Tag: Swingtown

TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: CBS newsflash

Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment, just addressed us and offered up the following bits and pieces of information:

* Regarding NBC’s decision to give Jay Leno their 10 PM slot, “Our first reaction was to say, ‘Thank you.'”

* The success of importing “Flashpoint” from Canada has opened the door for CBS to explore different business models, and the network is exploring other potential situations as well.

* CBS will hopefully be doing a deal with Alex O’Loughlin and they are still trying to develop a series for him…so, basically, nothing’s really changed on that front. (She said approximately the same thing back in July.)

* John Mayer is in the final stage of negotiations to have a music / variety / sketch show on the network, though whether it will be a special, a series, or merely a pilot remains to be seen.

* She is very happy with Drew Carey on “The Price Is Right,” but when asked if we would be seeing a change in host, she said, “I hope not.” Mixed signals or just a poor choice of words…?

* She loved the concept for “The Ex List,” but it failed in its execution. “It never found its traction; it never found its pulse.”

* There will be an “NCIS” spin-off, which is only appropriate, given that that series spun off from “JAG.”

* They were extremely proud of the way it was executed and was received, but, “No, we’re not going back to ‘Swingtown.'” Sorry, Ross.

2008: The Year in TV – Ross Ruediger

Unfortunately I’m the kind of guy who’s lousy at making lists, because I always feel I’m going to leave off something important. So this year, my list is the shortest so it’s obvious I left many things off. It was a pretty good year for TV, and with so many good shows bidding adieu, I worry that next year’s list will be short simply because there won’t be enough quality stuff to fill it out.


1. “Torchwood,” BBC America


Normally, “Doctor Who” would take the top spot on my year-end round up of favorite shows, but this year the spin-off series “Torchwood” was so strong that I’m giving it up to Captain Jack. Its sophomore season navigated an intense and fresh sci-fi vibe that was perfect for the here and now. The thing is that at this point both series (along with the more kiddie-oriented “The Sarah Jane Adventures”) have all become slices of one another. It’s the “Who”-niverse…and in order to see the bigger picture, one must be aware of every facet. The three series work apart from each other, yet gel into a whole via awareness. In any case, this year “Torchwood” delivered stronger material than Season Four of “Who,” which, while refreshing, is a trend I’d like to see reversed once Steven Moffat begins guiding the Doctor in 2010.

2. “Boston Legal,” ABC
After a somewhat tepid fourth season, the halls of Crane, Poole & Schmidt came roaring back to life for an abbreviated 13-episode final season. Nearly every installment this year has been a keeper, and David E. Kelley has done a fantastic job of balancing his usual political grandstanding with eloquent moments of character-driven drama and comedy. At the time of writing, the 2-hour series finale has yet to be unveiled, but there isn’t any reason to believe it’s going to be anything short of an ideal sendoff for James Spader, William Shatner, and Candice Bergen. The show began life as a spin-off of “The Practice“; now, if only the TV gods would allow Kelley to spin a series off “Boston Legal” that follows the relationship of Jerry Espenson (Christian Clemenson) and Katie Lloyd (Tara Summers), I’d be perfectly content to see this show ride off into the sunset.

3. “The Shield,” FX
For some reason, it almost seems easy to want to dismiss the end of the saga of Vic Mackey…but, really, that would be just plain wrong. Shawn Ryan and his cohorts have steadily delivered under-the-radar goods for 7 seasons, and the missteps have been few and far between along the way. I’m not going to miss “The Shield” like I would many a show that’s wrapping things up…like “Boston Legal,” for instance. No, this show ended at exactly the right time and on exactly the right series of corrupt, violent notes. But speaking of spin-offs, who wouldn’t want to see a half-hour cop comedy series centered around Dutch Wagenbach (Jay Karnes) and Steve Billings (David Marciano)? OK, perhaps that’s a tad over the top, so I’ll settle for a drama focused solely on Dutch, who’s had the good sense to move as far away from Farmington as possible.

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