Now I never saw Superbad, but due to my esteemed position here at the Squad, I did get to review the awful Do Not Disturb, that featured Franco as well. In that, he was arrogant and cocky and lazy, which sounds pretty similar to what he'll be getting up to in Scrubs. More importantly, he played that role very well. I found myself wanting to slap him across the face several times. Partially because he was in such a terrible show, sure, but also because of his portrayal.
We never really got the background of that character, but his entitled whining here is because his family donated a wing to the school. I can already see the friction between him and Dr. Cox. On Scrubs 1.0, he'd have been fired immediately like Aziz Ansari (Parks & Recreation) was, but now Cox will have to put up with his crap.
How can we enter a new year without celebrating the last year's best and worst TV? Not a lot of the new shows were impressive, but I've been entertained for the last year, so I can't complain.
In making out my lists, I realized I must be a half-full type of gal, because even my worsts aren't that bad, and I had a heck of a time coming up with them.
So, here are my lovin'-life, lovin'-TV best and worst lists for 2008:
Best new show -- Leverage
Man, I love everything about this show -- the chemistry between the characters, the quotable quotes, the clever jobs, the flashbacks. It's the most entertaining hour on television right now. Thank you, TNT!
... Twelve shows a stinkin'
That aroma tickling your nose is not one from an oven full of fresh gingerbread cookies. No, it's from a television full of burned-out ideas and gutted hulks of viewers who can't take the crap that is heaped upon them. That's because, more than ever, there is a lot of stink on the television landscape. Most of it is due to inordinate amounts of reality programming which has flooded the market. The rest is due to the lack of new ideas for an industry that is rapidly changing.
In order to start our annual Festivus countdown we have compiled a scientifically proven list of 12 shows just stinking up the flat screen. And, when I say 'scientifically proven' I mean I just asked a bunch of people off the street about shows they disliked. So, it's as accurate as it possibly can be. Nevertheless, I'm sure you'll have opinions, one way or another, on these shows and others not on the list. So, if you have your nose plugs, let's begin.
Has anyone else noticed the lack of hair trigger cancellations thus far this season? We're a good month or more in now and only Opportunity Knocks and Do Not Disturb have had the plug pulled. And believe me those needed to happen. By now, though, your high quality shows that have underperformed like Pushing Daisies usually would be doing just that ... pushing up daisies. But, for some reason, not this year. At least not yet.
Hell, ratings-challenged shows like Knight Rider and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are even getting full season pick-ups. And that's FOX giving Sarah Connor a chance to find an audience! FOX!! I think what we're seeing is the continuing fallout from the Writer's Strike last year. Remember when the execs were talking about how they were going to rethink their approach to television, ordering fewer pilots and possibly even altering the landscape of television in regards to seasons and sweeps? Well, the fall season started up pretty much like it always has, but I do believe there are far fewer shows waiting in the wings to replace this season's failures.
EW's Michael Ausiello reports that Fox has cancelled Do Not Disturb. The network won't confirm anything, telling TV Guide that the critically-panned sitcom is "pre-empted" next week.
This comes on the heels of the show's producers apologizing for "perpetrating bad television," but asking critics and viewers for a second chance. Guess they'll never get it.
According to Variety, the team responsible for Fox's poorly-reviewed new comedy Do Not Disturb sent a letter to select TV critics (uh, where's mine guys?) acknowledging the poor quality of the premiere episode.
But they try to defend themselves by giving those critics a DVD of the second episode, which they claim is the actual pilot and should have aired first.
However, TBS has a throwback family comedy, one in The Cosby Show mode, and they're sticking with it. TBS's The Bill Engvall Show has just been given a third season renewal. The sitcom will be back in the summer 2009 with ten new episodes.
I've watched The Bill Engvall Show and enjoyed it. It's meant to evoke Cosby, but I also found a lot of Everybody Loves Raymond and Home Improvement in it as well, and that's a good thing. Engvall's a funny guy, and he's greatly aided in the show by sitcom vet Nancy Travis as his smart, attractive spouse.
In the behind-the-scenes interviews the network sent along with the pilot, the entire cast and the creator described Do Not Disturb, premiering tonight at 9:30/8:30 Central, as an "upstairs-downstairs" workplace comedy. Creator Abraham Higginbotham (Arrested Development) based the show on his time at the Paramount Hotel in the '90s. "It's Freaks and Geeks in a hotel," he said. "You've got your upstairs crowd where you have to basically turn in a photo to be approved to work where you come into face contact with guests. And then downstairs, anybody can work there because they're the people doing all the real work."
Unfortunately, if this is going to be the major thrust of the series going forward, they picked a pretty poor episode to establish that for the pilot. "Work Sex" tackled sex and promiscuity, which are such powerful subjects in this country they tend to overwhelm everything. And since the show is trying to introduce its premise, characters, relationships and the dynamics of its ensemble at the same time, it may have been better to launch with a subject a little less dominating. In fact, I didn't really get the struggle between the two groups at all.
NBC's decision to switch the episodes didn't help amp up Star Trek's ratings in that first season, but network wisdom at the time was that "Man Trap" was a better starting point than "Where No Man Has Gone Before."
Cut to now. Two current properties, CBS's Eleventh Hour and Fox's Do Not Disturb, have switched out their pilot episodes for another episode as the season's premieres.
You might recall that Brett wrote a month ago about this happening with Joss Whedon's Dollhouse too.
On September 10, the Fox comedy Do Not Disturb will present "Work Sex," about the workers at The Inn fooling around on the job, in lieu of the pilot, which will air sometime in the future. This may be a sign of trouble.
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.
Jason Bateman is keeping himself busy. Hot off his pilot directing debut with Do Not Disturb, he has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox for a first-look at the new series. Obviously, he doesn't hold a grudge from the network's shoddy treatment of Arrested Development.
The new series will be developed under the banner of Bateman's company, F+A Productions. Do Not Disturb stars Jerry O'Connell and it was the only live-action comedy pilot Fox picked up as a new series for next season.
"He did an excellent job on the pilot visually, brought great energy and enthusiasm to it and, as an actor, he really understands how to talk to and motivate actors," said Gary Newman, 20th TV co-chairman. Bateman is also scheduled to lend his voice to the Fox animated series Sit Down, Shut Up which is scheduled to begin in the fall.
Jason Bateman has come a long way since Silver Spoons. I'm still eagerly waiting for the new season of It's Your Move.
Embedded videos after the jump
Returning: The Moment of Truth, So You Think You Can Dance, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, American Idol, America's Most Wanted, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Bones, Cops, Don't Forget the Lyrics!, Hell's Kitchen, House, King of the Hill, Kitchen Nightmares, MADtv, The Moment of Truth, Prison Break, Talkshow with Spike Feresten, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 'Til Death
Out: Back To You, Canterbury's Law, K-Ville, Nashville, New Amsterdam, Next Great American Band, Return of Jezebel James, Unhitched
New: Sit Down, Shut Up; The Cleveland Show; Dollhouse (Midseason); Fringe; Do Not Disturb (formerly The Inn); Secret Millionaire (Midseason)
Schedule and detailed descriptions of the new shows after the jump.
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