Network Upfronts

22 May

The major US networks are rolling out their fall line-ups and mid-season replacements this month, basically letting us know which of our favorite shows have been axed and which pieces of shit they decided to grant another season, and so far I am utterly unimpressed. Then again, I feel the same way almost every year. The networks never fail to make me angry – very angry. GRRRRRR!

CBS – Completely Boring Shows

How many procedurals can one fit into a weekly schedule? CBS employs quantum physicists in order to find new ways of boring you with stories that wrap up into neatly folded origami at the end of 42 minutes. Too bad they’re willing to spend more on green and blue filters and tinting David Caruso’s hair than on original and thought-provoking dramas. Inexplicably, the formula has worked for years and has launched them into the spot of “most watched” network. How were we to know that the network that brought you The Amazing Race would lead us to the TV wasteland where we will probably wander for 40 years? Actually, the signs were always there. Remember Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder? Harbingers of doom. At least their comedies are awesome (How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory), except for Two and a Half Sperm Donors. Hate that show.

ABC – All But Canceled (except for the tedious, past their prime and unoriginal)

Innovative and exciting: Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, The Unusuals … gone. I loved the pie-maker and I wanted to see more George Michael. Damn you, ABC!!

Tedious: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters … here to give us (more) aneurysms.

Past their prime: Desperate Housewives … what could they possibly do now that would be ‘surprising’ or ‘ground-breaking’?

Unoriginal: Castle (as much as I love this show, it’s not exactly fresh)

The network’s saving grace is Lost which I’m sure they’ll manage to frak up somehow. If they had just hung on to shows like Invasion from a few seasons ago, those shows would have been coming into their prime and ready to take over from Lost in the way Will & Grace took over for Friends.

FOX – F**k Off “X” (as in insert any show with good writing and quality acting that may require a few episodes and momentum to build an audience)

Goodbye Sarah Connor Chronicles! Just when things were starting to click on that show, it gets the shaft. I hope strong DVD sales for Season 2 makes Fox executives sick like they did for Firefly. SCC wasn’t perfect (Riley should have died in her first appearance and as Ayn Rant loves to point out, Lena Headey needs more than one facial expression) but when it was good, it was awesome. At least they kept Dollhouse. Although their heavy-handed influence was felt in the first few episodes, once the network backed their shit off, the series gained momentum and had Joss Whedon fans asking for more. Fringe has me hopeful. I’m happy to see the back of Prison Break. Now if we could just get 24 to end in its 8th season.

NBC – Nobody Cares

I’m struggling to remember if I ever watched anything on NBC this year, and I’m not alone. Hmm … I might have caught 2 episodes of My Own Worst Enemy (canceled, rightfully) and Kings (good show that’s all but canceled and NBC will reportedly burn off the remaining episodes in June). Let’s not forget about Life (canceled). NBC had a gold-mine with the partnership and chemistry between Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi that would continue to grow and build viewership in the same way as Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay are the core of SVU, but they’re not willing to make that kind of investment. They’d rather give 5 more hours of prime-time to the marginally funny Jay Leno. It’s a good thing nobody cares because NBC is a sinking ship. Wait a minute!! I feel like I’m forgetting something. Hmmm… Chuck! Of course! Yes! Yes! YESSSSSSS! The network does have a reason for existing, and it is Chuck! So glad it will be back for a third season.

CW – Candy Whores

Everything on this network is apparently a guilty pleasure. From Gossip Girl to Smallville, most people I know that are 25 years and older wouldn’t want to admit to watching anything on this network. The lone beacon of light is its darkest show, Supernatural. Gone are the days of Gilmore Girls, Buffy, Angel, Veronica Mars and Everwood. Notice I didn’t mention 7th Heaven – that show went on 5 seas0ns too long and even at it’s best, it was WAAAAY too preachy for my tastes. The 90210 remake is fraked up, and they know it so they kept it and are redoing Melrose Place for good measure. Reaper was awesome, so they canceled it. Smallville is an annoying cockroach that manages to survive bad acting and bad writing and just won’t die. The show they seem most excited about is The Vampire Diaries, which is Twilight-light. Too bad they haven’t realized that the age-demographic they’re trying to cater to prefers to watch True Blood (Hurts So Good!) instead of Prince Sparkle and the League of Polite Vampires. Good thing the CW is not a real network.

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2 Responses to “Network Upfronts”

  1. singlarity May 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    My only disagreement is in Murder She Wrote. That was an amazing show. But, man — don’t ever live near Jessica Fletcher. Yeesh.
    ~ayn rant

  2. nibbynibby May 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    Ha! Don’t know how Jessica Fletcher managed to get invitations to visit anybody. I loved Murder She Wrote. I just think it spawned a lot of 1 hour mystery shows which were the precursors to the CSIs, Without A Trace, NCIS, and Law & Orders that we are “blessed” with today.

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