Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ABC's Folly

Tonight marks a special edition of "20/20" (ABC, 10 p.m.), made necessary because ABC managed to screw itself but good on Wednesday nights.

Once owning the night with "Lost," the network continues to shoot itself in the foot with the airing of "Day Break" (9 p.m.). The ratings for that show have been so bad, it took a chunk out of the already-struggling "The Nine," one of the network's most highly anticipated dramas heading into this season. ABC promises "The Nine" will air its remaining episodes at some point, but don't bet the farm on it. ABC has been notorious in the past for making that claim for shows it has pulled, then forgetting about them.

Meanwhile, CBS continues to make huge waves on Wednesdays. Tonight marks the fall finale of the new series "Jericho" (CBS, 8 p.m.), followed by "Criminal Minds," which has surpassed "Lost" in the ratings when the two went head-to-head.

WGA STRIKE?: Variety is reporting that the Writer's Guild of America may be planning for a strike when its current contract ends in Oct. 2007. One of the points of contention between the union and the studios is residual payments on new TV platforms, such as episodes that are downloaded off iTunes, for example.

A strike would prove much more devastating to the TV industry than to films. In fact, for those of us who write screenplays on the side, a strike is a good thing, because Hollywood goes into a buying frenzy by stocking up on scripts in case of a strike.

In TV, however, the writers are also a show's producers, so every series is forced to halt production once a strike hits. Given the timing of next year's possible strike, most series would only have four or five episodes in the can when it hit.

Stay tuned for this one.

MY BOYS: I watched five episodes from my press kit last night of TBS' new sitcom "My Boys," starring Jordana Spiro as a Chicago sportswriter in a "Sex & The City"-type setting, only with a bunch of guys as her friends.

The series isn't bad, though the supporting cast is underused (especially the always-reliable Jim Gaffigan). Also, Spiro's PJ has more free time than any sportswriter that I've ever met, and for a Cubs beat writer, does very little traveling.

Still, the series has appeal to both men and women, and Spiro does a good job with her tomboyish role.

CHANNEL SURFING: "30 Rock" star Tracy Morgan was arrested this week for drunk driving; he was already on probation for a previous drunk driving charge, so it remains to be seen if that will affect his time on the show. ... Fans of "Ugly Betty" get an added treat this week. ABC.com is running six mini-episodes of the fictional soap "Vidas de Fuego" ("Lives of Fire"), which Betty's dad Ignacio constantly watches.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BET: Besides the season finale of "Jericho and new offerings from "Bones," "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY," it's a fairly quiet night.

Fans of NBC's smash hit "Heroes," and those who have heard about it and want to catch up, can watch the entire first half of the season with a marathon on Sci-Fi, beginning at 6 p.m. with the pilot. In other "Heroes" news, it was announced this week that former "Doctor Who" star Christopher Eccleston will be appearing in several episodes, joining "Star Trek's" George Takei, who will play Hiro's (Masi Oka) father.

10 comments:

Zodin2008 said...

ABC shares a big part of the blame but "The Nine" has really not been very good since the pilot and I am at the point of not really caring if it does come back. If it does, I will watch.

"Daybreak" however flat out sucks.

Anonymous said...
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Phillip Ramati said...

"The Nine" is a disappointment, though it had picked up over the last couple of weeks. My point is more about ABC's mismanagement of the night.

Zodin2008 said...

Though you may not have been a fan, "Invasion" was the BEST new show of the year in the 2005-06 season and actually did a reasonably good job holding enough of the "Lost" audience. They canceled it and I was really disappointed especially with a cliffhanger finale.

Sure, I am happy to see the great Bill Fichtner on "Prison Break", but I would have gladly accepted another Alex Mahone if it meant more of Fichtner as Sherriff Tom Underlay. His performance as Underlay was magenetic and emmy worthy and he and his hybrid wife Mariel were flat out the best things on the show and along with a really interesting story, I couldn't wait for each new episode.

"The Nine", it's 2006-07 replacement, gave me a great pilot. In fact, "The Nine" had a better pilot then "Invasion". But "The Nine" has taken a steep creative dive since the well imagined pilot--frankly, because the subject matter of the series was better meant for a 5, 10 or 13 part mini series and not for an entire show.

Check any critic's reviews and across the boards, every TV critic in America had "Invasion" on their 10 best of 2005-06, but every critic that loved "The Nine" pilot, has seen the show as a mediocre, melodramatic mess since. ABC's is getting what they deserved and should have renewed "Invasion". I guarantee you a year #2 commitment would have seen a small growth in numbers. But no one has any patience.

I hardly go & buy DVD sets, but for "Invasion", I got the disks they day it was released. the show was that good.

I have last night's "Daybreak" saved at home and I just don't know if I have the heart to give up another 44 minutes of my life to this show. I think I am going to erase and remove it from my season pass. It maybe the most convoluted show in the history of Television. It makes "Twin Peaks" and the last few seasons of "The X Files" look like "Growing Pains".

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