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.

Even more fox pickups; The Loop renewed

Fox has renewed 'The O.C.' and 'The War at Home' for full seasons. 'The Loop' has gotten at least 13 episodes ordered for next season.

They have also picked up two more sitcoms, 'Happy Hour' (13 episodes) and 'The Winner' (6 episodes).

Link: the futon critic

Sons and Daughters cancelled

Confirmed on the producer's blog.

Link: Out On A Limb

'Brian' makes the cut; more ABC pickups

Wpw. I have to say, I didn't expect 'What About Brian' to make it through to next season, but ABC has decided to stay with the show. They also gave orders to 'Traveler' (which I liked), 'Men in Trees', 'Ugly Betty' and 'Brothers & Sisters'. Two more comedy pickups -- 'Big Day' and the 'Untitled Mick Jagger Show'.

Now I have to redo my ABC grid. Again. Oh, and watch list is updated.

Link: More ABC orders; '7th Heaven' saved

Friday, May 12, 2006


I'm still working on my upfront predictions posts. I've almost finished my TV grid, but the surprise 7th Heaven announcement and some of the other ABC pilots given pickups today screwed it up again.

NBC goes first, so I will have at least that one ready tomorrow. My goal is to post the day before the network upfront my prediction, and then I will report the actual schedule when it is announced.

Oh, might also have some really cool news next week re: podcast. Stay tuned.

7th Heaven reprieve

... and it looks like the development slate for the CW was so bad, they had to bring back 7th Heaven for at least 13 episodes next season. This is actually a smart move on their part.

Link: the futon critic

More pickups

As commenters are already noting, ABC and NBC have greenlit more shows.

Link: the futon critic

Thursday, May 11, 2006

ABC pilot pickups

Well, the greenlights are flashing brightly now, as networks gear up for upfronts and production schedules. Of course, this wealth of news plays havoc with my prognostications, and I will look less the seer and more the astute observer of news as I cobble together my visions for the network schedules. Oh well. ABC picks up "The Nine", "Six Degrees", and "Day Break" for dramas and "In Case of Emergency", "Help Me Help You" and "Notes from the Underbelly" for comedies.

Link: Three dramas, sitcoms get ABC pickup orders

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Attention TV Spec Monkeys

ras may be managing stress, but she also talks hot TV specs in the comments. I plan to steal^C^C^C^C^Cborrow this list for my updated spec list after upfronts.

A 'Come to Jesus' Meeting for ABC

Sure, NBC is the current whipping boy of the nets, what with its lackluster ratings, but ABC is the network with the biggest programming challenges for next season. I'm not going to do my schedule predictions until Friday, but let's take a look at the current state of ABC.

First the good news:

  • Grey's Anatomy - Best of show
  • Desperate Housewives - lost some ground, but still strong
  • Lost - solid performer
  • Boston Legal - plucky underdog with solid footing
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Energizer Bunny of reality shows (especially since it runs all year)
  • America's Funniest Home Videos - Okay *this* is the Energizer Bunny...16 years and still going strong.
  • Wife Swap - surprisingly strong in its second season.

Now, the trouble begins:
  • Monday Night Football - Gone
  • Alias - Dead
  • Jake in Progress - Stick a fork in it
  • According to Jim, Hope and Faith, Less that Perfect and Rodney - Shadows of their former selves
  • George Lopez - fading
  • The Bachelor - too many failures equals no more ratings.

As to how the new shows this year fared...well, you know the story:
  • The Night Stalker - Didn't make it past 3 or 4 episodes
  • In Justice - Cancelled
  • The Evidence - The Worst
  • Commander In Chief - Biggest hero to zero story EVER
  • Emily's Reasons Why Not - We don't talk about that around here
  • Crumbs - Decent start but failed to hold viewers
  • Sons & Daughters - Too different for ABC's audience and wildly uneven.
  • Hot Properties - Not so hot. Gone.
  • Freddie - Kept its George Lopez audience, but is it enough to get a second season?
  • Miracle Workers - I liked this show, but apparently no one else did
  • Invasion - lost half of Lost's audience. averages 7 million viewers
  • What About Brian - ave. 6 million viewers. Invasion stands a better chance at renewal.

Shows which ABC needs to rest but keep around:
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Supernanny
  • Extreme Makeover

So, not much to crow about from the Class of 05-06 as far as shows go. Freddie looks like it might squeak through, Brian and Invasion are a toss up, and everything else is good as gone.

So, pity poor ABC. While CBS is busy renewing 2/3 or more of its schedule for next seasons, ABC, may have to scrape the bottom of the barrel just to keep its hopes alive.

My one request: No more Heather Graham sitcoms. EVER.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Friday" may get to play

News that Jason Katims has come about "Friday Night Lights" as showrunner, certainly make it look like the show is going to get picked up

If they don't schedule it on Fridays, it will be criminal. Right now it looks like it might be scheduled on Sundays with NBC's football coverage.

Link: Hollywood Reporter - Katims 'Lights' up NBC pilot

Update: Looks like NBC is picking up "Heroes" too. (futon critic article)

Friday I'm going to try to predict the network schedules in 5 (yup, where there were 6 nets, now there are 5) posts. Wish me luck with the prognostication.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More Fox pickups

Fox has filled a couple more slots on the board by giving the nod to 'Primary' and 'American Crime' (A Bruckheimer show). Also looks like 'The War at Home' might actually get a second season, so it can serve as a companion to the recently greenlit sitcom 'Til Death' starring Brad Garrett.

Only one more week until we finally see the grids. Happy days!

Link: Hollywood Reporter

Friday, May 05, 2006

Four Kings returns...briefly.

No word on what will happen to leftovers of 'E-Ring' and 'Joey'. At least 'Four Kings' gets a few weeks so everyone can say goodbye.

Link: the futon critic

Thursday, May 04, 2006

NBC pilot pickup

This one has been a given for awhile. NBC picks up Aaron Sorkin's 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip' for the fall.

We keep getting news like this, there won't be any surprises left at the upfronts.

Link: the futon critic

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pilot rumors

Lee Goldberg points to Nikki Finke's blog with the rumors on the new pilots. Upfronts are next week, but this should provoke some discussion until we know the scheds for sure.

Commander in Chief gets impeached

No, Bush haters, not *that* CIC, Geena Davis will be stepping down from office (i.e. the show has died a quick death).

By the way, if anyone decides to go on a Bush rant in this thread, I will delete your comments. I have proudly kept this a politics free zone for over a year, and I intend to keep it that way.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Boston Legal gets season number 3

Late breaking: Hollywood Reporter notes that ABC has picked up 'Boston Legal'. We know 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Housewives' will be back, as well as 'Lost'. Oh and 'Extreme Home Makeover'.

Now they just have the other 5 days to program...

Link: ABC's 'Legal' back on docket