Some nice plot threads were woven together, which should make for some interesting drama as we continue hurtling toward our April 29 deadline. It was nice to see Aaron Stark pulled back into the saga, along with a continued focus on Jericho. I still haven't figured out how they're connected to everything just yet, but it should be fun watching Stark try and find out.
The enigmatic Dyson Frost surprised me by taking a far more active and present role in the events of the episode than I would have ever expected. I was anticipating this mysterious shadowy figure making cryptic statements in the background to confound and frustrate Mark, and us. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Yeah, I know, yet another medical drama. It seems we have a lot every pilot season (and every fall season). CBS' 'Three Rivers' died rather quickly and 'Miami Medical' hasn't even premiered yet (it starts in April) and now we're hearing about this one. Maybe CBS likes to have replacement medical dramas on the shelf in case one happens to fail in the ratings.
I think every network has to have at least one medical show on their schedule every season. TV law. At least this one sounds a little bit different than one based at one particular hospital. It's about a team of medical pros who go around the country in a mobile unit and help people.
How about a show where a team of doctors treat patients over the Internet? Sure, a TV show about people looking at a computer screen for an hour sounds boring, but you can have them sit in different chairs each week.
Jericho became famous for becoming the first show to really be saved from cancellation by an internet fan campaign. While it did get its second season, the online fervor failed to translate into ratings, and Jericho never saw a season three. Now the NBC comedy Chuck is back for its third season after being similarly saved by devoted fans. So the big question is, did they actually watch?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, you bet they did. Last night's season three premiere of Chuck scored its highest ratings since its special 3-D episode that aired after the Super Bowl. If you're just looking at the ratings of Chuck's non-gimmicky episodes, it hasn't performed this well since 2007. Chuck fans are celebrating today, and NBC execs at least have one bright spot in what has been a difficult week for them.
Whedon's bad luck continues with the recent announcement that Fox is pulling the plug on 'Dollhouse,' a series that had enough of a following -- and potential -- to warrant another season. Would 'Dollhouse' have really hit its stride further down the road? We'll never know. Here are some other sci-fi television series that met their makers too soon.
The modern poster-child for a show that's "gone too soon" is Jericho. The impassioned fans buried CBS under a ton of nuts, which got the show renewed for a shortened second season. Your mileage of the quality of that season may vary, but the fact remains that the fans did something none of these internet campaigns today will be able to.
What people don't realize is that when Jericho came back for the second run, the ratings weren't any better than when the first season ended. So when they cancel your favorite show and you start mailing in bizarre objects and setting up your web petitions because "it worked for Jericho," remember that the networks remember Jericho as well. They remember that it failed to find a sizable audience twice.
Executive producers Jon Steinberg and Dan Shotz revealed that the new series will take the characters right into the Civil War that was brewing in the second season. They're excited about the possibilities the comic format allows them. As a comparable example, when IDW brought "season six" of Angel to comics, they transported much of L.A. to a plane of hell, something that would have been cost prohibitive in a live action series.
Chucktv.net, a Chuck fansite, is hosting "Chuck Me Mondays," starting June 1st. They're inviting both current fans and those who are just wanting to know what all the Chuck fuss is about to watch the spy comedy as a group Monday nights at 9 PM. While you watch, you can comment on the episode right on their site, or on Twitter, with the objective being to make Chuck a trending topic on the micro-blogging site every Monday. They're starting with the pilot and working all the way up to the season 2 finale-- it's a crash-course in all things Chuck.
So it looks like they're hoping the comic will keep the momentum alive and help them get this move greenlit. Maybe they don't realize that the best-selling comic book each month barely breaks 100,000 copies sold unless there's a major event (like Barack Obama appearing on the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man). Still, anything that will keep the story alive is better than nothing. I can't help but think, though, that jumping into the comic deal is an indication that the proposed movie adaptation of Jericho wasn't going well.
Thanks to the ongoing dedication of those fans, Devil's Due Publishing has inked a deal with CBS Consumer Products to continue the story of Jericho in comic book format. Both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have had amazing success publishing their new "seasons" in the comic book medium. More recently, Sci Fi's Farscape launched a comic continuation of its own, while many other properties are telling original tales in comics (Eureka, Supernatural and Fringe come to mind). But with Jericho being far less sci-fi/fantasy in its presentation, it'll be interesting to see if its fans follow it to this new medium.
The canceled CBS drama (saved by a nut campaign which helped it come back for short second season) is not only airing Sunday nights on The CW (and getting better ratings than some shows the network has had on that night), they're going to make a big-screen movie. Producer Jon Turteltaub tells IfMagazine.com that a feature film is indeed in the works, and that the original cast will be back.
Since there are twelve shows a-stinkin' on TV this year (well, that's the low estimate), you might be glad to hear that 2008 brought us some spectacular TV on DVD. You knew there had to be a bright spot, right?
Whether you want to re-watch your favorite classic shows from the '50s or '60s (or earlier), or catch up on one of the hottest shows on current TV (yeah, there are a few) by starting with the first season, they've been released on DVD in 2008. It was actually hard to pick just ten, but for better or for worse, here are my picks:
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.
To the programming monkeys over at The CW: Do you really believe that you are an honest-to-goodness competitor in the market right now? Because, if you were, then you would probably be doing something more than just relying on the teen angst shows that populate your weekday schedule.You would probably be trying again to get original programming up and running on the weekends, as well. Particularly on Sunday nights.
Sadly, you're not doing this. In fact, according to the most recent press release you sent out, you're pretty much caving in on Sundays. Instead of giving viewers some new shows to try out, or even reruns (or, as you say, encores) of your more popular programs, from 5-8 pm you're giving us first season episodes of Everybody Hates Chris and The Game, second season episodes of The Drew Carey Show and first season episodes of Jericho. The only people I can see being even remotely happy about this schedule are Jericho fans.
Has anyone else noticed the lack of hair trigger cancellations thus far this season? We're a good month or more in now and only Opportunity Knocks and Do Not Disturb have had the plug pulled. And believe me those needed to happen. By now, though, your high quality shows that have underperformed like Pushing Daisies usually would be doing just that ... pushing up daisies. But, for some reason, not this year. At least not yet.
Hell, ratings-challenged shows like Knight Rider and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are even getting full season pick-ups. And that's FOX giving Sarah Connor a chance to find an audience! FOX!! I think what we're seeing is the continuing fallout from the Writer's Strike last year. Remember when the execs were talking about how they were going to rethink their approach to television, ordering fewer pilots and possibly even altering the landscape of television in regards to seasons and sweeps? Well, the fall season started up pretty much like it always has, but I do believe there are far fewer shows waiting in the wings to replace this season's failures.
Just like their real-life counterparts, TV politicians will say and do anything to get your support.
The difference? Instead of a ballot, they want you to vote with your remote. And on TV, a politico's constituents are nothing more than ratings boosters. OK, so maybe there's not a huge difference.
From the obvious (three 'West Wing' pols make the list) to the more obscure (did you even know there was an elected official on 'The Wire'?), we count down the top 20 TV politicians of all time. Read through our list and let us know if you think we need a recount or if our list is full of winners.
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