October 17, 2007 | Comments ()

By Seth Freilich | Trade News | October 17, 2007 |


So far, it seems that the networks are turning a blind eye to the fact that the new fall schedule is relatively lackluster, which is par for the course. Fox, however, seems to be tacitly acknowledging the fall suck by ramping up its focus on its midseason shows. Thus, we already know that “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” (the Terminator-related series) will be premiering in mid-January (January 14 at 8 p.m., to be precise) along with the latest longest day of “24.” Unfortunately for Fox, however, that may be the only midseason show to actually make it on the air.

You may recall the network heavily promoting “New Amsterdam” earlier in the year. And yet, the show about an immortal NYC cop failed to land a spot on the fall network amid rumors that the pilot was a mess (rumors basically confirmed when the network stepped in and did a major overhaul of the whole thing). Over the last few months, the rumor-mongers have been at it again, saying the show was still lacking some creative direction, and Fox has now stepped back into the mix, putting the show on early hiatus. After the eighth episode is put in the can next week, everyone will take a respite while the network looks things over and decides where things are going to go from there. My prediction? The network won’t let them fill anymore episodes and will plan a spring burn-off of the eight episodes … but only two or three of the episodes will actually ever make it to air, because that’s the Fox way (hey “Drive,” how ya’ doing?).

And this comes on the heels of other bad news for a Fox mid-season show. Fans of ye old Gilmore gals are probably optimistic for the mid-season replacement, “The Return of Jezebel James,” as it comes from Amy Sherman-Palladino and stars Parker Posey. Well, you might want to temper those expectations just a smidge — Fox recently cut its episode order for the show from thirteen down to seven. Such a thing is rarely a good sign, of course (“Why, we love the show so much we want less of it!”), and it looks like Parker Posey may have made a poor decision in making this her first TV show. Fox hasn’t given any specific reason for the shortened order, although a spokesperson tried to temper things by saying that seven episodes is simply all the network needs, with “24” and “American Idol” also popping up mid-season. Vegas has opened the over/under line at 2 for the number of episodes that Fox ever bothers to air.

So it looks like this will be yet another year where Fox is carried by “American Idol,” “House” and a splash of “24,” with little else to speak of.

Turning to cable, it should come as little surprise that Bret Michaels has signed on for “Rock of Love 2,” which is slated to premiere early next year. VH1 has been planning to do the sequel to “Rock My Cock” for a while now, but it was unclear who the lovelorn rocker would be. But shockingly, Michaels’ relationship with first season winner Jes didn’t take (he blames it on the reality of the TV contracts, which forced them to stay apart for six months — poor kids!). So Michaels is coming back for some more scripted “dating” and diabetic fits. (“My diabetes is acting up?” Really? I’ve known a few diabetics and they’ve never talked about their diabetes “acting up.”) I watched all of the first season but I think I’m going to take a pass on this new one. Once is amusing. Twice, I won’t be fooled again.

Turning back to the season at hand, the CW’s “Gossip Girl” remains the first and only fall show to get a full 22-episode order at this point. However, NBC and CBS have taken cautious steps forward with some of their own shows, ordering new scripts for “Bionic Woman,” “Journeyman,” “Chuck,” “Life” and “Cane.” NBC has ordered three new scripts for its four freshman shows, while CBS has called up four new scripts for “Cane.” This is a somewhat positive sign, although quickly canceled shows from last season (such as “Justice” and “The Nine”) also received new script orders. Plus, one could argue that this move has less to do with the networks’ faith in the shows and more to do with them wanting to stockpile as much as they can before the likely strike by the writers guild at the end of the month. But that would be a pessimistic outlook, and the TV Whore doesn’t like to think such negative thoughts of Hollywood execs. (And while I don’t know anything for sure, I was in LA for a while last week and can tell you that my spidey sense was tingling like a mother fucker, and I strongly suspect that the WGA will, in fact, be going on strike at month’s end.)

Speaking of NBC, the Peacock is considering another move which may also be meant to counter the lack of programming that would come with a prolonged strike — word has it that the network is thinking about adding “new” reruns to its slate. Specifically, it’s considering rerunning the original version of “The Office” along with “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Now the idea of giving us reruns of good shows, rather than dumping reality show crap on us, is certainly a good one. But I have no faith that this will work out well because “The Office” will suffer from commercial breaks, even if no content edits are made. And content edits would have to be made with “Curb,” and we all know how well that turned out for A&E’s scrubbed episodes of “The Sopranos.” Instead, why wouldn’t the network run “Battlestar Galactica” or “Burn Notice?” You know, some of the good shows it has on its sister networks? Shows that need virtually no editing or scrubbing. Shows that could use the network attention. I know, I know … crazy talk.

Wednesdays at work are the worst, right? Well if you’re looking for a great big time suck, The New Yorker has an incredibly long piece on “The Wire.” It’s a very good read, with a lot of interesting tidbits about the show and creator David Simon’s background, and you could find far worse ways to kill an hour. Now the DVD Folk might want to skip the article, as it does include spoilers about some beloved characters who were killed in the third and fourth season, but if you’re all caught up, the Season Five spoilers are minimal. And I know I’ve said it before, but I’m just licking my lips for January — November and December need to come and go as quick as possible.

And you know we like to wrap these Round-Ups with a video. Well, while this season of “The Office” has been a bit underwhelming so far (the hour long episode idea was a terrible one, and thank Jeebus this week’s is the last one), this bit cracked my shit up. And since I’ve got no other TV video to toss in here this week, this is what I’m going with:


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Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’s watching “Beauty and the Geek” while he types this, and he just saw a geek use the following line: “Was your mom a beaver? Cause
damn girl!” Awesome.

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A Pajiba for All Midseasons

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
Oct. 17, 2007

Trade News | October 17, 2007 | Comments ()



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