Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing

TVGuide.com's Michael Ausiello reported yesterday that NBC is supposedly looking at a spinoff for "The Office." Set in a different brance of Dunder-Mifflin, the new version would have an entire new cast and be introduced in a backdoor pilot on the original.

Despite "The Office" still being one of the sitcoms on the air, I think this is a mistake on NBC's part, because it would dilute the original product.

Look, I'm the guy who said the hour-long versions of "The Office" were too much, so I'm definitely a less-is-more kind of critic. You can have too much of a good thing.

Look at all of the "Law & Orders" and "CSIs" out there. (I'm surprised we haven't been subjected to "Law & Order: CSI" yet.) And while "Private Practice," (ABC, 9 p.m.)the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff is doing solid ratings, it's been both a commercial and critical disappointment thus far despite a big-name cast.

While a critical success with a legion of loyal fans, "The Office" isn't exactly a ratings blockbuster, and it would be a mistake of having to spread the talented crew behind it too thin with another show.

Meanwhile, from the more-is-more category, check out this abbreviated pilot for what would have been "Veronica Mars" Season 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI8PI8y_-M8.

By the way, guys and gals, great discussion yesterday on "The Biggest Loser." Let's have more of those!

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Joining "Private Practice" tonight are two of ABC's best new shows of the season, "Pushing Daisies" at 8 p.m. and "Dirty Sexy Money" at 10 p.m.

And, speaking of "CSI," the NY version is tonight (CBS, 10 p.m.), following "Kids Nation" and "Criminal Minds."

NBC is pre-empting "Bionic Woman" tonight for a two-hour "Phenomenon" (NBC, 8 p.m.), but at least, "Life" (NBC, 10 p.m.) is new.

8 comments:

zodin2008 said...

I wholeheartedly agree w/ you about NBC's massive mistake in trying to make a spinoff of "The Office" - because again (we sound like a broken record on this issue) for every "Frasier" (that was spun even more brilliantly than mothership, "Cheers"), there's 15 "Joey" crapfests.

But the Peacock, which creatively is and always WILL BE my favorite of the 5 networks (and the network where I clearly watch the most amount of shows), is desperate because while it's easily my favorite network, America disagrees and prefers the dreary crime shows of CBS and the lighthearted female-centric shows that fills most of ABC's TV landscape.

NBC announced 2 months ago they would remake "Knight Rider", even though the remake of "Bionic Woman" is still 9at best) a work in progress with middling ratings.

The network is desperate for ANY kind of gimmick and should we be surprised that the new head honcho of NBC, Ben Silverman, one of the creative people behind "The Office", would try and milk his most beloved product to creative death. It's a mistake and one that will likely lead to a cancelled show.

My guess is also that NBC is looking ahead to 2008 when "Scrubs" will be gone and wants to try and figure out the best half hour to fill that slot - so they feel as though the built in audience of an "Office" spinoff is the safest bet.

No, what it smells like is an hour episode of "The Office" (which didn't work this year) except, this time, instead of 60 minutes of Jim and Pam, Ryan and Kelly, Michael, Dwight and Angela et all, we get the same half hour of these brilliant and well written characters, and a half hour of lesser actors and characters, most likely.

As for tonight's shows, I have to say I am actually happy that "Bionic Woman" isn't off, though I can't say I have a centimeter of interest in "Phenomen".

I find "Bionic" a chore to watch for the most part and I almost feel obligated to keep punishing myself through the hour (like I am feeling with "Heroes") so to keep trying to support NBC's willingness to do Sci Fi. So "Bionic" not being on just means one less hour of my life I would prefer to have.

It won't matter - my wife and I will be out to dinner and a movie anyway to avoid all the little monsters coming to our house for their sugar fixes.

Jonathan said...

That's funny what you said, Zod about the avoidance of trick or treaters; we do the same thing. Although, usually we just stay in and turn the porch light off. Nothing against kids, but we've got dogs in the house and it's annoying having to put them up every two minutes to answer the door.

I agree with "The Office" spin-off; it sounds awful. But I guess you never know, it could be another "Frasier." However, I wish they would just come up with more original sitcoms; they've been doing a pretty damn good job over the last few years with "The Office," "Scrubs," "30 Rock," and I realize that "My Name is Earl" also has a diehard fan base.

I do like a lot of the criminal procedure shows that I realize at least the two of you don't, but I agree that the "CSI" spinoffs are terrible and really give the original, which I still think is pretty great, a hard to wash off stench for most people that have avoided it this long. Although, it's still the number one show in America, so I guess it isn't being hurt too bad. I always have thought that the first "Law and Order" spin-off, "SVU," ended up being the best even though I've never gone out of my way to watch it. But Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay create a great dynamic that all of the other "L&O" installments have never beeen able to recapture, and that goes for the original as well.

zodin2008 said...

Jonathan,

With my wife due to give birth in just under 4 weeks, we will likely not be able to "avoid" Halloween going forward.

We especially want to be out of the house this year, seeing as this is the last time we can avoid it for at least the next 18 years or more (if this little guy eventually gets a sibling).

I respect the original "CSI" for at least being, well, original. The spinoffs are the same things in different cities and they are generally poorly acted and reviewed (what happened to you, Gary Sinise!? Bring back Lt. Dan!).

But, I have understood what NBC and CBS have tried do with the 2 franchises...use BRANDING, pre sold proven popular name brands like "CSI" and "Law & order", to pre sell a show otherwise that might be ignored.

As for the L&O franchise, the only one my wife & I enjoy is "Criminal intent". We're big Chris Noth fans and D'onfrio is always interesting, though that show has moved to Cable and we've missed a few.

But I cannot watch SVU - truth be told, Jonanthan, I loathe Mariska Hargitay and think she's one of the worst actresses on Television, but I certainly get that most people like her and I am clearly in the minority!

Phillip Ramati said...

Spinoffs, even those that air simultaneously as the originals, don't have to be a bad thing. Witness Deep Space 9 during Next Generation's run.

But in this, case, I think it just dilutes the original Office. The strength of that show is how invested we are in the characters, something that would be difficult to replicate with a new cast. And you don't want them pulling someone like Andy off the current cast to be the lead of the new show.

Edge said...

Congrats Zodin2008 on your soon to be bundle of joy. I too will soon have my 1st, but I still have about 4 months to go rather than 4 weeks. But I wish you the best.

Get ready to change you TV habits though, you will most likly will be enjoying the likes of cartoon network and animal plant soon.

Just kidding.....

Phillip Ramati said...

I see Zod being more of a Nickelodian kind of guy.

zodin2008 said...

Thanks, Edge - congrats to you as well and good luck. Sounds like you maybe at birth classes by around February? I just finished my last class yesterday.

As for what kids channels my son will be watching, when we get to that point, I will still be watching shows like "Lost" and "The Office" and lots and lots of football. That will be hard to break.

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