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  • The Network TV BloodBath Analysis (Part 3 of 3)

    May 21st, 2014

    FOX –

    Total Cancelled Shows – 7

    Almost Human, Surviving Jack, Rake, Enlisted, Raising Hope, Dads, X-Factor

    The Breakdown

    Some were happily put out of their misery, but there are 2 that could have been saved and salvaged…

    Surviving Jack – Fox never gave this show its proper chance. Chris Meloni and Rachel Harris were hilarious. This show had some of the nostalgia factor of The Goldbergs, some of the harshness of Married with Children, and some of the hilarity of…watching Christopher Meloni be a dad. I wasn’t convinced by the first episode, but I stuck with it and ended up really enjoying it. If it had a better lead-in and time slot, this show could’ve connected. Meloni deserved better after the courtship Fox and the producers went through to get him on the show.  Jack, I hardly knew ye. Chris Meloni and J.K. Simmons should be in a comedy together.

    Almost Human – Loved the first 2 episodes, but it quickly got stale for me. I didn’t care enough to keep watching, though I know it had a loyal fan base. It wasn’t as big a hit as Sleepy Hollow so they cancelled it, but they could’ve given it another shot – probably would’ve worked better on Friday nights than Mondays.

    Rake – Great pilot if you live in LA. Totally lost me (and about 4 million other people) in episode 2.

    Raising Hope – Consistently one of the funniest shows on TV, but after a while I guess it was time to go. They should be proud of their run and I was happy to watch most of it.

    X-Factor – I based my company on Simon Cowell but I am SO happy to see this go away. They never had more than 2 talented acts in 3 seasons, Simon Cowell wasn’t mean enough and seemed truly bored, and Britney, LA Reid, Kelly Rowland  and whoever that Shakira-wannabe was were all painful to watch. Not to mention the awful hosts. I’m sorry, but Mario Lopez is no Seacrest. The only saving grace to this show for me was Demi Lovato.  Good riddance to bad talent.

    Should’ve Been Cancelled InsteadGlee, The Following, The Mindy Project.

    Glee – This season should have been the end. Once Cory died, the heart of the show died too. Ryan Murphy brought in this whole new cast of wannabe stars, one more awful than the next – and the audience HATED them. So then he changed the show back to the original cast and mixed it up. Now, it’s like the newbies never existed (a waste of 13 awful episodes) and it’s no longer about a glee club – it’s about making it NY. Hello, why don’t you just call it FAME! This show doesn’t HAVE another 22 episodes in it, it’s painful these days and if the rumors are true and Naya Rivera was fired, I’m officially Gleeked Out. Done. This series could have had a GREAT wrap-up and send-off this season. Instead, it’s staying past its welcome.

    The Mindy Project – This show never knew what it wanted to be. I like Mindy Kaling, but I honestly don’t like watching her in a lead role. I find her funny, but annoying. She’s not pretty, but she’s not ugly. The supporting cast has changed more times than the host of the Oscars. And even though some say it’s gotten better, I just don’t see what the network sees in this show.

    The Following – I don’t know how or why I got through this season, but it wasn’t even close to the first season. It was awful. There’s not really anywhere else to go with it, and if you counted the body count of the first two seasons, it would easily be the most murderous show in the history of network TV. Hundreds killed. The first season was really good, the second season was ridiculous, the third season – it shouldn’t happen.

    New HitsSleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine Nine. Sleepy Hollow isn’t my type of show, so I’ve never seen it but I LOVE Brooklyn Nine Nine. What a great new comedy – consistently hilarious and a great ensemble. I love that this show connected, though with its new move to Sunday nights next season, I worry about it a little bit. Fox, please PLEASE don’t fuck it up.

    Summary – Fox needs some MAJOR new hits and quick. With X-Factor gone, American Idol more of a utility player than star attraction, and The New Girl taking a huge (and painful) hit both creatively and in its ratings, Fox needs a win. They only have 7 live-action shows left (plus 3 animated, plus Idol) and Glee is already set to end next season. Plus Bones, The Following, and Mindy Project probably won’t make it past one more season.  But they have some huge new shows and “events” coming next season. So, I’m crossing my fingers for them.

     

    ABC

    Total Cancelled Shows – 12

    Trophy Wife, Suburgatory, Mixology, Super Fun Night, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Mind Games, Lucky 7, Killer Women, Betrayal, Back in the Game, The Assets, The Neighbors

    The Breakdown

    I’m not sure if you can call them cancelled if they only lasted 2 episodes. They barely qualify as “aired,” which is the case with 4 of these shows. There are some wonderful comedies in the above list that should have been kept and given more of a shot. There were some awful time slot choices and some awful promotions involved. But also some awful shows. But if any network made me mad this season, it’s ABC! Now feel my vengeance.

    I’ll be honest – at least 9 of these shows deserved what they got.

    Super Fun Night – If I wanted to watch an obnoxious fat girl try to get laid, I’d go back on JDate.  I don’t get Rebel Wilson’s appeal. She’s mildly funny but she’s a cheap Melissa McCarthy knock-off. There, I said it. Not because there can’t be two funny fat chicks on TV, but because Rebel’s slapstick shtick gets stale after 2 episodes. In this case, it was old after 10 minutes. I feel bad for Liza Lapira who is also on her 4th cancelled sitcom in 4 years.

    Suburgatory – This show was great, then less great, then good again, then not so much. Perhaps it is its inconsistency that was its downfall. It had a strong voice at first, but that faded into weekly wacky sitcom situations. It had a decent run, but The Goldbergs needs its time slot and there is nowhere else to put it.

    Mixology – I really enjoyed this show. Maybe I’m alone, but I thought it was different, it had potential, I laughed out loud every episode and the cast was really interesting and funny. The casting directors did a great job finding NEW talent! Were there a couple lamer episodes? Maybe. But I really liked the structure of the show. Of course, I’m not sure where the second season would take it, but this show deserved a better shot and another chance.  I hope to see the cast in other shows very soon. The writers were the original writers of The Hangover – the ones who actually SOLD the script – and don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve.

    Trophy Wife – I may miss you most of all, scarecrow. I thought I’d hate this show. And at first, I didn’t love it. But it really grew on me. Malin Ackerman was actually funny, Bradley Whitford is always wonderful, and even the horribly annoying Michaela Watkins started to warm my heart. But the funniest members of the cast were the two kids, Warren and Bert. As the season went on, they got better and better. This show SHOULD have aired after Modern Family – it was the perfect fit. But for some ungodly reason, they never put it there. This show was on the bubble in the truest sense, and looking at some of ABC’s new comedic offerings next season, they are going to regret cancelling this show. Fare thee well, Bert.

    Should’ve Been Cancelled – All of ABCs remaining shows are pretty strong, and I’m really glad they gave Nashville another shot. I’m not sure why it’s not connecting as well as it should.

    New HitsMarvel Agents of Shield, The Goldbergs, Resurrection and Scandal. ABC landed in 4th place, but had the most successful new shows. Scandal isn’t a NEW hit, but man has it taken off even more – and I love it. The Goldbergs is hilarious nostalgic fun and it really hits home. I’m so glad it’s coming back. Agents of Shield lost me. I watched the first 6 or 7, then kinda realized I was watching it for the wrong reasons and not because I liked it. Resurrection had one of the best pilots of the year and it’s still interesting enough to keep my attention. If you’re writing a show with religious elements, that’s the pilot to watch to learn how to do it right.  And all of ABCs other shows are solid – Grey’s (yes, I still watch it!), Revenge, Castle, and Modern Family, though the latter two have not been nearly as strong as previous seasons. But to have 3 breakout hits and the #1 social media-obsessed show on the air is a pretty solid distinction ABC can take to the bank.

    Summary – The problem with ABC is either they launch massive hits or truly awful bombs. There is no middle with ABC. Their shows either last many years or 3 episodes. ABC is going through a new regime and they are swinging big next season, but they’ve done pretty well despite being #4. Their shows are well-liked, they just get watched more in DVR+7 than live. Let’s be honest, if the NFL didn’t exist, ABC would not be #4.

  • TV Review: AMERICAN IDOL Premiere

    January 20th, 2011

    That’s right, I’ll admit it. I watch American Idol. I have since season one and at one time, I was a total fanatic. To this day, I have a total Kelly Clarkson fetish. And Carrie Underwood too. But besides those two and perhaps Daughtry and Adam Lambert (both of whom didn’t win), what has American Idol done for music lately?  It took me a minute to remember who won last year, and we haven’t heard from Lee Dwyze since (which I’m okay with). So can they go back to finding true superstar talent now that Simon’s not there?

    I based my business model after Simon Cowell – naturally, I was a fan. And while on occasion he was too cruel, sometimes people need to hear it. And for me, along with some good singing, Simon was the reason to watch. I also really liked Kara (I think I was the only one though) – I thought she was blunt and cool and just a bit high strung and pretty hot and that’s how I like my judging. But with both of them gone (and thankfully Ellen too), the new panel of judges of Steven Tyler, J-Lo and the “Dawg” Randy Jackson are missing something – and I hope they find it before it’s too late.

    I realize it was only the first episode, so I’m not going to judge the whole season yet and I’m going to give them some time to adjust to their new jobs, but the judges were just SOOO nice. It was like watching Paula Abdul times 3, but with less medication.  And perhaps it is the cynical asshole in me, but while I don’t like watching 2 hours of the WORST singers ever, I do like watching people get told the truth. And last night, the judges sent 51 (!!) people thru to Hollywood in the first 2 days of audition. This is about DOUBLE the amount they usually send from each location. At this rate, they will have 500 people go to Hollywood instead of the 200ish they usually bring.

    I know part of this is due to editing, but it really seemed like EVERYONE got a golden ticket and that’s mostly because they were solely going on voice and didn’t know how to say NO. And American Idol isn’t just about voice – it’s about having IT, it’s about having the ability to be the “American Idol.”

    And that trashy Jersey Shore reject with stars on her tits and her Snooki-gut hanging out – wasn’t Idol material. But because she could put a few notes together, she got through. Same for a couple others like the off-the-wall chick that sang show-tunes and wants to be the next Liza. I liked her – I thought she was a friggin’ hoot and for some reason, I think the ‘white-trash sexy’ look is hot – but come on – she’s not the next American Idol so why put her through?

    Same with a bunch of other contestants who were OK singers but certainly don’t deserve to be on AI. For me, there were only a couple of standouts include Robbie Rosen from Long Island, who was wheelchair bound and now isn’t. He was probably the best of the bunch.

    The other thing that stood out this year is the number of 15 and 16 year olds was WAY higher than any year before. This is the first year 15 year olds have been allowed to compete, and there were a few good ones, but it makes me feel like a dirty old man because some of them were…well…really hot (like that girl whose dad had throat cancer).  Luckily Steven Tyler is there to hit on them for me.

    Unfortunately, I think MOST of the 15 year olds will flame out at Hollywood week. Yes, they can sing, but I’m guessing many don’t know how to arrange music and sing with a group and sing music that they haven’t been rehearsing for years.

    I’m still waiting to see what Jimmy Iovine brings to the show in the mentor capacity, but I’m happy that they have done away with bringing in a different star to mentor them every week – that was pointless and they often gave conflicted notes to the contestants. And thank God the theme weeks are gone too – no more disco! I respect exec producer Nigel Lythgoe a lot – he’s talented, he’s got personality, and I think he does an awesome job on So You Think You Can Dance. And he did a great job on the first 5 seasons or so of Idol, so I think he’s going to shake up the show well. But for now, he just needs to get his judges to have a stronger backbone.

    I think J-Lo brings a personality to the show and I don’t hate her, she just needs to toughen up. Everyone knows (or thinks) she’s a bitch, so I understand her wanting to go the total other way to improve her image and become profitable again (let’s face it, the girls’ movie and music career is pretty much over), but she has to lay the smack down every once in a while. Randy’s doing a better job as the heavy, but he still needs to stop reaching his neck out like a damn peacock and he needs to say more than 5 words if he’s going to be the Simon of the bunch.

    And Steven Tyler…what can I say? I love the guy. Aerosmith is in my top 5 favorite bands of all-time. But he reminds me a little bit of what would happen if Gary Busey was also a musical genius and could hit on 16 year olds girls without seeming like a total rapist.  But, I’ve got hope. And the chance to hear him sing on Idol is worth the wait.

    So, I’m going to give this season a shot. The first episode was…NICE. Not bad, not great…just NICE. Hopefully, the talent gets better than the first two days. And hopefully the judges get a bit tougher. And despite ratings being down another 10% from last year, that’s pretty good considering its shining Simon star is gone. I think people will stick around as long as Idol keeps hitting the right notes.

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