Monday, October 17, 2005

Trendspotting

So, I'm not a very trendy person.

I tend to be a classic Banana Republic/Gap girl when it comes to fashion. Oh, occassionally I'll pick up a piece that screams out as trendy, but usually I'm on the tail end of trends.

That's why I go into picking trends VERY CAUTIOUSLY. Now, anything can happen between now and May. The TV season is far from over. I'd dare say we are probably playing this game a few months too early...

...but then again, networks are already buying pilots and prepping projects, so maybe not.

First off, let's remember that we still have mid-season shows to air. "Grey's Anatomy" was mid-season. So was "Joe Millionaire". We still have good and bad to wait out before the dust settles. That being said, I'm gonna go out on a limb and make a prediction or 2:

New show specs:

The sitcoms are easy. They've been dwelling in the cellar for so long, that ANY renewed sitcoms automatically provide spec material. Comedy writers everywhere breathe a sigh of relief that they no longer have to push their spec of "Two and a Half Men" or "Yes, Dear". Now they have (for sure) "Everbody Hates Chris", "My Name is Earl" and "How I Met Your Mother." If NBC is benevolent, you might even get to spec "The Office", but I personally consider that sacrilege.

Okay, so dramas. It's been a pretty weak season for drama, but there are some positives. Genre writers can now spec "Supernatural" (though I would urge you to use this as a second spec and not your primary). But you want to know the ONE new show you can spec this year?

So do I.

Sorry for the cop out, but I don't think we've seen it yet. I was being honest when I said there's still mid-season to wait out. As long as the show doesn't fall apart, "Commander in Chief" will be a good spec...but now we have to see what Bochco's writers do with the show and what direction it will take. That means putting specs on hold for that one? "Criminal Minds"? I don't doubt that it is a decent show and if you must write a procedural, at least it isn't "CSI" but I think it goes in the "NCIS" pile. "Bones"? Well, I don't know what the cred of the show is, but I don't really like or respect the show enough to recommend. "Prison Break"? Right now, until the break out of prison, pretty much unspecable. Any of the episodics are tough too (and currently not renewed, except "Surface" and I laugh at you if you spec that.)

But here's an interesting trend I note: Female viewership is really driving the top shows. If "Gilmore Girls" goes the way of the dodo (which isn't out of the question), "Charmed" hits the dirt nap, and "Alias" finally dies, we will have lost 3 female driven shows this year. We might pick up "Threshold" or "Close to Home" yet, and there's still hope for those chick sitcoms the WB has, but overall female lead shows lose (and that's if "Veronica Mars" and "Crossing Jordan" live...jury's out). Right now we are +1 for "Commander in Chief" and I'll grant a half to "Surface". I'm interested to see if more female-centric character shows get pushed for next season to fill the gap.

Like I said, I'm not the trendiest person, so I could be wrong. I just note what I see...

1 comment:

ceetay said...

Funny that you've mentioned trends. I'm seeing a different kind of trend. It's not the types of shows I've been noticing, it's what the shows are using to tell their stories. Just like "Ally McBeal" had popularized the use (and overuse) of dream sequences, "Desperate Housewives" has made the use of voiceovers more palatable.

I've noticed in the new fall line-up that the voiceover is becoming the hot device to move plot and expedition forward. "My Name Is Earl," "Everybody Hates Chris," "How I Met Your Mother," and the close to, if not already, defunct "Kitchen Confidential" all use it. Also "Veronica Mars" and "Grey's Anatomy" continue to use it as well. I predict the voiceover will be used a lot more in the next year or so.