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Summer TV Preview Part 4: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Here is part 4 of my Summer TV Preview.  Most of this is focused on Thursday, and I also included Friday and Saturday as well since there isn’t much going on.

 

Thursday

 

NBC – I have zero interest in The Peacock’s sad attempt at reality tv, but I strongly recommend catching up on the repeats of The Office and 30 Rock if you didn’t catch them during the season. There is also one new show I’m going to check out–The Listener is about an EMT who can hear people’s thoughts. The show originally aired in Canada, and stars newcomer Craig Olejnik as main character Toby Logan. It reminds me of several other shows I have enjoyed in the last couple years, with one man using his unique knowledge to try to save people or prevent wrongdoing. Think Eli Stone or Journeyman.

 

Comedy CentralTosh.0 is a new show featuring comedian Daniel Tosh that takes the internet to task with segments on viral videos, tweeting, blogging, vlogging, poking, and everything else we spend so much time doing. Based on the clips, the show looks like what would happen if The Daily Show got The Soup pregnant. Tosh.0 premieres on June 4th at 10/9c.

 

Lifetime – You’ll have to wait until August 20th, but Project Runway has finally emerged from pissing contest between Bravo & Lifetime. This sixth season will air at 10/9c, and both Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn will be back. No one has to point out to me that I’m hooked on the new flagship show for the “#1 Network for Women”. I enjoy watching these eager young designers create each week, while simultaneously proving I know absolutely nothing about fashion.

 

Showtime – Penn & Teller are back with more Bullshit! on June 25th at 10/9c. As for this season’s topics, I’ve only seen the topic for the first episode–Orgasms. I think it’s safe to say P&T won’t have any trouble working some of their trademark gratuitous nudity into the premiere episode.

 

USA – I haven’t watched it, but I keep hearing about how good Burn Notice is. I don’t think I’ll take the time to catch up, but I am planning to check out the third season premiere on June 4th at 9/8c. On new series front, Royal Pains stars Mark Feuerstein (The West Wing, What Women Want) as shunned New York doctor Hank Lawson and Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip) as his younger brother Evan who convinces him to take a weekend in The Hamptons after Hank gets fired. I find Costanzo hilarious, so I’m looking forward to this one.

 

Fridays

 

SyFyEureka returns for a third season on July 10th at 9/8c. I’ve never watched the show, but I know my fellow geeks enjoy it.

 

USA – Your Tony Shaloub and Dule Hill withdrawal will be gone on August 8th as new seasons of the popular Monk and Psych premiere at 9/8c and 10/9c respectively. Cherish the 16 episodes of Monk, because they are the last ones you’re going to get.

 

Saturday

 

ABC – The alphabet network runs out the clock on Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money in the 10/9c timeslot starting May 30th. Don’t look for any of these shows to be tied up with a pretty bow though since these episodes were all in the can before the shows were cancelled. Good news for Daisies fans though, as an upcoming comic book mini-series will give us some closure.

 

Look for the final part of my summer preview to be posted later today.

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May 31, 2009 Posted by | Cancelled, Comedy, Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Scifi, Season Finale, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer TV Preview Part 4: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Cancellation Lament

Now that the networks have announced their fall schedules, we know which shows won’t be coming back. I think some obituaries are in order.

This list doesn’t contain every cancellation, but it does contain all the ones I care about.

ABC

Dirty Sexy Money – How many times will this network take a show featuring the incredibly talented Peter Krause, give it minimal support, and cancel it prematurely? Admittedly, this show suffered from a lack of focus, but I think it had a shot at being a modern day Dynasty or Dallas. I blame the writer’s strike for most of the ratings problems, since it never really had a chance to find an audience. The final handful of episodes will air Saturdays at 10/9 starting July 18th.

Pushing Daisies – I understand the stunning visuals were not cheap to create, but once again a truly unique show has been cancelled too soon. While I didn’t care for the Kristen Chenowith sing-a-longs, I loved the combination of fairy-tale and noir that filled each episode. Jim Dale’s outstanding narration worked perfectly with the subject matter, and the original plots allowed for some great guest appearances. The silver lining is that ABC has decided to air the three remaining episodes on Saturdays at 10/9 starting May 30th. Keep in mind though that these episodes aren’t expected to fully resolve the story.

Eli Stone – I realize I just finished saying I didn’t care for the singing on Pushing Daisies, but at least Eli Stone’s musical numbers were part of the plot. In fact, they acknowledged the absurdity of musical numbers in general by making them take place only in Eli’s aneurysm-addled brain. Sadly, this is the third member of ABC’s ill-fated ’07-’08 trio of shows with ratings that got decimated by the strike. Like the other two, the final episodes will be shown in the Saturday 10/9 slot, starting June 20th. As for the cast, star Jonny Lee Miller has gone back to his native England and will be in the BBC’s latest version of Jane Austen’s Emma, airing later this year. The excellent Victor Garber is headed to Fox’s new show Glee to play the father of Will, the glee club director, so I’m sure we can count on hearing his tenor again in primetime.

CBS

Worst Week – Based on the ratings, this show may have gotten tired for many people, but I thought it actually improved dramatically as the season went on. I recommend putting the complete series DVD set in your Netflix queue once it is released later this year. Also, since she was added for two episodes very near the end of the season, I’m starting to wonder if Rachael Harris is a black widow for new shows. (see In The Motherhood, Notes from the Underbelly, Pushing Daisies, Emily’s Reasons Why Not)

Eleventh Hour – Like Worst Week, this was another show based on a UK original that didn’t catch on with the American audience. The chemistry between Rufus Sewell and Marley Shelton took a little to long to develop, but I believe the real downfall of this show was the subject matter. In a grid full of procedurals, new shows have to stand out if they are going to stick around long. I enjoyed the show, in fact it reminded me a lot of the quickly-cancelled Medical Investigation from NBC a few years ago. Unfortunately, in a year where Fringe premiered, the mysteries on this show were just not ‘out there’ enough. And holding less than half of its CSI lead-in audience was just not good enough. I’m sure both actors will land on their feet, in fact they have both booked film gigs already.

NBC

Life – Granted, the second season was not as tight as the first, but Life had that unique quality that set itself apart from other shows. Crews’ zen approach to detective work was just as compelling for me as Bobby Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I can’t complain too much about this cancellation though, since I’m just now watching the final three episodes as I write this post. Ultimately, I think this is the kind of show that belongs on cable. The kind of season-long underlying plot lines Life showcased remind me more of Damages than CSI. Damian Lewis is a great talent who will have no problem booking other jobs, and I hope Adam Arkin finds a new home as well. Arkin had three movies slated for 2009 and actually directed two of the final episodes of Life, so his prospects would appear to be pretty good.

My Name Is Earl – I’ll be the first to admit that this fourth season hasn’t been even close to the quality of the first three, but I don’t think the reason is a big mystery. Starting at the end of the third season, there was a complete departure from the simple “do something from Earl’s list” premise. Creator Greg Garcia announced a return to the original formula for the fourth season, but there were still way too many episodes that focused on things like Darnell and Joy in Witness Protection, and the disappearance of Ernie, the owner of the Crab Shack who we have never previously seen or cared about. I’d like to see this get picked up by Fox, ABC, or TBS as rumored, just to see if they can right the ship by returning to what made the show great.

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Cancelled, Comedy, Drama, New Series, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cancellation Lament