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July 25, 2014

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Top TV Stories of 2008: Second-year shows go down the toilet

by Debra McDuffee, posted Dec 19th 2008 11:03AM
Jonny Lee Miller as Eli Stone
As we do every year, we here at TV Squad are reminiscing on the top TV news stories of the year. What has 2008 brought us? Well, while we were all complaining about the lack of quality shows that debuted this season, we may have missed the second-year shows going right down the crapper.

Let's start over at ABC. Three very promising shows premiered last season -- Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, and Pushing Daisies -- to praise from the critics and buzz from the viewers. Dirty Sexy Money, with the cast that could be someone's fantasy cast, started off strong. There was a mystery, unique and complex characters, and some integrity. With the writer's strike went the integrity and the ratings, and recently, we got the news that no more episodes of Dirty Sexy Money would be ordered.

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All Rich wants for Festivus

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 18th 2008 7:32PM

Will any of my Festivus wishes come true? Only time will tell.I was looking at my last two Festivus wish lists in an attempt to determine if any of my requests came true. Turns out, many of them did come to fruition -- something that I'm damn proud of. Sadly, a new sitcom for Dustin "Screech" Diamond did not materialize. Oh well, maybe that will occur sometime next season when, after coming out of a trance, the NBC executives realize they made a terrible mistake putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 pm and need something to fill the empty space.

Now, without further ado, let me put down the aluminum rod for a bit and talk about my Festivus wish list for the upcoming year.

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All Allison wants for Festivus

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 18th 2008 11:30AM
P daisiesOh, Festivus, Oh, Festivus, the holiday for TV fans. How exciting that once a year we can close our eyes, click our heels and make our wishes for the magical ways television can be made better in the year to come. Still, there are more than a few changes that I think need to be made to make TV better ... not to say that it's bad. It just that everything can be better.

This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:

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What's On Tonight: Charlie Brown Christmas, Momma's Boys, Raw Nerve

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 16th 2008 4:04PM
  • Eli StoneAt 8, ABC has A Charlie Brown Christmas, then a new According to Jim.
  • CBS has a new NCIS at 8, followed by new episodes of The Mentalist and Without A Trace.
  • NBC has the season finale of The Biggest Loser at 8, then the premiere of Momma's Boys.
  • G4 goes over the top video game stories of the year on a new X-Play, then a new Attack of the Show has a holiday gift guide.
  • Also at 8: BBC America has a new Christmas episode of My Family.
  • At 8:30, Nickelodeon has a Christmas episode of Fairly OddParents, then Christmas episodes of Home Improvement and The George Lopez Show.
  • At 9, Discovery has a new Dirty Jobs.
  • History Channel has a new episode of The Universe at 9.
  • There's a new ECW on Sci-Fi at 9, then a new Cha$e.
  • At 10, ABC has a new Eli Stone.
  • TNT has a new Leverage at 10.
  • Lifetime has a new Blush at 10.
  • Biography Channel has a new Shatner's Raw Nerve at 10, with Kelsey Grammer.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk show listings.

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The grass roots costs of saving a television show

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 5th 2008 2:09PM

Will sending a George Michael CD to protest Eli Stone's removal be good for you or an added expense you cant' afford.I want to talk to you about a grass roots campaign to save Eli Stone. You see, I had this idea where fans of the program would send George Michael paraphernalia - CDs, MP3s, T-Shirts, programs, videos - to the executive mugwumps over at ABC in order to express their frustration that they were not picking up the back nine episodes of the series. It would have been similar in scope to the Great Peanut Campaign of 2007 that ending up (temporarily) saving Jericho.

Then I got to thinking, which is always a bad sign. While a campaign such as this could result in programming executives opening their minds for just a minuscule amount of time to the possibilities of continuin the series, I'm not too sure it would be worth it. Not 'worth' in the terms that the campaign would fall on the deaf ears of the tailor-suited wonks. I'm talking about 'worth' in what it would cost the fans of the show to get the materials and ship them out to send a message. We are in a recession, after all.

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Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone fans to get closure; Daisies viewers won't

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Dec 5th 2008 1:17PM
Pushing DaisiesOne of the worst words to hear for a devoted TV fan is the word "cancellation." Just having to type it makes me cringe. Hearing this word a year in advance allows fans, cast and crew to prepare and usually means that we will get a satisfying ending (I say usually because, let's face it, not everyone was satisfied with the Seinfeld gang ending up in prison or with the black screen at the end of The Sopranos... then again, can we satisfy all fans?).

What makes the "word that shall not be typed again in this post" so scary is when it is said after a series wrapped up its current episode order or when it is said almost a mere minute before said episode order is completed. When this happens, it usually means that the shows will not have the money/time/leisure to go back to the drawing board and rework what will now be known as their series finale.

When ABC announced that Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone and Pushing Daisies were canc... not renewed, a lot of fans frantically searched the web to know if production had wrapped up in order to find out if there was hope for some closure. Well, my fellow TV fans, I come with answers: DSM and Eli finales will offer some closure while Daisies will end with a few cliffhangers!

Slight spoilers coming up!

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Seven shows with episode naming patterns

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Dec 4th 2008 3:02PM
Bones
A little over two years ago, Joel posted about five episode naming patterns such as Friends' episode titles always starting with "The One" or Grey's Anatomy's usage of songs in lieu of titles. Since many series have come and gone since Joel first posted about episode naming patterns, let's revisit the subject. After all, episode titles are an integral part of a TV series and can add to the viewers' entertainment.

Here I bring you a list of seven episode naming patterns of series that currently air on a TV near you.

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The case for keeping Eli Stone alive

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 24th 2008 11:02AM

Eli and Jordan. Lawyers, but also men guided a more spiritual power.As we reported previously, ABC decided to spin the wheel and cancel three of its shows -- Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and, the big surprise, Eli Stone. Surprise to me, at least, because I felt that Stone was moving in the right direction since its very strong season premiere. With its slightly new direction, continuing character growth, and imaginative visions that placed the show nearly in the realm of 'musical drama,' the show seemed to be heading in the right direction.

But, as usual, my opinion didn't count in the network's decision to axe the show after 13 episodes. It should have, to be honest. Not only because I wield the power of the keyboard and can bring those programming nerds down with a stroke of my CTRL key, but because I speak for the numbers of fans who cherish the show and think it was done an injustice. Not just by being canceled, but being lumped together with Daisies and DSM.

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Did ABC make the wrong move with Daisies and Sexy?

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 21st 2008 12:00PM
ABC logoAs you all know by now, ABC failed to pick up three of its sophomore shows -- Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, and Eli Stone -- for a full season, essentially ending each after 13 second-season episodes (in other ABC news, Scrubs will start on Tuesday, January 6, and Life on Mars gets four additional episodes for its new post-Lost timeslot, which starts on January 28).

Daisies and DSM (and Private Practice, which is being moved to Thursdays after Grey's Anatomy in the "duh" move of the season) were both held back after the writers' strike last year and didn't come back until the fall. Seems like a logical thing to do, right? I mean, the shows had growing followings but still very modest ratings. ABC learned from the CBS Jericho disaster that holding a freshman show for any period of time will sink the ratings. Turns out, though, that holding them for even longer will sink the ratings even further. Who knew?

All sarcasm aside, though, ABC was in a tough spot. What could they have done differently? More thoughts after the jump.

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What's On Tonight: Nova, Lincoln Heights, The Mentalist, Fringe

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 11th 2008 4:03PM
  • WSOPAt 8, ABC has two new episodes of Dancing with the Stars, then a new Eli Stone.
  • CBS has a new NCIS, followed by new episodes of The Mentalist and Without A Trace.
  • NBC has new episodes of The Biggest Loser and Law and Order: SVU.
  • There's a new House on FOX at 8, followed by a new Fringe.
  • The CW has a new 90210 at 8, then a new Privileged.
  • PBS has a new Nova at 8, followed by a new Frontline.
  • ABC Family has the two-hour season finale of Lincoln Heights at 8.
  • AMC has Midway at 8.
  • Also at 8: TCM has Warner at War, followed by This is the Army.
  • At 8:30, Lifetime has a new Rita Rocks.
  • At 9, ESPN has the two hour finale of The World Series of Poker.
  • Sci-Fi has a new ECW at 9.
  • At 10, FX has a new episode of The Shield.
  • Bravo has a new Real Housewives of Atlanta at 10.
  • Lifetime has the series premiere of the new reality show Blush at 10.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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What's On Tonight: Dancing, 90210, Mentalist, Lorne Michaels

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 28th 2008 4:04PM
  • It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownAt 8, ABC has It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, followed by new episodes of Dancing with the Stars and Eli Stone.
  • CBS has a new NCIS at 8, then new episodes of The Mentalist and Without A Trace.
  • NBC has new episodes of The Biggest Loser and Law and Order: SVU.
  • FOX has a new House at 8.
  • The CW has a new 90210 at 8, followed by a new Privileged.
  • There's a new Lincoln Heights at 8, then the midseason finale of Greek.
  • TCM has Sunset Boulevard at 8.
  • At 9, Sci-Fi has a new ECW, followed by two new episodes of Scare Tactics.
  • ESPN has two new episodes of The World Series of Poker starting at 9.
  • Fine Living has a new Whatever, Martha at 9.
  • Discovery has a new Dirty Jobs at 9.
  • At 10, FX has a new episode of The Shield.
  • Bravo has a new Real Housewives of Atlanta at 10.
  • MTV has a new Paris Hilton: My New BFF at 10.
  • VH-1 has the series premiere of Coolio's Rules at 10.
  • At 11, TBS has a new Frank TV.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk show listings.

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Eli Stone: Grace

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 22nd 2008 9:25AM
eli stone
(S02E02)
Well I think we all know what the big to-do was regarding this whole episode: Mrs. Tom Cruise. If she wasn't married to Tom Cruise, I can guarantee you that there wouldn't have been nearly as big of a deal made about a former star of Dawson's Creek appearing on Eli Stone. Certainly she didn't make herself into an international sensation with her performance on Batman Begins. Hell, she was replaced in that for the sequel.

So how did Mrs. Tom Cruise do? Well, I won't say that she brought a whole new level of magic to the show, because it has plenty of that already. But she proved a nice diversion, and not too distracting from the ongoing plotlines. From her opening musical number, in which she performed very well, to the final moments on-screen with Eli, she showed quite a range of talent. Maybe Tom will let her out of the compound more often to get some more acting gigs. She should remind him that's what she did before she became Mrs. Tom Cruise.

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What's On Tonight: Nova, Fringe, Eli Stone, Bizarre Foods Halloween

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 21st 2008 4:07PM
  • GreekAt 8, ABC has two new episodes of Dancing with the Stars, followed by a new Eli Stone.
  • CBS has a new NCIS at 8, then new episodes of The Mentalist and Without A Trace.
  • NBC has a new Biggest Loser at 8, followed by a new Law and Order: SVU.
  • FOX has new episodes of House and Fringe.
  • There's a new Nova on PBS at 8.
  • ABC Family has a new Lincoln Heights at 8, followed by a new Greek.
  • At 8:40, BBC America has a new Gavin & Stacey.
  • At 9, The CW has a new Privileged.
  • ESPN has two new episodes of The World Series of Poker starting at 9.
  • Sci-Fi has a new ECW at 9, then two new episodes of Scare Tactics.
  • At 10, FX has a new episode of The Shield.
  • Bravo has a new Real Housewives of Atlanta at 10.
  • Travel Channel has a Halloween episode of Bizarre Foods at 10.
  • Also at 10: IFC has a new episode of The IT Crowd.
  • At 12:15am, Cartoon Network has a new Moral Orel.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk show listings.

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Spoilers Anonymous

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Oct 17th 2008 8:00AM
Spoiler Anonymous
This is Spoilers Anonymous, a weekly column here at TV Squad where we'll supply you with the dirt on some of the more popular shows on the air. We'll never put spoilers up here on the main page in order to help the reformed stay unspoiled. If you have anything to add to the group, feel free to step up and let yourself be heard, either with our tips form or by emailing us at tvsquad at gmail dot com or call and leave a message at (775) 640-8479 - your anonymity is guaranteed, if you wish to remain as such.

This week we have: Bones, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Eli Stone, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, Monk, Prison Break, Privileged, Supernatural and Ugly Betty. (SPOILERS FOLLOW!)

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Eli Stone: The Path (season premiere)

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 15th 2008 8:22AM
Eli Stone
(S02E01)
So there were no doubts about what show we were watching, the new season of Eli Stone kicked off with a huge musical number. Okay, actually it started with Eli in a therapist's office talking to guest star Sigourney Weaver, revealing that it's been six months since his surgery and that the aforementioned dance number was the first time he'd heard singing and music like that since.

I kind of liked the approach of filtering our catch-up on Eli's life through his therapy session. But since this is Eli Stone, things aren't always as they appear to be. What is as it appears to be is the fact that Eli Stone is returning to the prime-time lineup in fine fashion. Some of you may recall that I wasn't gushing with praise about this show last season, but I really feel that it's found its feet and evolved into a pretty good little show. I even found myself *gasp* caring about what happened to various characters throughout tonight's episode.

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