Monday, May 21, 2007

Big Finales

Two of TV's more interesting serialized shows - heading in vastly different directions - wrap up tonight.

"Heroes" (NBC, 9 p.m.) has been one of TV's most sublime efforts, a show that started strong and has raised its game every week. Part of the reason for its success is that the show moves at a rapid pace, setting up big plot themes then bringing along fairly quick resolutions. For example, the "Save the cheerleader, save the world" theme that marked the first half of the season had a definite resolution, and three weeks ago we learned why it was so significant in the first place (so that the show's villain, Sylar, didn't steal Claire's power and become invulnerable).

Tonight's finale is supposed to resolve nearly all of the plotlines (Season 2 will have a new arc). With a number of key deaths this season of full-time characters - including a couple last week - who survives and who doesn't is very much up in the air. Perhaps no other show on TV has been better with coming up with better plot twists. VCR ALERT: "Heroes" is supposed to run about five minutes or so longer, so you may want to let your VCR/DVR/TIVO record into the next program.

On the other end of the spectrum is "24," (Fox, 8 p.m.) which is even being bashed by the show's most fervent fans. I've never made a secret of the fact I've never been a huge "24" fan, but at least in previous years the show was entertaining. This year has been something I wouldn't have thought possible - dull.

Tonight's two-hour finale will presumably have some sort of confrontation between Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) and his dad (James Cromwell), the apparent mastermind for everything bad the past couple of seasons. In addition, there will be more White House intrigue centered around the Vice President (Powers Boothe, who along with Peter MacNichol, has been among the few bright spots this season).

"24's" producers have been pretty much tuned in to the fan pulse by following along on the Internet, so hopefully they will listen to some of the suggestions thrown out there by moving the show out of L.A. and changing up things a bit.

"JERICHO" WRAP-UP?: As TV Guide first reported, CBS president Nina Tassler has apparently listened to fans of the show "Jericho," who complained that the show was cancelled with a cliff-hanger ending that won't be resolved.

This was posted at CBS.com:

To the fans of Jericho:

We have read your emails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment. Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision. Hundreds of people at the Network, the production company and the incredibly-talented creative team worked very hard to build and serve the community for this show -- both on-air and online. It is a show we loved too.

Thank you for supporting Jericho with such passion. We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure to the compelling drama that was the Jericho story.

Sincerely,

Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment

What that closure is remains a mystery. "Jericho's" low ratings at the end (the show was crippled by CBS's idiotic decision to split the season into halves and put a two-plus month break in the middle, killing its momentum) probably don't justify a TV movie, and doing an online-only episode would probably be cost prohibitive.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: Now that summer is here and few of the shows on the air are new, I won't be posting the nightly Best Bets section as often.

ABC is all-new and all-reality, with a new "Dancing With The Stars" at 8 p.m., followed by the two-hour finale of "The Bachelor," in which another couple will get together in a doomed relationship. Seriously, almost none of the "Bachelor" couples have stayed together.

On NBC, "Deal or No Deal" is new at 8 p.m. Normally, I wouldn't highlight a game show, but the contestant tonight is real-life NYC subway hero Wesley Autrey Sr., which is kind of cool. After the "Heroes" finale, "Law & Order: CI" ends tonight with a 10:05 p.m. start time. In an unusual bit, "L&O:CI" moves to USA next season for first-run episodes, which will then be repeated on NBC. Since I used up my initials quota in that last sentence, that wraps things up today.

1 comment:

zodin2008 said...

There you go, bashing "24" whenever you have a chance. the last few episodes have been far more exciting, but yes, "Heroes" has been far more entertaining Monday.

FYI...I am not likely to get to watch either fianle on time tonight so no spoilers...

re: Nina Tassler & "Jericho"

I don't see WHY they couldn't produce 1 2 hour movie to wrap things up. the show is filmed in Vancouver so it can't be that expensive.