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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Charlie’s Angels Reboot

As movies are doing reboots, so now the TV industry is jumping on the band wagon.   ABC has announced the reboot of the famous and wonderful show from the 70s and 80s Charlie’s Angels.  Charlie’s Angels will star Minka Kelly, Rachel Taylor, and Annie Ilonzeh.  I love a show that features strong, intelligent and sexy female leads.   CA was always one of my favorite shows as a kid so I am excited, so far, for a new updated version.  I think Robert Wagner is also in negotiations to be the voice of Charlie.   Already, the one big difference between the original and the new version, is the ladies will have questionable backgrounds.  In the original, the girls were graduates of the police academy but were given shitty positions due to being women.  But it’s early and storylines can change before the pilot is shot and even before it goes to final broadcast, if picked up.  So we’ll see what happens.

There have been quite a few shows doing reboots these days.  Some successfully (90210), some not so much (Melrose Place), and some the jury is still out on (Hawaii 5-0.)  Done right, it can have a fresh interesting take on a classic.  Done poorly, and it can ruin the legacy of a once great show (if it was great in its heyday.)   My first instinct when it comes to reboot is to shout LAZY at the networks.  Can’t you come up with something new?  No?  So you have reboot a classic because there is nothing else you can come up with?  LAZY!!!   But maybe not.  If the concept was good and you can give it a new spin and twist, I say go for it.  I don’t like fresh updates and new takes on classic Broadway musicals and great pieces of theater (you hear me Arthur Laurents?   Thanks for ruining West Side Story with your “fresh approach.”   Ugh!)  But I’m all for it with a TV show.  So I am anxious to see what happens to this reboot.

As information comes out on Charlie’s Angels, I will keep you updated as best I can.  Are you excited for the new Charlie’s Angels?  Can Minka Kelly, Rachel Taylor, and Annie Ilonzeh fill the shoes of the iconic Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and Farrah Fawcett/Cheryl Ladd (see below?)  We’ll see.

Photo Courtesy of dawgsports.com

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in ABC, Casting News, New Shows

 

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The Closer Spinoff Talk Heats Up

The drama behind the drama, The Closer is becoming more interesting.  Since we last talked about the final season of the Closer, some more developments have taken place.  First, the 15 episode season has been extended to 21…yeah!!!!  Second, the reason for the extended episodes will not only give us more The Closer with Kyra and wrap up storylines, but will set up the new spinoff for the show.   Which leads to development three, the spinoff is happening.

Right now it doesn’t seem like there is any confirmation on who will be on the new spinoff, what it is about, or how much of the cast of the Closer will be joining the spinoff.  My guess would be, Flynn and Provenza are definitely part of the spinoff plan.  Much of the cast was interviewed about it at the SAG awards and many of them, such as Corey Reynolds (Sgt Gabriel) and Tony Denison (Flynn), talked about how much they would like to keep going in some capacity.

As I mentioned before, I am torn.  I love everyone in the cast.  They all have great chemistry and I would like to see them on my TV together again.  I just don’t know if it would be difficult to watch them and not think, where is Brenda?  They would need to get someone amazing that is nothing like Brenda and go a complete different route to make it work.  I don’t know if they can but I would be willing to give it a chance.  So I am cautiously optimistic about the idea of a The Closer spinoff.

How about you?   Do you like the idea or think the show should just end next season on a high note?

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Canceled Shows, TNT

 

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To Be or Not To Be Canceled…Why TV Networks Should Operate Like Pro Sports Teams

We have about 12-16 weeks left (about 10 episodes for those shows will full orders for the year) in the 2010-2011 network broadcast season.   One thing is certain, I think it is harder and harder for shows to get on the air and stay on the air long-term.  Think about it.  It used to be that a new show had an entire season to see if it could make it.  In some cases, it even got a few seasons to see what it could do.  When you hear Murphy Brown, LA Law, Cheers, Hill Street Blues…what do you think?  These were classic shows that people loved, they won lots of awards and accolades, and people still watch them on syndicated channels or DVDs today.  Yet if every single one of these shows, were broadcast today, NONE of them would have seen a 2nd season and some probably wouldn’t have lasted to mid-season.   Think about Cheers.  Cheers was dead last in the ratings when it premiered in 1982.  It would have been canceled after 3 episodes today.   Maybe it would have lasted until mid-season with burn offs on Saturday.    And before you ask, yes, we are talking about the same Cheers that ran for ELEVEN SEASONS and spun off one of the most successful sitcoms ever, Frasier, which ran another ELEVEN SEASONS on its own.  In its first TWO seasons, Cheers wasn’t in the top 30 TV shows and as I mentioned in its first season was dead last.  It didn’t crack the top 30 until season 3 (tied for #12 with Hotel.)  But starting with season 4, it was in the top 5 shows for the next SEVEN seasons with it being #1 during the 1990-1991 season.  In its final season, the 1992-1993 season, it was #8.  When I look at that, I am blown away.  The saying “timing is everything” couldn’t be more true when it comes to TV.  Could you imagine a TV history that didn’t include Cheers?  If Cheers premiered today to those ratings, you wouldn’t be talking about Cheers as one of the best sitcoms of all time with some of the most quotable characters ever.  Could you imagine TV history without Frasier?  If Cheers never got off the ground, Frasier never would have happened.  Now keep in mind, when I say “those ratings” I don’t mean the actual ratings because they can’t be compared to today’s ratings.  A #1 show back in the 70s and 80s would pull in a 30-32 rating.  Today the #1 show pulls in around 16-17 (which wouldn’t have put it in the top 30-40 shows in the 70s and 80s.)  I mean the ranking of where the show falls vs. its competitors.  Now I am not one of those pining of the old days type of people but it does make you think.  How many shows that have been canceled over the last 10 years could have been the next Cheers if it was given a chance?

Not only do shows have to worry about bringing in the ratings for the advertisers to keep revenues flowing at the networks, as well as the shows they compete with in their respective time slots, but there is one more area that they have to worry about…shows on their own network.  The more successful a network is with its shows, the harder it is to stay on that network.  On the flip side, the more credence your show gets because it is on said successful network, the more viewers your show will likely get.  It’s a quite a conundrum.  Break it down by network.   CBS is far and away the best network in both total viewers and ratings in the all important adults 18-49 advertiser category.  ABC is 2nd in total viewers but 4th in ratings (guess ABC is skewing really young or really old.)  NBC is 3rd in total viewers and ratings.   Fox is 4th in total viewers and 2nd in ratings (thank you American Idol.)  And the CW is a distant 5th in everything.  CBS, NBC, and the CW are up this year in ratings.  The CW programming this year is really strong (for CW standards) and isn’t surprising since it has such a small base with which to grow.  NBC really had nowhere to go but up.  If I am not mistaken, the Winter Olympics were last year in February so that could impact NBC in the later part of this season.  CBS is CBS but could see some big declines in the next few weeks because they had the Super Bowl last year.  Fox is down but could rebound with Super Bowl this year.  ABC is down and I’m not sure why, to be honest.  I am going to assume it’s a weak broadcast season.

So what does all this mean?  It means awesome shows like Blue Bloods and The Good Wife on CBS may not make it to next season because all the other CBS shows are doing so well yet NBC can’t keep a drama on the air to save its life.  In terms of hour-long dramas, CBS has only canceled one show this year (Medium) while only one other show appears to be headed for cancellation (The Defenders.)  NBC has canceled 2 shows (Outlaw and Undercovers) while 3 shows appear headed for cancellation (The Cape, The Event, and Chase.)  ABC has canceled 2 shows so far (The Whole Truth and My Generation) while 3 shows appear headed for cancellation (V, No Ordinary Family, Detroit 1-8-7.)  Both NBC and ABC will seem to have 5 open drama spots where CBS will only have 2.  And here is the part that confuses me, CBS NEEDS to cancel more shows so that they can premiere new shows next season, that could be the next CSI or Grey’s Anatomy (in terms of ratings not content.)  WHY?  If you have shows that are working, why dump them?  Because something MAY be better?  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not under the delusion that the networks care about good programming for the viewer.   They care about good programming for the viewer only if it gets them the ratings needed to drive up costs to the advertisers, to increase revenues.  This is a business and the bottom line is, money drives everything.  But there has to be a better way so the viewer doesn’t lose quality programming.

You sports fans out there can appreciate the next analogy.  Why can’t we have a free agency/trade period in TV like pro sports teams?   Hear me out for a minute.  What if a show like Blue Bloods, which has a solid, loyal audience, is a great show but isn’t big enough to out-do the other shows on the network.  CBS would have a dilemma.  Blue Bloods is a solid procedural and they like it creatively and don’t want to walk away from it but would like to take a chance on a new show that could bring in a larger audience.   CBS could “trade” it to another network and get something in return.  Just like a football team with one too many linebackers and there isn’t room for him on the team.  He’s fantastic, just not better than what they have.  So they trade him to another team to get something they need in return.  In this case, I’m not suggesting networks trade a 1 hour drama for 1/2 sitcom and some advertisers to be named later.  But there could be a win-win solution.  NBC’s dramas have really been tanking and they have been struggling in this category since ER went off the air.  What if CBS traded Blue Bloods to NBC and in return, CBS would get a % of their advertising revenue during that show.  It’s a win for NBC because they are getting a proven show with a loyal audience that they can hopefully build on (something they have been struggling with for many years now.)  It could remove competition for them with one of their other shows in the same time slot, L&O SVU (which you could argue has the same type of audience) and could be moved to set up a “2 hours of Justice” night with Blue Bloods at 9pm and SVU at 10pm.  Ok so we’d have to work on the tag line, but you get the idea.  Then CBS would get a % of the ad revenue from that show.  It’s still better revenue than NBC was getting from a show like The Cape or The Event that they are losing.   So even giving 5-7% to CBS, the 93-95% they are left with is still better than 100% with The Cape because they could charge a higher premium due to the ratings.  CBS gets that 5-7% for as long as the show runs and are basically getting ad revenue for nothing.  And the viewers of Blue Blood don’t have to see their show go off the air….unless NBC finds a way to kill it which is completely possible.   Maybe there is even a bonus package in place for CBS if the show lasts for 10+ seasons.  I love this solution!!!!!   Now, am I over simplifying a situation that is probably more complicated than it sounds, probably.  But why not try it?  Give a few seasons to see if it could work.  Doesn’t it benefit ALL the networks to keep the best programming on the air possible to keep the viewers coming back to drive those ad sales up?  I think the viewers would appreciate it and so would the cable and satellite companies.   The cable and satellite companies would love it because there would be more of a need to record shows with so much good programming on the air, that it would drive the need for DVRs up and people would be buying more so they can not miss their favorite shows!  The more quality products out there, the more revenue that naturally comes in to all parties involved.   Plus it makes people a lot less angry at the networks for pulling their favorite shows.  I am still pissed at FOX for pulling Reunion off the air before we found out who murdered Sam!!!

I am a business person but the TV industry is not my area of expertise.  Ask me anything about the alcohol beverage industry and I could give you a sound business plan.  I am just someone who love TV and loves GOOD TV.  I hate seeing good shows getting canceled and talented casts and excellent writers and crews be out of work because you have to make room for something that MIGHT be better.  I think another part of why networks are so quick to dump shows is because they have SO many shows in waiting.  Why not have 2 dramas, 2 comedies, and a reality show ready to go if something doesn’t work.  And if something doesn’t after giving it a fair chance, you dump it and go with the backup plan.  But if it works, then hold off the back up plans for next season or dump the back up plan.  Wouldn’t it have to be cheaper to get rid of a pilot than a whole show that’s been on the air already?  Again, I know I am over-simplifying this but since I’m not an expert, just someone who wants to see the best shows on TV, I’m throwing ideas out there.    It’s just, the idea of Blue Bloods or The Good Wife going off the air because CBS needs to get rid of 2 more hours of drama to make room for stuff next season that may or may not work, is mind-boggling to me.  Yet, NBC probably won’t have anything near the level of these two shows coming to its network next year.  I don’t know that with 100% certainty.  But based on their recent history, it isn’t likely.

I guess my main point for writing this is that I think the networks are currently setting themselves up for failure, more times than not.  It used to be that you had a show and it had 22-24 episodes to see what it could do with some back ups if it really stunk.  Now you have fall season shows, mid-season shows, summer season shows, and replacement shows for fall and mid-season.  It’s too many!  No wonder shows are pulled after 3-5 showings.  You have so many waiting in the wings that if it isn’t clicking immediately, it’s gone and the next one is coming in.  And I understand that with the advent of cable shows taking over, networks can’t afford to be patient.  It’s really not fair to compare cable to network because there is so much more you are permitted to do with cable that you can’t with network TV.  But like it or not, fair or not, they compete for viewers.  And with people becoming more and more busy and their time becoming more valuable, they are going to go where there is quality.   So what is a network to do?

If you were in charge, what would you do?  How would you make it so good shows don’t disappear to never see what they could achieve?  How can we make sure that we don’t miss an opportunity on the next great show?   How do we make sure “Cheers” gets its chance?

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in ABC, AMC, Canceled Shows, CBS, CW, FOX, HBO, NBC, Showtime, Sound Off, TBS, TNT, USA

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Fairly Legal “Priceless” S1 E2

The next time I have a disagreement with my boss, I want Kate Reed around to help me out.  That girl can solve any problem…and she is completely believable.  This week’s case was about a man, Steve Jenks, who was wrongfully accused of murder and spent 22 years in jail.  DNA shows it wasn’t him so he is released from prison.   Justin wants to avoid a trial (Jenks’ attorney wants to sue for damages) so he asks Kate to mediate the case between Jenks and the state of California.

Jenks doesn’t seem to care too much about money and seems distant and sad.  Kate is the only one paying attention to this and backs off pushing him to make a decision on a final number (his lawyer wants $20 million and the state wants to give $2.4 million.)   She tries to do things to help Jenks reintegrate himself back into society but nothing seems to work.  He continues to push away.  He calls Kate and his lawyer and starts saying thank you for all they have done and says good-bye.  You think they are setting this up for him to kill himself but instead, Kate figures out where he went and goes to stop whatever he is planning to do.  He’s at Tommy’s Market (the place where the felony murder took place that he was wrongfully accused of) and he is going all Barry Bonds on the shelves and groceries in the store.  Instead of trying to stop him, Kate joins him and she is thrilled that he is finally letting his emotions run free.  We get to see how much this has effected him and how scared he is about what to do with his life now.  Unfortunately, he and Kate get arrested and Justin wants to send him back to jail.   Kate comes up with a brilliant solution.   They go back to the field behind Tommy’s Market (which is where Jenks used to play ball with his friends when he was a kid) and Kate suggests that the state of California buy the lot and build a youth center.  Jenks will be put in charge and will receive a salary and full benefits.  He also promises to pay back all the damages of the market.  It saves the state lots of money and sets Jenks up for life…it’s a great deal for everyone!

The Reeds are also trying to find a time to get together to read Teddy’s will.  Kate keeps putting it off because of  “work” but it’s because if she hears the will, it really makes it final.   Lauren has also been struggling.  Everyone keeps fluffing her off as the trophy wife who didn’t really love Teddy and just married him for money.  Two episodes in, I don’t believe it.  I think she really loved him and is heartbroken over his death.   None of her clients or subordinates seem to be making her life easier either.  The clients don’t think she has what it takes to run Teddy’s firm but she is slowly proving them wrong.  And the admin assistants either keep getting fired or being rude to her (like Teddy’s secretary.)  But people will go to any lengths to hide their emotions…like filling a sink full of ice water and sticking you face in it and screaming at the top of your lungs.  However, Betty, Teddy’s secretary, was also in the ladies room when this happened and saw the whole thing.  She starts to soften to Lauren a bit and offers to help her moving forward and Lauren appreciates it.

The kicker at the end of the episode was when the will was finally read by Spencer, he announces to Kate and Lauren that the estate has been split FOUR ways.   But there are only three of them.  Spencer then asks “Who the hell is David Smith?”  Well that’s a very good question.  I guess we are going to find out at some point.

 
 

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QUICK REVIEW: Blue Bloods “Family Ties” S1 E12

I hate this time of year.  And not because we are getting HAMMERED with snow but illness.  I haven’t been feeling 100% so to catch up, I am going to do some very quick rundowns on this past week’s shows.

Blue Bloods was pretty straight forward this week and not much happening on the Blue Templar front.  They are really going to need to something with Jamie soon.  If they aren’t going to visit the Blue Templar storyline, Jamie doesn’t really have a lot to do except make a comment here or there at the dinner table or show him researching information on his computer.  I still think it would be interesting to dive deeper into the youngest Reagan as a grunt cop and having to live up to the expectations of his brothers, father and grandfather.

Erin seems to be getting herself into a mess.  Her boss, the DA, wants to be the mayor yet her father has big ties to the current mayor seeing as how he appointed him commissioner.  It seems he is using Erin to his advantage when he needs to make certain moves to advance his political aspirations.  I’m not sure if Erin doesn’t see it or if she is pushing it to the side because ultimately justice is still being served.  I think she is too smart not to see it.  But my thoughts changed after they kissed this week.   Oh boy.   This is not going to turn out well for Erin.

The move to Wednesday didn’t really help BB in the ratings but it didn’t hurt it either.  I hope it starts to find an audience because it is a great show.  I think on any other network, this show would get renewed but on CBS, not so sure.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in CBS, Quick Reviews/Recaps

 

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Two and a Half Men’s Charlie Sheen Enters Rehab…Finally

Numerous media outlets are reporting that Two and a Half Men is going on Hiatus until further notice due to Charlie Sheen entering rehab in an undisclosed location earlier today.    Two and a Half Men show runner Chuck Lorre confirmed that the show is supporting Sheen’s entrance into rehab and will go on production hiatus effective immediately.

What does this mean for the show?  Who the hell knows.  If this were a show like Outsourced or $%#! My Dad Says, there is no way the network would put up with it and the show would just be pulled.   But when you are the #1 comedy not only on your network but on all of network TV, you get a little latitude.   So I have no doubt that after this rehab stint, Two and a Half Men will be back.  I doubt it will be back on this year but it should be back next season barring any MAJOR developments.

This could be good news for a show like $%#! My Dad Says.   Usually CBS drops it’s worse performing comedy every year, which would be that God awful show.  But if things with TAAHM get worse and if something should happen where it can’t come back right away. $%#! is performing well enough, that CBS could keep it around for another season as a just in case.

The saga continues so stay tuned!!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Casting News, CBS

 

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UGH!!! Supernatural and Smallville Delayed One Week

I don’t know about you, but ever since Sam got his soul back, I have been not so patiently waiting for the January 28th return of Supernatural.  Well, I guess we have to wait another week to see what happens because reports came out last night that the CW decided to delay the returns of Supernatural and Smallville until next week, February 4th.

Allegedly the reasons are two fold….Vampire Diaries and Nikita being preempted in Chicago (mayoral debate) and Baltimore (basketball) and with those shows going head-to-head with American Idol, the CW wanted to re-air those 2 shows.    HELLO?????   What about us Supernatural fans!!!!!   (And Smallville fans…sorry!)

Does this sound funny to you because it does to me.   I know Chicago is a big TV market but are they really going to say that had something to do with it?  And Idol is going to be an issue the rest of the season so why would you choose this week to bump S&S for repeats?   I don’t get it.  I just wonder if there was some other behind the scenes reason for this.   Not that I have any idea what that is.  I just love a good conspiracy theory.  Just call me Dr. Jack Hodgins!

Anyway, are you as perturbed as I am that Supernatural isn’t airing until next week?

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in CW, Spoilers and Scoop

 

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