Monday, May 12, 2008

Bubbles Burst On Some Shows

The fates of a few shows were decided over the weekend, as Fox announced it won't be bringing back "New Amsterdam" or "Back To You," while The CW is dropping the sublime "Aliens In America." Meanwhile, ABC has inexplicably picked up "Boston Legal" for a fifth season.

I'm not sure which is more painful, seeing "Boston Legal" back for another year or "Aliens In America" go away. The former is a ridiculous show that vacillates between comedy and drama (not in a good way) and ends up stealing Emmy votes from more worthy competitors. During its long hiatus this year, no one seemed to miss it.

The latter was the best new sitcom on TV, albeit one of the most ratings-challenged. It's style and sharp writing was reminiscent of "Malcolm In The Middle" at its height, and the show had a lot of charm to go with it. And its central theme of a Muslim student transplanted to Midwestern America offered sharp insight without ever becoming preachy.

As for the Fox shows, "New Amsterdam" never seemed to find any momentum after getting retooled from its original pilot and airing during the strike. There was enough of interest there where I would have liked to have seen a few more episodes, but I won't be losing any sleep over its departure, either.

"Back To You," which included a stellar cast of Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Fred Willard and others, and a stellar crew, didn't live up to the hype. It's premise of a TV news crew seemed tired when compared to the TV classics "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Murphy Brown." With all of the talent attached to this project, maybe my expectations were too high, but the laughs just weren't there.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: She's back! Tabloid diva Britney Spears reprises her role as a dim receptionist on "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.), along with the sublime Sarah Chalke as Ted's (Josh Radnor) love interest. Spears was perfectly adequate last time, but did bring in much-needed ratings with her appearance, so let's hope it's more of the same. It's part of an all-new lineup that includes "Big Bang Theory," "2 1/2 Men" and "Rules of Engagement," all followed by a new "CSI: Miami" at 10 p.m.

"Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.) gives a shameless plug for "American Idol" tonight, while "House" (Fox, 9 p.m.) begins a two-part season finale.

"The Bachelor" (ABC, 10 p.m.) makes his final choice tonight. I'm sure the relationship will be long-lasting and produce lots of grandchildren in the future.

"American Gladiators" (NBC, 8 p.m.) returns to the air tonight with a two-hour premiere. Let's hope they cut down on the boring interviews and up the action this time around. It's followed by a new "Medium" at 10 p.m.

Finally, "Gossip Girl" (CW, 8 p.m.) and "One Tree Hill" (CW, 9 p.m.) present new installments.


zodin2008 said...

Since I ended up not caring less whether "New Amsterdam" returned, but desperately wanted "Sarah Conner" to come back, this works out just fine to me.

The fact that "Smallville" will be back for a bewildering 8th season on The CW, is really just a ratings thing. I am not sure what they will do creatively, but the show has gone beyond tired.

Jonathan said...

"Back to You" actually got quite a bit better down the stretch. I'm not upset it won't be back, but if it had been given another season I probably would have watched it.

I agree with you on "Aliens in America." What a shame. I wish NBC would grab it up for there vacant "Scrubs" slot next season. It won't happen, but one can always dream. Have they not said anything about Reaper yet?

Phillip Ramati said...

As of Monday, no word on Reaper. It's probably 50-50 at this point, with perhaps a slight leaning toward renewal.