...fiiiiiiiiiiiive canceled shooooooooows!
1. The Nine (ABC): Yeah, the network can say it's "on hiatus" and that "the remaining episodes will be shown in 2007," but we all know what it means. And the reason I picked this as #1 is because this show had more buzz and positive reviews than any other show before the season started. I think more critics picked it as a the "best" than any other show. Then the show kept losing viewers, even though it was on after Lost, so ABC pulled it from the schedule. That's really unfortunate. It was a good show, though I think that after the pilot viewers were expecting a different type of show than the straight drama with a twist that we got. Hopefully Tim Daly will have better luck with his new show next year.
One of my favorite features every month in Esquire is the "Things You Don't Know About Women" list. I've learned more about women from reading that list than I would going on a thousand dates. Then again, they're all celebrities who do the list, so maybe they have no practical use in the real world, but they're fun to read. And they seem pretty logical. I wonder if these women know that most men actually agree with everything they say?
This month's list comes from Kidnapped star Dana Delany. Among the bits of wisdom: "Text messenging is for children and people who are having affairs. Don't do either" and "We need you. Because a vibrating piece of plastic can't kiss." I'm not sure I agree with #5 though, "Never wear cologne." I mean, come on. I wear cologne every time I go out. Ladies, what do you say?
The part about this list that makes you cringe isn't even in the list, it's the blurb at the very end. "Dana Delany stars as Ellie Cain on the drama Kidnapped, which airs Saturdays on NBC." Ouch.
As we've noted here before, and I'm sure you've noticed, Saturday night is the oddest night for television. It used to be great (remember CBS' lineup in the 70s?), but now it's just a night when no one watches much TV, and if they do, all they get is movies, repeats, and Cops.
But Tim Goodman over at The Bastard Machine has some ideas.
Last Saturday, Kidnapped got only about 3.7 million viewers, making it the lowest-watched program on television that night. Only five episodes of Kidnapped have aired so far and there's no word from NBC on whether it will even play out the rest of the 'season'. Starting this Saturday, reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent will play instead of Kidnapped.
I've been noticing more and more ads for the new ABC suspense-drama Day Break, which stars Taye Diggs as a cop who begins to experience the same day over and over and over again (a la Groundhog Day) when his girlfriend is murdered. Can he change events enough to save her life? Of course, there's a major, super secret conspiracy involved, as in all of these shows it seems.
Now, there's nothing wrong with a continuing drama per se. If they're good, I'll certainly watch it, and the previews for Daybreak look promising. But you have to question how parrot-like the networks are, wanting to just do anything to duplicate a megahit. Without even thinking that, while Lost is certainly a good show, maybe it was more a matter of timing, time slot, and subject matter than just the quality, that unpredictable mix that catches on. The demise of Vanished and Kidnapped and the so-so ratings of The Nine are not good signs. (And this isn't the only show still to come; the thriller Traveler is coming to ABC in early '07).
Daybreak starts November 15, in the Lost time slot.
If you recall, Reilly programmed a number of expensive, lavishly-done pilots for this fall season, like Kidnapped, Friday Night Lights, and Studio 60, all of which are tanking in the ratings. That along with a history of tentative decision-making was his undoing. The announcement will be made this afternoon; expect to see it in the trades tomorrow.
(Update 11:49 ET: No announcement tonight, as our tipster told us would happen. We contacted NBC for a response to this rumor and they didn't confirm or deny it. Guess we'll just keep waiting.)
(Update 10/19 8:23 PM: Well, folks, looks like the rumor -- as with all the past rumors of Reilly's firing -- didn't pan out, since he spoke at a panel of network heads earlier today. Our tipster has been thrown into TVS HQ's moat. Let's hope said tipster can avoid the crocs and piranha...)
Anway, the reason why I'm putting up this reminder is that Kidnapped is a quality show, and since it's going to be on for the next ten weeks -- the producers were told to wrap things up in 13 episodes -- on a night when nothing else is on, it's perfect fodder for Sunday afternoon DVR-watching. That's what I'm going to do, at least. Maybe it'll actually get OK ratings on Saturday... uh, maybe not.
3 Lbs is about the relationship between a brilliant, but arrogant, neurosurgeon, and the rising star that works for him. Originally it was to star Dylan McDermott, but now will feature Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, Murder One) and Mark Feuerstein (West Wing, Good Morning Miami). I'm not sure about Feuerstein in this role, we'll have to wait and see, but I'll give anything with Stanley Tucci in it a look. This character sounds like he could have a little Richard Cross in him, which would be a good thing.
So, in looking at all the entries, the person who chose Kidnapped as the first show to be canceled with the closest guess to the number of episodes (13) is ...
erroneous_nick, with Kidnapped in 7 episodes!
And was only the third entry in the contest -- nice call.
Congrats to you, Nick! Or is it erroneous? Well whatever it is, congratulations -- we'll get in touch with you shortly regarding where to send your new HD PVR system from SnapStream!
(UPDATE: Several folks have pointed out that they believe Smith to be the true canceled show here. After some discussion within the 'Squad and an analysis of the rules stated in the contest, our decision stands.)
Despite what folks like my brother Rich have speculated, though, Law & Order will not be moving back to it's old Wednesday at 10 slot. NBC has decided to replace Kidnapped with an edition of Dateline. I guess they figure if they're going to come in last place, they might as well do it with a cheap-to-produce show.
In the 8pm time slots: Dancing with the Stars was first at 8, followed by Jericho. Bones was third.
So I guess now the question is, will The Nine continue to lose viewers week after week, like Kidnapped and Studio 60? Will ABC stick with it for the long haul, or cut their losses and cancel it (or do what NBC is doing with Kidnapped, canceling it but wrapping things up in 13 episodes, if they can even do that?)
According to Ausiello (look near the bottom of the page), the producers of the NBC serialized drama have been told to stop production after finishing the 13th episode. Considering they were shooting episode seven when I visited the set six weeks ago, that would mean that they are going to wrap up right... about... now. Anyway, there is an "early cancellation" contingency in place that will show the conclusion to the kidnapping mystery, so the writers won't leave whatever viewers they have left hanging like Reunion did last year. It's too bad; from everything I've seen, the show was one of the best of the fall season. But lack of promotion and a crappy time slot -- people didn't want to get started with this show when The Nine was coming two weeks later -- doomed Kidnapped from the start. Maybe NBC should just hold the show now and air all 13 episodes over the summer; I bet they'd get pretty good ratings then.
(UPDATE 10/5/06: Looks like the show is indeed done. Thanks for the link, dinges!)
- At 8, NBC has a new Dateline.
- ABC has college football at 8, Notre Dame vs. Michigan.
- FOX has a new Cops at 8, followed by a repeat episode and then a new America's Most Wanted.
- CBS is rerunning the Jericho premiere at 8, followed by the Smith premiere, and then a new 48 Hours Mystery.
- HBO2 has a mini marathon of Entourage starting at 8.
- Also at 8: Cartoon Network has a new Fantastic Four.
- Around 8:20, IFC has Ed Wood, with Johnny Depp and Martin Landau.
- At 9, there's a new Naruto on Cartoon Network, followed by a new Bobobo-bo Bo-Bobo.
- At 10, NBC is rerunning the premiere ep of Kidnapped.
- HGTV has a new Design on a Dime at 10.
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.
(S01E01) If there's one thing you need to know about Kidnapped, it's this: nothing is as it seems. All we know after the opening episode is over is that Leopold Cain (Will Denton), the erudite son of wealthy Manhattan couple Conrad and Ellie Cain (Timothy Hutton and Dana Delany), has been kidnapped. We don't know why, and we don't know by whom. We also know that Cain has hired private investigator Knapp (Jeremy Sisto), who has a shady past but knows how to get people back to their families. His partner in investigation is Turner (Carmen Ejogo). We also know that Special Agent Lattimer King (Delroy Lindo) has been dragged into the case via his associtation with a bodyguard named Virgil (Mykelti Williamson). He and Knapp know each other, and they both know that they'll have to work together, whether they like it or not.
Everything else? It's completely up in the air. But that's what makes this show interesting.
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