Thursday, May 10, 2007

Traveler Blues

I'm really not sure about the marketing strategy over at ABC. They certainly seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Take the new series "Traveler" (ABC, 10 p.m.), which sat on the shelves at the network for nearly a year. It's got a similar premise to the fugitive. Two friends are framed for a terrorist bombing. While on the run from the law, they must find their third friend, who apparently is the one who set them up. The show follows the serialized nature of other shows like "Lost."

Despite its long time on the bench, "Traveler" couldn't ask for a better debut spot: Right behind new episodes of "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy." But after tonight, "Traveler" returns to the bench for a couple of weeks and doesn't air its second episode until the end of the month. Part of the reason is that the series underwent a lot of re-shoots.

Still, ABC seems to have learned nothing from the damage it did to "Lost," or what CBS did to "Jericho" by scheduling long breaks between episodes, thus killing any momentum for the show.

I don't know if "Traveler" is worth an hour of your time (ABC doesn't send me preview DVDs), but just be warned, if you get hooked tonight, it's going to be a wait for Episode 2.

DRIVE FINALE: In the latest "What's the point?" move from Fox, Ain't It Cool News is reporting the final two episodes of "Drive" will finally air - on July 4. Yup, speaking of serialized shows and waiting time, that's over two months to air two episodes. What, Fox couldn't throw them up on a Friday or Saturday and just get rid of them? Even fans of the series will have a hard time remembering what is going on if they have to wait until July to see the episodes.

Of course, this is the same network that couldn't even be bothered to air the final episode of "Tru Calling" a couple of years ago. One final episode, and it sat on the shelf in lieu of some rerun. Nice, Fox.

'BAND' AID: Speaking of Fox, the producers of "American Idol" are expanding their repertoire by launching a new show that will do for bands what AI has done for singers.

Fox announced the new series will air over the summer as judges scour the country and accept DVDs of would-be contenders. For more information, visit

Frankly, I'm surprised no one came up with this idea before, given the success of "AI." Searching for a great band seems like the next logical step.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Another week of Jeff Zucker's legacy - NBC airs more super-sized episodes of its Thursday sitcoms, beginning with "My Name Is Earl" at 8 p.m. and followed by a new "Office" at 8:39 or whenever the heck it's supposed to start. "Scrubs" starts around 9:20, I think, followed by a new "ER" at 10:01 p.m. It's not that I don't appreciate a few extra scenes among my favorite group of sitcoms, but it really is annoying.

CBS airs its all-new lineup of shows in one-hour allotments, beginning with "Survivor" and followed by "CSI" and "Without A Trace."

Fox can't find an hour to air "Drive," but it's giving "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?" a two-hour block tonight as someone goes for $1 million.

Finally, "Battlestar Galactica's" Tahmoh Penikett guest-stars as a super soldier on tonight's "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m.) and is followed by a new "Supernatural," which has been awesome the last few weeks.


zodin2008 said...

I am in the midst of watching the "Traveller" pilot right now and it's pretty interesting & even has the only male ever worth watching on "Desperate Housewives", Steven Culp as the head police investigator.

It's funny you talked about "Tru Calling" in this same blog post, because former "Calling" castmate Matthew Bomer is the lead of this rather interesting show.

I fully suspect the fact that it's a serial, premiering in mid May and then seeing the next few episodes on hold, this show won't make but the pilot is pretty good so far.

zodin2008 said...

Re: "Smallville"

I can't put my finger on it but I just haven't really enjoyed the show very much this year. It's actually come off boring to me.

The only stuff I kind of enjoyed was easrlier when they had the Oliver Queen character and then the formation of the Justice League but that lasted ONE episode.

Phillip Ramati said...

Smallville has been pretty uneven this year - too much Lana, not enough Lois (you can never have enough of Lois!)

Smallville's problems have only been magnified by the stellar seasons turned in by both Heroes and Supernatural.