Sunday, May 22, 2005

Upfront roundup - the final tally

So, there are lots of places where you can find the schedules (try here or here). One thing they may not say is what does this all mean?? In Entertainment Weekly style, I present to you the 'Winners and Losers' list:


  • Jerry Bruckheimer - the man is unstoppable. He already had six shows on the air and now the networks have picked up four more. He's got Aaron Spelling in his sights. (Read more at Hollywood Reporter).
  • Dramas - There are 19 new hourlong dramas vs. 10 new sitcoms in the network programming mix. For now, drama is where the action to speak.
  • Jim Belushi - is he not the luckiest guy on the planet?
  • David Mamet - he actually has a midseason show. Whodathunk that David Mamet would want to break in to TV?
  • Conservatives - CBS cancelling '60 Minutes Wednesday' may have been for ratings reasons, but conservative bloggers will still feel it a victory to have ousted Dan Rather from yet another home due to the National Guard memo scandal.
  • Warner Brothers - Clearly they hold the keys to the show production kingdom. While Paramount and 20th Century may be close behind, Warner has more shows on the various schedules than any other production house.
  • UPN - Yes, I know...this one seems weird. The perenial whipping boy of the upfronts actually had two bits of good news to tout (even though they cancelled 'Enterprise'). One, they renewed Veronica Mars. Two, they managed to get Chris Rock to do a sitcom with them (even if he only does voice overs and produces, it's enough for them). And hey, they still have 'WWE Smackdown!'

  • Tara Reid - her sitcom for Fox didn't get picked up. Of course, IMHO she was a 'loser' before her sitcom was rejected...
  • David E. Kelley - believe it or not, Kelley had a show rejected. As I read somewhere (sorry can't remember where) there was a time when Kelley didn't even need a pilot, they'd just buy the thing sight unseen. I guess 'Snoops' and that show he did for CBS changed that.
  • Reality - Okay, there are still a lot of reality shows on, but the networks are only introducing 2 new reality shows ('Three Wishes' and 'The Apprentice: Martha Stewart' on NBC) this season. This is down significantly from the five to seven new shows we were seeing each fall. Thankfully, we are going to get a break from 'The Bachelor' until midseason.
  • Donald Trump - Another strange one, you are thinking. Let me put it this way: Martha Stewart's Apprentice show is going to crush Trump's. Trump has been fun for three series, but now it's time to watch the 'Domestic Diva' put people through the ringer.
  • Jeff Zucker - Defamer has been all over how much crow this guy has had to eat this week (last year at upfronts he boasted that 'Joey' and the rest of the NBC schedule would keep the network at #1. They fell to #4 last year. Not only that, he's been taunted by the other network heads too. Advertisers will have to consider the new NBC schedule closely before deciding where to spend their precious ad dollars.

Finally, I'd say writers are big winners. Lots of networks putting lots of faith in new product. It will be interesting to see what of the current crop of programming hits and misses with the public. Get your specs ready. Staffing season may be over, but the fun is just beginning.

No comments: