The Knights of Prosperity
So, ABC did the inevitable and pulled the show from the schedule, starting this week, replacing it with reruns of Jim and Lopez. No word on whether the pulled episodes (the announcement linked above lists three) will be rescheduled. But given the fact that the show only averaged just over five million viewers, it doesn't seem likely the show will return any time soon.
[thanks to Trevor for the tip]
Anyone who's seen The Knights of Prosperity (and judging by the ratings, there's not many of us) knows that it's of the quirky single-camera style that would have fit perfectly on NBC's Thursday lineup. It's a comedy that is often very funny, but from time to time -- last night's episode being an example -- will throw in a complete clunker. But I'm already starting to care about the characters in the "gang," and some of the situations they get themselves in have been very funny. It's a show that has potential, and needs some time to find its creative stride.
So, what does ABC do with the show? It puts it at 8:30 on Wednesdays, sandwiched between two aging and by-the-numbers sitcoms, George Lopez and According to Jim.
Which role, you might ask? Well, I'll leave that for you to guess, but here are some clues: Artie told Howard that they were looking for a "New Jersey/New York" guy, with the requisite accent and regular-guy manner. So, either watch tonight's premiere or go to the show's website and figure it out. There seems to be conflicting stories as to why he turned the show down: executive producer Rob Burnett told Howard 100 News that it was due to "scheduling difficulties", but Artie just didn't think the concept was going to fly. Burnett told the Howard 100 folks that he hopes to have Artie on later in the season; maybe the crew will try to rob him instead of him being one of the robbers.
The press release from ABC (after the jump) pretty much explains the whole scheme, including wallet drops at shopping malls with Knights "membership cards" in them, "rock star receipts" given to random shoppers at Virgin Megastores and other places, and opportunities to grab cash in a Knights-sponsored money booth. This is all to promote the premiere of Knights on January 3 at 9 PM.
Of course, they could just promote the show by saying it's the funniest new pilot this season. But I guess the truth doesn't always help... just ask the producers of The Nine.
So the show must be having problems, right? Wrong, at least not according to the network. ABC thinks the show is so good that they want to promote it outside the craziness of this crowded fall season. "You really need to focus, you need to spend money and you need to surround the audience with these openings," ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson told the Los Angeles Times.
Every television season has its trend. After The Cosby Show premiered in 1984 the trend was toward family sitcoms. In the late 90's and the early 21st Century reality shows and nighttime game shows dominated the schedule. Last year, the trend was towards science-fiction and supernatural shows like Surface, Invasion, Threshold and, well, Supernatural.
This year is no exception as the very prominent trend is leaning towards the serial drama or comedy. Now, before you get all defensive I know that the serial has been around since the dawn of television, particularly in the daytime soap operas and previous shows such as Dallas, Dynasty, and Melrose Place. And, I also know that shows like Surface, Invasion, and Threshold, as well as the late-lamented Heist could all be considered serials. But, this year seems different because it looks like a good number of these shows could actually last the whole season and beyond.
This is a bad thing. Would you like to find out why? Then, jump ahead, my doubting friend.
Because this is such an interesting concept, we're going to have extensive coverage of the festivities. Pilot screeners in each of the five categories (Comedy, Drama, Animation, Educational and Reality) will be reviewed by various TV Squadders; the review posts will go up starting on Thursday. And I'll be a roving reporter, trying to attend some of the bigger premieres, panel discussions, and other events, bringing you pictures and maybe even a quote or two from the stars who are attending parties for Kidnapped, The Knights of Prosperity, and Standoff. So, look for our daily posts from the festival and for the reviews of the pilots. I'm looking forward to this...
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