The writers strike delaying the debut of many of this season’s new shows, Jay Leno taking over NBC’s weekday 10 p.m. time slot and all of the networks being more fiscally conservative have conspired to create a perfect storm of Save Our Shows. And this follows a season where we already lost basically every great show ABC had on its schedule. (Honestly isn’t it like ABC is taunting us at this point? Look we can come up with a show like “Eli Stone” but we can take it away from you too.)
I can’t remember a time when the fate of this many shows precariously hung in the space between cancellation and renewal. There are so many shows to chose from (the complete list of shows is below) I narrowed my list down to the five shows I think are most deserving of living to see another season. I considered age of the show (for instance I love “Without a Trace,” but I understand it has already had a good run), potential for compelling future story lines and niche it could fill in the TV landscape (like for instance we need some good comedies).
Here are the shows I would save:
“Privileged” (CW): You know I adore this show and I also think there’s got to be room on TV for a smart series like this. As I said back in February, “Privileged” combines teen angst, compelling family drama, rocky romances with the best pop-culture references since I stopped visiting Stars Hollow.
“Chuck” (Monday, NBC, 8 p.m.): I don’t want a TV schedule that doesn’t have Adam Baldwin doling out his quip one-liners. Actually I don’t want a TV schedule without the gang at the Buy More and TV’s most unlikely superhero. Next Monday is the show’s season finale; let’s hope it’s not the series finale.
“Dollhouse” (Friday, FOX, 8 p.m.): You know what? I’m ready to say it. “Dollhouse” is a good show and, here’s the important part, it gets better every week. Each hour offers revealing surprises that shock and defy our expectations. The best part of a Joss Whedon show is that his plots advance in unexpected ways. Who knew Adelle was Miss Loneyhearts? Or that Ballard would learn so quickly that Mellie was a doll? “Buffy” became the wonderful show it was in its second season. Let’s give “Dollhouse” that same chance.
“Samantha Who?” (Thursday, ABC, 8:30 p.m.) and “Better Off Ted” (Wednesday, ABC, 8:30 p.m.):” Okay I’m cheating a little bit by lumping these two shows together but “Better Off Ted” is the most promising new comedy this season and “Samantha Who?” is an hilarious show that has never received fair treatment from its own network. We need to encourage creative, smart comedies. Let’s start with these two shows.
“Southland” (Thursday, NBC, 10 p.m.): It’s the first show I’ve been excited about in awhile and while the second episode was far from perfect, I think this could turn out to be a pretty great show.
So if I could only take five shows (okay six shows) on to the Save Our Show Island, these are the ones I would save. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other shows I would miss (including “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Medium,” and “Life”) but tough choices had to be made. What about you? Which shows would you save? Check out the list below of all the shows whose fate hangs in the balance and talk about it below.
ABC: “Better Off Ted,” “Castle,” “Cupid,” “In the Motherhood,” “Samantha Who?,” “Scrubs,” “The Unusuals,” “Surviving Suburbia,”
CBS: “Cold Case,” “Gary Unmarried,” “Eleventh Hour,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “The Unit,” “Without a Trace,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Worst Week,”
CW: “Everybody Hates Chris,” “The Game,” “Privileged,” “Reaper”
FOX: “Dollhouse,” “Sit Down, Shut Up,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”
NBC: “Chuck,” “Kath & Kim,” “Kings,” “Life,” “Medium,” “My Name is Earl,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Southland”
Discussion Topic of the Day
Why is it that I find Kitty’s possible extramarital affair on “Brothers & Sisters” to be a compelling story line and Addison’s possible extramarital affair on “Private Practice” to be yet another ridiculous story line?
I think I’ve figured it out: On “Brothers & Sisters,” Robert and Kitty’s estrangement has been brewing for awhile (I loved her line last night when she confessed that the things she used to love about Robert like his ambition, she now finds disappointing) and her friendship with Alec is unfolding in a fairly realistic way. Plus they haven’t spontaneously declared their love for each other. The whole thing doesn’t feel contrived. Everything about Noah and Addison on “Private Practice” seems so contrived. They’ve never even gone out on a date or even had more than a five minute conversation yet he’s in love with her. But I think the big problem with this story line is we, as viewers, want characters to learn from their mistakes. Did Addison learn nothing from her affair with McSteamy?
What do you think? Am I totally rationalizing because I like “Brothers & Sisters” more than “Private Practice?” Or is the story line on “Brothers & Sisters” a better one? Talk about it below.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for April 20-26
Once again,“Bones” airs twice this week. Brennan and Cam think the death of someone in the Egyptology department is no accident tonight at 8 p.m. on FOX and Booth must solve the murder of his friend’s sister Thursday at 8 p.m. on FOX.
ABC is moving its new shows around this week since they haven’t been happy with how “The Unusuals” is performing after “Lost” so the network is moving the show this week to air Tuesday at 10 p.m. after “Dancing with the Stars.” The episode of “Cupid” that was supposed to air this week will now air next Tuesday.
Stephanie observes what the men of “My Boys” (Tuesday, TBS, 10:30 p.m.) are up to when the women aren’t around. After the episode, you can go to www.tbs.com to chat live with the entire cast. Also I’m curious about what you think now that PJ and Bobby are officially a couple. I really like the direction the storyline is taking because I think it makes sense (PJ has had a crush on him since the first episode), it’s not taking over the series, and it’s adding more fodder for humor. But I know that some of you weren’t thrilled with the idea of PJ and Bobby getting together. So I’m curious, what do you think now?
You’ll definitely want to check out this week’s episode of “Scrubs” (Wednesday, ABC, 8 p.m.). Scott Foley and Elizabeth Banks are both returning as respectively Eliot and J.D.’s exes. So that’s all fun and good but what’s really exciting is that you’ll also see Zap2It’s Korbi Ghosh guest starring as Nurse Korbi. Very fun times.
Jennifer Beals guest stars on “Lie to Me” (Wednesday, FOX, 8 p.m.). She’ll play Cal Lightman’s ex-wife.
I love the title of this week’s episode of “Supernatural” (Thursday, CW, 9 p.m.). Sam and Dean learn they have a brother they never knew about and the episode is called “Jump the Shark.”
Hector Elizondo is back as Callie’s dad on “Grey’s Anatomy” (Thursday, ABC, 9 p.m.). Next week Sharon Lawrence, who we just saw as Megan’s mom on “Privileged,” guest stars as Izzie’s mom. Lawrence is really cornering the market on playing not-so-great moms.
So, as I said above, I liked the second episode of “Southland” (Thursday, NBC, 10 p.m.) quite a bit. The way the show drops the viewer in and out of the character’s lives is intriguing and actually makes the series feel quite different because you don’t have a clear sense that a particular plot line will be wrapped up by the end of the hour and you don’t get the predictable introductions to new characters. But I find the bleeping of swear words so distracting. I get that the profanity-laced dialogue is probably much more realistic but since you can’t say those words on network television, it’s probably best not to say them at all. One or two bleeps per episode makes sense. More than that and it starts to take me out of the scene.
That’s all for today. I’m back on Wednesday with this week’s familiar faces, Ask TV Gal, and more. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal