It's simple: they attract attention, according to an article by The New York Times' Bill Carter.
The nostalgia angle alone makes it a self-marketing giant. It's no wonder that CBS has a Hawaii Five-O rehash, NBC has a new Rockford Files and ABC is bringing Charlie's Angels back from the dead. The only problem? They usually suck.
So is there a chance any of the aforementioned might work?
Hollywood soaps like Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless also produced stars. Tom Selleck, for instance, was a Y&R hunk before becoming Magnum, P.I. There are a lot of current stars right now on hit shows who were daytime characters just a few years ago. After the jump, we count down the top ten primetime stars who started in soaps.
Seriously, this should come as no surprise to anybody who watches either show, as they are both brilliant. NBC seems to be trying to make Thursday nights into "Must See TV" again. As someone who enjoys The Office and is pretty much addicted to 30 Rock, I think they're succeeding.
At this stage, it is only known that the series is renewed, and not whether or not the shows will stay in their current time slots. I cover Smallville on Thursday nights. If they move either series to the 8 PM hour on Thursday, then I have to make sure my video recorders are properly working.
Mediaweek's Alan Frutkin sat down with the show's executive producer Gary Scott Thompson to talk about the show's already troubled times before it hits the air again on Wednesday.
Thompson said the show has undergone some usual first season changes like differences in creative direction and story outlines, but the changes the network handed down cut far deeper to the bone.
The official Top Gear blog announced that NBC won't air their US version of the show as a mid-season replacement in 2009.
This means the show and their hosts, Adam Carolla, Eric Stromer and Tanner Foust, are up to grabs for the highest bidder like a drug dealer's impounded Cadillac Escalade at a municipal car auction.
Oh sure, there may be 12 shows a stinkin', but there's still reason to tune in. See just like advertisers, show-runners and TV executives know that sex sells. And hot chicks sell. And hot chicks selling their sexuality sell like hotcakes ... or chicks ... I never can get that right. But just being hot and sexy isn't enough. To really sell it, they need to be as close to naked as legally allowed on the airwaves. We're talking "Oops, sorry to barge in on you standing there in your underwear bending over the bed pulling on your fishnet stockings. Nice rack."
Sometimes near-nudity, and even nudity, legitimately serves the plot. Let's face it, Anna Paquin had to bang that vampire on True Blood so she was going to have to get naked. It's a necessity. But Yvonne Strahovski on Chuck? Does she have to be in her underwear that often to protect the Intersect? Was it required by Simon Elder that Karen Darling be in her underwear in order to talk to him? Of course not. But it's hot and that's the way we like it. Hell, they made Catalina a stripper on My Name is Earl.
... 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.
The number of shows ordered by NBC has been ordered has been lowered from 21 to 17. The creators probably won't even have time to change the scripts, so I predict the season (and likely series) finale will end on an awkward note.
I should also note that, upon completion of this depressingly nerdy post, I am legally obligated to punch myself in the face for a solid fifteen minutes and then steal my own lunch money. Let's just get this over with, shall we? Here are the top eleven robot buddies from TV, in no particular order, because each robot is special in its own way. Also, I don't want any readers to kill me for not ranking to their liking.
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.
That said, the news today that NBC has given Knight Rider a full season order leaves me cold. That's an order for nine more episodes, and it strikes me as throwing good money after bad. Knight Rider has been struggling in the ratings and generally dissed by the critics. It hasn't earned a pick up to be perfectly frank.
So why would NBC give this remake of the 1980's action drama a vote of confidence? Well, it could be that it's considered one of NBC programming chief Ben Silverman's pet projects.
(8:30PM, CBS) series premiere
We love us some Jay Mohr, even if he does seem a bit out of place as a typical sitcom dad.
He's the titular Gary, unmarried after divorcing Allison (Paula Marshall). Breaking the chains of love hasn't loosened controlling Allison's ways, though, especially when he's in charge of their kids, geeky teen Tom and politically-minded 11-year-old (hey, we said it's a typical sitcom) Louise.
Allison's controlling ways aren't Gary's biggest problem, though; she announces her engagement to her ex marriage counselor (Ed Begley Jr.), which means not only is Allison officially moving on, but now Gary has no excuse not to do the same. Let the single-father dating games begin.
Apparently, not so much. The Hollywood Reporter runs down the record for the network promoting new shows during past games. In 2004, the Athens games led to one show, Joey, making it beyond its first season. Likewise for the Sydney games in 2000, which brought us Ed, and nothing else. Things were a little better in 1996 from Atlanta. Profiler, The Pretender, and Suddenly Susan all lasted another four years. Not a stellar track record and it leaves you thinking that those precious spots might have served the network better pitching more beer. It has the makings of a good poll though. After the jump, place your vote for the one new show that will make it out of season one.