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May 2, 2007 | Comments ()


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It's not TV, It's Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Seth Freilich

Trade News | May 2, 2007 | Comments ()


I would argue that the 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” was one of the best miniseries ever made, not to mention one of the best films about World War II, period. I absolutely love everything about it. So I’m quite intrigued to hear that Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who produced “Band,” are now planning to produce “The Pacific,” which they envision as a companion piece to “Band of Brothers.” It’ll be based on two books, With the Old Breed (by Eugene Sledge) and Helmet for my Pillow (by Robert Leckie), and the story will focus on three marines stationed in the Pacific during WWII (authors Sledge and Leckie being two of the three). While the story will be fictionalized, it will also be based in large part on the men’s true stories — in fact, all three have been interviewed by Hugh Ambrose (brother of “Band of Brothers” author Stephen E. Ambrose), who is listed as a consultant for this miniseries. No word on casting or when the series will eventually air, but I’m pretty psyched.

Speaking of HBO, it seems that the network is again going to try dipping its original programming hand into Monday nights (my true TV Whores out there may remember that the last season of “Six Feet Under” originally started airing on Monday nights back in 2005, although HBO yanked the show back to Sunday nights after five episodes). The second season of “Big Love” will air Monday nights at 9 p.m., starting on June 11 (just over one month, kids!), just one night after “The Sopranos” wraps up its run and “John from Cincinnati” starts its first season. And the new episodes of “Big Love” will be surrounded by reruns of Sunday night shows, including “John,” as well as “The Flight of the Conchords” and the fourth season of “Entourage,” both of which kick off on Sunday, June 17 (yes, “Entourage’s” fourth season is coming right after its third). Should be interesting to see if HBO is able to get any traction on something other than Sunday nights, especially with the networks basically being in rerun, burn-off, and reality-crap mode for the summer.

And speaking of Monday nights … three episodes. That’s how long Tim Minear and Nathan Fillion’s latest show made it, as Fox has already pulled “Drive,” opting for reruns of “House” in the Monday 8 p.m. slot (since this decision happened last week, you may have already noticed “Drive’s” absence this past Monday). I believe there are two unaired episodes of the show in the can, and rumor has it that Fox may burn them off on Fridays in May — so for those of you who were enjoying the show, I’ll try to keep you posted about that, as the burn-off will surely lack the promotional weight that the show’s premiere had. And this whole development makes me wonder how far away we are from having Fox turn into the all “House” and “American Idol” network. Two years, three years tops?

Although I guess, for better of for worse, there’s still “24.” In light of increasing complaints about the show, rumors are floating around that they may move Mr. Bauer to a new city for next year. Now this decision seems like an obvious choice, but it also may indicate a serious problem. It’s an obvious choice because the show is stale as hell right now, with this season easily being the worst of the bunch. So change is good. But the location change may indicate a serious problem if the producers think that this change, alone, will set the show back on its ways. Sure, it strains credibility that the bad guys haven’t figured out to just stay the hell away from Los Angeles and the superman that is Jack Bauer. But I don’t think the viewers mind letting their credibility get strained by the show anymore. What the viewers are minding this year is the particularly bad writing, dialogue, and acting, not to mention the all around boring everything. And a location change, alone, won’t fix none of that. So we’ll just have to wait and see whether the producers recognize that the show needs serious reconstructive surgery, and not just a simple nose job. (Don’t ask me where that stupid metaphor came from, because I have no idea.)

Staying with the sudden Monday night theme, those of you who were enjoying “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” will be happy to hear that its return has finally been penciled in, although it’s moving to Thursdays at 10 p.m. instead of its old Monday slot (you’ll recall NBC originally planned to air the show on Thursdays, although at 9, until ABC scared/surprised it by putting “Grey’s Anatomy” into that same timeslot). There are six or seven episodes left, and they’ll begin running on May 24. However, its ratings won’t have any impact on the chances of a second season, as NBC will have already announced its new fall lineup by then. In fact, we could see an effect the other way — if (as we suspect/assume) the show isn’t picked up for a sophomore run, some old fans may bail on the new set of episodes, dropping the ratings even more, and NBC may decide to give up on even burning off those final episodes.

And lastly, just a quick word that FX is planning to renew (although it’s not official yet) both “Dirt” and “The Riches” for second seasons. I couldn’t care less about “Dirt,” even though I heard it improved as the first season wore on. But I’m quite pleased about “The Riches,” which is continuing to develop nicely, especially as it seems that they have taken my advice and backed off on the traveler part of the show.

And that’s it. No end-of-the-round-up video for you this week, no grand unifying conclusion, just some ellipses….


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Seth “the Orangutan” Freilich is Pajiba’s television columnist. Some of y’all gave me shit for being a Liverpool fan, but that don’t befront me — they’re going to the Champions League finals and your team (probably) ain’t. So suck it.







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