Well, I'm not alone in missing Saturday TV; Oscar-winner Barry Levinson feels the same. Levinson is also a TV producer -- he did Homicide: Life on the Street and The Philanthropist -- and he thinks the networks are making a big mistake by not seizing on Saturday primetime. He knows the business pretty well and he's confused by the networks' strategy.
"I don't think the answer is to retreat," he told the New York Daily News. "When you give up Saturday night, you open the door for people to go somewhere else. Basically, they're shrinking their own audience."
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.
From 1996-2000, NBC had a modest hit on their hand with The Pretender, a show in which main character Jarod used his abilities to assume other people's identities to help those in need. Kind of a Quantum Leap with identity theft instead of bodysnatching. Creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle, also of Tin Man, reportedly told SCI FI Wire they'd like to bring back the show in the digital medium. The relaunch, or continuation, could even feature original star Michael T. Weiss in the title role again.
They've reportedly brunched Weiss and begun laying the groundwork for the project, so it seems it's a done deal, just what exactly it means and when and where we'll be able to see it remains unclear.
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