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October 22, 2014

OpEd

Fox and CW Shows On the Bubble

by Allison Waldman, posted May 4th 2010 4:03PM
lie_to_me_fox_tim_roth
When considering the future of some shows on Fox and the CW, in the case of the former, there are only a couple of programs on the fence. Fox, overall, has had a strong year highlighted by the success of 'Glee,' which trumps nearly any disappointment execs might have over already cancelled shows like 'Sons of Tucson' or 'Past Life.'

On the other hand, the CW has a few hours teetering on the brink amid some solid, if not spectacular, already renewed shows like 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Supernatural.' To check the threat assessment for the Fox and CW programs on the bubble, read on:

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Four Movie Franchises That Would Make Great TV Shows

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2010 1:04PM
Matt Damon
A couple of weeks ago I proposed a TV series based on the James Bond character. That got me thinking about other movie franchises that might make for good TV shows. There have been a lot of TV shows and miniseries based on movie franchises, including 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Planet of the Apes,' 'Terminator,' and even 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' if you want to include animated shows. Here are four movie franchises that haven't been TV shows yet but I think they really could be.

1. 'The Bourne Identity.' Of course, 'The Bourne Identity' was a TV miniseries before it was a hit film series, but that was a while ago. I can picture a series based on the Jason Bourne character, especially with the success of shows like '24.' It could work two ways: have Bourne have amnesia and have him trying to figure out who he is and who is trying to kill him (a la 'Coronet Blue,' a show I'm sure inspired Robert Ludlum), or maybe have him already know who he is and have him in hiding, having to fight the bad guys trying to kill him every week.

Possible lead: Ben McKenzie, Wentworth Miller, Jared Padalecki

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'Dancing with the Stars' - 'Performance #6' Recap

by Michael Pascua, posted May 4th 2010 8:24AM
Derek Hough spins Nicole Scherzinger(S10E12) It's the dreaded team challenge on 'Dancing with the Stars' and for once, both teams are dancing the same style: the cha-cha. I never understood why the team dances were totally different styles anyway. The images of Susan Lucci trying her best to cha-cha back in Season 7 flashed as Pamela started to struggle to remember her choreography, but both teams coped well with the producers whims.

Tonight judge Carrie Ann Inaba considered Nicole to be the best celebrity dancer she's ever seen. Clearly she's been drinking the tainted water. I haven't seen a female contestant get close to the great dancing skills of Kristi Yamaguchi. Nicole continues to still be hard in dances that need a gentle nature though she made strides this week with her waltz.

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'House' - 'The Choice' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 11:11PM
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(S06E19) "Like so many things, you were born that way." - House to Ted, the patient, about his completely treatable condition

There's only two more episodes to go for this season of 'House,' and it seems that his pain is acting up and Gregory House has sublimated his need for meds with liquor. Waking up on rocket ship sheets was a dead give away that something was definitely off with the doctor. More on that and how lactating nipples don't make good coffee creamer.

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Six NBC Shows on the Bubble

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 5:27PM
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The past season was a tumultuous one for NBC, what with the Jay Leno experience turning the primetime schedule into a whirl. The fact that Leno's ten o'clock show was a disaster resulted in NBC scrambling to fill in during the second season. Fortunately, at least one legit hit has emerged -- 'Parenthood.'

Still, as the network contemplates the future, there's really six programs that could be called on the bubble, teetering between a pick up or a cancellation. So what is the likelihood that NBC will renew these shows? Here's our take:

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Seven Shows That Could Use a Time Jump

by Rich Keller, posted May 3rd 2010 2:03PM
'Heroes' is one of seven shows that could use a time jumpOver the last few seasons a number of shows -- 'One Tree Hill,' 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Lost' -- have used the concept of time jumping to generate public interest and open up new storylines. Now, 'Brothers & Sisters' will be making a small time jump between this season and next. Money was on this show, 'Gossip Girl,' or 'Phineas and Ferb.' to make the jump.

This, as usual, got us to thinking of other currently running programs that could use a time shift to freshen them up. Subsequently, this led us to put our thoughts down on the hyperlinked paged for debate and comment. After the jump are but a few examples and how a time jump could benefit them.

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ABC Has Plans for 'Old Christine' ... Maybe 'Ghost Whisperer,' Too

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 12:03PM
cbs_the_new_adventures_of_old_christine_julia_louis_dreyfusFor the past two years, ABC has expressed interest in picking up 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' if CBS decided to drop it. This year is no different. According to Deadline.com, if CBS cancels 'The New Adventures of Old Christine,' ABC will snap it up. The network even has a plan for where to program the Julia Louis Dreyfus sitcom. It'll be paired with Patricia Heaton's 'The Middle,' leading in to 'Modern Family' and 'Cougar Town.'

That would make for a very solid night of comedy, likely Wednesday again, which is what worked so well this season for ABC -- with the exception of Kelsey Grammer's woeful 'Hank,' which was mercifully axed by ABC last November.

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Sundays with Seth: A Quiet Anniversary Celebration

by Jason Hughes, posted May 3rd 2010 9:37AM
'Family Guy' - 'Brian and Stewie'
One hundred and fifty episodes is an impressive achievement, but it's particularly gratifying for Seth MacFarlane's 'Family Guy.' Once canceled by FOX, and revived due to fan response to DVD sales and airings on cable, MacFarlane is now the king of FOX Sunday nights. So how did he choose to celebrate his perseverance?

'Family Guy' is known for elaborate musical numbers, innumerable cutaway gags, and sheer nonsense sequences like a giant chicken fight that lasts for minutes and minutes. Quite literally, anything was a possibility, so what a surprise that MacFarlane chose to have two of the show's most popular characters have a conversation. And that's it.

The tail end of the hour-long episode was a clip compilation of some of those musical numbers. But the bulk of the episode had Stewie and Brian, locked in a bank vault for two days, just talking to one another. No cutaways, no broad humor, though I won't say there wasn't toilet humor.

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'The Pacific' - 'Iwo Jima' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 3rd 2010 9:04AM
Jon Seda as John Basilone, 'The Pacific'
(E08)
If it seems like forever since 'The Pacific' spent any time with John Basilone, that's because it has been. As Basilone himself said, it's been more than a year since he saw action. Since he couldn't just go back into the heart of the war, he asked for the next best thing: the opportunity to train the next batch of marines who'd be heading out to back up his friends still on the line.

Other than a brief interlude with Sledge, who's back at base camp with a Snafu slipping toward hypochondria, we spent the entire hour with Sgt. Basilone. In doing so, the writers and producers managed to find yet another facet of the war to show us. The emotional struggles of a soldier away from the war, and the conflicting ties that pull him in both directions at once.

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'The Simpsons' - 'To Surveil With Love' Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted May 3rd 2010 8:29AM
The Simpsons - To Surveil With Love(S21E20) From the inspired 'Tik Tok' musical opening sequence to the last gag, 'To Surveil With Love' ranks as one of the best 'Simpsons' episodes in years.

I never expected the rest of the episode to live up to that killer opening, but, unbelievably, it just got better as it went along.

The bit that had me laughing the hardest: After surveillance cameras are installed in every inch of Springfield, Bart marking the town's one blind spot by dropping his pants and drawing a line every time he doesn't hear Ned gasping, "Buttocks!" "Tushie! or "Boy cheeks!" A perfectly funny bit that got even funnier when Homer asks Bart, whose pants are still down around his ankles, what he's doing. "Experimenting with my butt," says Bart. "My little Einstein," Homer says proudly as he pats Bart's head.

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'Breaking Bad' - 'One Minute' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 12:03AM
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(S03E07)
How did the cousins become the cold, unfeeling mutants we've perceived them to be? It started with a dunk in the beer bucket. Uncle's lesson may have been about family, but what sunk in to the youthful psychopaths was how to kill someone in one minute. A minute would turn out to be their undoing ...

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'The Amazing Race' - 'They Don't Even Understand Their Own Language' Recap

by Jackie Schnoop, posted May 2nd 2010 11:10PM
Caite counts golden Buddhas on 'The Amazing Race'
(S16E11) Yikes, it's the penultimate episode of 'The Amazing Race' already? Where did the season go? But, thinking back, I barely remember some of the earliest departing teams. I would have predicted that two of the teams in the final four would be here due to their early successes on legs. The other two, not so much.

However, on this show, the final four means little. It's the final three who finish the race, win or lose. If the final four were the criteria, perhaps we'd have a season finale which lasts more than an hour. For a top Emmy-winning reality show, the hour season premiere and hour season finale just doesn't cut it with me. I want more!

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Ex-'Tonight Show' Host Conan O'Brien Vents On '60 Minutes'

by Allison Waldman, posted May 2nd 2010 8:55PM
conan_o'brien_nbc_beard_close_upFor the first time since the end of his tenure on 'The Tonight Show,' Conan O'Brien had a chance to appear on camera and share his thoughts on the whole long, drawn out civil war between him and Jay Leno and NBC and GE and the late night industry at large.

For the record, Conan O'Brien's sit down with Steve Kroft on '60 Minutes' on May 2, 2010 -- the first date he was contractually allowed to discuss what happened -- clearly established that while he's disappointed about what happened, Conan O'Brien is not defeated. To paraphrase 'Evita,' "Don't cry for him, America."

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'Doctor Who' - 'Victory of the Daleks' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted May 1st 2010 10:03PM
Doctor Who(S05E03) They say a Doctor isn't a Doctor until he's faced down his most famous enemy, the Daleks. Every Doctor has faced them (it's even implied that Paul McGann fought them in the Time War). It's best that newbie Matt Smith got it out of the way early otherwise children would be asking "when will he fight the Daleks?"

This episode could best be called a new beginning for our favorite pepperpots. In typical indirect and obscure fashion, they try to perpetuate their race and destroy the universe, in that order. And for once, they even claim a victory over our favorite Time Lord.

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The US Should Co-Produce TV Shows with the UK

by Jason Hughes, posted May 1st 2010 6:28PM
'Survivors'
A few years back, a bold co-production initiative was launched with Canada. So far, it's produced underwhelming ratings performers like 'Mental' and 'Defying Gravity.' Meanwhile, thanks to BBC America, US fans are falling in love with new UK shows, only to find ourselves frustrated when the powers-that-Beeb pull the plug. It's a lot like foreign fans of US material must feel when we cancel shows on them: powerless.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Most recently, BBC America finished running the first and second series of the BBC post-apocalyptic drama 'Survivors,' back-to-back. Before it finished, the BBC announced that they weren't going to commission any more episodes, due to slipping ratings in the UK. 'Survivors' wasn't failing miserably, but BBC programming doesn't get advertising revenue like shows in the US, so expectations are different.

I don't know if US ratings were considered for the show, but I know it was one of the more popular series on BBC America and that it has a pretty loyal and faithful following on both sides of the pond. Could US support have saved it?

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