Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lucky Break?

Tonight marks the debut of the new thriller "Daybreak" (ABC, 9 p.m.) with its two-hour pilot running in the timeslot normally reserved for "Lost."

The show's opening ratings will probably be pretty good, since ABC has given it such a good slot and promoted the heck out of it, but the key will be whether the new show can sustain it.

Already, ABC has been giving up ground at 9 p.m., since "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 9 p.m.) has actually been outperforming "Lost" in the ratings the past couple of weeks. So holding "Lost" until February for an unproven show has to be one of the biggest risks for any network in recent memory.

"Daybreak" focuses on a cop (Taye Diggs) who is framed for the murder of a district attorney. A' la "Groundhog Day" he relives the same events over and over again, but with variations each time he changes things.

"Groundhog Day" worked because there was a definite end to it. Since "Daybreak" is a TV series which presumably wants to have a long run, how much can keep going over the same day again and again? How sustainable is the concept? So far, the reviews of "Daybreak" have been lukewarm, at best. Star Taye Diggs' lone network series, the much touted "Kevin Hill" on UPN, died after a half-season.

One might compare "Daybreak" to the BBC's superior "Life on Mars," in which the hero believes he has been transported back from current times to 1973. But "Life on Mars" explores the vastly different world of cops in two different eras, and the hero doesn't know if he has gone back in time, is in a coma or is simply going mad. The viewer can enjoy the roller coaster ride alongside him.

"Daybreak" is the same ride over and over. No one wants to keep riding Space Mountain again and again.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: ABC is maximizing its bet for Wednesday's by airing the season finale of the very popular "Dancing With Stars" as a lead-in.

Meanwhile, "Medium" (NBC, 9 p.m.) returns to the air earlier than expected with a two-hour season premiere. "Medium" is one of those shows that seems to get decent enough ratings, but you never meet anyone who is actually a fan of the show. When the Emmys gave the best actress award to star Patricia Arquette over the vastly superior Glenn Close for her turn in "The Shield" two years ago, it showed how bogus those awards had become.


Zodin2008 said...

Amen to your bashing of Patricia Arquette. I can always count on your Blog as a safe haven for those of us with COMMON SENSE who were equally as outraged 2 years ago when the superior Glenn Close was defeated in stunning fashion by the oddball acting style of Patricia Arquette.

What surprised me even more about that is normally, the Emmy awards love to 'reward' proven film stars like Glenn Close for theoretically "slumming it" by 'doing' Television for a period of time--as if almost to encourage them to stick around the medium a little bit longer.

Personally, I am of the opinion, that Television in 2006 is far better with far more interesting writing and acting then 95% of movies nowadays and this trend has been going a while.

So you would have thought Close would have been rewarded only to have her lose, completely out of left field, to Arquette.

But it's obvious the Emmy voters don't watch the most intense Drama on Television, "The Shield", or otherwise, how do you explain the best supporting Dramatic performance seen on Television in the last 25 years, Forest Whitaker as I.A. Investigator John Kavanaugh this past year, only to have Whitaker IGNORED completely when the nominations were announced in July.

There really isn't a subject more then emmy nominations and the Emmy process every year that gets me more upset. To see even more egregious decision making on behalf of the Emmy Awards, I saw a Best Dramatic actress category this past year that included inferior actors such as Mariska Hargitay (who won?) and the always bland Geena Davis, while ignoring the work of the amazing Kristen Bell (of "Veronica Mars") and Mary McDonnell, another proven film vet doing stellar work on "Battlestar Galactica".

It goes to show why Television reviewers, such as yourself, TV Guide's Matt Roush and San Francisco Chronicle Columnist Tim Goodman, should be the people that vote on these things.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, thanks for the compliment. I usually have long discussions with my brother about TV, and he has a blog over at TV Guide, so I might let him have a vote as well.

But yes, in general, the world would be a better place if I ran things.