October 24, 2007 | Comments ()

By Seth Freilich | Trade News | October 24, 2007 |


The best news of the week is probably that Comedy Central has re-upped its contract with Jon Stewart, locking him down through 2010. Said Stewart: “I feel like I work with the best in the business. I look forward to using this extension to having great fun at President Colbert’s expense.” Obviously, this puts the kibosh on all the talk of Stewart leaping to network TV after 2008 (when his contract was set to expire), and I, for one, am thankful for it. We would not get nearly the same same show out of Stewart on any of the networks, so I’ll take my “Daily Show” staying exactly the way it is, thank you kindly.

The number of freshman shows to be given full-season orders is now at four, as “Private Practice,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Pushing Daisies” (!) join the previously announced “Gossip Girl.” I don’t know a single person watching either “Practice” or “Big Bang,” and there hasn’t been much critical praise for them, so I’m a little surprised by their orders. (Although, to be fair, “Practice” is the highest rated new show among the treasured 18-49 demographic, so some folks out there are obviously watching it, and similarly, “Big Bang” has apparently been showing some decent ratings growth.) And while there’s been a lot of critical praise for “Pushing Daisies,” I’m still pleasantly surprised that it got a full-season order as it’s not the type of show to typically get much network support. Also, I’m happy to report that CBS has given a full season order to “The Unit,” which has quietly turned into one of the most entertaining network shows. And while the cruddy “Carpoolers” and the atrocious “Moonlight” have not been given full-season orders, they have been given additional script orders. Whatever.

Meanwhile, over at the show that “Practice” spun-off from, it’s been announced that Joshua Jackson will be doing a multi-episode arc on “Grey’s Anatomy.” No word yet on what type of role he’ll play, but I’m guessing he’ll be some sort of new love interest for McHerp Meredith. While most of you probably know Jackson from his days on “Dawson’s Creek,” I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with his work in the absolutely spectacular The Skulls. Of the many movies my friends and I have watched as part of our Bad Movie Marathons, The Skulls still ranks right near the top for me. In fact — Dustin, how about getting us a DVD review of that fine piece of cinema?

So Fox has made what we all knew official — “Nashville” is no more (however, it’s not officially the first dead newbie show, as that honor goes to the CW’s “Online Nation”). While the network pulled the show over a month ago, it insisted that the remaining episodes would get a future airing. We all knew better, and now Fox has confirmed it for us, saying that it will air a second run of “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” in that Friday timeslot. The question, Alex, is “What do you get when you replace a heaping pile of crap with a slightly smaller but still heaping pile of crap?”

And right on the heels of that, we’ve got our first cancellation of a scripted show and it was a quickie — as you’ve no doubt figured from this round-up’s title and image, “Viva Laughlin” is already kaput. I’ve got the first two episodes sitting unwatched, as I hadn’t been able to get around to them, particularly considering how bad I heard the show was. And now I guess there’s no point, although I’ll probably watch the first episode anyway, out of morbid curiosity. Based on the bad word of mouth, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, although the fact that Thursday’s sneak preview of the premiere lost a whopping 60% of the “CSI” lead-in audience is a mild surprise (that’s just a staggering drop). The good news about this is that we don’t need to keep waiting around for “The Amazing Race” — it’ll return to our TVs on Sunday, November 5 at 8 p.m. (so much for my theory that CBS was holding onto it for early next year in case the writers strike). But to all the DVR folks out there, remember that the 8 p.m. start is a bit loose, because the late NFL games on CBS often bump the show’s start time, so pad the end of your recordings.

Speaking of crappy new shows, Fox has renewed the atrocious Americanized “Kitchen Nightmares,” giving the go ahead for at least 10 more episodes, which will be broadcast sometime next year. The show has been doing relatively well in a tough Wednesday time slot, and we know how Fox loves to beat any reality show to death. And with that in mind, here’s hoping they beat this show to death quickly, so that Ramsay can go back to filming the much-better British version of the show.

The most disappointing news of the week, for me, was that NBC removed its video channel on YouTube. One assumes this is is because of its other moves in the realm of online content, particularly its plans to launch a video download service and its involvement with the Hulu web site. But this is a serious bummer to the many folks who turned to YouTube to get some of their NBC fix. It’s also a boneheaded decision, in my humble opinion. While they may not have seen any direct revenue from the YouTube channel, what about the tons of free advertising they got? I mean, I’ve used NBC clips in various round-ups on countless occasions, essentially giving “The Office” or “Scrubs” or “30 Rock” free prime advertising real estate. I posit that something like the “Dick in a Box” or “Chronic(what?)cles of Narnia” phenomena wouldn’t have happened on some proprietary NBC site, and much like its decision to separate from iTunes, I think NBC is being incredibly short-sighted. Ah well, I guess we’ll just have to sit tight and see what happens next.

Looking to next season, NBC has locked Steven Weber up for a new sitcom. “Zip” surely won’t be as good as “Wings,” but it sounds OK. Weber will be playing Trip Stringer, a single dad in Beverly Hills who turns to being a conman to take care of his kids. Interestingly, this was filmed as a pilot for NBC last year, with a different cast, and the network passed. But they must really like the script and/or Weber.

Finally, speaking of online video, you surely know that we’re mere weeks away from the Battlestar Galactica: Razor movie, right? If you’ll recall, this is a film that will focus on Lee Adama’s first mission as the commander of the Battlestar Pegasus, and while it doesn’t tie into the wonderful third-season finale, Ron Moore insists that it will play into the upcoming fourth and final season. Anyway, much like they did before the third season aired, SciFi has been releasing short videos that combine to make a prequel. These so-called “flashbacks” focus on a young Bill Adama and his rookie combat flight during the First Cylon War. There are three episodes released so far, with four more to come. If you haven’t been checking them out, you can do so over on the official BSG site. They’re not particularly great, but any “BSG” is better than no “BSG.”


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Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’s a little sad that this is the last round-up that he’ll be writing from the wonderful confines of Davis Square, but such is life.

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Well They Canceled That Quicker than Lager Turns to Pajiba!

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
Oct. 24, 2007

Trade News | October 24, 2007 | Comments ()



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