Over at Entertainment Weekly, they've chosen the 25 great TV shows that got a quick hook, the shows that got canceled (way) before their time (we're talking really short runs, so Arrested Development and Sports Night aren't on the list). There are several shows on the list that you would expect to see (Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life, Firefly), some surprise entries that made me happy to see on there (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr, Frank's Place, Karen Sisco, Now & Again), and a few head-scratchers (Malibu Road? Really?). It's slightly heavy on the current side, with Journeyman and Life on Mars on the list. I mean, Life on Mars is still running new episodes.
Along with Surface, Invasion was one of my favorite new shows that season, with each episode getting better and better. By the series finale, I was hooked. I'm still miffed that ABC didn't give it more time to flesh out the story and characters.
Incorporating a sci-fi-alien mystery, a government conspiracy, and plenty of family drama, Invasion had a built-in audience because it aired directly after another sci-fi mystery, Lost. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep the series on the air.
The series starred the soulful Lake Bell as Laura Daughtery, a marine biologist who encounters a strange creature on the ocean floor. She writes up her report, only to have it confiscated by the government in the name of national security.
Meanwhile, nerdy teen Miles (Carter Jenkins, whom I predict has a huge career ahead of him, though not if he keeps signing on for shows like the short-lived Viva Laughlin) stumbles across a strange egg on the beach and takes it home. Imagine his surprise when out hatches a weird amphibious creature that emits an even weirder electrical current.
Of course, the dreams weren't the only part of the episode that felt familiar. Carter made reference to when O'Neill was knocked unconscious by an energy being that took on his appearance. That's from the season one Stargate episode "Cold Lazarus." In an interview with Gateworld, writer/director/producer Robert C. Cooper called it an homage. That's a good way to put it, as you can see if you go back and look at the scene where O'Neill touches the crystal. That video is after the jump.
I think this has to signal a change at the networks. The big serial drama experiment is now officially a failure. With Surface and Invasion failing to get a second season, and now Smith, Kidnapped, The Nine, Six Degrees, and Day Break all failing to finish one, I think we can look for the networks to try something different next season. And hey, if Diggs really wants to be on a hit show, they're still casting for the next Dancing with the Stars, right?... Too soon?
- 3rd Rock From The Sun - Season Five
- The Flying Nun - Second Season
- Full House - Fourth Season
- Hardcastle and McCormack - Second Season (Canada)
- Hogan's Heroes - Fourth Season
- Hong Kong Phooey - Complete Series
- The Jeffersons - Fifth Season
- Magilla Gorilla - Complete Series
- Masters of Horror - Jenifer (Dario Argento)
- Remington Steele - Seasons Four and Five
- Rome - First Season
- The Simpsons - Eighth Season (Maggie box and regular box)
- Surface - Complete Series
- The Weird Al Show - Complete Series
With the announcement that the unaired pilot of Aquaman would become a downloadable video courtesy of iTunes I began to ponder all of the television shows that took place, or featured characters that lived, under the sea. After some extensive research (about five minutes) I discovered that there weren't many. So, as a public service to you, the dedicated TV Squad reader, I present the following list of underwater shows. Please put on your wet suits.
Surface: This on the list first because it was the most recent show telecast that featured underwater creatures. Only lasting one season on NBC (despite a strong fan base) the show starred Lake Bell as an oceanographer who is attacked by an unknown life-form in the Pacific Ocean. After that initial encounter, things go a little bonkers on planet Earth, including stars falling from the sky into the water, and unknown creatures washing up on public beaches. A cliffhanger episode was aired at the end of the first season, but was left up in the air due to the show's cancellation.
Jenkins recently costarred in the big screen comedy Keeping Up With The Steins, about competitive bar mitzvahs, and it's getting some great reviews. The movie also stars Jeremy Piven and Larry Miller. Jenkins has also filmed guest roles on House and The 4400, which will air soon.
You can read our interview with Jenkins here.
I came home this weekend to see my folks for Memorial Day (which coincidentally means that I've eaten an unhealthy amount of food and it's only Sunday afternoon) and we got into a pretty interesting conversation about TV. For starters, neither of them knew what "the upfronts" were and I suppose it makes sense. If I didn't follow television as much as I do, I probably wouldn't know what the upfronts were either. Moreover, I would most likely have had the same question my mother had: "Why do they call it the upfronts?" I'm not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with the fact that ad-space is being presented to advertisers "up front" and if they sit on it, they may not be able to get the spots they want at a later date.
Whatever happens, if it turns out that Invasion sticks around for another year and Surface doesn't, I'll be pissed.
Yeah, I love TV and I write about it...but boy, sometimes I just hate it.
Case in point: last week sucked for television. You can have your Olympics, but it's also the week that we saw the last episode of Arrested Development, the cancellation of Love Monkey, and the (probable) cancellation of Surface. Ugh.
- "The guy's a conversational cul-de-sac." - Tom, about Bran's boring boss, on Love Monkey.
- "I will not be karma's bitch." - Earl, trying to take a little time off from helping people on his list, on My Name Is Earl.
- "What the hell is that?!" - Rich, to Miles about Nim in the back seat of the car, on Surface.
- "On Monday, customs agents confiscated hundreds of pounds of cocaine and two pouds of Ecstasy aboard a Haitian freighter. But tonight's Grammy Awards still went on." - Jay Leno
- "I ask myself that every day." - Stephen Colbert, asking an expert "Why can't people smoke where they want?" and getting the answer "Why can't people masturbate where they want?" as a reply, on The Daily Show.
Last week's winners:
1 star to Alan: "If we keep practing I know we'll make it on 'Dancing with the Stars' next season."
2 stars to Elliott: "And thanks to Botox, you'll continue to make that face for the next few weeks. Enjoy!"
3 stars to Jason: "And then the game of "Got Your Nose!" went horribly awry..."
This week, another one from Surface, this being the season (series?) finale:
I like a show that doesn't BS around with dull scenes in its season finale. Right off the bat we're given the scenario: Miles and his family are packing up to escape town before the tsunami hits, Caitlin's Vespa is stolen when she arrives too late to find Miles, and she's knocked out when the crook pushes her, and Laura steals a rental car from the airport and blows by a road block to find Rich, who has been locked in a room at the mysterious lab. (And what is Jackson's name and pic doing on the lab's computers? Section Chief?!?)
Here we go!
- NBC has a new Surface (check out my interview with Carter Jenkins) at 8pm, followed by repeats of Las Vegas and Medium.
- ABC has a new Wife Swap, followed by In Style Celebrity Weddings and a new The Bachelor.
- CBS has a mix of repeats and new: a repeat King of Queens at 8, followed by a repeat How I Met Your Mother, a repeat Two and a Half Men, and then new eps of Courting Alex and CSI: Miami.
- FOX has a new Skating With Celebrities, followed by a new 24.
- 7th Heaven is new on the WB at 8, followed by a new Related.
- Still more repeats from UPN: One on One, All of Us, Girlfriends, and Half & Half.
- Also at 8: a new Wildfire on ABC Family, and AMC has National Lampoon's Animal House.
- At 9, a new Unwrapped on Food Network, "Fiery Foods."
- Hallmark has the movie A Simple Twist of Fate, with Steve Martin, Gabriel Byrne, and Laura Linney. It's on at 9 too.
- Also at 9: the debut of the A&E movie Flight 93.
- At 10, Discovery has a new American Chopper, followed by a new Roush Racing: Driver X.
- Also at 10: HBO2 has Phantom of the Opera.
- Do you miss the short-lived Law and Order spinoff, Trial By Jury? Catch a repeat on Court TV at 11.
- PBS has a new Tavis Smiley, with guest Newt Gingrich. Check local listings.
- At midnight, the Travel Channel has a Winter Olympics special, Torino 2006: The Traveler's Guide.
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