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October 9, 2015


CBS officially buries Swingtown

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 14th 2009 3:31PM
swingtown poolRemember last summer, that CBS drama about life in 1976, the music, the fashions, the wife-swapping and key parties? Yes, Swingtown, the daring drama that flirted with controversial subjects, but was essentially a well-produced soap opera in the tradition of Knots Landing?

Well, after months of no news about the show, we learn today that no news is bad news. Swingtown has been cancelled.

CBS president Nina Tassler championed the show, but apparently she couldn't save it. At the press tour presentation she talked lovingly about the drama, even patting the network on the back to taking a risk by broadcasting it. But in the end, the good performances, excellent writing, critical approval and cult following it garnered didn't matter.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 8th 2008 6:04PM
SwingtownHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Hmmm...I thought A Colbert Christmas was released last week?

We also have Swingtown - Season 1, which can probably also be titled Swingtown - The Complete Series, much to the dismay of devoted fans. This is a good week for fans of Deadwood and The Wire, as they both get complete series releases that would make fantastic Christmas gifts for the fan in your family

  • A Colbert Christmas
  • The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Deadwood - The Complete Series
  • Gunsmoke - Season 3, Vol. 1
  • Happy Days - Season 4 and Seasons 1-4
  • Lost - Season 4
  • Rawhide - Season 3, Vol. 2
  • Shelly Duvall's Bedtime Stories - Complete Series
  • Swingtown - Season 1
  • The Wire - Complete Series

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Fox saves Sarah...Connor, that is

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 18th 2008 3:32PM
Sarah CLet's hear it for Fox TV! No, you don't need to check my meds. I'm seriously giving a shout-out to Fox for their latest move. Despite so-so ratings, Fox has renewed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for the remainder of the 2008-9 season. This says that Fox understands that shows -- especially the sci-fi genre -- need time to develop and grow an audience.

The greatest sci-fi success of all time, Star Trek, struggled for three years on NBC in the 1960s where the network was very frustrated with the show because it wasn't a ratings smash. Imagine, if you will, how much NBC might have made if they had stuck with ST and mined the cult success that exploded into a cultural phenomenon?

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Is there hope for Swingtown?

by Kelly Woo, posted Sep 29th 2008 3:02PM
SwingtownIf you didn't watch Swingtown this summer, you're not alone.

The CBS drama posted low ratings over the summer, despite buzz over its salacious topic. Still, the show gained some fans (including me), who have been waiting on word of its renewal or cancellation.

Now comes news that Bravo will air reruns of the show this fall. The Hollywood Reporter says the deal "essentially closes the door" on the show, with CBS unlikely to produce new episodes and Bravo uninterested in doing so.

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Swingtown: Take it to the Limit (season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 6th 2008 11:01AM
swing(S01E13) The summer's officially over on Swingtown, marked by Tom's Labor Day clambake at the shore, which turned out to also be a key party.

Now that the first season of the show has come to an end, it's clear that while they explored hot topics like open marriage, wife-swapping and group sex, the essence of the show was not titillation or a guide page by page through The Joys of Sex. Swingtown was about the characters, three families and the changing times in 1976.

Questions, questions. Will Tom and Trina keep the baby? The Deckers are the open marriage couple and they've enjoyed the freedom to swing. But how amazing is it that they are the marriage that's in synch! They actually talk things out and share what they're thinking. You can't say that about the Thompsons and Millers.

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What's On Tonight: Stand Up To Cancer, Monk, Bill Maher

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 5th 2008 4:01PM
  • SwingtownAt 8, ABC, CBS, and NBC have the Stand Up To Cancer benefit.
  • FOX has two-hour season premiere of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? at 8.
  • The CW has a new Smackdown! at 8.
  • PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, followed by new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
  • At 9, NBC has an NFL Kickoff Special.
  • USA has a new Monk at 9, then a new Psych.
  • Discovery Channel has two new episodes of Discovery Project Earth at 9.
  • At 10, CBS has the season (series?) finale of Swingtown.
  • ABC has a new 20/20 at 10.
  • Sci-Fi Channel has a new Stargate Atlantis at 10.
  • History Channel has a new Shockwave at 10.
  • Also at 10: Travel Channel has a new Most Haunted.
  • At 11, HBO has a new Real Time with Bill Maher.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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What to Watch Friday, Sept. 5

by Kim Potts, posted Sep 5th 2008 5:00AM
'Stand Up to Cancer'
(8PM, ABC, CBS, NBC, E!)
It's everything a good telethon should be: Educational, entertaining and likely to raise millions of dollars for cancer research.

Part of a larger, ongoing effort to raise funds, this star-studded hour will be broadcast commercial-free and include reports from newsers Katie Couric and Brian Williams, a visit to a cancer hospital and 'Desperate Housewives' star Dana Delany undergoing a mammogram.

Other celebs appearing: Cancer survivors Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Elizabeth Edwards and Robin Roberts, plus Meryl Streep, Jennifer Aniston, Masi Oka, Homer and Marge Simpson, the casts of 'Lost' and '30 Rock' and 'American Idol' winner David Cook.

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If you like Swingtown, you might like BiCoastal

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 4th 2008 1:00PM
Showtime logoSo Mike Kelley, the creator of CBS' Swingtown, has a new show in the works called BiCoastal. From that title, can you guess what the show is about?


BiCoastal will air on Showtime, and is about a husband and father in Los Angeles who finds himself falling in love with a man who lives in New York City. Something tells me that the Parents Television Council is already making picket signs even as I type this. Or maybe they're just using the old ones, crossing out NYPD Blue and replacing it with BiCoastal.

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Fans unite to save Swingtown

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 2nd 2008 4:20PM
bar swingtownThis Friday CBS will air the last episode of Swingtown, but the question of the future for the show still remains unanswered. Is this the series finale or just the season finale? Fans are concerned and I've been contacted by one who has started a petition online to present to CBS, beseeching the network to give Swingtown a second season. If you want to sign up, click here.

I've been reviewing Swingtown since it premiered earlier this summer and I've liked the show. In fact, it's grown on me and if I were in a position to make the call, I'd give Swingtown an order for 13 more episodes. Yes, the series has not been a ratings hit, I'll give you that. However, it has created a lot of buzz and media coverage.

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TV Squad: The Week Ahead

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 1st 2008 8:05AM
True BloodOur Monday morning roundup of a half dozen things TV Squad readers - and TV fans in general - will be talking about this week.

1. Season Premieres.
Prison Break (tonight at 8pm on FOX), Gossip Girl (tonight at 8pm on The CW), One Tree Hill (tonight at 9pm on The CW), The Shield (Tuesday at 10pm on FX), Bones (Wednesday at 8pm on FOX), America's Next Top Model (Wednesday at 8pm on The CW), Top Design (Wednesday at 10pm on Bravo), Kitchen Nightmares (Thursday at 8 on FOX), Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? (Friday at 8pm on FOX), Cops (Saturday at 8pm on FOX), Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football (Sunday at 7pm on NBC), and Entourage (Sunday at 10pm on HBO).

2. Series Premieres.
Raising The Bar (tonight at 10pm on TNT), 90210 (Tuesday at 8pm on The CW), Privileged (Tuesday at 9pm on The CW), Sons of Anarchy (Wednesday at 10pm on FX), Hole in the Wall (Sunday at 8 on FOX), and True Blood (Sunday at 9pm on HBO.)

3. Republican National Convention.
Important for the usual reasons, but also because Hurricane Gustav might affect what goes on at the convention and who shows up. (All week on the cable news channels and CSPAN and Monday-Thursday at 10pm on the networks.)

4. Stand Up To Cancer.
ABC, CBS, and NBC (though not FOX or The CW) join forces on one night to raise money. (Friday at 8pm.)

5. Swingtown season finale.
Or is that the series finale? (Friday at 10pm on CBS)

6. U.S. Open Finals.
Will it be Federer vs. Nadal again? We know it won't be a Williams/Williams women's final because they're in the same half. (Women's Final: Saturday at 8pm on CBS. Men's Final: Sunday at 4pm - or whenever football gets over - on CBS.)

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Swingtown: Surprise

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 30th 2008 11:26AM
Lana Swingtown Parilla (S01E12) "Do you think we closed Pandora's box?" -- Tom to Trina, after Janet's birthday party

You knew this was going to be an episode fraught with revelations when the strains of Carly Simon singing "No Secrets" played over the opening scene. Perfect song to comment on the surprises to come, as Swingtown climbs toward the big season one climax next week.

The show is getting tantalizing terrific. It's not that I'm enamored with all the characters, but they've all become interesting to me. Even Ricky's struggle to come to terms with his best friend falling in love with the girl next door and leaving behind their buddy-buddy relationship, was surprisingly meaningful to me. The scene where Janet advised Ricky to show B.J. how important his friendship was to him was wonderful. His hugging Mom like that was so true; Janet is a tough mother, but she's the embodiment of love and support and Ricky needed his mommy in that moment.

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What's On Tonight: Smackdown, Marlon Brando, Swingtown

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 29th 2008 4:01PM
  • Bill MaherAt 7, USA has more coverage of The U.S. Open.
  • At 8, The CW has a new Smackdown!
  • PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, followed by new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
  • TCM has On The Waterfront at 8.
  • At 9, NBC has a new Dateline.
  • Discovery Channel has two new episodes of Discovery Project Earth at 9.
  • At 10, CBS has a new Swingtown.
  • ABC has a new 20/20 at 10.
  • At 10:30, E! has a new episode of The Soup.
  • At 11, HBO has the season premiere of Real Time with Bill Maher.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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The chances for a Flashpoint pickup are good

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 26th 2008 10:22AM
FlashpointAll right, let me say this up front and without equivocation: if CBS picks up Flashpoint and cancels Swingtown, I'm going to be ticked off. I'm not down on Flashpoint. As Jane wrote, Flashpoint is a good show. No 24, but solid procedural entertainment. However, when I read that Canada's CTV has renewed up north and sources say that CBS is close to doing the same, I immediately got my back up.

Why should Flashpoint get a break while an interesting, quirky and outside-the-box drama like Swingtown may not? It's disheartening to me that CBS is searching for a cable network to take Swingtown, while a "safe" crime show like Flashpoint doesn't have that concern.

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Could Swingtown move to cable?

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 22nd 2008 3:01PM
SwingtownAttention fans of Swingtown: your ratings-challenged show might actually have a chance to see a second season.

Even though the 70s-set drama isn't getting a ton of viewers (in its current time slot Friday at 10 or in its old Thursday at 10 time slot), there are execs behind the scenes at the network who like the show and would like to see it continue. The network is shopping the show around to cable networks to see if one of them will pick it up.

I would actually like to see this happen. As I've mentioned on these pages before, I have trouble with some of Swingtown, but at the same time I really want to see what happens to these characters, and there are a lot of other shows where I can't say that. I wonder if they'll pull an NBC and put it on DirecTV like we're seeing with Friday Night Lights, or maybe put it on Showtime. CBS has shown Dexter on the network so maybe Showtime can take Swingtown. That would certainly open up more plot possibilities for the show. And by possibilities I mean nudity and swearing.

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Swingtown: Get Down Tonight

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 16th 2008 10:01AM
Josh Hopkins -Swingtown(S01E11) Roger and Susan finally had that moment. After eleven episodes, when he showed up in her kitchen and said what we've been waiting to hear him say -- "I love you, Susan" -- it was cathartic. Done to the tune of Carole King singing, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" Swingtown grabbed me by the throat, leaving me dying to see what would happen next. Only that was the end of the show.

I guess that's a good thing, being on the edge of my seat, hungry for more. Of course the next episode is two weeks away and probably the last of the show unless CBS deigns to bring it back in 2009. Based on the level of interest I have and I've seen from readers, Swingtown has earned a second season.

But I digress, let's get back to "Get Down Tonight." There was an awful lot of getting down, including the kids. BJ and Ricky had a hot game of strip poker with Sam and her very mature cousin Lisa. Not surprisingly, Ricky was all bluff and ran for the hills when things got too advanced, while BJ showed again that he's a real mensch (Yiddish for a quality person).

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