– Ratings for the season finales of “Chuck” and “Heroes” failed to impress. This is especially bad news for “Chuck,” which is definitely on the bubble to get a pickup.
– TV.COM reports that talks between ABC and the producers of “Scrubs” are heating up. The ratings haven’t been great, but ad sales have been solid due to the upscale nature of the show’s audience. This season has been up and down, and has suffered some with portions of the cast missing significant time (as a planned, cost-cutting measure). But when everyone’s accounted for, the show still has its moments.
– EW.COM is reporting that the CW is planning to run repeats of “Privileged” this summer, which could be taken as a good sign as far as the show’s future is concerned.
– VARIETY discusses the still-a-ways-off-series-finale of “Lost,” and how the producers are approaching it.
Have you noticed an intoxicating scent of fear and desperation in the air recently? When you catch that scent wafting in from the general direction Hollywood, you know we’ve reached the time when the networks have begun to look very, very seriously at their schedules in order to determine which of the shows that haven’t yet earned pick-up notices for their next season actually deserve those notices. This year, the stench is particularly strong, what with the combination of Jay Leno’s new M-F 10 PM show killing five perfectly good spots for hourlong drama on NBC, the general economic situation, and the American public still not really having much of an interest in watching anything original. Keeping in mind, of course, that when I say “the American public,” I’m not talking about you…
“No, Mum, they haven’t officially canceled ‘Eleventh Hour’ yet. I’ll keep you posted, though, shall I?”
Nellie Andreeva at the Hollywood Reporter has put together a piece where she gives a rundown of what shows are still waiting to find out if they’re going to get a pink slip or a terse note saying, “Yeah, yeah, you’ve got another season, now get your ass back to work,” while Hercules over at Ain’t It Cool News has taken the work out of it for you and simply offered up three succinct lists: Likely To Return, Unlikely to Return, and 50/50.
Taking the “Likely to Return” list – “Ghost Whisperer,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Law & Order,” “Numb3rs,” “Southland,” and “Ugly Betty” – out of discussion for the moment, I don’t mind telling you that, between the other two lists, it’s highly depressing to see about half of my TiVo Season Passes get cited. (Not mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter piece is “Kings,” but I agree with Herc that it’s probably been left out because its permanent vacation at the end of its Saturday night death slot run is considered a given.) Regular Premium Hollywood readers will already know that our man John Paulsen has been covering the death knell of several of these shows and established his feelings on what he’d be bummed to see depart, but here are the five shows – one per network, so as not to be greedy – that I’d most like to see earn a reprieve from cancellation:
Continue reading »
Good news for fans of several CW shows.
The CW network has picked up six series to return in the fall: “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill, “90210,” the Thursday combo of “Smallville” and “Supernatural” and the reality hit “America’s Next Top Model,” which has been green-lighted for its 13th and 14th seasons.
The ninth-season renewal for “Smallville” came after producing studio Warner Bros TV was able to secure a new deal with star Tom Welling.
The last couple seasons of “Supernatural” have been great, and “Smallville” has been really strong this year as well, so I’m happy to see that both will be returning for another season. The same goes for “Gossip Girl,” which is a guilty pleasure.
There are a few other CW shows that are still in limbo…
Awaiting a decision regarding its fate is freshman drama “Privileged,” which has developed a strong fan base but has been a modest ratings performer.
Renewal chances are slim at best for “Reaper,” whose second season begins Tuesday, and for the CW’s only two remaining comedy series, “The Game” and “Everybody Hates Chris,” since the network has abandoned the genre.
I gave up on “Privileged” after a couple of episodes because the two daughters were pretty annoying. The show’s star — Joanna Garcia — is charming, so I’m not surprised that the show has developed a strong fan base. “Reaper” isn’t getting much help from its network, but it still needs to perform well in its second season to have a shot at renewal.
The good news is that, according to Variety‘s James Hibberd, The CW has decided to bring back “Reaper” on March 3rd, which is a couple of weeks earlier than originally planned. The bad news is that it’s pretty clear that they’re doing so because they need a sacrificial lamb for the spot on the schedule against “American Idol,” and since they don’t want to keep wasting perfectly good episodes of “90210,” they’ve decided to use a series in which they clearly have limited faith.
To make way for “Reaper,” the CW also advanced its first-season finale date for “Privileged.” The show will conclude Feb. 24, having aired fewer repeats than originally planned. The network has not yet decided whether the drama will return next season. “90210” has been wrestling with “Idol” in recent weeks. Yet it and “Privileged” enjoy the highest percentage of DVR gains among any show on any network.
I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but while I think we can count on both “90210” and “Privileged” making it back in Fall 2009 (I can’t believe they won’t keep both shows at least into a sophomore season, given the importance of DVR stats in today’s TV), the odds of “Reaper” seeing a third year are already looking slim…and it hasn’t even premiered yet! The CW already hedged their bets with the show’s second year by only giving it a 13-episode commitment, and this maneuver stinks of someone at the network saying, “If it’s a hit, awesome, and if it’s not…well, we didn’t really expect it to be, anyway, so it’s no skin off our nose!”
ADDENDUM: Tyler Labine has been one of my Facebook friends ever since I interviewed him for Bullz-Eye, and when he changed his status this morning to indicate that he was “off to LA to get a new gig,” I immediately responded by asking, “Wow, is there really that little hope for a third season of ‘Reaper’?” He quickly replied, “No, no, just a big hiatus to fill up with gigs. Just a few movie ops. Season 3 is a definite maybe right now. I’ll keep everyone posted.” Oh, okay: if he’s hopeful, then I reckon can find it in my heart to be hopeful as well.
I’ve long thought – and I think my old friend Brian Becknell would agree with me on this – that a concert venue would make a great setting for a TV series…and I’m not talking about, like, “Hey, ‘90210’ fans, get ready for ‘Nat’s Peach Pit!'” I’m talking about a show that takes the music and people’s love of the music seriously…and although I’m not putting all of my eggs in one basket and saying that that show has arrived, I think that Josh Schwartz’s new online series for TheWB.com, “Rockville, CA,” is at least heading in the right direction.
“I think this is a show about people in their early twenties who are finding themselves, finding their place as adults,” said Schwartz, who arguably covers similar territory in “Chuck.” “They’re in that transitional phase. I think a lot of times when you are young, when you’re in your early twenties, music and the people who make music have a really sort of powerful affect on you, and sometimes you believe that the artist is the man. And sometimes the guy on the sidelines who is criticizing the music might be the better catch.”
As a former music journalist who spent his twenties in the audience rather than on the stage, I think Mr. Schwartz may be onto something here.
Continue reading »