I should point out that when I say "coming back this summer" in the headline I mean that ABC is bringing them back to burn off the remaining episodes that haven't aired yet. That's right, six months from now is the earliest you'll see any of these shows return. They could even come back later.
Pushing Daisies has three episodes left, while Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money each have four. Fans of these shows might not like this, but the truth is, the shows that have been in the time slots for these shows have actually done better in the ratings.
Welcome back from your humongous hangover. I just wanted to let you know that you are now in 2009 -- a fresh new year that we should look forward to. However, since you are a common citizen of Earth, you don't look ahead to a future. Instead, you look to the bleak and bloated year that has now passed.
That's why they invented "Best and Worst" lists for the previous year. It gives you a chance to remember last year's crap, get angry, proceed to get drunk, pass out, wake up, and forget it's a new year again. At that point, you get angry again. It's a vicious cycle and we love it! With that, here's my "Best and Worst" list for 2008.
... five canceled shows.
Some shows, like critical darlings The Shield and Battlestar Galactica, are allowed to end gracefully; major story arcs are wrapped up and fans are left satisfied. Others are yanked from network schedules like unsightly weeds from a rose garden.
The networks yanked a number of shows off the air this season. Most of them, like The Ex List, probably deserved the axe, but there were four that deserved more time to develop an audience and one that I'm really gonna miss. In no particular order, they are:
As we do every year, we here at TV Squad are reminiscing on the top TV news stories of the year. What has 2008 brought us? Well, while we were all complaining about the lack of quality shows that debuted this season, we may have missed the second-year shows going right down the crapper.
Let's start over at ABC. Three very promising shows premiered last season -- Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, and Pushing Daisies -- to praise from the critics and buzz from the viewers. Dirty Sexy Money, with the cast that could be someone's fantasy cast, started off strong. There was a mystery, unique and complex characters, and some integrity. With the writer's strike went the integrity and the ratings, and recently, we got the news that no more episodes of Dirty Sexy Money would be ordered.
I was looking at my last two Festivus wish lists in an attempt to determine if any of my requests came true. Turns out, many of them did come to fruition -- something that I'm damn proud of. Sadly, a new sitcom for Dustin "Screech" Diamond did not materialize. Oh well, maybe that will occur sometime next season when, after coming out of a trance, the NBC executives realize they made a terrible mistake putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 pm and need something to fill the empty space.
Now, without further ado, let me put down the aluminum rod for a bit and talk about my Festivus wish list for the upcoming year.
I want to talk to you about a grass roots campaign to save Eli Stone. You see, I had this idea where fans of the program would send George Michael paraphernalia - CDs, MP3s, T-Shirts, programs, videos - to the executive mugwumps over at ABC in order to express their frustration that they were not picking up the back nine episodes of the series. It would have been similar in scope to the Great Peanut Campaign of 2007 that ending up (temporarily) saving Jericho.Then I got to thinking, which is always a bad sign. While a campaign such as this could result in programming executives opening their minds for just a minuscule amount of time to the possibilities of continuin the series, I'm not too sure it would be worth it. Not 'worth' in the terms that the campaign would fall on the deaf ears of the tailor-suited wonks. I'm talking about 'worth' in what it would cost the fans of the show to get the materials and ship them out to send a message. We are in a recession, after all.
What makes the "word that shall not be typed again in this post" so scary is when it is said after a series wrapped up its current episode order or when it is said almost a mere minute before said episode order is completed. When this happens, it usually means that the shows will not have the money/time/leisure to go back to the drawing board and rework what will now be known as their series finale.
When ABC announced that Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone and Pushing Daisies were
Slight spoilers coming up!
A little over two years ago, Joel posted about five episode naming patterns such as Friends' episode titles always starting with "The One" or Grey's Anatomy's usage of songs in lieu of titles. Since many series have come and gone since Joel first posted about episode naming patterns, let's revisit the subject. After all, episode titles are an integral part of a TV series and can add to the viewers' entertainment.
Here I bring you a list of seven episode naming patterns of series that currently air on a TV near you.
As we reported previously, ABC decided to spin the wheel and cancel three of its shows -- Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and, the big surprise, Eli Stone. Surprise to me, at least, because I felt that Stone was moving in the right direction since its very strong season premiere. With its slightly new direction, continuing character growth, and imaginative visions that placed the show nearly in the realm of 'musical drama,' the show seemed to be heading in the right direction.But, as usual, my opinion didn't count in the network's decision to axe the show after 13 episodes. It should have, to be honest. Not only because I wield the power of the keyboard and can bring those programming nerds down with a stroke of my CTRL key, but because I speak for the numbers of fans who cherish the show and think it was done an injustice. Not just by being canceled, but being lumped together with Daisies and DSM.
Daisies and DSM (and Private Practice, which is being moved to Thursdays after Grey's Anatomy in the "duh" move of the season) were both held back after the writers' strike last year and didn't come back until the fall. Seems like a logical thing to do, right? I mean, the shows had growing followings but still very modest ratings. ABC learned from the CBS Jericho disaster that holding a freshman show for any period of time will sink the ratings. Turns out, though, that holding them for even longer will sink the ratings even further. Who knew?
All sarcasm aside, though, ABC was in a tough spot. What could they have done differently? More thoughts after the jump.
(S02E02) Well I think we all know what the big to-do was regarding this whole episode: Mrs. Tom Cruise. If she wasn't married to Tom Cruise, I can guarantee you that there wouldn't have been nearly as big of a deal made about a former star of Dawson's Creek appearing on Eli Stone. Certainly she didn't make herself into an international sensation with her performance on Batman Begins. Hell, she was replaced in that for the sequel.
So how did Mrs. Tom Cruise do? Well, I won't say that she brought a whole new level of magic to the show, because it has plenty of that already. But she proved a nice diversion, and not too distracting from the ongoing plotlines. From her opening musical number, in which she performed very well, to the final moments on-screen with Eli, she showed quite a range of talent. Maybe Tom will let her out of the compound more often to get some more acting gigs. She should remind him that's what she did before she became Mrs. Tom Cruise.
(S02E01) So there were no doubts about what show we were watching, the new season of Eli Stone kicked off with a huge musical number. Okay, actually it started with Eli in a therapist's office talking to guest star Sigourney Weaver, revealing that it's been six months since his surgery and that the aforementioned dance number was the first time he'd heard singing and music like that since.
I kind of liked the approach of filtering our catch-up on Eli's life through his therapy session. But since this is Eli Stone, things aren't always as they appear to be. What is as it appears to be is the fact that Eli Stone is returning to the prime-time lineup in fine fashion. Some of you may recall that I wasn't gushing with praise about this show last season, but I really feel that it's found its feet and evolved into a pretty good little show. I even found myself *gasp* caring about what happened to various characters throughout tonight's episode.
To enter, leave a comment below before 5:00PM Eastern, Friday, September 5 simply telling why you'd like to own this set. As always, we'll randomly choose three winners amongst the eligible entries. Some other details:
- To enter, leave a confirmed comment below stating why you'd like to own the Eli Stone season one DVD set.
- The comment must be left before September 5, 2008 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
- You may enter only once.
- Three winners will be selected in a random drawing.
- Three winners will receive an Eli Stone - The Complete First Season DVD (valued at $39.99).
- Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
Continue on to see an exclusive clip from the DVD ...
Since he had brain surgery -- or so we think -- at season's end, will Eli still have the visions? Will he fulfill the imperative to Live Brave and become a leader -- prophet -- or was that not a look at the future but something else?
It's all very mysterious, and just the fact that he's going to see a shrink is positive development. Casting Sigourney Weaver is a positive as well. She's a three-time Oscar nominee and carries with her innate integrity and class.
It's coming. The table is set, the players are on the field, the sails are raised, and the pretty maids are all in a row. Of course, I speak of the 2008-09 television schedule. In just a few short weeks viewers will be able to dine on a number of favorite and new dishes that are being served by the networks as well as the increasing number of cable channels who are delving into original programming.
While other fall seasons have come and gone with nary a whimper, this season may be different. Due to the prolonged Writers Strike many shows ended their seasons quite early. Programs like Life, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, and Heroes haven't aired original episodes since the end of 2007. Heck, there hasn't been a new episode of The Shield since June of last year! So, the beginning of the 2008-09 season will be a second chance for some of these shows, particularly the ones that premiered last season, to show their worth to fans and the networks.
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