS made a big mistake (says the guy who has written nothing that has been broadcast) in showing the show-within-a-show for any length of time. The pilot showed it, to show how bad things had gotten, but then it showed the opening to the "improved" version that, to me, wasn't funny.

For shows that were gone too soon:
Frank's Place, Better Off Ted (watch it on Netflix) and any show called Mr. Sunshine. I liked the version with Jeffrey Tambor about a blind professor and I liked the Matthew Perry vehicle, which didn't start out as well as, say, Modern Family, but it was on surer footing than "Whitney".

cadavra said...

McEwan: Everybody's entitled to their opinion, of course, and I can't deny that the second half of STUDIO 60's season--when it was clear NBC had given up on it--suffered a bit. But the three-part opener, the two-parter with John Goodman (which won him an Emmy), and the Eli Wallach episode were, IMHO, as good as TV gets. In fact, at a movie night at a friend's house last year, I brought along the Wallach episode and insisted everyone watch it. Despite having no prior knowledge of the show, they were all caught up in it immediately, and afterwards several said that they'd go out and buy the DVD the next day. You think it's terrible; so do other people. But a lot of folks agree with me that it was remarkable.

petrilli said...

Years ago there was a great show called Open All Night. I went to the John during a commercial and it was gone by the time I got back. ever here of that show Ken?

D. McEwan said...

I'm sure some people agree with you, Cadav, about Studio 60, but not "Lots" of people. I can think of three, no, two, well, one, but as he's my publisher, his vote counts thrice. But I saw every episode, and I never saw one I didn't basically hate. It was the Smash of five years ago.

Contrary-wise, I know few who like Harry's Law, but I do.

Spokebreaker said...

Joe Bash made someone's list!- amazing Boyle and sexy Mathews. SONS OF TUCSON, ALIENS IN AMERICA, TERRIERS and most of all THE GOOD GUYS

Michael Zand said...

I'm bummed about "Last Man Standing" and "The Finder."


"Last Man Standing" is one of the only traditional sitcoms on the air that is actually funny. The writing is always sharp and clever and the cast is terrific. It could be ABC's "Everybody Loves Raymond" if they only give it some time.

Surprised you called "The Finder" a procedural. It's anything but. In fact, it's the "anti-procedural." It's a genuinely original and quirky show with great writing and a wonderful cast. AND it's really, really FUNNY and I mean laugh out loud funny. Fox needs to move it away from Idol because it's not the same audience. It would be very foolish of Fox to cancel such an original show without letting it find its audience.

Anonymous said...

You may have answered this before -when do writers/producers know when to end a show? For example, Two and a 1/2 men? What were they thinking when they made the Alan character such a buffoon? And the son so one dimensional?

Sara

Mike said...

Is it too hard for NBC to bring Bill Cosby back to make a show for them. Maybe even a drama centered around a police shooting and some pound cake, invested by Det Shaniqua Mohammed.