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December 19, 2014

Pretender

Barry Levinson urges TV to take back Saturday night

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 28th 2009 10:00AM
Barry_Levinson_PBSFor the longest time, I've kvetched about the fact that the television industry has stopped programming for Saturday night. For years, Saturday was a great night of television. I remember M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, not to mention guilty pleasures like The Facts of Life and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Even NBC's thrillogy, The Pretender and Profiler were fun. All those shows were Saturday night hits (some bigger than others).

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."

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What are all those Olympic promos worth?

by Brett Love, posted Aug 25th 2008 12:22PM
NBC Knight RiderIf you've been watching NBC's Olympic coverage, you must have seen all of the promotion they have been doing for their fall season. New shows My Own Worst Enemy, Crusoe, Knight Rider, Kath & Kim, and America's Toughest Jobs have all had plenty of play. As have the returning Chuck and Life. Given that the latest Olympiad is closing in on becoming the most watched television event of all time, you might think those promo spots were pretty valuable.

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.

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The Pretender to return in new digital format?

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 3rd 2007 10:42AM

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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