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."
The "Ask TV Squad" column, published every Wednesday, answers your questions about current and past TV shows, as well as about the celebrities appearing on TV. Every week, I will pick a question (or more) sent to us and provide answers in the column. If your question is not picked for a column, it may be answered in a subsequent column. To submit questions to the "Ask TV Squad" column, you can post them below in comments or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, I answer questions about Flash Forward, Eureka, NCIS, The Philanthropist, and V.
But, out of all the original programs that premiered on the major networks after the completion of the fall 2008 season, not a single one got traction.
According to analysis reports, you can take your pick from any of the following shows: Defying Gravity, The Superstars, The Listener, Mental, The Philanthropist, Hitched or Ditched, Merlin and Great American Road Trip. All of them bombed -- each hovering just above a one market share.
In fact, you don't need numbers to prove that the fall crop crapped out. Ask your friend what his/her favorite summer replacement show was. You'll be waiting awhile.
-- Looking back on her career, Farrah Fawcett was a lot tougher than people think [Newsweek]
-- One critic wonders: Is 'The Philanthropist' the worst show ever? We take it he never saw 'Kath & Kim' [Miami Herald]
-- More bad news for Kate Gosselin: She's just one of Lemondrop's 12 Biggest Lady Douchebags [Lemondrop]
(more fun finds after the jump)
NBC has been promoting the crap out of their new summer adventure series, The Philanthropist, for weeks now. Starring James Purefoy as Teddy Rist, a billionaire playboy who decides to save the world, The previews held absolutely no interest for me. Now, after having seen the pilot, I realize that my first impression was the correct one.
Premiering tonight at 10 PM, The Philanthropist is basically an hour of an insufferable rich dude talking about how awesome he is. We watch the premise of the show unfold through the eyes of Rist himself, as he tells his tale of heroism (saving a Nigerian boy from drowning; surviving a shoot-out and a snake bite in order to deliver some Cholera vaccines to a village) to a bored bartender.
We've got the scoop on the return of familiar faces ('Nurse Jackie''s Edie Falco), the next cable hits ('Hawthorne'; 'Hung'), the new reality shows ('The Bachelorette'; 'Kendra') and more that will have everyone talking.
See all of this year's new shows in our 2009 Summer TV gallery.
Think your DVR can handle it all?
Check out our guide to what's new in midseason and see what everyone will be talking about in 2009.
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