Monday, April 6, 2009

To Love and Lose

I'm certainly no stranger to becoming attached to something, and then having that thing cruelly and suddenly vanish without a workable comprehension of why it went away.

And then, of course, there's television.

There are shows that you loved and admired, but knew had run their natural life, like Buffy, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos.

There are shows that you were passionately devoted to, but that just got smothered in the crib before they really had a chance to catch on, such as Firefly, Andy Barker PI, Profit and The Middleman.

And there are the shows you love that got a few seasons, but never received the support and viewership they needed to survive, like Pushing Daisies, Angel and Deadwood.

As we're heading toward the end of the 08/09 television season, a lot of shows are on the bubble for renewal. TV.com put together a lit of the Top 10 Shows in danger, and not surprisingly, a good number of them are firmly entrenched on my TiVo. (You can read the list, and probably guess which ones).

I wonder if it's better knowing and fretting, or just getting a quick bullet in the head (RIP, Derek Reese). I mean, in this day and age, you can check out the quick overnight ratings the next morning and know where your show stands. You have legions of reporters and bloggers covering every minute aspect of the business of entertainment. So, for example, I can smack my palm against my forehead on Saturday morning when I realize that more people on their couches actively choose to watch Howie Do It, Supernanny and Wife Swap rather than Terminator: Sarah Connors Chronicles or Dollhouse. When I was a kid, you had to wait months and months to find out in TV Guide or Starlog that Battlestar Galactica was going to be one season and done (and then come back with one of the shittiest "sequels" imaginable. Anyone remember Galactica 1980? Jesus Cylon Christ that was awful).

So we're getting into crunchtime for a lot of our favorite shows. And that makes me nervous.

3 comments:

  1. That list just makes me angry, especially Terminator, Dollhouse, and Chuck. God forbid we stop pandering to the lowest common denominator and actually encourage QUALITY television.

    And Jay Leno can kiss my ass. What kind of sick twisted individual thinks we need 5 hours of his unfunny chin in primetime every week? Seriously, if we lose Chuck because of that B.S., I'm going nook-you-ler on SOMEBODY.

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  2. Totally agree on the 3 you mention, and sadly, those are the 3 that appear to be in the most trouble. (And how awesome was Chuck last night? "Oh Boy!")

    I opened my post about not having a "workable comprehension" why, but that was more "personal" than TV-oriented. I GET why FOX wouldn't renew TSCC or Dollhouse from a business perspective. I GET why NBC is making the Leno move. I understand the ratings for Middleman, Pushing Daisies, etc. (what I don't understand is the audience -- why aren't more people watching these shows?)

    The question becomes, why do the networks, and the creators, think that "challenging" or "genre" fare will EVER attract 10M+ viewers? TSCC did right out of the box, but settled in much lower. Lost did for a while, but has found its equilibrium (especially since it's getting all time travel and Smokey now). All the Top 20 is either reality, or procedural. Or 2.5 Men.

    I know there are only so many cable slots around, but wouldn't USA, SyFy, FX, TNT, AMC, Showtime, HBO et al love to have 4 - 6 million passionate fans tuning in each week?

    Wouldn't TSCC and Dollhouse fit right in on FX? I'd rather see 10 - 12 eps there, even with a reduced budget, than worry about cancellation every week when compared to House or Idol.

    And wouldn't Chuck be at home on USA, where "characters are welcome?"

    Argh. The blood boils just thinking about it.

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  3. I would love to see these shows get picked up on cable. Or, hell...let's just step into the 21st century and just put them all online.

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