Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's Official: There Are No Good Ideas Left

Perhaps with a certain bit of unintended irony with a week to go before the announced writers' strike in Hollywood, my brother sent me a link to a story yesterday that rocked the very fiber of my being. If I hadn't seen it reported at multiple places, I would have thought he was pulling my leg.

But no, this is real: Fox has ordered a script for a "Prison Break" spinoff called "Prison Break: Cherry Hill," which would center on a female prisoner named Molly.

Because a show that has come off the rails and is bleeding viewership needs a spinoff. Perhaps CBS should consider a "Viva Laughlin" spinoff.

Supposedly, the character of Molly (yet to be cast) would meet Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) at the Sona prison in Panama. She's a middle-class American housewife who has (naturally) been framed for a crime she didn't commit. How a housewife would survive in Sona for more than an hour after tough-guy prison guard Bellick is forced to walk around in a diaper in the same place is only one of the issues I have with this concept.

But really, the main problem with "PB: Cherry Hill" (I thought the Cherry Hill referred to the city in New Jersey, which feels like a prison itself, but really, it apparently refers to an infamous prison in Massachusetts) is that everyone is already making the women-in-prison jokes. This should be a series on Cinemax, not a network.

Honestly, what's the point of having a series about women in prison if there aren't long shower sequences involving hot women prisonders? (If Cinemax teaches us anything, it's that all women in prison are hot and like taking showers).

I think I'd rather Fox give the hour on the schedule that is being reserved for "PB:CH" to reality czar Mike Darnell for his latest monstrosity than waste the time on a pointless spinoff to a show that has long since passed its prime.

AROUND THE DIAL: Other news from Fox sees freshman sitcom "Back To You" get a full season order. ...

Meanwhile, ABC is set to bring back "October Road" on Nov. 22, following "Grey's Anatomy" for one time, then shifting the show to Monday nights at 10 p.m. ABC has also ordered more episodes of "Samantha Who?" ...

If you missed NBC's "Phenomenon" last night, here's a clip from a rehearsal: They sent me another clip involving Russian Roulette, but since my blog is attached to a family newspaper, it's probably not a good idea to run it.

THURSDAY'S BEST BET: What's been a good week (despite the reports of "Prison Break" spinoffs) gets better tonight with the return of one of TV's best sitcoms, "Scrubs" (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) The show is in its final season, but after seeing the season premiere last night, let me tell you it shows no signs of age or slowing down. The episode centers around JD (Zach Braff) and Elliott (Sarah Chalke) pondering their separate relationships, the Janitor's (Neil Flynn) new girlfriend and the world's friendliest patient.

A by-product of "Scrubs" return is that "The Office" (NBC, 9 p.m.) is back to a more-comfortable half-hour. Tonight's installment is directed by my new bud Jason Reitman ("Thank You For Smoking"), which alone makes it worth watching.

While "PB" has declined pretty much every episode over the last three years, "Supernatural" (CW, 9 p.m.) has gotten better each week over the same period of time. Between the episode two weeks ago involving Dean's possible son and last week's centered around the rabbit's foot from Hell, the writers are doing a great job of having a lot of fun. I can't wait to see what they've cooked up this week. It follows a new "Smallville" at 8 p.m.

CBS is new with "CSI" and "Without A Trace," beginning at 9 p.m. After watching "Viva Laughlin" last week, I never thought I'd be happy to see "Without A Trace" back in its familiar timeslot.

ABC's big night of "Ugly Betty" at 8 p.m. and "Grey's Anatomy" at 9 p.m. are also new, as is "Big Shots" (ABC, 10 p.m.), which now has sole possession of the worst-show-on-TV crown, thanks to the cancellation of "Viva Laughlin."

Finally, Game 2 of the World Series is tonight (Fox, 8 p.m.) as is the matchup of Boston College and Virginia Tech (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) in the loony season that is college football.


zodin2008 said...

No thanks on the PB spinoff if it's not on Showtime or "skin"emax. What's the point?

Yeah, when I heard the words "Cherry Hill", I also thought of the town in New Jersey and considering it's a pretty nice suburb, I thought "gee, why not Prison Break: Stamford or Prison Break: Orange County", Fox.

But yeah, unless Molly is played by the T2 version Linda Hamilton, no way she could realistically survive Sona.

I am happy "Scrubs" is back but I was beyond pissed off that they went back to the well on Elliott and JD - it's the storyline I am absolutely most sick of on 'Scrubs" and they should have left that well enough alone. Plus, Keith is a great guy and a good character and Elliott had no good reason whatsoever to leave a great guy and agood looking, nice guy like Keith, to have an umpteenth hook up with JD. It's downright asinine.

But I digress...the show is still welcome back on my viewing schedule.

Phillip Ramati said...

"Prison Break: The OC" - I think you just gave Fox a better idea for a spinoff than the one they have. It could be set in one of those Club Fed prisons where white collar criminals hatch an escape plan during the prison's tennis tournament.

As for Scrubs, the situation of which you speak is resolved within the first minute, but I won't say how.

Jonathan said...

I heard about this yesterday and assumed it was just some kind of joke, but apparently not. Still, I have a feeling this is something that won't be picked up once the pilot is shown, but you never know. This just reeks of something along the lines of "Aquaman," or whatever the hell they were going to call that stupid sounding "Smallville" spin-off.

I also read that this woman's character will be introduced on "PB" this season and will have a multi-episode arc, but if it goes beyond that I would be shocked. However, this is Fox we're dealing with, who still hasn't seemed to figure out they are an established network that doesn't have to rely on BS like this. You would think having the number 1 show on television ("American Idol") would give them a clue.

I'm really glad "Scrubs" is back, but I'm also kind of glad it's the last season. Once you get to a 7th season, it's really hard to keep going on without repeating yourself ad nauseum. "Friends" was probably on two or three seasons too long; "Seinfeld" definitely was. And don't kill me, Zodin, but I think "Buffy" could have ended at Season 5, and we would have been none the wiser.

zodin2008 said...

Jonathan, I definitely won't kill you, since you and I agree like 98% of the time!

That being said, I also don't completely disagree about Buffy. While I mostly enjoyed seasons 6 & 7, those 2 seasons felt very different and actually, somewhat "removed" from the first 5 seasons. The acting and were writing were still great and the show was still very entertaining, but season 5 was stronger.

On the flipside, "Angels" got royally screwed by the now (deservedly) defunct, WB. "Angel" unquestionably deserved a 6th season and were left hung out to dry until too late, forcing Joss Whedon to lay on us a horrible series finale after 5 great years of fantastic TV.

I also agree again that "PB: chick fight" will likely never make it to air.

Phillip Ramati said...

Seinfeld recognized that it's better to leave too early than too late. Was the show on too long? Perhaps, but I enjoyed the final season. But NBC, if given the chance, would have milked Seinfeld for another three years at least based on its ratings.

As for Buffy, if the show had ended after Season 5, we never would have gotten episodes like "Once More With Feeling," "Tabula Rasa" and "Conversations With Dead People," nor would we have gotten the Nerds of Doom or Caleb, so I'm glad it ran for two more years. Whedon & Co. never got into the business of repeating themselves, which is the first sign of a show being on the air too long. (Not too mention that Buffy or Seinfeld at 60 percent were better than a lot of shows at 100 percent).