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October 9, 2015

Cable detectives, lawyers and vampires quickly renewed

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 19th 2008 9:02AM
Raising the BarIn a time when networks are so quick to pull the plug on new series, it is absolutely stunning that two of this season's newest cable series have already been picked up for a second season. What's even more surprising is that one renewed show is Stephen Bochco's terrible Raising the Bar. After setting a record for a series debut on basic cable with 7.7 million viewers, 2.2 million people asked themselves what the hell they were watching, and the series settled into an average of 5.5 mil. But it's only been three weeks?

Surely, more of its viewers will realize that the show is absolutely terrible? From Gosselaar's bleeding heart crying to the bitching between his friends and Jane Kaczmarek's crazy judge, there's more leaps in logic and good sense than in Prison Break. The show makes Boston Legal look like a courtroom documentary. TNT also picked up Holly Hunter's Saving Grace after a respectable summer run.

HBO picked up True Blood for a second season even quicker, but it's not surprising. The net is desperate for a new dramatic hit and after a rare ratings boost for its second episode this past weekend (the pilot was initially viewed by 1.4 million viewers, while the second increased to 1.75) it looks like they actually have a show with some buzz on it. All in all, four million people tuned into the various airings of the premiere which is way better than most of HBO's new series of late. I've seen both episodes, and while I found the first one intriguing enough, with the second episode the show really seems to have found its legs and I'm just captivated by it.

After the show of faith NBC gave to Chuck by picking it up for a full season before it's sophomore run has even begun, are we entering a new (old) era where shows are given a chance to find an audience. It would be more cost-effective to ensure a show won't find an audience than to scrap it, episodes completed, and invest a bunch more cash into yet another crappy new show. Wouldn't that be great for television?

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Squee! Hooray for True Blood. I first saw the rough cut pilot and was definitely nervous, but they really polished the show up before air and the second episode did a much better job at finding its rhythm. And I am -so- glad that I get to be attached to a show without worrying if it'll be canceled right when I start loving it.

...I weep for you, _The Middleman_. Really. :(

September 21 2008 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't see how HBO could decide to renew True Blood after only 2 episodes have been shown (and it looks like the decision was made after only the premiere was aired). So far I'm not sure what to think of the show other than Anna Paquin is incredibly beautiful and looks great as a blond (as opposed to black hair with a gray streak in the front a la X-Men). So far I liked Moonlight better than True Blood.

At least HBO didn't renew John From Cincinnatti after one or two shows.

I will say this - now that I know the show will be back for a second season I'm more inclined to watch it. As others have pointed out, getting oneself emotionally invested in new, first-season shows is an endeavor in frustration and disappointment since so many are randomly cancelled... in fact there's usually a correlation between the quality of the show and the likelihood that it will be cancelled (crap sells and millions of people won't understand an intelligent show that requires mentation, so they'll watch "Will You Eat Worms" instead).

I like the idea of TV shows showing how evil prosecutors are - most cop/law shows make the prosecutors out as wonderful people fighting the evil criminals and "putting them away" for the sake of the poor, sobbing victims. So any show ("Justice" was a good example) that shows how prosecutors really are - evil, unfair, cruel, and conviction-obsessed - is a nice change of pace. So I like that aspect of Raising the Bar. But the show just sucks, and as a lawyer myself, there are just so many legal flaws with it I can't bear to watch. I saw the first two episodes and got tired of it pretty quick. The fact that there will be a second season doesn't change that.

September 20 2008 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Come on, are you really saying that there aren't some shows that are so bad that they shouldn't be canceled quickly (Hole In The Wall)? Sure, most shows should be given a chance but there are also some shows that are really deserving of a quick death.

September 20 2008 at 5:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Count me in as a fan of Raising the Bar

September 20 2008 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv junkie

Raising the Bar does make Boston Legal look like a courtroom documentary isn't it! I completely agree, at least Boston Legal doesn't take itself seriously with its silliness, but Raising the Bar takes itself way to seriously with its over the top antics. Can't stand the show, and just like the majority of critics said, the show actually lowers the bar.

September 19 2008 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Raising the Bar... My brother is a deputy d.a. and it's more true to life than not.

As for Mark Paul Gosselaar... he's terrific....

and it's Steven not ph.... wonder what else you got wrong?
The stupid leading the ignorant......

September 19 2008 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd watch True Blood if HBO didn't charge me $15 a month for it. There is nothing on that channel that justifies that much money these days. They'd get a lot more viewers if they became a normal cable station like TBS or TNT. Even for that crappy legal show TNT is getting 5 million viewers, compared to HBO's 1-2 million.

September 19 2008 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"... are we entering a new (old) era where shows are given a chance to find an audience. ... Wouldn't that be great for television?"

From your lips to Gods' ears. Please. :-)

September 19 2008 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darlene K

Now if someone would pick up Moonlight, Jericho and Blood Ties, that would make my day!

September 19 2008 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Part of me feels like CBS must be kicking themselves right now. Considering the PR surrounding True Blood and Twilight, if they had kept Moonlight around for another seasons (albeit for fewer eps), they could've cashed in on the vampire bandwagon -

Perhaps network TV should also take a page from cable and British television, it isn't necessary to have a straight up 22 ep season or to force shows to continue long after the punchline has punched -

September 19 2008 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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