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Parenthood has been picked up for a second season, which I like because the show has really grown on me. Also, Southland was just picked up for a third season.

The old news, which I forgot to post about at the time, is that 24 is ending after this season. Finally, looks like Legend of the Seeker really is done. Several weeks ago there was an announcement that the Tribune markets were dropping it from syndication. Realistically, that sort of news usually means "as good as cancelled," because finding replacements for those stations is tough. And in this case, it couldn't be done. There are tons of reports out there that the show is finished after it gets through its current second season: here.
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Lately I've been checking out a freelance writing site, taking on the odd job there. Guess what popped up the other day? A job to write brief bios, to be posted on a website, about TV characters. Lots and lots of TV characters, including some from Doctor Who. The pay rate was so low that normally I wouldn't even have looked at the work, but come on! Me and writing about TV? Like I wasn't going to at least check it out.

And then I read a few of the bios that other writers put together for DW characters, and it was obvious they were not fans. The terminology was off and so was the occasional fact. The stuff was actually kind of painful to read. So, low pay or not, I started to grab up every DW assignment I saw. So far, the characters I've written up include some of my favorites such as Charley, Evelyn, Jamie, Ace, and Erimem.

I also couldn't resist putting together bios for various characters from other shows. I mean, Myrtle Fargate and Palmer Cortlandt from All My Children? Emily, Monica, Tracy, and Edward Quartermaine from General Hospital? Adam Carrington from Dynasty? I would have written about them for free on a soap fansite I used to run!

Despite the poor pay, the work is fun and that goes a long way with me. At least part of the time, I'd rather write about something I enjoy for not so much money than about something dry and boring for more money. Besides, the cash has added up and it easily covers the amount of income taxes I owe from last year.
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Yes, I check the overnight Nielsen television ratings every day. It's just something I like to do.

So here is where we are now: Castle was just renewed. Zach Braff announced that Scrubs is done. This news has not been officially confirmed yet by ABC, but it already seemed pretty likely so I wouldn't hold out much hope.

Mercy, Chuck, and FlashForward have all crashed and burned with their most recent episodes. Mercy was never doing all that well but until recently, I thought it might squeak by. I kind of hoped it would, since it's grown on me. Now I think that rewnewal is highly unlikely. As for Chuck, it started out this season well enough and then struck out with its two latest episodes. Those numbers are like Heroes-level bad. Being fair, Chuck has got to be much cheaper to produce than Heroes is, but still. Not a positive sign. Finally, FlashForward started out nicely back in September and then lost about half of its audience by the time it went on hiatus. It came back from hiatus, and guess what? Two weeks of new record low numbers. Mercy and FlashForward are pretty likely going to be cancelled. I think Chuck is now in serious danger, too.

My favorite terrible show, Trauma, is still hanging in there, against all odds. It continues to be of absolutely awful quality and it continues to air episodes and they continue to draw very low numbers and yes, of course I watch the thing! Again, though, I believe I'll have to enjoy hating it while it lasts, which realistically should not be for much longer. OTOH, it's not absolutely impossible that NBC will continue the joke and renew it.

The overnight ratings for the return of V will be available tomorrow. This one has a fighting chance at a second season, but we'll soon see how much of the audience showed up. Then there's another new show, Parenthood, that falls into the "too early to say" category. I'm cautiously optimistic about its chances.
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As usual, I've been following the Nielsen ratings for the major networks. Fringe was just officially renewed for next year--it did much better on Thursday than Past Life did in the same slot, which I think pushed it over the top. The first category below consists of series that have officially been picked up for next season. The next group is not yet official, but I can't imagine House, Desperate Housewives, and the like NOT returning. Then there's a doubtful group (with varying prospects), and last of all, the handful of shows I would be pretty surprised to see still on the air next fall, though they're not impossible. No reality shows listed, but the ones I care about (American Idol, Amazing Race, Survivor) are all safe.


Officially renewed: 90210, American Dad, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Brothers & Sisters (renewal reported by Hollywood Reporter on March 6), The Cleveland Show, Community, Cougar Town, Family Guy, Fringe, Glee, The Good Wife, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, Modern Family, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Office, Parks & Recreation, The Simpsons, Smallville, Supernatural, Two and a Half Men, Vampire Diaries

Shoo-ins: Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, House, Law & Order: SVU, The Mentalist, NCIS, Private Practice

Some doubt: 24, Accidentally on Purpose, Castle, Chuck, FlashForward, Gary Unmarried, Ghost Whisperer, Heroes, Human Target, Law & Order, Lie to Me, Life Unexpected, Medium, Mercy, New Adventures of Old Christine, One Tree Hill, V
(Several of these shows will be cancelled. I just don't know which ones exactly. There is no way they all survive. At this point, I think Castle, Chuck, Ghost Whisperer, L&O, Medium are probably all safe. FlashForward and V will really depend on the ratings when they return from hiatus. There's been talk of a 24 movie rather than another season on TV, so... that one could go either way. I almost put Mercy in the "probably dead" category.)

Probably dead: Better Off Ted, Brothers, Cold Case, The Forgotten, Melrose Place, Numbers, Scrubs, Til Death, Trauma

ETA: Already cancelled or ending this year -- The Beautiful Life, The Deep End, Dollhouse, Eastwick, Hank, Lost, Past Life, Three Rivers, and (one of my favorites) Ugly Betty
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Most pilots don't get picked up anyway, so this is no big surprise. The sets for "Rex is Not Your Lawyer" (the dreadful-sounding David Tennant pilot) are coming down. Still, NBC has five extra hours to fill now that Jay Leno has moved back to late night, which would have seemed to improve Rex's chances; they must not have liked what they saw in it. Supposedly, this show is on hold but remains under consideration for the fall. Yeah, right. That's code for don't expect this one to ever make it onscreen. "On hold" has a similar meaning to "episode number has been reduced." It's now a longshot.

Speaking of which, the episode order for Numbers was reduced.

Renewed (new shows): The Good Wife, The Middle, Cougar Town, NCIS: Los Angeles, Glee, Modern Family.

Be especially concerned about: Ugly Betty, Cold Case, The Forgotten, Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Accidentally on Purpose, Trauma (which keeps getting picked up for additional episodes despite awful ratings), Mercy, Scrubs, Better Off Ted, Medium, Melrose Place, and of course, Numbers. FlashForward, Castle, and Heroes are also in doubt. Plus, Lie to Me and/or Fringe could be out. OTOH, both might barely survive.
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New series that are dead: Eastwick, Hank, Trauma. Trauma will most likely air the remainder of its thirteen episodes. Not so sure about Eastwick, and Hank is shutting down production after wrapping up just its tenth episode.

The only returning show that's been dumped so far is Dollhouse, which apparently will burn off its remaining episodes in December and January. ETA: Fox obviously wants to get rid of this one fast. It's doubling up on December episodes to help bump it out of the way before February sweeps.

Well, I'll miss Eastwick a bit. Based on the ratings, though, they all deserved to go. When reruns of other shows do 50% better in your timeslot (Dollhouse) and you lose nearly half of your audience from your debut (Eastwick), cancellation seems merciful.
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I love the mad rush of shows during the fall TV season: returning favorites, a bunch of stuff I don't care about and will never watch, and a slew of new series.

Every fall, I watch all of the new broadcast TV dramas (I usually don't watch comedies), and every fall, I pick the worst one. Last year, my choice was the extremely dull Crusoe. It even had pirates in the first episode, and managed to make them boring. The worst show of the entire season, though, was midseason replacement Dollhouse, which bored and offended me with its rampant and disgusting sexism. The only thing that makes me feel better is looking at its weekly Nielsen ratings, which redefine the term "crash and burn."

Anyway, I have now seen all of the new fall dramas, save V, which premieres on Nov. 3. The extended preview for that one looks good. And it would have to work awfully hard to be worse than the series I consider to be the worst new one of this season:
Trauma: Watching the pilot was like being in purgatory. )
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1. I made my reservations for Chicago TARDIS, so I have that to look forward to in November. My first convention ever! My family situation is still unresolved, but by that point it probably will be more or less settled. And even if it isn't, I'm going to Chicago anyway.

2. Dollhouse came out on DVD a couple of weeks ago. I hate Dollhouse, mainly because it's one of the most disgustingly sexist things I've seen in ages, and therefore am rather pleased to report that sales have been disappointing. This page discusses sales for the first week. That article was written too early to indicate that the show dropped off the sales chart in its second week, which kind of undermines the theory that Dollhouse has tons of "underground" fans clamoring to make it a hit.

3. As I learned from [livejournal.com profile] wiccagirl24, LJ is offering a three-day subscription extension to users with paid accounts who were affected by the service problems earlier this month. Details here.

4. My early pick for best new show of the TV season: FlashForward. The preview was awesome.

5. Speaking of TV, summer is almost over and soon enough, new episodes of my favorite night-time shows will be back. :)
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The Drama and Reality nominations

My initial reaction was: WTF? Katherine Heigl isn't up for Supporting Actress, Drama, for her brilliant work on Grey's Anatomy? Yeah, she made a fool of herself last year with that announcement that she hadn't been given good enough material to warrant a nomination, but that was last year! And irrelevant, despite how stupid it is to publicly diss your show's writers. Bad writing is the sort of thing you bitch about at home, to friends, in your journal no one else will ever read. It shouldn't be a press statement.

Nevertheless, she had a great story this year and was more than up to the material. She deserved a nomination (and probably the win). I see that Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh, also from Grey's, are in the running. They're terrific too, but IMO neither one outdid Heigl during this past season.

I don't have much to say about the comedy categories, since I don't watch half-hour shows, except that Desperate Housewives got snubbed as well. Their only acting nomination was for Beau Bridges in that awful, awful Marty Stu episode where his handyman character was revealed to be the one responsible for righting the courses of the female characters' lives. That episode seems to have met with almost universal approval, but I thought it was by far the worst one DH did all year.

Back to dramas and reality shows. On the really bizarre side, Simon Baker from The Mentalist made the running as Best Actor. All right, who the hell voted for him? I don't care how many viewers the show has; his acting isn't that good, and he can't even do a decent American accent. It slips all over the place in every episode.

What did I especially like? Sally Field, up for Best Actress. She's one of my favorites on Brothers & Sisters. William Shatner could get yet another Emmy for his work on Boston Legal. Actually, that entire Supporting Actor category is very strong. And despite Heigl's exclusion, I love seeing Oh and Wilson up for Supporting Actress. The Amazing Race and American Idol are in there for Reality Competition Program, Race's Phil Keoghan got recognized as Reality Host, and the Best Actor category (with the exception of Baker) looks about right.

If they'd included Heigl and more Desperate Housewives, I'd have been very happy with this year's slate.

Summer TV

Jun. 29th, 2009 04:17 pm
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I think the pickings this summer are far worse than they were last year. :( As usual, I've been checking out many of the new shows, at least on the major networks, and am very underwhelmed.

Merlin: NBC has aired four episodes so far. This show sure isn't finding much of an audience. The first two episodes had mediocre ratings, then the pair last night shed a lot more viewers to end up at just over a puny four million. That's opposite reruns, which makes it even more pathetic. Of course, I don't think the quality is very good so far. The younger cast members are uniformly horrible actors, and the dialogue is pretty bad. Still, it's watchable enough, for summer fare, and I'm desperate for new episodes of almost anything. Will give it more time to see if it picks up.

Mental: That guy who was Whistler on Prison Break is a psychiatrist here. Again, not a very good show and I have a feeling this one doesn't have much potential to improve anytime soon. It's like a really watered-down House. It's also not finding much of an audience.

The Philantropist: Rich guy with tragic past decides to help those who need it. Broken record time: The pilot was not good. OTOH, it wasn't that dreadful. One TV reviewer suggested that this series is the worst show ever. What, he's never seen Dollhouse, Cop Rock, The Bedford Diaries, or Head Cases (the gloriously awful Chris O'Donnell series that aired all of two episodes)? Shows that burn in the memory like those disasters come along only every so often. The Philanthropist doesn't even come close to being in their league. So, I will check it out again.

So You Think You Can Dance: I was always mildly interested in this reality series and watched it during the summer because of lack of options, but I finally stopped this season. Why? Because of judge Mary Murphy. Simply put, she laughs too damn much and has one of the most annoying laughs ever. It sounds something like this: HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW! I used to grit my teeth and tolerate her whinnying with poor grace, but this summer it wore me down. In a last-ditch attempt before quitting the show, I tried to hit the mute button at moments when she might potentially let loose with another loud cackle. The problem was, she laughed in the middle of dancers' auditions; she laughed when other judges gave their evaluations; she laughed when stating her own opinions. In short, she didn't know how to friggin' shut up! Thank you, Mary Murphy, for ruining the show for me.
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NBC cancelled Medium (apparently over a dispute involving how many episodes they wanted to order for next season); CBS, which owns Medium and thus profits from DVD sales/syndication money, promptly picked the show up and will air it on Fridays following Ghost Whisperer. That's really a very compatible pairing of programs.

Cancelled: My Name is Earl (low ratings), Privileged (low ratings), Reaper (low ratings), Eleventh Hour (average ratings, and evidently CBS was not pleased with the creative direction of the show), Without a Trace (below-average ratings for a CBS show, expensive to produce), The Unit (below-average ratings for a CBS show, also relatively expensive). Earl is the only one of the lot that I think has much chance of moving to another network. It might not, though.

I'm most sad about Eleventh Hour, a show I liked, but I'm sure I'll like a bunch of the new shows, too.

Most of my favorites, like Amazing Race, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and Gossip Girl, are safe. :) fall schedule, as it currently stands

Here's a handy page telling which shows have been renewed/cancelled. As I type, it hasn't yet been updated with the news about Medium going to CBS.
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As usual, I've been following the TV ratings and am speculating on which shows will survive to another season. Obviously, Desperate Housewives and the like are more than safe. But what about Eleventh Hour, Life, Dollhouse, etc.? I've made some educated guesses about their fates, which should become known for sure no later than next month, when the networks hold their advertising upfront presentations.

Read more... )
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I have a few thoughts about the (U.S.) Life on Mars finale, the ER finale, and the April 6 House episode. Spoilers!


Life on Mars finale )


ER finale )

April 6 House spoilers )
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Despite having absolutely horrible ratings on NBC for this season in particular, Friday Night Lights has been renewed for two more years. That's two seasons of a measly 13 episodes each, not really proper seasons, but if you're a fan they're better than nothing. DirecTV (which evidently offered a huge financial incentive) will again air each season's worth of episodes before NBC gets its chance.

This link goes to my favorite ratings site, TV By the Numbers, where you get to see people discussing whether a show that just dipped below 4 million total viewers and a dreadful 1.2 in the 18-49 demo deserves to still be on the air. (Those numbers are very close to what the probably-doomed Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse just managed. Difference is, those series aren't being bailed out by DirecTV.)

I like FNL. It's not the greatest thing ever, but I like it. I do hope they stop that shaky camerawork, though. It's not "realistic"; it's distracting and annoying. I suppose if that's my biggest complaint about the show, it's doing all right.
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Why is it that renewing my subscription to TV Guide for one year (57 issues) would cost $39.20, while purchasing a "new" subscription for 56 issues costs just $14?

Guess which option I picked.
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SCC bombed out and Dollhouse did not particularly impress, either. The overnights are here. Basically, the number for viewers ages 18-49 carries the weight.

SCC had 3.9 million total viewers and a 1.4 in the 18-49 group--that means that 1.4% of all people in the U.S. of ages 18-49 watched the show. A 1.4 is a low number.

Dollhouse had 4.7 million total viewers and a 2.0 in the 18-49 group. Most shows drop off from their pilots, so likely the numbers will be worse next week. Maybe not, though. We'll see. Friday has traditionally been a weak night for Fox, and I don't know what their expectations were.

Here are some opinions on Dollhouse. They run quite the range.

Dollhouse

Feb. 14th, 2009 01:16 am
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I loved Buffy and Angel. They were two of my fandoms, and I wrote a fair bit of fic for them. That output includes some stuff I still like, and a few WIPs I want to someday finish. I was really hoping that Joss Whedon's newest show would be good.

First, I watched the return of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. So far, so good.

Then came Dollhouse. I tried; I honestly did. I just couldn't help it, though. I fell asleep half an hour in. Looking back, I'm not sure how I managed to keep my eyes open until that point. Dollhouse was terrible. It was more boring than Crusoe, which a few months ago I named worst new show of the season.

Opinion: a keen disappointment. I don't want to watch another episode. I'll take a look at the Nielsen ratings when they come out and post about them in a day or so. Let's see if other viewers agreed with my assessment. At this point, I'm thinking the show will be a quick failure. Maybe, in comparison, Sarah Connor will have strong numbers.
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My Cherry Ames boxset from Amazon.com has arrived! Now I have something new to read. I started the first book, Cruise Nurse, today, but haven't had a chance to get too far into it. The weather is actually nice here (above freezing!) so I went out on my bike for a while.

Question for anyone who's watched Demons: I heard that it's really terrible. Is it the Twilight kind of terrible, where its very badness is fascinating? Or is it the boring kind of terrible, like Crusoe? Basically, will it entertain me?
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Not a shocker. The numbers were bad this season and I don't think many would argue that the show has been anywhere near its creative peak for a good while now. Though I was still hanging in there, mostly because I like the cast. Fox plans to bury the final episodes on Friday night this spring. Article here.
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Did you all hear about how NBC is going to hand the 10pm (Eastern) timeslot to Jay Leno starting next season? And not just on one night. No, it's for every single weeknight. It's no secret that NBC is struggling this season. Their new shows are faltering badly, returning shows like Heroes and Law & Order have taken big hits, and ER is ending soon. But giving five hours of so-called "prime time" to a talkshow hosted by Jay Leno? Guarantees that I will not be watching NBC for those five hours. Numerous sources are reporting this story, unless of course NBC backtracks. Possible.

This announcement also means that the chances of renewal for current NBC shows have dropped substantially. Will Life, with its low numbers, be brought back for a third season? How about the struggling Chuck?

So, are Lipstick Jungle and Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone cancelled, or not? The actual phrasing has been "not picking up more episodes" but in effect that usually means "ratings were so crappy you are effectively cancelled even though we don't want to use the 'c' word." In other words, unless those shows miraculously sprout a few million more viewers or so, they're dead.

BTW, that rumor about Pushing Daisies coming back next fall for 13 episodes? Apparently it was a story started by a fansite that had nothing to back up its claim other than a supposed "unnamed source" that either never existed or was just plain wrong.

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