Tag Archives: TV By The Numbers

TV *and* Not TV!

A crapshoot usually results in…crap.

We’re at the cusp of some major decision-making at the major television networks. Although a few things have leaked out already, the upfronts which are scheduled for the next couple of days will find ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS and others setting the stage for their Fall 2010 programming. Sometimes it’s not so much what they say as what they don’t say.

For example, you’re unlikely to see a formal announcement confirming Better off Ted is cancelled. But when you look at the ABC schedule, it won’t be there. Sayonara, genius comedy show.

This season sees a few iconic shows come to an end. Law and Order, tied for the longest-running night-time drama program ever, just got its walking papers…yet the network picked up Law and Order Los Angeles (or as Ray Davies and I like to call it, LOLA!). Soon the entire network will be L&O, CSI and NCIS. If you don’t like acronym drama, TFB – you’re SOL.

Lost is ramping up to its final weekend with an episode this Tuesday, some recaps on the weekend and then a two and a half hour finale on Sunday May 23rd. The next night, 24 will sign off its final season with a two-hour show before Jack Bauer and company undoubtedly head for the big screen.

Heroes has bitten the dust, although there will be a 2-4 hour special to hopefully wrap up all the plotlines. No such luck for FlashForward (which I still think would have made a nice lead in to V, which did get renewed), and Happy Town is apparently already slated to burn off and die in the summer. So much for novel ideas. Bring on the cop shows and medical dramas; America can’t get enough of people in uniforms. Even those who snog their co-workers.

Even the smaller cable networks are dicing and splicing. The once highly promoted Sarah Silverman Program has gotten the axe from Comedy Central, and Justified might be on life support at FX.

Thankfully, some quality dramas (Fringe, Castle) and comedies (Parks & Recreation, Community) survived their initial spotty ratings long enough to build a following and gain renewal. Others likely to get renewed defy all logic.

It will be an interesting week – each network has a long-standing favorite leaving the air, and NBC’s Jay Leno Show disaster leaves them with a gaping hole to fill (Parenthood is weak and The Marriage Ref is horrid, but any port in a storm, yes?). Be sure to follow the upfronts here at TV By The Numbers.

Or Entertainment Weekly’s Bubble Show Scorecard.

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Some people get so frustrated, they want to blow up their television.

Now you’re talking!

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Filed under Editorials, Film/TV, Reviews

Lost on Cinco De Mayo

This little piggy went...(boom)

LOST fans might have just plotzed for a number of reasons. 

Without spoiling anything, if you haven’t seen last night’s episode you need to do that right away. Because otherwise you are in danger of being tricked into experiencing that deadly hallway conversation, Tweet or email subject line that will kill your appreciation of viewing the show without a priori knowledge. 

And yes, much like the writers, I just dropped a few hints. Or maybe I didn’t

The good news, though, is the announcement that the final episode has been extended by a half-hour, eliminating your local news for the evening and taking you right into what will likely be the highest rated Jimmy Kimmel show ever

Per The Hollywood Reporter and other sites, “ABC is airing an enhanced (pop-ups) version of the show’s original two-hour pilot on May 22. On Sunday there’s a two-hour retrospective titled “Lost: The Final Journey,” followed by the finale, then the local news (which was preempted in the first-blush recounting of this plan) and Kimmel post-show.” 

Sounds incredible! Too bad the title The Lost Weekend is already taken (and rightfully so – kudos Ray Milland!) 

People...can't we just all get along?

Lost fanatics who are pondering the concepts of time-shifting and alternate realities will certainly celebrate today as the birthday of Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher who declared the idea of subjectivity as truth and is recognized as the founder of Existentialism, an influential author in psychology, and an important figure in Postmodernism. The rest of us will go all Cinco De Mayo on ourselves and fondly remember the birthday of Sandy Baron, Tammy Wynette and Lance Henriksen!)

But after you watch the episode, check this out.

As a follow-up to my TV Or Not TV post the other day, I must tell you that TV By The Numbers has once again hit a home run

Ever time a show hits the rocks, an S.O.S.  fan campaign sparks up, usually a petition sent to the network pleading the cause to “Save Our Show“.  It rarely works; usually it falls on deaf ears. Here’s the latest multi-show campaign from USA Today (and screw them, they didn’t even list Better Off Ted!) 

TVBTN writer Bill Gorman, highly cynical of such ill-fated efforts, figured he’d flip the concept on its ear. Why not centralize the effort and tell the networks what you want to see hit the broadcasting dumpster? Brilliant! So please vote in their “Don’t Save Their Show” poll;  they promise that it will have as much impact as the positive-themed attempts…none

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And a fond farewell to the voice of the Detroit Tigers, the great Ernie Harwell. I feel bad for those not old enough to have experienced listening to baseball on the radio when that medium was the major broadcasting arm of the sport. Ernie – like Jack Buck, Vin Scully, Mel Allen and so many other greats – could paint a wonderfully descriptive picture with just their words and inflection. 

How sad is it that so many television broadcasters today have the full range of multiple zoom cameras, instant replay and a wealth of historical data at their fingertips and still can’t entertain an audience…let alone communicate what’s happening on the field of play. The great ones knew the game was the star, not the announcer

Ernie was supposed to receive the the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting this afternoon. Al Kaline will accept in his honor, and for one day, there will be crying in baseball

Sometimes there is. RIP Ernie!

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Filed under Comedy, Editorials, Features and Interviews, Film/TV