Our latest inspiration is the ongoing death spiral of 'Heroes.' (This week: Mohinder does something stupid! People's powers go awry at inopportune moments! Adrian Pasdar, pictured, looks like he'd rather be anywhere else!) Here's a once-inspired show that seems to be going down in flames after having run out of ideas.
Other times, shows peter out because of casting changes, bad writing or bizarre creative decisions. In each case, however, the audience feels betrayed and often deserts the show, leading to ratings death and what-went-wrong autopsies. Here's what went wrong on nine other good shows gone bad.
(9PM & 10PM, USA) holiday specials
Anyone wondering what to put in Monk's Christmas stocking this year can start with an extra-large bottle of antibacterial gel; the germaphobe is going to need it when he agrees to help three homeless guys (particularly unkempt homeless guys) investigate the death of their friend.
Meanwhile, 'Psych' pals Shawn and Gus have their own holiday case, as a little girl begs them for help in getting a mall Santa out of jail.
Of course, there's more to the story where Santa and his little helper are concerned, and they're not the only ones with a secret: Shawn is trying to keep Gus from finding out that Shawn and Joy, Gus' sister, got busy under the mistletoe.
It got me thinking about other replacement profanities used by scripted television to replace the normal curse words that the FCC bans from televised broadcasts. We have previously posted about made-up words on television (including the profanities "Smeg" from Red Dwarf and "Frell" from Farscape), but I have a few to add to that list:
Television has often been a benchmark of current popular culture. Whether it's clothes, cars or furniture, people have always looked to TV to help them decide how to look and how to live. Here are ten great examples of how TV characters have "helped" us look our best.
Daisy Duke's Daisy Dukes (The Dukes of Hazzard)
No one knew it at the time, but when Catherine Bach slipped on those ultra-short denims, she was making an impression on more than the teenage boys who were watching. Years later, a brand new and very different generation embraced the Daisy Dukes, much to the delight of those teenage boys who were now old enough to know better.
The Oscar-winning actor (for Good Will Hunting) is no stranger to television, as we all know. Till the day he dies, he'll be Mork. Na-noo, na-noo. As an alien from the planet Ork, Robin Williams was catapulted from obscure comic actor to overnight sensation thanks to the Garry Marshall sitcom Mork & Mindy. It was the beginning of a stellar career.
'The Office''s Michael Scott (Steve Carell) single-handedly brought back "That's what she said" jokes and the world is forever in his debt.
Some shows are so jam-packed with quotable lines that it's hard to keep track of who said what.
It's time to prove your knowledge of the origins of television's greatest catchphrases by taking our quiz.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Bud Molin: He was a film editor who worked on several TV shows, including the Sheldon Leonard-produced The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and I Spy, as well as projects with Carl Reiner, including the movies The Jerk, Oh, God, The Man With Two Brains, and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. He also worked on I Love Lucy. Molin died in Rancho Mirage, CA at age 81. (That's him on the left, with Desi Arnaz and Dann Cahn.)
Donner appeared in, well, just about every TV show of the past 30 years, including The Waltons, MacGyver, Simon and Simon, Blue Thunder, Fame, Matlock, Charlie's Angels, SWAT, Gunsmoke, Adam-12, Columbo, and Kung Fu. His last role was in this year's family movie Hoot.
Donner died of a heart attack on in L.A. on June 8.
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