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."
Fortunately, I don't see a SAG strike in the future. However, here are ten things I'm betting will happen by the time the ball drops on December 31st.
1. Martin Scorsese will be the next big thing on HBO. He's producing a drama based on the book Boardwalk Empire. HBO is overdue to launch another big series in The Sopranos tradition. Boardwalk Empire seems to have all the right elements: violence, sex, gambling, and Oscar-winning, iconic director Martin Scorsese.
Saturday -- a time of rest and relaxation. A time to put your feet up, grab a lemonade, open a book, and let the cool, summer breezes gently rock your hammock as a lazy July day passes. Of course, that's if you aren't attending the San Diego Comic-Con. Then, it's out of your bed, quick shower (if any), breakfast-on-the-go, and right back into the queues to see your particular favorites talking about their television shows.
Like Friday, Saturday at Comic-Con will be packed with television goodness. This is the day that many of the big guns come to play. Shows like The Office, Lost, Battlestar Galactica will be making appearances. They will be joined by newcomers Chuck, Dollhouse, and Pushing Daisies. There will even be an appearance by the recently single Sarah Silverman. There's also a good bit of television animation being featured, particularly by Nicktoons and B.E.T. Animation.
In order to make sure you get the most out of the money you paid to get into the convention, we here at TV Squad are providing you with a complete list of television-related panels for that day. If you are interested in seeing what else is going on July 25th you can review the official full schedule at the Comic-Con website. Remember, times and appearances are subject to change and seating in all event rooms is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
As a tribute to the recently-deceased comedy legend, NBC will air the entire premiere episode of SNL this Saturday night. For those who have never seen the premiere before (it's on a DVD set of the complete first season), it'll be interesting to see how different the first episode is from the SNL format they know and hate-love today. I'll be DVRing it; will you?
To give you a taste, the opening monologue -- an early version of Carlin's classic "Baseball and Football" routine -- is after the jump.
According to the New York Times, NBC is planning to shuffle its schedule for the New Year. The network has said that it wants cheap shows (reality shows, news, and game shows) in its 8 pm time slots and dramas and comedies at later hours.
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.
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.
As I mentioned before, MTV2 is getting back in to the animation game with a new Saturday afternoon block of shows, Sic 'Emation, set to debut on June 10. Well, a couple new shows, a retread of an old show (Celebrity Deathmatch), and reruns of Beavis and Butthead. While it doesn't make sense for me to judge any of the new shows on just these preview clips, I'm going to anyway. So here goes:
Returning: 24, American Dad, American Idol, America's Most Wanted: America Strikes Back, Bones, Cops, Family Guy, House, King of the Hill, The Loop, MADtv, Nanny 911, The O.C., Prison Break, The Simpsons, Trading Spouses: Meet your new Mommy, The War at Home.
Out: Arrested Development, The Bernie Mac Show, Free Ride, Killer Instinct, Kitchen Confidential, Malcolm in the Middle, Reunion, Skating with Celebrities, Stacked, That '70s Show, Unan1mous
New: Vanished, Standoff, Justice, 'Til Death, Happy Hour, Talk Show with Spike Feresten, Duets, The Wedding Album, The Winner, On the Lot.
Descriptions of new shows below.
Of course, I'm watching the stupid thing (nothing else on ... maybe the NBA playoffs, but ... eh). Here's what I'm learning from this experience:
1. Julia Roberts is the least convincing hooker I've ever seen.
2. Early '90s double-breasted suits look kinda silly now.
3. Richard Gere never did anything for me as an actor.
4. Jason Alexander was actually thin once ... once.
5. This is the movie that inflicted "The King of Wishful Thinking" upon us.
6. This movie isn't nearly as funny as I thought it was in 1990.
7. I really, really need to get a girlfriend.
More changes are underway on Saturday mornings. CBS is developing a three-hour kids' entertainment block called CBS Secret Saturday Morning Slumber Party, which debuts this fall.
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