Monday, December 18, 2006

The Year in Review Part One: That's Entertainment

Yes, it is the end of the year, or nearly so. It's time to look back on the last 11 months and ruminate about what was good, what was bad, and what was odd. Fortunately, I won't be commenting on world events or fashion dos and don'ts. In fact, I'm pretty self-absorbed with my yearly review.

It's got three parts, and each week I'll post one segment. Part one is about the TV and film landscape. Part two will go more personal as I look at the state of my writing life in 2006. Finally, I'll wrap up with probably the most personal post I've ever made on this blog. If that is at all intriguing to you, well, you'll have to wait for New Year's Day for that package.

So let's talk film first (It'll be short).

I got Netflix, and yet somehow I saw fewer 'new' films this year. I did finally see what all the fuss was about with 'Network' (stop booing at me, you have some film skeletons in your closet too I bet). I also branched out into watching a lot of silent films and Expressionist films...The Seventh Seal, M, The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari, Nosferatu.

As for films released this year -- there were a lot of films that just didn't scream out for me to see them in a theater for $11-14. When I did get a chance to take in a film, I was usually treated to a good one -- The Departed, Inside Man, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Films which surprised me (in a good way): Cars, Casino Royale, Clerks II, Nacho Libre, World Trade Center, Slither, The Benchwarmers (I told you it surprised me -- I laughed more than I thought I would), The Guardian, even Tenacious D: In the Pick of Destiny.

Movies I hated: V for Vendetta, Failure to Launch, A Prairie Home Companion (sorry Altman).

Movies I still feel mostly indifferent about: Stranger than Fiction, MI:3, X-Men3, Hostel.

Movies I was disappointed by: Snakes on a Plane, The Descent, Saw III, Lucky Number Slevin, Firewall, and The DaVinci Code.

I usually see at least 35-40 movies in a theater every year. By my count I saw only 25 this year. You might attribute that to me watching more TV (which is very true), but I have to say, only two films on this list did I actually catch on DVD after their runs (Failure to Launch and The DaVinci Code, both sucked). That tells me I lacked interest in most of the offerings.

Now, there are some films I still want very much to see -- For Your Consideration, The Queen, Borat, Superman Returns, The Devil Wears Prada, Thank You for Smoking, The Good Shepherd, The Fountain, Blood Diamond, Apocalypto, and a few others -- most being released right at the end of the year (attention studios: you are releasing too many films at the end of the year!!)

So, let's talk about my obsession -- I mean, area of intense study: television.

I think we all know what's good. And I've mentioned (repeatedly) what was bad. But let's talk about those shows that make up the rest of the schedule...the shows which defy all reason and are still on the air. That's right, I'm talking about you, One Tree Hill. And you, NCIS. Where would we be without Crossing Jordan or America's Funniest Home Videos on the schedule? They are like old friends, the mere existence of whom give us comfort when we look at the TV Guide. "The world can't be all bad. 'According to Jim' is still on the air." And with that, we change the channel, secure in the knowledge that Jim Belushi must make *someone laugh* (right?)

Okay, I kid. But, seriously...I can't be all scripted, all the time (as much as I'd love to), there are some alternative programming skeletons in my closet...

I love Dog. Not just any Dog, but Dog The Bounty Hunter. I have also been known to catch an episode of My Super Sweet Sixteen. Don't scoff until you've seen that trainwreck. Hell's Kitchen and American Idol are my idea of good quality reality show entertainment. Also a big fan of Ghost Hunters. And Cash in the Attic (on Beeb America). Proj Run? Appointment viewing, obviously, but so is Breaking Bonaduce. And you thought my eyeballs were bleeding just from all the 'scripted' TV I watched. Little did you know, I gobble up all this other stuff too!

And really, I can sleep at night knowing that at practically any time of day, I can find a COPS rerun. Sometimes you just need to see some K-Fed poseurs trying to outrun the fuzz to fulfill your humor quotient.

Okay, so next week I'll bring it 'round to discussing my own personal writing journey this year. It's been quite a year, as most of you know.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Daybreak, Show Me the Money Cancelled

Look at the bright side: Taye Diggs gets to stop living the same day over and over again AND Shatner is confined to one crazy hour a week on 'Boston Legal'.

Daybreak is pulled effective immediately, and Show Me the Money will be replaced with episodes of 'America's Funniest Home Videos', sure to pull in at least twice the number of viewers of the Shat-tastic SMTM.

Link: Variety

Help Me Help You cancelled

Another one bites the dust. Sorry Ted Danson. It just wasn't meant to be.

Watch List updated shortly...

Best. Christmas Present. EVER.

Minear. Fillion. DRIVE.


I think I'm in love all over again...

Monday, December 11, 2006

I have got to stop letting this stuff annoy me

From an article posted on The Hollywood Reporter:

I laugh less at Sorkin's witty banter than I do at the thought that viewers in Peoria are futilely looking up jargon in the dictionary such as "upfront" and "demo" in an attempt to understand the dialogue.

Sigh. My parents live in Peoria, and I can assure you they know what an 'upfront' and a 'demo' is. Sheesh, what arrogance.

AFI names top ten shows of the year



You gotta love it -- they name 'Battlestar' the best show of the year. I'm also thrilled to see 'Friday Night Lights' and 'Heroes' AND 'Dexter' make the list! I'd swap out 'The West Wing' for 'Lost', but I understand that there were a lot of people who felt the last year of 'The West Wing' had significantly increased in quality. I am surprised that 'House' didn't make the list. Then again, if you really want to list the best shows on TV you could easily make it a 'top 20'...

Here would be the next 10 shows I'd put on the list:



** interesting it included mini-series. Otherwise how to explain 'Elizabeth I' on there? And not 'Rome'??

Link AFI AWARDS 2006

(by the way, I'm having blog issues as it is converting over to the 'new' blogger. It is taking a looooong time to convert, so I hope this even shows up)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ABC Moves Lost to 10 p.m. on Wednesday

Well isn't this interesting. ABC has resolved their Wednesday at 10 problem -- sort of. Lost will move to 10 when it returns on February 7th to avoid the AI results show, and ABC will air a block of comedies from 8-10, including the returning George Lopez and According to Jim. Knights of Prosperity and In Case of Emergency will fill the 9 PM hour on January 3rd. Here's the new lineup:

8 p.m. Show Me the Money (new day) (as of 1/2)
9 p.m. Big Day
9:30 p.m. Help Me Help You
10 p.m. Boston Legal

8 p.m. George Lopez (return)
8:30 p.m. According to Jim (return)
9 p.m. The Knights of Prosperity (new) (premiere 1/3)
9:30 p.m. In Case of Emergency (new) (premiere 1/3)
10 p.m. Lost (new time)

Mediaweek notes (and I agree) that more changes are in store for Tuesday since the two sitcoms seem to be in trouble. No word yet on if or when Daybreak will burn unaired episodes. I'd consider it close to cancelled at this point.

Link: ABC Moves Lost to 10 p.m.; Avoids Idol Battle

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

3 LBS Cancelled

Well that was quick. This show made 'Smith' look like a winner. 3 LBS is now added to the trash heap of quick cancellations. CBS will air repeats of one of its other successful shows in the timeslot going forward.

Link: 3 lbs Flatlines on CBS


NBC announced their 'revised' schedule yesterday, and let me tell you -- it sucks.

Take a look:

8-9 p.m. -- "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m. -- "Heroes"
10-11 p.m. -- "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"

8-9 p.m.-- "Dateline NBC" (beginning December 26)
9-10 p.m. -- "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
10-11 p.m. -- "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

8-9 p.m. -- "Friday Night Lights" (January 10)
9-10 p.m. -- "Deal or No Deal" (January 3)
10-11 p.m. -- "Medium"

8-9 p.m. -- "My Name Is Earl"
8:30-9 p.m. -- "The Office"
9-9:30 p.m. -- "Scrubs"
9:30-10 p.m. -- "30 Rock"
10-11 p.m. -- "ER"

8-9 p.m. -- "1 VS 100"
9-10 p.m. -- "Las Vegas"
10-11 p.m. -- "Law & Order"

8-9 p.m. - Dateline NBC (repeats)
9-11 p.m. -- Drama repeats

7-8 p.m. -- "Dateline NBC" (February 11)
8-9 p.m. -- "Grease: You're the One That I Want" (January 7; first two weeks will run from 8-9:30 p.m.)
9-10 p.m. -- "The Apprentice" (January 7; first two weeks will run from 9:30-11 p.m.)
10-11 p.m. -- "Crossing Jordan" (January 21)

Okay, I agree with the Tuesday and Thursday night lineups, but Studio 60 isn't moving?? And why oh why would you move 'Friday Night Lights' to WEDNESDAY against the behemoth, American Idol? This a dumb, dumb, dumb idea that will kill the show. Kill it dead. Word is that NBC will put 'The Black Donnellys' on in Studio 60's slot at some point. Again, huh?? That show cannot possibly be a good fit with Heroes. And I'm sorry, 'Deal or No Deal' is an 8 PM show, not a 9 PM show. Putting FNL on at 8 (which at least saves it from 'Lost') and Deal or No Deal at 9 is just idiotic. So, how would I schedule NBC?

8-9 p.m. -- "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m. -- "Heroes"
10-11 p.m. -- "Medium" (Shawna's change)

8-9 p.m.-- "Dateline NBC" (beginning December 26)
9-10 p.m. -- "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
10-11 p.m. -- "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

8-9 p.m. -- "Deal or No Deal" (Shawna's choice)
9-10 p.m. -- "The Apprentice" (Shawna's choice)
10-11 p.m. -- "Studio 60" (Shawna's choice)

8-9 p.m. -- "My Name Is Earl"
8:30-9 p.m. -- "The Office"
9-9:30 p.m. -- "Scrubs"
9:30-10 p.m. -- "30 Rock"
10-11 p.m. -- "ER"

8-9 p.m. -- "1 VS 100"
9-10 p.m. -- "Las Vegas"
10-11 p.m. -- "Law & Order"

8-9 p.m. - Dateline NBC (repeats)
9-11 p.m. -- Drama repeats

7-8 p.m. -- "Dateline NBC" (February 11)
8-9 p.m. -- "Grease: You're the One That I Want" (January 7; first two weeks will run from 8-9:30 p.m.)
9-10 p.m. -- "Friday Night Lights" (Shawna's choice)
10-11 p.m. -- "Crossing Jordan" (January 21)

Black Donnellys can still replace Studio 60 and Raines could still sub in for Las Vegas. I don't think my schedule is perfect, but at least putting Deal or No Deal at The Apprentice on Wednesday will keep them afloat -- The Apprentice audience doesn't completely cross over with the AI audience (skews older).

Memo to Jeff Zucker: Thump Kevin Reilly on the head for me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Need your input

I'm adding a section to the left column called 'Podcasts'. Some of these will be links to useful writing podcasts, but I also hope to link to my own.

What I need to know is, what would make for an interesting podcast? What topics could I cover that would be of interest to you? What would entice you to download my podcast?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Back to work

Hope everyone had a great holiday! (And you Canadians -- hope you had a good week).

Now that I'm back in the City of Angels, it's time to get crackin'. I've got a lot of writing to do -- rewrites mostly right now -- and little time to waste.

Oh, and for those who are interested, I've learned from multiple sources that the calls/emails for the Fellowship went out last Wednesday. I did not receive one. So, I guess I try again next year!

Yes, I'm disappointed, but I allowed myself a day or two to mope, and now it is time to focus on the writing. Clearly I have some work to do to make the grade next time.

The Nine goes on hiatus

ABC has pulled 'The Nine' from the schedule effective immediately. Zap2it reported the news on Saturday...ABC claims the show will come back, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Clean up

CW gives more episode orders to 'Veronica Mars' and 'One Tree Hill' bringing their orders up to 20 and 21 episodes respectively.

'Gilmore Girls' numbers have been pretty good so far. Big question facing CW: Will they really be able to justify renewing this and 7th Heaven for one more year, even if the numbers are decent?

Reba's back on, but the numbers aren't that great. Big surprise.

Reminder: NBC cut 'Las Vegas' episode order to 17 in August.

ABC gave 'What About Brian?' a full season order. Despite the advertising 'Show Me the Money' is not Shat-tastic, but is, instead, really Shat-ty.

I really like 'Men in Trees'. You people better watch on Thursday night so I can spec this show with a clear conscience. Dangit.

No word yet from the ABC Fellowship. When I know, you'll know.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Vanished cancelled, Justice sent to Friday death watch

And so it goes. Fox giveth life (to 'Til Death and Standoff) and Fox taketh life (cancelling Vanished and putting Justice on death watch Friday).

Link: the futon critic

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Til Death gets picked up, Standoff gets 6 more

Til Death gets a full season pick up, but Standoff only gets 6. Fox claims they don't need the last 3 to make a full season pick up. So, the show is sorta kinda picked up for a season. Good enough for my Watch List, anyway...

Link: - Fox orders more 'Standoff,' ''Til Death'

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

3 LBS a snooze...and a bomb

I don't know about any of you guys, but I caught the pilot of this and it is a snore. I read a review somewhere which called it 'House-lite'. I couldn't agree more.

The numbers also show it probably isn't long for this world...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Contemplating 'Lost'

Alert: If you have not seen last week's episode of 'Lost' please skip this post. Thank you.

So, most of the time when I watch my myriad of TV shows, I shut off my inner story critic and just enjoy the episode. Obviously if the story trips any of my "alarms", story critic comes out of hiding and doesn't go away until the story is over.

So it is with 'Lost'. Most of the time, I get so caught up in the enjoyment of watching it, that my story critic seems to take long naps while it is on. Thus, any alarms that go blaring (and there are some, believe me) do not awaken said critic and I continue to be happy as a clam. Until later. Then story critic gets cranky.

I was at the gym (wonders never cease) tonight and just letting my mind wander as I listened to the music blaring into my ears and ignoring the pain signals to my brain. I thought about running. I thought about last week's 'Lost', when Jack told Kate to run. (see the connection?) I then thought about her saying she couldn't. Why couldn't she run? Well, how would she get across to the real island for one thing...but also she didn't run because she loves Sawyer. And yet she loved Nathan Fillion (*sigh* so do I)...but she ran. Why did she run? She couldn't help herself...even the U.S. Marshal chasing her told her she couldn't stay put.

Ah. Enlightenment. Character arc. Kate can't stop running. Until that moment when Jack tells her to run, to abandon him and Sawyer. AND SHE CAN'T RUN. She won't run. Just realizing what they did within the story made me giddy. I probably would have picked up on it sooner had my story critic not been taking a powder.

And I know that two years ago, I wouldn't have even seen that. Especially not two days after I watched it. I'm getting the hang of this storytelling thing.

Friday Night Lights picked up for full season

Just as I was mourning the loss of 'Justice', comes this news! Note to NBC: When football is over, please move FNL to Sunday at 9 PM opposite Desperate Housewives and Cold Case. Excellent counterprogramming, IMO.

Link: the futon critic

'Brian' picked up; 'Justice' pulled from schedule

The 'Justice' news came in late Friday, but I was too depressed about it to post it. Fox claims it will come back, but I believe that like I believe Standoff is going to make it through the season.

Link: 'Brian' picked up; 'Justice' mistrial

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Get a mentor

This guy got Margaret Atwood as his, and now he's been awarded the Giller Prize for his book of short stories. Inspiring story, especially the part where he syas he won't give up being a physician to be a writer, but will continue to do both.

Sometimes you CAN have your cake and eat it too.

Link: Doctor wins prize for short stories - Yahoo! News

NaNoWriMo - you should be in the 20k range

I'm so doing this next year. In the meantime, read this article about people who are just throwing caution to the wind and writing a book in a month. While I don't think this is necessarily a way to tackle a screenplay, there is some really great advice (like, make time for you writing every day).

EDIT: I just want to address Brett's comment. Whether you agree with the idea of this or not as aspiring screenwriters, there are some good tips which apply to all kinds of writing. That is what I wanted to highlight from the article.

Link: Writer's Clock -

Friday, November 10, 2006

Studio 60 gets full season

Okay Sorkin lovers, NBC has decided to stick with the show. You've got a full season.

Now can it do well enough to get a second? (BTW, NBC may change the schedule around. Prepare to see Studio 60 pop up on another night).

Link: NBC's 'Studio 60' gets full season

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Smith episodes available online

I know many (very many) of you were upset that 'Smith' got cancelled. Well, CBS has decided to at least show what they have online at their innertube site.

This news, taken with the other efforts they've made giving access to unaired shows, means that CBS is quickly learning how to take advantage of all the content they have.

CBS to Stream Remaining Smith Episodes on innertube

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ABC finally heeds my advice

Men in Trees is moving to Thursday after Grey's Anatomy beginning 11/30 and is given a full season order. Six Degrees IS NOT cancelled, and apparently will return to the schedule in January.

This comes on the heels of news from CBS that Jericho is being split into 'two' seasons, with new episodes coming in February (and 'King of Queens' filling its time slot during the hiatus). Lost is already doing this and ends it's 'fall' half-season tonight, returning in January (edit: as noted in comments, 'Lost' will return on Feb. 7).

Networks know these types of shows don't repeat well, and audiences are more likely to stick with it if the shows aren't getting interrupted with repeats during their runs.

the futon critic

Monday, November 06, 2006

CBS learning how to crawl

It took a surprise hit movie to do it, but CBS is streaming a rejected pilot, The Papdits, written by Ant Hines (of Da Ali G Show and 'Borat') on their innertube site.

Let's hope they do more of this...who knows, they may find some diamonds in the pilots they initially rejected if there is an audience for the online shows...

(Special P.S. to WB -- could you please do the same for Global Frequency??)

Variety tackles the question of breaking in

Great article in Variety today about how difficult it is to break into the biz. Read it.

The Singles Table - NBC cuts order

Let's play a little game, shall we? Read this quote from the linked article:

Observers noted that an episode order cutback would be pricey for NBC given the international sales already in place for the show and the episode fee guarantees associated with high-level talent like Silverstone.
What are we to deduce?

If it is more expensive for a network to cut episodes than to order them, the show must suck. A LOT. I dunno, you read that any other way??

Link:NBC scales back 'Singles' order

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The current state of things

I don't know how interested any of you are in my 'journey' -- I know this blog has mostly become news on the tv season, but for anyone still curious, here's how things stand...

Got my second sample in to ABC on Friday. When they called on Wednesday he asked me what I had and I mentioned my other two show specs and the pilot. So of course, what did he want to see? The pilot, which I have been rewriting, but was not ready to drop in the mail on Friday. So, I spent about 36 hours working the pilot into something readable. Somehow I managed it -- I think I missed a couple of meals and I know I missed some sleep, but I did it. Now I hope it is remotely interesting to them. I'm also hoping that by giving them a pilot rather than another show spec I get some extra consideration for 'degree of difficulty'.

So what now? Finish rewriting my Medium spec. Start contemplating my next show spec which I won't write until next year. Come up with new tv show ideas to pitch, in the event I make it to the interview round.

Good luck to everyone else who made it this far. Now we wait. Again.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Dexter renewed

Dexter pulled good numbers for Showtime, so it gets a second season. This is now a viable spec.

Watch List updated.

Link: 'Dexter' back to kill again on Showtime

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Panic! In the Living Room

So last night, I'm sitting around contemplating my brand new 1000 piece Lost puzzle when I hear my cellphone ringing in another room. I curse myself for being in a different room from my phone and race out of my seat to try to catch it before voice mail. I lose the race. Looking down at the display, I see UNKNOWN NUMBER. At this particular time of night, I deduce it was my sister calling from her office, which my phone never recognizes. I wait the traditional 30 seconds for the house phone to start ringing.

Sure enough, the house phone rings, and I immediately pick it up and without saying hello, I say "I'm sorry, I tried to get my phone in the other room, but I just missed it."

The voice on the other end of the line is NOT my sister.

Then I'm feeling all flustered. Woops, sorry, thought you were someone aren't a solicitor are you?

No, he was not.

Are you sitting down? I wasn't.

He called to tell me I was a SEMIFINALIST for the ABC Fellowship. Yes, really.

Wow, that's awesome! What do I need to do? They need another sample. Postmarked Friday.

Oh #&$@.

So, I've been kinda busy today, polishing my draft until it shines like silver. We'll save the congrats until I find out if I make it to the finalist round.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kidnapped being yanked after 5 episodes

No word on if production has halted. I'd say we can consider Kidnapped cancelled.

Link: the futon critic

Happy Halloween!

Last year, I was a a script in development hell. Yes, I know. What do I do to top that? Well, I almost choked, until I found what most would consider to be a run-of-the-mill costume, but you add one prop and whammo -- you've got a theme.

So this year, I was a SCRIPT DOCTOR. (My sister there is 'Grapes of Wrath'. Yes, she's a genius.)

And here's a picture of me from the L.A. Zombiewalk earlier this month.

I'm running out of screenwriter-themed costumes. I may go as writer's block next year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Start your Engines Minear fans!

Tim Minear's latest and greatest has gotten the greenlight from Fox for 12 episodes. Production starts very soon, with episodes possibly able to air in the spring. Details here: Variety.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I finally went through the blogroll -- if you haven't posted in 4 months (yes, I was kind this time), you were removed from the blogroll. Added some new faces who link here. I guess you can consider this one of my semi-annual call for links. If you are a blog owner who is linking to 'Shouting' or you have some other fabulous reason I should link to you, comment below. You may get included in the next batch of updates.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Script orders vs. pickups

Interesting article on how the networks seem to be taking a 'wait and see' attitude on most of their shows this year. More scripts were ordered for 'Help Me Help You', 'The Nine', 'Men in Trees' and 'Studio 60'.

The upside: writers are still working and the shows aren't just wholesale cancelled. Downside: full season pickup isn't a sure thing, even with script orders these days.

Link: Four more score script orders

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An exercise in insanity

Not that I need any other writing projects, but there is something very alluring about this. Could you allow yourself the creativity to write a novel in 30 days?

Link: National Novel Writing Month - Content

Monday, October 23, 2006

The return of a screenwriter

There is no feeling in the world like that of a renewed sense of purpose in life. I have had these moments on a few times in my life, but each time led me to that proverbial fork in the road, whereupon the direction I selected seemed justified. It is also the feeling one gets when you drink a rootbeer float too quickly -- the delicious ice cream gives you brain freeze while the fizzy rootbeer tickles your nose and throat.

Yeah, kinda like that.

I have attended the Screenwriting Expo 3 times in the last 5 years. I was there the first two years, skipped a year, went last year. When I saw the dates of the Expo overlapped those for the Austin Film Festival, I knew I faced a quandary.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I made the decision to go to Austin a year ago. The day after some of my online friends returned from their sojourn to Texas, I found myself a tad jealous. They had such stories of camaraderie, intellectual stimulation, good contacts and lots of free booze. I knew this was something I wanted to to experience myself.

But what about the Expo? I'm good friends with many of the people who make that event happen. I'd miss Tim Minear! Ronald D. Moore! The Pixar guys!! Chris Soth and Fun Joel! And thus the aforementioned quandary.

The economics of course screamed 'go to the Expo'. I live in L.A., the 4 day pass was $125 plus whatever I'd spend on the panels or any parties (and the parking). I'd have to fly to Austin, get a hotel room, buy the (very expensive) Producer's Pass if I wanted to get the full benefit of the event.

But the decision could not be made on cost alone. And while some would value William Goldman over Shane Black or Oliver Stone over David Milch, I had to decide what I wanted, what I needed out of one of these events. While the Expo would provide me with a pool of 4,000 people to potentially meet, the AFF Screenwriting Conference would give me 10% of that number, but I'd meet directly with agents, managers, producers, accomplished writers, and spend time in the evenings with a wealth of aspiring filmmakers and writers, not to mention all of the people invited panalists I had heard during the day. The decision was easy. I had to go to Texas.


I'm home. 5 days later, I feel reborn, renewed in spirit and focus. All I want to do right at this moment is write. All I can think about doing for the next several weeks involves writing and working my long term plan. While I expet the Expo would have energized me, I'm not sure it would have given me this feeling of rebirth. I feel the NEED to be a screenwriter, not just the WANT.

And to quote Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a wood and I --
I took the one last traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kidnapped and Vanished get 13, not yet cancelled

Apparently the network spin on these two shows, is that they will only run 13 episodes, but they COULD be renewed, depending on performance. Uh, ok...

Link: the futon critic

Runaway Cancelled

And is pulled of the schedule immediately. Also looks like Las Vegas won't return this Friday, but rather next Friday, so 1 vs. 100 has a chance at capturing an audience.

Link: CW's Runaway Out; NBC's Las Vegas Delayed

You know the drill...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Headed to Austin

I'll be at the AFF Screenwriting Conference for the next 5 days. Hopefully I'll see some of you there. I am going to try to make it to the Scribosphere gathering on Sunday which Fun Joel is coordinating.

I'll post a few blog entries about the goings on in Austin. See ya soon!

Monday, October 16, 2006

They stole my watchlist!

Have you looked at the Futon Critic home page lately? They have their own 'Show Watch' list. Hey, guys, you could've hired me for that gig, ya know.


Brothers & Sisters picked up

ABC has given the show a full order. Updating the Watch List...

Link: the futon critic

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What to Watch

Joe writes:

I'd like your help, Shawna. I'm tired of answering "NO" when people ask if I watch this show or that one, and my patented answer of "I don't really watch TV shows" is not helping me make friends or influence people.

If I had to watch two or maybe three shows on TV right now, which would you recommend?

They may not be enough to pry my attention away from movies, but at least I can reference your diligent blog each week and bamboozle people into thinking I know what I'm talking about.

Joe, I'm glad you came to me. If there is one thing I want to do, it is help people watch good quality television. Of course, I wish I could put you on a diet of about 12-15 shows, but I think for you, adding 3-4 shows to your diet should suffice. Your question leads me to believe that you have other motives than just watching good TV. No, you want to watch what other people are watching, to hold conversations. I suspect you've already been asked if you are watching 'Show X' or 'Show Y', so you will probably already see my answers coming. But stay tuned to the Bonus Round.

So, what should you be watching *right now*?

The 'right now' is important -- it eliminates 2 shows from contention right off the bat because they do not have new episodes airing *right now* (24 and Rescue Me). So, since we are going to work with what is airing right now, today, new episodes, we'll narrow the list. I also don't want to put you on a strict diet of one-hour dramas. That might be too much for your delicate system. I also feel it is important to give you options. If one type of show isn't your thing, there's a substitute available (consider it the vegan/vegetarian option!)

So, let's start with sitcoms. It's a shorter list.

Two shows. Two sitcoms which will sate your diet. One is animated, one is not. You get a choice on animated, but there are different reasons to choose either.

The Simpsons or South Park The Simpsons has been around for 85 years (ok, it only seems like that long), and it is still potent. You can watch any episode of the show, anytime, anywhere and laugh at least once, probably at least five times OUT LOUD. It is also a smart show (and we want to watch smart shows, don't we?) Perhaps you feel The Simpsons is just too 'been there, done that' though. And, admittedly, there are a lot of people out there who will say they watch The Simpsons, but probably haven't in about five years. Especially in Hollywood. So, what will they watch? South Park. Yes, it is long in the tooth too (Only 50 years!) but it is still edgy and hip, especially this year, after regaining notoriety for the 'Tom Cruise Comes Out of the Closet' episode. Certainly the South Park humor is a bit more crude that The Simpsons, so pick your poison.

As for live action, only one choice: The Office. If Extras were on, I'd be recommending that, but it isn't, so watch Steve Carrell and join the watercooler discussion about Jim and Pam. You'll be one of the cool kids.

Okay, so one hour filled. Let's fill the other 3 with dramas. The best dramas. Airing right now. One of these is required. The other two you can pick from a list of 5 shows.

Required: Battlestar Galactica Hands down, the best TV around. Gripping drama, great characters, relatable stories, and yet, it's on the SciFi channel. What, you missed the first 2 seasons? One word: Netflix. Get caught up. You'll be glad you did.

Okay, here are your electives. Choose two. I'll give you the pros/cons of each choice.
  • Veronica Mars - No, it is not a chick show. It is one of the best written shows on TV, great dialogue and fun characters. Downside, not a lot of other people are watching it. This though can make you hipper than your friends, however! While watching the first 2 seasons is recommended, it is not required.
  • House - Third season going strong. Again, I recommend watching the first 2 seasons, but it is not required. Some of the most clever plots on TV. And House is a larger than life character. Downside: Isn't back for 2 weeks due to baseball.
  • Grey's Anatomy - I personally HATE this show, but it is what all the cool kids watch. It's soapy, so it trends more female. So, if you watch, it could get you in with the babes, but guys might think you are strange.
  • Lost - Still the coolest show and always fun to form theories about what's actually going on. Downside: if you can't watch the summary episode of what happened the last two years (or the last 2 season box sets) you could be...well, lost.
Bonus Round!
Okay, so you've decided to round out your weeknight diet of TV, by taking extra credit. This is where you can be better than your peers, on the cutting edge of great TV. Are you ready? These shows are just starting to show greatness, and you can be in on the ground floor. You can be an early adopter! Three choices here:
  • Dexter - It's about a serial killer who stalks serial killers, and it is getting great buzz. Downside, it's on Showtime, so unless you subscribe to it, can be tough to catch. Upside: the pilot is online...or was as of this posting. (Go to Showtime's site)
  • Heroes - Not as grand and sweeping as Lost, but still has moments of greatness. It's also new this season, so you can catch up quickly.
  • Top Chef - What? A reality show?? Have I lost my mind? No! Engaging in its own right, once Project Runway bids farewell on Bravo, Top Chef takes over. It hasn't even started airing yet!! You can get in very early. Downside: if the cast sucks, it won't be as great as I predict. Upside: if the cast sucks, no one will be watching and you can stop watching it too.
So, there's the list. Anyone want to argue for substitutions?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ugly Betty gets a full season order

Told ya so. Late afternoon press release from ABC.

Link: the futon critic

Travesty in the making

I agree wholeheartedly with Alex Epstein -- Friday Night Lights is a fantastic show, and yet no one is watching it! I can't imagine the population is *that* dumb that they can't find the show -- I know the title says 'Friday' but it is on Tuesday. I hear the whining all the time that Hollywood doesn't put shows on that reflect real family values. This show does. I'm putting out the call to my Red State friends to start publicizing the show, get people watching. Because if you don't, it will go away, and Hollywood might not try to listen to your demands again.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jericho gets a full season order

Score 1 of 4 so far for CBS new shows. The Watch List will be updated shortly.

Oh, in case you didn't hear, '3 LBS' will premiere in 'Smith's' old timeslot on Tuesday night at 10 starting November 14. Medium returns to NBC on Wednesdays at 10 on November 15 (once The Biggest Loser wraps up) (Times are Eastern/Pacific).

Link: the futon critic

Dinked again.

Got my Warner Bros Writers Workshop reject letter today. I tell myself it will just make my victory that much sweeter when I am a full blown TV writer without their program...


*sigh* and this is why writers drink...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hot Specs

I plan a much longer, much more comprehensive discussion of this topic after the first of the year, when the new season of shows has taken a more decisive direction on what will stay and what will go. Until then, here are the "hot" specs, as I have culled from multiple sources:

Drama specs:

  • Grey's Anatomy (probably the #1 spec right now)
  • House (probably the #2 spec)
  • Desperate Housewives
  • The Closer (keeps moving up the list)
  • Rescue Me
  • Medium
  • Monk
  • Boston Legal
* Now that The Unit has been picked up, it is a good spec.

Sitcom specs:
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • My Name is Earl
  • Weeds
  • The Office
  • Everybody Hates Chris
  • Two and a Half Men (popular show, but I don't know anyone who loves reading these)
* Now that the New Adventures of Old Christine has been picked up, I expect this to be a valid spec very very soon.

Shows which can be specced but require a lot of extra effort:
  • Lost
  • Deadwood
Valid specs, just not in the top list:
  • Supernatural
  • Without a Trace
  • CSI
  • Law & Order: SVU or CI
  • Cold Case
  • Nip/Tuck
  • Veronica Mars
Shows which may become good specs should the shows survive:
  • Ugly Betty
  • Shark
  • Jericho (tricky, but doable, unlike Heroes, which I still haven't figured out a way in to a spec for)
  • Justice
  • 30 Rock
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Standoff
  • Brothers and Sisters (ugh)
  • Dexter -- getting lots of industry attention
  • Las Vegas
  • The Ghost Whisperer
  • Bones
  • Prison Break (it's good, but I seriously doubt a spec will get you noticed)
  • Invasion (it's gone, get over it)
  • 7th Heaven
  • Gilmore Girls (yeah, it's off the list now)
  • CSI: Miami
  • CSI: New York
  • According to Jim
  • What About Brian?
  • The War at Home
  • ER
Wild Cards (I have never seen anyone spec this or I've never heard of anyone read a spec of this. Spec at your own risk.)
  • Big Love
  • Close to Home
  • Battlestar Galactica (as much as we all love it, no one seems to read these)
  • Psych
  • Saved
  • Eureka (probably not a good idea)
  • Smallville (I know it gets specced. I don't know if anyone is reading it)

Stay Tuned...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Smith cancellation quadruples my web traffic

Apparently a lot of Comcast customers are very concerned about the cancellation of 'Smith'. I haven't seen this kind of web traffic since 'Invasion' was cancelled, yet I am seeing 4-5 times my normal web traffic today. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news to all the 'Smith' fans. They probably didn't even make enough episodes for a DVD release.

It is weird to see most of the hits coming from the Comcast search page. Any of you who are coming here by way of that method care to comment on what you were hoping to find? I'm always curious about what my visitors are looking for...

EDIT: Actually, I'm seeing a tenfold increase of my traffic today. Amazing.

Buy coverage or a pitch for charity

Found this through Film Diva:

Two auctions benefiting Love Without Boundaries. I have no way to validate if these auctions could benefit you, but they are there and they do not have high bids on them as yet.

Phone pitch to film producer/manager - Trevor Engelson

Script Analysis by Film Producer Tariq Jalil

Good luck!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Smith cancelled

Effective immediately. Watch List updated. Repeats of CSI and Criminal Minds will air in its timeslot the next 3 weeks.

Link: the futon critic

NBC picks up 'Heroes' for a full season

Our first potential spec, ladies and gents! The question is, a) how will you spec this and b) should you spec it? Only time will tell...

Link: NBC picks up 'Heroes' for a full season

Thursday, October 05, 2006

'Kidnapped' Headed for Early End

According to Zap2it (and other sources), Kidnapped will exit early.

Link: 'Kidnapped' Headed for Early End - Producers told to wrap up story in 13 episodes - Zap2it

CW switches Sunday, Monday lineups

So now we have CW swapping nights. The Sunday comedies are moving to Monday night (Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us, Girlfriends and The Game). 7th Heaven, and Runaway will move to Sunday starting 10/16.

Link: CW switches Sunday, Monday lineups

Fox Schedule change

After baseball, Vanished will move to Fridays starting 10/27 and Justice moves to post-Prison Break slot on 10/23.

Keep an eye out for NBC schedule changes. Kidnapped is going down and is being added to the 'likely to be axed' list.

Link: the futon critic

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Random Thoughts

Vanished -- there's some audience. still getting google hits on the dang show.

Invasion -- you people are insane. It's cancelled. Over. Finito. Move On, or start holding conventions a la 'Firefly'.

Studio 60 - Do I like this show? Can someone tell me if I like it? I'm so confused.

Heroes -- More Greg Grunberg, less of the 'Wonder Twins', thanks.

Men in Trees -- kill me now; I actually LOOK FORWARD to this show. It must be a sign of the apocalypse.

Knights of Prosperity - if it's bad enough to postpone the premiere AGAIN, can we just pretend it doesn't exist and move on to midseason?

Friday Night Lights - why didn't anyone watch it? You'll watch the umpteenth retread of CSI but you won't watch this? I hate you all.

Standoff - Memo to Tim Minear: I'm available to help on this or 'Drive'. Whatever you need, really.

Eureka seson finale - wait, the show was still on? it got renewed? Curse you lingering summer shows!!

Things no longer on my DVR Season Pass: Brothers & Sisters, 6 Degrees, Vanished, Kidnapped, Smith (done after last night -- just whatevery about it), Runaway.

Shows I stupidly forget to set season pass for: The Nine. Anyone got a screener??

Monday, October 02, 2006

Just found...

... this. It's a blog written by one of the junior writers on 'Standoff'. Keep an eye on it -- some interesting (and some pointless) stuff so far...

adding to the TV show blog list as I type...well, after I type this, actually.

If you watch Vanished backwards, it says 'Gale is dead'

Or at least that must be what people think -- I got a bunch of google hits from the following search terms 'gale harold vanished dead [or] fired'.

I didn't watch 'Vanished' tonight (or really any night since the pilot) but I gotta ask -- what's the deal? I don't think the guy's been fired (that would be news I'd ponder since I believe he was poorly cast to begin with).

Anyway, just another weird night in cyberspace...

In other fox news, Justice got three more scripts ordered. The limbs are still twitching.

EDIT: Highlight the invisible text below. I'm doing it this way to protect the few on the planet who are a) Vanished fans and b) still haven't seen tonight's episode.

Okay, so they did kill off Gale Harold. I may have to reconsider a show willing to kill off one of the leads. I wonder if it was a contract dispute, a creative decision or he quit/was fired? Either way, very interesting. BTW, Prison Break has gotten odd the last two weeks, hasn't it?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Justice holds steady

Good news! The Nielsens for Justice looked good this week. Taking it out of the 'likely to be axed' category. I for one am relieved.

Standoff is still not looking good, however...

Monday, September 25, 2006

The first casualties?

Reports that 'Happy Hour' may hit the dirt nap very soon (it's being put on early hiatus until November). Also, 'Justice' will air this week but the 10/4 episode is being yanked, replaced with a repeat of 'House'. No word on if/when 'Justice' will return.

Watch List coming...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The story so far...

We haven't even had a full week of the fall season, but already some trends are emerging:

1. People can find the CW. Last night 'Top Model's' premiere was up 10% over the previous year. Encouraging news for the CW that people will find them.

2. Fox isn't doing so hot. 'Vanished' numbers are blah, 'Justice' looks destined for cancellation, and 'Standoff' is losing too much of House's lead-in. Their two new sitcoms are underperforming.

3. CBS can do no wrong. 'Smith' premiered to great numbers, 'Jericho' looks encouraging, and 'The Class' premiered decently (but not spectacular). I'm kinda worried about 'Shark.' I hope people prove me wrong.

NBC and ABC future still looks murky. Too many shows left to premiere. It's gonna get interesting.

The new (and improved) TV Watch List!

Yes! It's coming!! Are you excited?? I know I am...

...this is the post I update constantly with premiere dates, cancellations, and what appears to be headed for full season pickups/renewals or are on the fence.

I learned a lot as I worked on the one last year, so I hope to improve on it this year. Suggestions in the comments.

I'll start updating the list actively on Monday next week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Arrrr, it be Talk Like A Pirate Day today!

I'm gonna watch Pirates of the Caribbean to commemorate.

When setbacks become leaps forward

Thanks to everyone who left a note or a link. I pledge to visit all the blogs which were suggested. Who knows, someday I may even update my blogroll. I know, don't go crazy all in one week, Shawna. I'll pace myself.

So, I had what seemed to be a setback this weekend. I had a draft of my pilot script, which I had given out to trusted advisor to read. The trusted advisor (okay, okay, it was my sister -- but she's brutal with notes!) felt there was something missing from this draft. I pitched her my potential changes for the next draft, which solved most of the problems but, we both came to the same realization.

I was telling the wrong story.

It's frustrating to get through a couple of drafts of something and know you aren't quite hitting the mark. It's even more frustrating when you realize you aren't hitting the mark because you aren't telling the right story. Basically I need to re-outline, re-tool and re-write. And this is no 'bump and adjust' rewrite. This is PAGE ONE REWRITE. The horror!

I know in my heart that this is what I have to do. And I know the script will be better for it. The pain comes when I think about the task ahead.

It's the good pain, the pain the helps us grow. I just wish I had a few painkillers around...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Did I mention...?

...That I missed you all? I did. I've taken such a break from blogs, I haven't read anybody, I mean, ANYBODY.

I'm looking forward to catching up. Feel free to post any exciting news or blatant advertisements for your blog in my comments. Compel me to visit you (of course you know I will anyway, but hey, I'm giving you free airtime here).

*sigh* It's good to be home.


Been writing a lot lately. Finished my Medium spec (amazingly), rewriting my pilot (again) to submit for Slamdance deadline TOMORROW, trying to catch up on all the new shows on TV and write columns for them.

My blog has been squeezed out of the mix.

Made the decision to go to Austin Film Festival Screenwriter's Conference this year rather than the Screenwriting Expo. I've been to the Expo three times, and my decision was made easier by being a '2nd Rounder' at Austin with my House spec. No, I wasn't a Semi-Finalist, much to my disappointment, but the 2nd Rounder status gets me a nice discount on the festival pass. I'll also get a chance to meet up with some people I've only known through this here Internet thing. It'll be nice to embarrass myself in front of them in person for a change.

So, that's the latest and greatest with me. Slowly but surely getting my head back in the game, and getting all my ducks in a row to start going out to agents. Getting closer every day.

So every day I'm not updating you here, is a day I'm working on the goal. Obviously today I'm a slacker.

Blog Crazy

NBC is not only going to stream its premieres online (with ads) but will also host blogs for ALL of its new Fall shows after their premieres. NBC is apparently very big on blogs.

Get the full list with dates from the link above or below.

Link: the futon critic

Monday, August 28, 2006

'Invasion' weirdness

For the last week or so, I've noticed a strange increase in comments on a post from May. It may have been one of the shortest blog posts ever -- the title was 'Conviction and Invasion cancelled'. The text -- 'According to Variety.' with obligatory link to the story.

Apparently there is either one very passionate person or several rabid Invasion fans who think people will see their adoration on a blog post on a little read blog which was posted four months ago.

I think they are finding it by googling 'Invasion cancelled' -- the post is the third search result.

Still, my plea to 'Invasion' fans is to cherish the forthcoming DVD set and move on. Besides, William Fichter has moved over to 'Prison Break' which makes me immensely happy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


So, my quick review of the new Fox show? I hate it. I didn't think the script was great to start with, but the actors cast for this show raised my loathing to a new level.

I don't know why I dislike Rebecca Gayheart so much, but I do. And I understand she is supposed to be slightly unlikeable as a nosy reporter, but I don't just dislike her -- I HATE HER. I want her off my TV screen.

As with all new shows, I'll give it another week -- maybe the not a pilot episode will win me over, but the pilot sure didn't. I'm not sure I care about this season long mystery.

Prison Break -- my guilty pleasure. If Robin Tunney really is dead, I will do the Snoopy Dance. She was the WORST part of that show! Sadly, I doubt she is dead. I can dream though. I only caught the second half of the episode (stupid me forgot to program the DVR), so I'll have to go to the web to watch it in full on a fox website. I recommend Fox affiliate in Birmingham...just my personal preference, although the L.A. affiliate also has the episodes.

Besides, is anybody really ready for fall? We're all still watching Project Runway!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Across the River Styx

So I have returned to the land of the screenwriters!

Miss me?

I've been spending time with an interesting bunch of folks the last few weeks -- boy, have I done some incredible research for future screenplay or TV pilot. You all know of my unhealthy fascination with Taylor Hicks...

...yeah, I know. Sue me.

I went to Birmingham, Alabama last week to mix and mingle with other 'Soul Patrol' members and had a blast. In fact, I honed my podcasting skills by recording some podcasts while I was there. I think I'm finally ready to do those podcasts with my sister for Movieweb. Speaking of Movieweb, yeah, I've been off a couple of weeks, but I'm currently watching a lot of screeners I've been sent and am cranking out reviews as fast as possible. I should have a new column up tomorrow about the TV season premieres which are fast approaching! 'Prison Break' premieres next Monday!! I'm not ready for this yet -- I'm not caught up from last season yet!

So anyway, I've come down from my Taylor high (yes, I met the man) and am fired up to get refocused on writing. Finished my 'Medium' spec outline and am ready to crank out some pages. Am working on my pilot rewrite. Still not sure if I'm going to go to the Expo or Austin Film Festival (leaning toward Austin this year). And now that August is waning, it will be busy around this blog again.

Buckle in. Time to fly.

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Con Adventure

For the first time ever, I headed down to the San Diego ComiCon on Saturday. Though I missed a lot of morning events, I got to experience a lot in a day, and now feel I have the knowledge I need to make the most out of 2 or 3 days of the Con next year. A couple of tidbits that won't really make it into my Movieweb column:

Met Rene Echevarria, showrunner for 'Medium' and Brannon Braga. Somehow I managed to get posters from the NBC booth in the main hall which allowed me to get autographs from them after the TV Guide sponsored panel they both attended. They were both very nice and though I didn't get much time to talk to them, I was able to share that I was a 'spec monkey' (even mentioned to Rene that I am now writing a 'Medium' spec!)

Also met Frank Spotnitz who I interviewed for a couple of minutes -- some of those questions will appear in my article. He was also signing autographs in the main hall, but of course there was NO LINE. Handy tip for meeting writers -- find out where they are signing autographs.

Saw the 'Veronica Mars' panel, which rocked. I do think Rob Thomas has figured out a way to try to lure more viewers to the show. Next season will be split into 3 mysteries with no breaks between episodes for repeats during those blocs (a la the new 'Lost' paradigm, which has learned from 'Prison Break' and '24'). There will also be more focus on the 'mystery of the week' so new viewers don't feel lost if they should happen to tune in.

Did you know that 'Stargate: SG-1' has been on for 10 years?? Quite a fanbase too.

Snakes on a Plane is really gonna be HUGE. I thought so before, now I *know*. They were selling Comicon exclusive t-shirts for $20 and they were FLYING off the shelves. Imagine that, Transformers was giving t-shirts away (and they did run out), but people were paying for the priviledge of advertising Snakes on a Plane. New Line hit the jackpot on that one.

I need to have a stern talking to Disney about their presentations. Most were disappointed that there was no preview of the 3-D 'Nightmare Before Christmas'. Boo-hiss.

Highly recommend going to the Con. If you didn't think it was worth it already, let me emphasize what a learning experience it can be. My column should go up tonight/tomorrow with the rest of my day's experience.

Oh, I also have some exciting developments on the writing front. Nothing I can speak of yet, but keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My new column is up!

Hey kids! It's been a busy week, but I do have something to show for it. My new column at Movieweb has gone live. I plan to update every other day for now, until I get a good schedule, then it will be a daily column. Those of you who read the blog regularly will notice me 'cribbing' from my blog posts for the column, but hey, whatever works.

Anyway, working on the rewrite of my pilot this week. I've also started a new treatment for a feature with another writer, and my spec class starts on Wednesday. I'm a busy writer with lots of irons in the fire.

But I promise not to abandon the blog. The redesign has slowed down, but is by no means dead. I beg a little patience.

By the way, I don't care what the critics say, I loved the heck out of 'Pirates' this weekend. What a fun movie! Kudos to Terry and Ted!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Emmy Nominations

There are some pretty egregious omissions - 'Battlestar Galactica's' campaign did not pan out, Hugh Laurie got snubbed for Peter Krause and Martin Sheen, the entire cast of 'Lost' gets snubbed (and the show itself isn't nominated!) All of the 'Desperate Housewives' get ignored this year too -- but whether this is an oversight or not is up for debate. Alfre Woodard, on the other hand, does get a nom for her stint on the show. 'How I Met Your Mother','Everybody Hates Chris' and 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' get overlooked for noms in the comedy category. So much for 'new blood'.

The good things: Gregory Itzin gets a nod for '24' (he's the guy who played the President -- well deserved, in my opinion). Jean Smart got a nomination for her role in '24' also, but I rather expected hers. Chandra Wilson, one of the best parts of 'Grey's Anatomy' gets recognized, and Kyra Sedgwick gets to go head to head with Geena Davis for the Emmy which should be interesting. I pick her as the upset of the night.

No James Gandolfini or Edie Falco. No Omar Epps (which is a crime really) for his supporting role on 'House'.

Now let's talk writing. David Shore won last year for 'House', but he is completely ignored this year. Lost does manage one writing nomination for 'The 23rd Psalm', the episode which details Mr. Eko's backstory (written by showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof). The ridiculous two part 'Grey's Anatomy' (written by creator Shonda Rhimes) aired after the Super Bowl gets a nomination along with 'Six Feet Under's' last episode, written by Alan Ball and an episode of the 'The Sopranos' written by Terence Winter. Krista Vernoff rounds out the nominations with the Grey's Anatomy episode 'Into You Like a Train.'

Comedy -- 'Entourage' episode 'Exodus' written by Doug Ellin is joined by the last episode of 'Arrested Development' (written by Chuck Tatham and Jim Vallely), the great 'Christmas Party' episode of 'The Office' (written by Michael Schur), the pilot of 'My Name is Earl' (written by Greg Garcia) and the 'Extras' episode featuring Kate Winslet (who is a riot sending up herself) which was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Again, no 'Desperate Housewives', no 'How I Met Your Mother' -- but we do get 'Two and a Half Men' off the writing nominations (for better or worse, I don't know).

Full nomination list is available at or the shortened list (without the writing or directing noms) is available at the link below.

More discussion later as I digest the list...feel free to post your comments of who got robbed, who is rightfully recognized.

Link: BREITBART.COM - List of Primetime Emmy Nominations

Monday, June 26, 2006


Great feedback everyone. I had no idea I had established a "brand" here, but I will definitely keep it. I'll also post a link to my new column when it is published -- should start this week (fingers crossed)!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Quick Poll

I'm interested in what to name my new site:


b)something different -- I think your blog name is stupid


d)I have a great idea how about (your idea here).

If I get a lot of D suggestions, maybe I'll run a contest. I'm sure I could come up with some kind of prize...

Feedback of any kind is appreciated.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Not Dead Yet

When did two weeks become an "eternity"? A girl goes off, has a life for a bit (okay, that's a lie) and everyone worries about her. It's nice to know I'm loved. *sniff* The truth is, I've been writing, working, exercising every night and filling every other waking minute with -- I don't know what. I guess I got distracted. I haven't even been watching TV (SHOCK!!)

But, fear not. I have returned, and I will be posting again on a regular basis. Plus, I can finally say I have a new gig. Starting (hopefully) this week, I will be providing a daily column for Movieweb, primarily to help them with their TV coverage. In the future, I hope to launch my podcast over there too, and will probably offer extra minutes here on the blog.

As a result, this blog will be moving off blogspot and to its own domain. I'll be doing the redesign in the next few weeks (once I've finished with contests and fellowship applications). Busy time ahead, but I'm excited!

Hope you all stick with me for the ride. It should be fun.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Quick Writing Update

Working on my new drama pilot script, and I'm having so much fun! I'm hovering near page 30, so I'm about halfway home.

It's a horrible first draft, but that's to be expected.

Working on my 'what to spec' v2.0 for next week. Posting will be light. I'm recovering from upfronts.

Oh and my big news thing fell through. I was supposed to have a podcast on a mid-level entertainment news website, but that seems to have gone the way of the dodo.

May do it on my own anyway. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Taylor Hicks - Why He Matters

I've already expressed my undying love for the grey-haired fox with the soulful sound. And I know most of the world could not care less about Taylor winning the title of "American Idol" on a TV show.

But it does matter.

Popular music has been in a rut. If you look at the Billboard Hot 100, you see a lot of hip-hop, a lot of rap, a lot of vapid pop music. Some of it is good, no doubt. Most of it is forgettable. The worst part? Most of the music doesn't have life, energy or...soul.

Enter Taylor. Soul Patrol.

You want to know why he won? Yes, he embraced his fans, shouting out the 'Soul Patrol!' at every opportunity. Yes, he refused to compromise who he was. And yes, he was an underdog, who everyone loves.

Mostly he won, because his music moves. It's also the reason why Elliot Yamin gained in the last few weeks, getting better and better with every performance. If you'd given Elliot two more weeks, he might have won. Taylor has the kind of voice that pierces something deep in our bones, our need to feel. All last week I was playing James Brown's Love, Power, Peace in my car, needing more soul in my life. James Brown, just like Ray Charles, Joe Cocker and several others just make you feel good about yourself and life in general. People need that right now.

Does this signal a sea change in popular music? Probably not, but Taylor does fill a void in the pop culture landscape.

And the void in my heart and in my soul is now refilled. Thanks, Taylor. I needed that.

Friday, May 26, 2006

NBC's NEW new schedule

8:00 p.m. Deal or No Deal
9:00 p.m. HEROES
10:00 p.m. STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP (new day and time)

9:00 p.m. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (new day and time)
10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU

8:00 p.m. 20 GOOD YEARS (new time)
8:30 p.m. 30 ROCK (new time)
9:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser (new time)
10:00 p.m. KIDNAPPED (new day and time)

8:00 p.m. My Name Is Earl
8:30 p.m. The Office
9:00 p.m. Deal or No Deal (new day and time)

8:00 p.m. Crossing Jordan (new day and time)
9:00 p.m. Las Vegas
10:00 p.m. Law & Order (new day)

8:00 p.m. Dateline
9:00 p.m. Drama Series Encores


I can't believe they are moving Law & Order off of Wednesday night. Big mistake, in my opinion.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

NBC blinks

NBC is moving Studio 60 to Monday night, moving Deal or No Deal to Thursday at 9. To add to the insanity Medium is now bumped to January premiere and Crossing Jordan is back for the fall on Fridays at 8.

I'll republish the new NBC schedule, but you can get the details now at the link below.

Link: the futon critic - the web's best primetime television resource

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Who I Want to Win


Thursday, May 18, 2006

The big five-oh

I've been closing in on 50,000 site visits today, according to Sitemeter, the first site traffic monitor I used on this page almost two years ago (wow, my blogversary is coming up soon!)

Again, I'm overwhelmed with how much support and encouragement I've received from so many of you through this blog over the last two years. It has provided me with an outlet to vent, to be creative, to report news, and to procrastinate (mostly the latter). I've made some really wonderful friends, most of whom I don't get to see enough, even though they live in the same city I do.

I do still have a big writerly type announcement to make in the coming days, (not screenwriting related, yet, so don't get too excited) once the details get worked out, I'll be giving you all the details.

Keep writing!

Reasons I worry about TV audiences sometimes

...when I get Google searches of "how to get Grey's anatomy tickets".

Kids, why don't you answer that question for our intrepid visitor in the comments?

By the way, I am in no way trying to make fun of people...okay, maybe I am.

2006 Upfronts: The CW Schedule

the futon critic gives us the word on The CW schedule. Biggest news: NO AQUAMAN!! They've picked up the 'Girlfriends' spin off 'The Game' for Sunday nights, 'Runaway' for Monday and 'Hidden Palms' for midseason (formerly called 'Palm Springs'). The schedule:


7:30-8:00 PM ALL OF US
8:30-9:00 PM THE GAME (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL (Encore Presentation)


8:00-9:00 PM 7TH HEAVEN
9:00-10:00 PM RUNAWAY (New Series)




9:00-10:00 PM ONE TREE HILL




Upfronts 2006: Fox Schedule

Mediaweek again for our schedule. Sorry I didn't get any predictions up, but they weren't that good anyway. Fox has released both a fall and January schedule (24, Idol, and King of the Hill are held until midseason)

FALL 2006

8:00 p.m. Prison Break
9:00 p.m. VANISHED

8:00 p.m. STANDOFF
9:00 p.m. House

8:00 p.m. Bones
9:00 p.m. JUSTICE

8:00 p.m. ‘TIL DEATH
8:30 p.m. HAPPY HOUR
9:00 p.m. The O.C.

8:00 p.m. Nanny 911 (new day)
9:00 p.m. Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy

8:00 p.m. Cops
9:00 p.m. AmericaÂ’s Most Wanted

7:00 p.m. Football Overrun/Comedy repeats
7:30 p.m. Football Overrun/Comedy repeats
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. American Dad (new time)
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. The War at Home (new time)



8:00 p.m. STANDOFF (new day)
9:00 p.m. 24

8:00 p.m. American Idol
9:00 p.m. House

8:00 p.m. JUSTICE (new time)
9:00 p.m. American Idol
9:30 p.m. The Loop

8:00 p.m. ‘TIL DEATH
8:30 p.m. HAPPY HOUR
9:00 p.m. The O.C.

8:00 p.m. Bones (new day)

8:00 p.m. Cops
9:00 p.m. AmericaÂ’s Most Wanted

7:00 p.m. Comedy repeats
7:30 p.m. King of the Hill
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. American Dad
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. The War at Home

'Primary' has been renamed 'Standoff' and the Bruckheimer show 'American Crime' has been renamed 'Justice'.

Can't say I feel strongly about this schedule one way or another. I rather expected to see 'Vanished' paired with 'Prison Break' and 'Standoff' paired with 'Bones', since each new show has similiarities to their new partner.

CW up next.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

CW news

In an effort to sabotage my predictions before I've even posted them, the CW has already tipped its hand regarding the shows it is picking up. Here's the list so far:

From the WB:

  • 7th Heaven
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Smallville
  • Beauty and the Geek
  • Supernatural
  • One Tree Hill (!?!)

Off the list: 'Everwood', 'Reba' and all the shows I already had listed as waiting for the axe (see the Watch List).

From UPN:
  • All of Us
  • Girlfriends
  • Veronica Mars (!!!)
  • WWE Smackdown
  • America's Next Top Model
  • Everybody Hates Chris

Watch List has been updated. I'm redoing my chart. Again.

Link: the futon critic - CW News

The Watch List

UPDATED 5/17 with renewals/cancellations.

Cancelled (new) shows:

  • Head Cases (Fox)
  • Sex, Lies and Secrets (UPN)
  • Inconceivable (NBC)
  • Just Legal (WB)
  • Kitchen Confidential (Fox)
  • The Night Stalker (ABC)
  • Threshold (CBS)
  • Reunion (Fox)
  • Hot Properties (ABC)
  • Killer Instinct (Fox)
  • Emily's Reasons Why Not (ABC)
  • Book of Daniel (NBC)
  • Love Monkey (CBS)
  • Four Kings (NBC)
  • Heist (NBC)
  • Commander in Chief (ABC) (cancelled 5/16)
  • Sons & Daughters (ABC) (cancelled 5/12)
  • Invasion (ABC) (cancelled 5/13)
  • Conviction (NBC) (cancelled 5/13)
  • Teachers (NBC) (cancelled 5/14)
  • Freddie (ABC) (cancelled 5/14)
  • E-Ring (NBC) (cancelled 5/15)
  • Surface (NBC) (cancelled 5/15)
  • Courting Alex (CBS) (cancelled 5/15)
  • Out of Practice (CBS) (cancelled 5/15)
  • In Justice (ABC) (cancelled 5/16)
  • Crumbs (ABC) (cancelled 5/16)
  • The Evidence (ABC) (cancelled 5/16)
  • Twins (WB) (cancelled 5/17)
  • Related (WB) (cancelled 5/17)
  • South Beach (UPN) (cancelled 5/17)
  • Modern Men (WB) (cancelled 5/17)
  • The Bedford Diaries (WB) (cancelled 5/17)
  • Pepper Dennis (WB) (cancelled 5/17)
  • Love, Inc (UPN) (cancelled 5/17)
  • Free Ride (FOX) (cancelled 5/18)
Shows likely to be axed:
  • Thief (FX)
On the Fence:
  • Windfall (NBC) (cancelled)
  • Saved (TNT) (picked up for 2nd season)
  • Blade: The Series (Spike TV) (cancelled)
  • Psych (USA) (picked up for 2nd season)
  • Brotherhood (Showtime) (picked up for 2nd season)
  • Misconception (WB) (cancelled, never aired)
Likely pickups:
    none at this time.
Ordered full season:
  • Prison Break (Fox) (renewed for next season)
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) (renewed for next season)
  • Bones (Fox) (renewed for next season)
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) (renewed for next season)
  • Criminal Minds (CBS) (renewed for next season)
  • The Ghost Whisperer (CBS) (renewed for next season)
  • Weeds (Showtime) (renewed for next season)
  • Sleeper Cell (Showtime) (renewed for next season)
  • Rome (HBO) (renewed for next season)
  • Big Love (HBO) (renewed for next season)
  • What About Brian (ABC) (renewed for next season)
  • The Loop (FOX)(renewed for next season)
  • The War at Home (Fox) (renewed for next season)
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS) (renewed for next season)
  • Close to Home (CBS) (renewed for next season)
  • The Unit (CBS) (renewed for next season)
  • Supernatural (WB) (renewed for next season on CW)
  • Everybody Hates Chris (UPN) (renewed for next season on CW)

Existing Shows probably in their last year:
  • Arrested Development (Fox) (cancelled)
  • Will & Grace (NBC) (cancelled)
  • Alias (ABC) (cancelled)
  • The West Wing (NBC) (cancelled)
  • Over There (FX) (cancelled)
  • Malcom in the Middle (Fox) (cancelled)
  • That 70's Show (Fox) (cancelled)
  • Yes, Dear (CBS) (cancelled)
  • Charmed (WB) (cancelled)
  • What I Like About You (WB) (cancelled)
  • Wanted (TNT) (cancelled)
  • Hope & Faith (ABC) (cancelled)
  • Jake in Progress (ABC) (cancelled)
  • Joey (NBC) (cancelled)
  • Rodney (ABC) (cancelled)
  • Less than Perfect (ABC) (cancelled)
  • Still Standing (CBS) (cancelled)
  • Blue Collar TV (WB) (cancelled)
  • Living with Fran (WB) (cancelled)
  • Cuts (UPN) (cancelled)
  • Half and Half (UPN) (cancelled)
  • One on One (UPN) (cancelled)
  • Everwood (WB) (cancelled)
  • Reba (WB) (saved! coming back on CW midseason)
  • Stacked (Fox) (cancelled)
  • The Bernie Mac Show (Fox) (cancelled)

Why your favorite show got cancelled

There are many reasons a show gets axed. Just looking at some of the google searches leading people here, some of you are looking for reasons why. Why did [show name here] get cancelled? It isn't fair! It was a good show!

Possible reasons:

The ratings just weren't cutting it. This is the most likely reason. Sure, your show might have averaged 6 million viewers, but if the competition is pulling 16 million, your show isn't competitive. They may have even tried it on different nights, just to see if the ratings would improve. When CBS moved 'Close to Home' to Sunday night, not only did the show's ratings go up, it did better than the show which was previously in the timeslot, 'Threshold'. If the show goes on to hold its own against the other shows on at that time, it's a winner. If not...

The show lost steam. This could be creatively or again, ratings. Some shows start of small but over time build a following. If the show never builds, it is less likely to find a home. If it isn't gaining viewers week after week, then the show isn't being talked about, you aren't capturing any new viewers and the chances of getting new viewers in a second season are slim. Creatively a show could take a nosedive too. 'Commander in Chief' changed directions twice under new showrunners and most felt that the quality of the show suffered, leading to its demise. Unfortunately, 'Commander in Chief' also dropped because of another reason.

The network didn't know how to promote the show. They scheduled it wrong. The promotion was bad. They kept moving it around. Yes, the network can be to blame for a show's failure just as much (sometimes even moreso) than the show itself. They may try to get an audience boost by moving it to different time slots, trying to find a good hole to fill, but if the show gets moved too much, people won't be able to find it, particularly the audience that don't make the show appointment viewing, but still tune in when it is on, just because there's nothing else to watch. You lose those people, your show is doomed.

The show was too expensive. This happens to older shows. Strangely enough, this was one of the reasons '7th Heaven' was cancelled, but rumor has it that the network got an infusion of cash to pay for another year of it, though the cost had gone up quite a lot. When a show is on the air for several seasons, the price of production goes up (hey, when things go well for you, you get a salary increase...right?) Look at 'Friends'. If that show had really dropped off in viewership the last two years, they might not have renewed it. It was ungodly expensive to produce, but it kept getting good ratings, right to the end, and the syndication dollars on the show were golden.

I know a lot of you are upset about 'Invasion' and 'Surface' being cancelled. The problem with those shows was that they didn't ever break out of their genre appeal. Each had hardcore loyal audiences, but they never expanded. It doesn't matter how good a show gets (and these types of shows tend to get better as they find their footing), if it can't find a mainstream audience, like 'Lost' did, it will never be a hit for a network. Dramas also don't repeat well. Very rarely does a drama show pull good numbers with reruns, unless it is a hit show. The good news, is that with the changes coming with online distribution, it may not matter quite as much. If a network can find additional revenue streams for a show (read: paid downloads), they may not care about things like repeatability. You can be sure that the nets will keep a very close eye on which shows have high download rates. If a small hardcore audience is spending a lot of money on a show, it could justify its existence.

The future will be very interesting in this regard, as the rules are starting to change. You may find your next favorite show is only meant to run for one or two years, and if you purchase them on DVD, you could be funding the next great genre or niche show. Just as with everything else in the world, 'It's all about the Benjamins'.

Oh, I did leave out one last reason a show gets cancelled...they just don't like you.

2006 Upfronts: CBS Schedule

Using Mediaweek as our source again today. CBS did make some changes, most notably moving 'Without a Trace' and 'The Amazing Race' to Sunday night. I got Monday right and the midseason shows (although, turns out 'Waterfront' is being saved for midseason too).

Here's the CBS schedule:

8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (new time)
8:30 p.m. *THE CLASS
9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
9:30 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine
10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami

8:00 p.m. NCIS
9:00 p.m. The Unit
10:00 p.m. *SMITH

8:00 p.m. *JERICHO
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
10:00 p.m. CSI: NY

8:00 p.m. Survivor
9:00 p.m. CSI
10:00 p.m. *SHARK

8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer
9:00 p.m. Close To Home
10:00 p.m. Numb3rs

8:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
9:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race (new day)
9:00 p.m. Cold Case (new time)
10:00 p.m. Without A Trace (new day)

By the way, the previously Untitled show is now called 'Three Pounds'. Have you noticed how many shows this year have numbers in their titles?

  • Three Pounds
  • Six Degrees
  • 30 Rock
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • The Nine

Weird. Later today, I'll post my oh-so-accurate predictions for Fox and CW, both of whom reveal their skeds tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

2006 Upfronts: CBS Predictions

Thank goodness, finally some stability. CBS had a great season and ended up renewing 17 of their shows. Still, they are adding some new stuff, so let's see what they are adding and where it might go into the schedule.

  • Jericho
  • Shark (my favorite!)
  • Smith
  • Waterfront
  • Untitled Peter Ocko Drama
  • The Class (half hour)
  • Rules of Engagement (half hour)

Short list. Let's go to the schedule:


60 Minutes and Cold Case will stay at 7 and 8 PM. Right now CBS airs a Sunday night movie, but I think that will get put off until midseason while they test a couple of new dramas. 'Smith' and 'Shark' would be great Sunday night shows. 'Smith' is a crime show which could do well opposite the current 9 PM competition and 'Shark' is a legal show, with a 'House'-like lead character, a star defense lawyer who gets hired to be a D.A. James Woods will really get a chance to chew scenery and I can't wait for this show. If CBS loves me, they'll program 'Shark' at 10 PM so I don't have to watch 'Brothers & Sisters'.


'King of Queens' is renewed, but will be held until midseason, due to Kevin James' film schedule. I'd expect 'How I Met Your Mother' to bump to 8 PM with new comedy 'The Class' following behind. 'Two and Half Men' and 'The Adventures of New Christine' look solid at 9 and 9:30. CSI: Miami does well at 10, so there it stays.


CBS has a strong Tuesday night with NCIS and The Unit at 8 and 9 PM. 'Jericho' feels like a 10 PM show, so I'll put it in here, though I wouldn't be surprised if they put 'Smith' in here just to mess with me.


I wonder if 'The Amazing Race' will get rested for midseason, but I suspect not, since it pulls decent ratings. If it does get rested, 'Waterfront' seems like a possible 8 PM show. 'Criminal Minds' and 'CSI: NY' are solid at 9 and 10 PM.


CBS would be stupid to change a winning formula, so this night goes unchanged -- 'Survivor', 'CSI' and 'Without a Trace' stay in their spots.


CBS wins Fridays with 'Ghost Whisperer', 'Close to Home' and 'Numb3rs'. It goes unchanged.


Welcome to repeat central, plus the '48 Hour Mystery' at 10 PM.

So, the 'Untitled Peter Ocko' hour (about a brilliant surgeon and his student) and 'Rules of Engagement' would be saved for midseason in my chart. Let's hope CBS and their very stable schedule provide me with more accurate predictions. If not, I give up.

2006 Upfronts: ABC Schedule

Don't even ask me why I'm up at this ungodly hour in Los Angeles, but because I am, I can get this posted bright and early (okay, not so bright outside yet). I went to ABC's site and couldn't find the bloody press release, but thanks be to our favorite TV site the futon critic, here's the schedule for ABC, being announced this morning:


MONDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Wife Swap"
9:00 p.m. "The Bachelor"/"Supernanny"
10:00 p.m. "What About Brian"

TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" (new night)/"Set for the Rest of Your Life" (new alternative series)
9:00 p.m. "Let's Rob..." (new comedy series)
9:30 p.m. "Help Me Help You" (new comedy series)
10:00 p.m. "Boston Legal"

WEDNESDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" (new night)/"George Lopez"/
"According to Jim" (new night)
9:00 p.m. "Lost"
10:00 p.m. "The Nine" (new drama series)

THURSDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Big Day" (new comedy series)
8:30 p.m. "Notes from the Underbelly" (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy" (new night and time)
10:00 p.m. "Six Degrees" (new drama series)

FRIDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Betty the Ugly" (new comedy series)
00 p.m. "Men in Trees" (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. "20/20"

SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m. "ABC Saturday Night College Football"

SUNDAY: 7:00 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"
8:00 p.m. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
9:00 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
10:00 p.m. "Brothers & Sisters" (new drama series)

-- Okay, found the press release, which has the midseason shows too, which include:

  • Day Break
  • Traveler
  • In Case of Emergency (half-hour)
  • Greg Behrendt's Wake up Call (reality)
  • Just for Laughs (reality, clips)
  • Set for the Rest of your Life (game show)

Okay, so the late breaking rumor of 'Grey's' moving to Thursday turned out to be true, which screwed up my Monday night predictions. I also forgot that 'Dancing with the Stars' requires two nights. Not happy that 'The Bachelor' will be back so soon, but whatever. Hey! I guessed Sunday night right! (wasn't so hard, I only had to guess one time slot) 'The Nine' is a good follower to 'Lost', but I'm unhappy that 'Traveler' is being held until midseason. Oh well. Also forgot about 20/20 -- curse you news magazine shows!

Overall I have to say I'm not thrilled with ABC's schedule. I will of course be sampling all the new shows when they air, but I'm doubting that any of these will supercede any programming I currently watch, although, it will be easier for me to catch Grey's now that it is on Thursday.

Spill yer guts below -- what do you think?

Later today I catch a break with CBS -- those guys kept just about everything they had, and they picked up my favorite read of the season (yay!) Stay tuned.

Monday, May 15, 2006

2006 Upfronts: ABC Predictions

Since I've already discussed ABC's woes, I won't waste time on that here, so let's just jump in to what new shows have been reportedly picked up for next season:

  • Traveler
  • Brothers & Sisters
  • Day Break
  • Men in Trees
  • The Nine
  • Six Degrees
  • Ugly Betty
  • Big Day (half-hour)
  • Notes from the Underbelly(half-hour)
  • Let's Rob Mick Jagger (half-hour)
  • In Case of Emergency (half-hour)
  • Help Me Help You (half-hour)
ABC has a lot of work to do with their schedule, and I anticipate that I will be way off the mark, but you have to give me points for trying, so let's get cracking..


The leading rumor for Sunday is that Grey's is moving out to make way for a new show. I'm going with that theory for the moment, so let's say that America's Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Desperate Housewives stay put. What should they program at 10? Something soapy after DH makes, sense, so I'll guess that 'Brothers & Sisters' gets a shot here.


If Grey's is going to move anywhere, it will be 9 PM Monday, so I think Six Degrees could fill the 10 PM slot (or vice versa, Grey's could stay at 10). 8 PM should see a couple of sitcoms with my random guesses of 'Big Day' and 'Notes from the Underbelly' getting the 8 and 8:30 slots.


Boston Legal is a lock at 10 PM, so I see the possibility of 'In Case of Emergency' and 'Let's Rob Mick Jagger' going in at 8 and 8:30. A drama hour makes sense at 9, so let's take a stab with 'The Nine'.


Ugh, Lost is the only thing for sure here, at 9 PM. Expect 'Traveler' to follow at 10 PM (best fit I can come up with anyway). I'm at a loss about 8 and 9, though it is possible that George Lopez and one of the other sitcoms (maybe 'Help Me Help You'?) could be slotted in before Lost.


I think ABC will go reality at 8 PM, Probably going with 'Dancing with the Stars' here. 'Day Break' could be a good 10 PM show, leaving 9 PM open. I'll throw in 'Ugly Betty' because it has to end up somewhere. (update: There's a new rumor that 'Desperate Housewives' or 'Lost' could be moving here -- we shall see).


Friday could end up being the rathole. 'Supernanny' should move back here at 8, followed by 'Wife Swap', which could get a rest at midseason by a couple of sitcoms at 9 and 9:30 ('In Case of Emergency', for one). 10 PM could play host to 'Men in Trees', but it could end up midseason too. I really have no idea.


Saturday is the day that programming forgot, so ABC will stick with its deadly Saturday movie.

So, what's left over? 'What About Brian' got renewed and if it doesn't go in the fall will be held for midseason. 'The Bachelor' will probably return at midseason and no word yet on if 'American Inventor' will get another shot midseason next year.

So, ABC is the hardest to predict. They have an uphill battle, and I have to say, there are only 2 pilots I'm interested in -- 'Traveler' is good as is 'The Nine'. Someday I'll get around to reading 'Six Degrees' which is produced by J.J. Abrahms prodco...and you know how I worship at the altar of J.J., so I have to give it a shot.

Okay, see you bright and early tomorrow with the press release from ABC.

Banner Day

Not that any of you should even care how many visitors this site gets, but today has been a peak traffic day. I just want to thank everyone who drops by to find out if their favorite show is cancelled and for the handful of regular visitors I do have out there.

By the way, when searching for information on the web, it is best not to try to ask Google a question. It won't answer you. So, a better search is 'crossing jordan cancelled' (which it is not) rather than 'is crossing jordan cancelled or not'. Google doesn't care about those extra words and it could even distort your search results. Just a helpful tip.

ABC Upfront predictions are yet to come today. Enjoy this amount of blogging - once summer hits, I'll be hard pressed to have anything to blog about.

CBS picks up 'Close to Home', 'Christine'

They are also expected to pick up 'The Unit' and 'The King of Queens' will return with at least a 13 episode order at midseason.

Looks like 'Out of Practice', 'Courting Alex' and 'Still Standing' will not make the cut.

New shows picked up are expected to include 'Jerico', 'Shark' (one of my favorites of the year), 'Smith', and 'Waterfront', and the untitled Peter Ocko project. They will also pick up comedies 'The Class' and 'Rules of Engagement'

Full details at the futon critic.

2006 Upfronts: NBC Schedule

Ok, my predictions mostly sucked. Here is the schedule, courtesy of Mediaweek:
8:00 p.m. Deal or No Deal
9:00 p.m. HEROES
10:00 p.m. Medium

9:00 p.m. KIDNAPPED
10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU

8:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser
9:00 p.m. 20 GOOD YEARS
9:30 p.m. 30 ROCK
10:00 p.m. Law & Order

8:00 p.m. My Name Is Earl (new time)
8:30 p.m. The Office (new time)
10:00 p.m. ER (THE BLACK DONNELLYS in midseason)

8:00 p.m. Deal or No Deal
9:00 p.m. Las Vegas
10:00 p.m. Law & order: Criminal Intent (new day and time)

8:00 p.m. Dateline
9:00 p.m. Drama series encores.
10:00 p.m. Drama series encores.


Sunday After Football Season
7:00 p.m. Dateline
9:00 p.m. The Apprentice 6 (only one edition next season)
10:00 p.m. RAINES

I was right that 'Crossing Jordan' would return at midseason, but I didn't get that 'Raines' would be held until then as well. Also looks like I was partially right about 'ER' -- it is staying put at 10 PM Thursday, but it is splitting the time period with 'The Black Donnellys'. Overall, I think this is a decent schedule, though I think the comedies on Wednesday will get killed. Then again, what do I know?

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Scrubs has been renewed, but is being held until midseason, just like this year. Sorry for the omission.

Stay tuned as I screw up ABC's schedule later today -- don't worry, they'll fix it for me tomorrow.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Conviction and Invasion cancelled

Confirmed at Variety.

Update More cancellations via the futon critic.

'Teachers', 'Hope & Faith' and 'Freddie' are all confirmed as cancelled. NBC has given 'Andy Barker, PI' a 6-episode order and Fox has picked up 'The Wedding Album'.

...and now for something completely different.

I should be writing my pilot treatment right now. Should. Be. Writing.

But what am I doing? Soaking up blogs and upfront news. I suck.

My parents were in town for a week so writing has been sporadic at best. Sleep is also becoming a fair weather friend. Haven't had much sleep; I get an hour here, a half hour there. It's not good, but my creative time seems to be 11PM - 2 AM. Ambien is helping, but of course, I'm all freaked out I might go for a 3 AM joyride now.

And I've made a final decision -- I'm going to Austin Film Festival this year, not the Screenwriting Expo. If the Expo people couldn't figure out how to not schedule their event against AFF, then screw them. I think I've hit my upper limit of sitting in Richard Walter seminars anyway (and I like him, but I've seen him every year, and it must stop).

No agent, no manager yet. Keep getting conflicting notes on my 'House' spec from folks. Might go out to another manager next week, just for kicks.

My former-instructor isn't returning my e-mails. This makes me sad.

Oh, so yeah, I'm writing a pilot. Except not at this moment, when I should be working on the treatment.

AFF deadline is June 1st. I'm entering my 'House' spec and my 'Cold Case', because I like to be rejected twice.

2006 Upfronts: NBC Predictions

NBC has had a tough year with new shows, but a few hits did emerge, most notably 'My Name is Earl' and 'The Office'. This year NBC needs to fill gaping holes left by former hits 'Will & Grace' and 'The West Wing'. 'Joey' was a huge disappointment for the network, and much hyped new series 'Surface' and 'Conviction' just haven't been pulling in audiences. Will they survive? First, let's take a look at what appears to be on the slate for new shows in 2006: (all of this is based on news reports of shows given orders)

  • Friday Night Lights
  • Heroes
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • The Black Donnellys
  • Kidnapped
  • Raines
  • The Singles Table (half-hour)
  • 20 Good Years (half-hour)
  • Untitled Tina Fey project (half-hour)
NBC also gets Sunday night football this year. This may mean moving some current Sunday shows around the schedule. NBC may also want to rest a couple of shows until midseason. Finally, we must calculate NBC's newest hit 'Deal or No Deal' into the equation. The show is currently running well 3 nights a week. NBC should probably cut that to 2 in the fall, to keep the show from burning out.

Okay, so what would a fall NBC schedule possibly look like?


With football taking most of the air on Sunday, and a perfectly themed drama series to accompany it, Sunday night seems like an easy night to predict. So, let's put 'Friday Night Lights' into the 10 PM slot on our grid.


'Medium' is doing well at 10 o'clock, but might need to help lead in to a new show. 'Deal or No Deal' has really taken off at 8, so I think we can slot that in the grid. I think 'Raines', which stars Jeff Goldblum as a cop who talks to dead victims, would make the perfect companion to 'Medium', which would be a good lead-in to the new show, so I'll say 'Medium' moves to 9 PM so 'Raines' can premiere at 10 PM.


This has been a tough night lately for NBC. It started out strong, when 'Earl' and 'Office' pulled good enough numbers to justify moving to Thursday. Since then, 'Scrubs' and 'Teachers' have underperformed. Still, I think NBC is committed to counter program everyone else's dramas with comedies on this night, so I think 'Scrubs' will get picked up for one more season and will stay at 9 PM. At 9:30, 'The Singles Table' might be able to gain some footing. 10 PM plays host to Law & Order: SVU and I think it will continue to do so. 8 PM is a hole, currently being filled by 'Most Outrageous Moments'. That show could get a rest and we could see a new reality show or 'The Apprentice' slotted here.


Law & Order has been the rock of this night at 10 PM for years. NBC messed with success earlier in the year with disasterous results. Expect them not to repeat that mistake again. 9 PM is currently filled with 'Dateline NBC' but that show is typically skedded when a series fails and they need to program the gap. Law & Order is still a good launch pad for a new show, but there is tough competition at 9 PM. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if 'Kidnapped' got slated at 9 PM, given its similar L&O nature. 'Deal or No Deal' is currently taking up space at 8 PM, but if NBC is smart, they will retire that edition and leave the other two airings in place. Therefore, NBC could get a jump on the night with new show 'Heroes', which would make for interesting 8 PM viewing.


There were rumors that 'ER' might move to make way for a new show. While I think this is a strong possibility, given its erosion against 'Without a Trace', I think it might get bumped to midseason to make room for Aaron Sorkin's new show 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip'. As for the sitcoms, I think NBC will give a vote of confidence to 'Earl' and 'The Office' and keep them programmed on this night. Tina Fey may get the plum 9 PM slot with 'The Office' following behind. 'Earl' would do well to stay at 8 with '20 Good Years' following it at 8:30 (this new show stars John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor).


First of all, don't be surprised if 'Crossing Jordan' and 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' end up bumped to midseason. These are strong performing shows that can wait in the wings should any of the new shows fail (and some of them will). 'Las Vegas', on the other hand, is the little show that could, and is doing well at 9 on Friday, so it stays. 'Deal or No Deal' has a cozy home on Friday at 8, and I think it deserves to continue there. The 10 PM slot could be reserved for 'The Black Donnellys', the new show produced by Paul Haggis about four Irish brothers involved in organized crime.


This night is never programmed very strongly by anyone, and as result, Fox always wins with 'Cops'. This is where 'Dateline NBC' and TV movies go to die.

So, what's left over? Not much -- L&O: CI, Crossing Jordan, and ER could go to midseason and join 'The Biggest Loser'. Plus, 'Windfall' and a couple of reality shows are premiering in the summer. If any of those are hits, they could come back at midseason next year also. Sadly, based on my predictions, 'Teachers', 'E-Ring', 'Heist', 'Conviction', and 'Surface' would all be cancelled. Sorry 'Surface' fans, but it doesn't look good.

So, tomorrow is the day for NBC. As soon as their presentation is held, I'll report back on the actual schedule and see how I scored.