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June 6, 2007 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | June 6, 2007 |

Quite a few “rumor” stories out there in TV land this week. For example, rumor has it that ABC is trying to get Rob Thomas (the man behind our dearly departed “Veronica Mars”) to sign on as the showrunner for “Miss Guided,” the Alphabet’s midseason replacement comedy. “Miss Guided” stars Judy Greer as a guidance counselor, and the one trailer/preview clip I’ve seen looks OK, though not great. However, I have loved the hell out of Judy Greer ever since her turn on “Arrested Development” (and she was one of the only good things, in my opinion, about the disappointing “Love Monkey” as well), and I think she’s one of the most underappreciated and underused comedic actresses out there. So I’m all for Rob Thomas jumping on board and hopefully helping guide this show into something worthwhile.

Meanwhile, even though it’s not on ABC’s fall schedule, the Americanization of the BBC series “Life on Mars” is still on track. Rumor has it that writer/producer/Pfeiffer-schtupper David E. Kelley has signed Thomas Schlamme to exec produce and direct the pilot (you might remember Schlamme as Aaron Sorkin’s other backstage half on “The West Wing” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”). They’re looking for a summer shoot, which means the network is clearly pushing to have this as another bullet in its midseason replacement revolver, obviously aware of the fact that it’s going to have many scheduling holes to fill when fluff like (motherfucking) “Cavemen” has to be quickly and unceremoniously ripped off of the air.

And speaking of rumors and Americanizations, the industry word has it that Mitch Hurwitz’s pilot for “The Thick of It,” which was previously rejected by ABC, may not be dead just yet. Apparently HBO, NBC and Showtime (which wanted it in the first place, but lost a bidding war with ABC) have all expressed some interest in the sitcom. As you may recall, the show focuses on the inner workings of a Congressman’s office (the original focused on a member of Parliament), and stars John Michael Higgins (The Break Up, “Arrested Development”) as said Congressman, along with Oliver Platt and Michael McKean. And the pilot was directed by Christopher Guest. I still don’t understand how all of this could’ve combined into something which made ABC say, “well why on earth would we pick this pilot up when there are some Geico cavemen waiting in the wings? …We wants some motherfucking cavemen!” So hopefully this project gets to see the light of day, particularly over on HBO or Showtime (which rightly seems to have a bit of a crush on Hurwitz, as it also tried to convince him to bring “Arrested Development” over after Fox axed it). I think a Hurwitz comedy would really flourish in a more creator-friendly and not-so-intensely ratings driven environment.

Meanwhile, one recent rumor has finally been confirmed — Season Four of “Battlestar Galactica” will, in fact, be the final season. Twenty-two more episodes and out! The decision was made by the executive producers (as opposed to the network) as they’ve always said it would be, saying “while we know our fans will be saddened to know the end is coming, they should brace themselves for a wild ride getting there — we’re going out with a bang.” Exec producer Ronald Moore says that they started to feel like the show was in its final end-game by about the midpoint of last season and that, after the Season Three finale, he felt like he needed to start paying things off to avoid having the audience feel like it was getting jerked around. Now, some will surely cry about the fact that the show is ending, especially on the heels of our beloved “Veronica’s” demise and the fact that we surely won’t see any more of “Friday Night Lights” after next season. But as I’ve said before, I’m all for “BSG” coming to an end. Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love the show — but it always tends to lag in the middle of each season. With just the one season left, one suspects there’s more than enough to cover so that there won’t be a similar lag this season. And while that new/final season won’t start until early 2008, we’ll get a little extra love this November, when the two-hour special about the Pegasus airs. It’s now been given a title, dubbed “Razor,” and as Moore has previously said, it won’t touch on anything from the finale, although it will set up some stuff that comes into play in Season Four. Giddeeup.

Back on the “total rumor” front, TV Guide’s egotistical douchebag Michael Ausiello reports a rumor that “CBS is this close” to bringing “Jericho” back, at least for eight episodes. Seems like a bad idea to me, from the network perspective, as I’ve explained before — they won’t likely get any new viewers, and will also likely lose some of the folks who had been watching, so what’s the point of expending the money just to give a handful of folks some resolution. That being said, were I real fan of the show, I’d be ecstatic about the news, and the general TV Whore inside of me surely likes seeing a network at least trying to do half-right by a show’s fans. So we’ll see how this shakes out.

Turning away from the rumors, you may recall that I recently pissed and moaned about the recent season finale of “Heroes” — well, it nows seems that I was right on at least one point (and here’s the perfunctory spoiler warning). I called bullshit on the whole incident of Nathan flying in to save Peter, and now the show’s creator Tim Kring has fessed up to his bullshit. At first, he said that “Peter was supposed to be incapacitated with this surge of power,” which is something I hypothesized, saying that if this was the case, there should have been some clear indication. But the reason there was no indication is because, as Kring further explained, “the real explanation is that we wanted Nathan to show up and do it.” And thus I declare shenanigans. When writers start doing things “just because,” without adhering to the rules and logic of the characters and the show’s conceit, well, down that path lies the later seasons of “The X-Files” and “Alias” and every other mismanaged “mythology” show. I hope the general fan and critical backlash against the season finale teaches these guys a lesson

Meanwhile, new NBC co-chief, Ben Silverman, is not off to a glorious start in my book. You may recall that last Friday was the drop-dead date (per contract) for the network to decide whether or not there would be a seventh season of “The Apprentice.” Well apparently Silverman is actually thinking about picking up the show, despite the fact that it’s basically fallen into the toilet in terms of both quality and ratings, and so he’s talked with Mark Burnett and they’ve agreed to give talks an extra week or so. Meanwhile, Trump is claiming that two other networks have indicated a desire to pick up the show if NBC passes, but because it’s Trump, I’m not giving this statement any credibility whatsoever. Why won’t people just let this show die? Can someone riddle me this?

And lastly, two quick “Law & Order” bits for those who still care about the aging series. First, in preparation for his inevitable presidential run, Fred Thompson has bowed out of his role as D.A. Arthur Branch, a role he’s held for the last five years. No definitive word yet on who the replacement District Attorney will be, but Sam Waterston is currently in negotiations to make the promotion, which seems like a natural progression). However, we do know who the new detective on the show will be, replacing Milena Govich (and I’ll forgive you not knowing her character needed replacing, since I didn’t even know she was on the show in the first place). Jeremy Sisto will be stepping into a pair of homicide detective shoes. It’s great to see Sisto getting some work after the decent-yet-failed “Kidnapped,” but it’s too bad that work comes on a show that barely got renewed and which isn’t really watched as much as it used to be. But I guess it’s cool to know that I may stumble across him in a couple of years over on TNT (and I might even stick around to watch the rerun, just because of him).

And rather than leave you with a YouTube clip, instead, I leave you with a link to a 21-page PDF. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m chomping at the bit to get to it — it’s an excerpt from “Neptune Noir,” a book full of essays about our dearly departed “Veronica Mars.” …Gone, but never forgotten.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television columnist. He is watching “On the Lot” as he types this, and he absolutely cannot take any critiques that come out of Michael Bay’s mouth seriously.

Let's Play a Game of Whisper Down the Pajiba

The Trade Show Round-Up / The TV Whore
June 6, 2007

Industry | June 6, 2007 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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