So it has come to pass that Day Break is done at ABC, making the broadcast networks 0-for-the-season in their attempts to put on a serialized crime drama (see also Kidnapped, Smith and Vanished, provided you can find them online).
It was not supposed to be that way for Day Break — for Day Break had Taye Diggs, as he reminded us during a session at the July press tour. As they had for the better part of two weeks, the critics peppered Diggs and the show’s producers with questions about how they would stand out from the glut of other serialized shows, what would happen in the face of low ratings, things like that. Diggs eventually heard enough.
… [Y]ou’ll have to forgive us if we come off as a little sarcastic or maybe defensive. But we knew that we would be dealing with a lot of these questions. And I just need to remind you that this is something very special to us. We think it’s very different, it’s unique. But at the same time, it’s still a television show. And everybody here, we all know what we’re doing. So when you ask us a question like, well, how do we get somebody to view in who hasn’t been watching regularly, you know, how do you get anybody to view in? You know, I watched the first two seasons of 24, and then I turn on the TV and it’s the fourth season. I watch one episode and I’m in. Why am I hooked? I didn’t need the beginning of the fourth season to get hooked. The acting, the storyline, whatever it was, it got me hooked. And I think that this show will possess that. All these questions that you are asking, I could ask, well, how does someone do that for Desperate Housewives? It’s a TV show, and we know what we’re doing. Do you know what I’m saying? …
We’re not dumb. I’m Taye Diggs. I wouldn’t sign on for that. So that’s what you are feeling up here, so you’ll have to excuse us. But you are just going to have to believe us, trust us, that it’s going to be something very interesting and special.
Truth be told, from what I saw of it I thought Day Break was OK, if a little too convoluted for its own good. But trying to feed an unfamiliar and complex show to an audience already cranky about both the direction of Lost and the fact that it was going away for three months probably wasn’t a recipe for success, Taye Diggs or no Taye Diggs.