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'October Road' Lands ABC in Ditch

Critics Poll Summer 2007: Worst Series Category

The Critics Poll list of worst shows is typically topped by a tawdry reality program such as Fox’s "The Swan" or an obnoxious sitcom like Fox’s "The War at Home."

But this summer’s worst shows include several dramas—and the most-disliked program isn’t even on Fox.

ABC’s spring launch of "October Road" benefited from its "Grey’s Anatomy" lead-in and garnered a renewal for next season, but the drama also earned the wrath of critics, who went to bed on Thursday nights with hearts full of hate.

"There’s not an original thought, line of dialogue or image in this painfully derivative, endlessly pandering migraine of a show," unleashed Matt Roush, TV Guide. "The fact that viewers of ABC’s Thursday lineup were willing to settle for this turgid bonbon of recycled angst was the most depressing development of the spring."

Fox did make an appearance at No. 2 on the list, with the surprise inclusion of "24." Last summer the action-drama was ranked No. 4 on the list of best shows. To be fair, many critics bashed this season of the program for failing to live up to its own high standards.

"Soap-opera elements and bad dialogue have always infected this series, but usually the action moves fast enough that you don’t care about the flaws," wrote Robert Philpot, Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Not this year. And who decided it was a good idea to both neuter Chloe and make her pregnant?"

Agreed Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly: "What a difference a season makes. From an early top-10 slot to its lamest season yet, filled with false turns and mean-mindedness."

Two NBC shows came in third and fourth: the short-lived reality show "Real Wedding Crashers" and the crime drama "The Black Donnellys," respectively.

"As if watching a lovingly lit hunk in skivvies bludgeon a dead body to fit into a trash can counts as human drama," wrote John Griffiths, US Weekly, of "Donnellys."

The CW’s "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll" and TBS’ "Tyler Perry’s House of Payne" were next on the list, but critics had few standout comments until No. 7: the ever-controversial "Nancy Grace" on CNN’s Headline News.

"She represents every bad part of our media culture. She—and CNN—have shown they’re willing to do anything to anyone for ratings," wrote Rick Kushman, Sacramento Bee.

Charlie McCollum of the San Jose Mercury News wrote that he worries Ms. Grace’s influence will grow: "My deepest fear is that Grace, the Lord High Executioner of TV, will end up as a panelist on ‘The View.’"

Comments (30)

Fred:

Come on! I hated this season of 24, but it has no business on the worst list. Poor critics trying to influence the Emmy vote? So pathetic. You are rallying the season 6 haters back behind the show again. Just the opposite effect of what you wanted.

W. D. Holman:

DO NOT CANCEL OR DOWNGRADE 24. IT IS AN EXCELLENT SERIES. I HAVE SEEN EVERY EPISODE--SOME, I HAVE EVEN SEEN THREE TIMES. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT LIKE TO WATCH IT...WELL, WATCH ANOTHER CHANNEL. THANK YOU FOR AN EXCELLENT SHOW. SOMETIMES THE PLOT BECOMES SOMEWHAT INTERTWINED WITH A SUB-PLOT, BUT EVEN SO, YOU BECOME SUBMERGED WITH DETAILS TRYING TO FOLLOW THE 'SO-CALLED' PATRIOTIC CHARACTER.


DH

Jeff:

S6 definintely wasn't the best season of 24, but it doesn't belong on any sort of "worst" TV list. I think people confuse "failure to live up to expectations" with "complete and utter garbarge". S6 wasn't what we wanted it to be, but it was by no means terrible TV. Too many critics want to feel good by busting on a popular show during a down season.

lucy:

24 on a bad day still beats the crap out of about a million shows on television. i mean would you seriously suggest that this season of desperate housewives was better than 24, dont make slap me slap you silly.

Angela:

Of course, you just know that despite this list, we'll probably get treated to another season of Pussycat Dolls while quality shows like Veronica Mars get the axe.

jack bauer:

The worst episode of 24 is still 100x better than anything else on TV. What crackhead wrote this list? I want them fired and picking up my garbage like they should be doing.

roshanbhatt:

yeah, whoever wrote the list is braindead. agreed on the fact that critics enjoy their very tiny pedestals of power come time to rate shows. 24 has a down season, but worse than shows like daybreak? what about drive? that show lasted two nights, and was a failure.

and the donnelly's was terribly underrated. the four brother's esque crime drama was brilliant, and jonathan tucker did an amazing job. some critics should pull their head out of their ass.

nick:

I'd take it as an extreme grain of salt of The Black Donnellys was on this list.

Susie:

You know if people (ie. the TV critics) would view the season as a whole, I think they'd have a completely different opinion of this past season of 24. And even if they don't it isn't right to suddenly vote the show from the top of the best shows to the top of the worst shows. That shows just how fickle they are. Don't you keep rooting for your favorite team even if it has an "off" season? Makes me feel sad that the TV critics (who are, afterall, just ordinary people) aren't that loyal. What a low blow to the show, its producers, and its fans.

Joe:

24 the second-to-worst show on television? Never before have I seen so an attempt so blatant and outrageous on the behalf of critics to deliberately undermine a show's credibility around awards time. Even if this season of 24 was subpar by 24 standards, 24 standards are leagues beyond those of 95% of the garbage that gets peddled as entertainment on television these days. All those responsible for this list should be embarrassed. I hope 24 gets an Emmy nod, which it does not deserve mind you, just to piss you people off.

Sean:

This is so pathetic. I mean, seriously- as many people have stated, 24 is better than 95% of the garbage out there (reality TV, anyone?), and the people who made this list should be embarassed. There are no words to describe how imbecilic and infantile this list is with the inclusion of 24. Just stupid on all levels.

Bill:

24 the 2nd worst show on TV? What incredible bullshit. Say what you will about this season not living up to the previous ones, it still had some killer moments, including a beautiful ending. Fuck those asshole critics.

Jen:

Television critics are absolute morons! Come on, how intelligent could you be if you spend all your time watching television? October Road is a great show! It is about regular people living regular lives. Everything that happens to the characters on that show could easily happen to the average person. The characters and storyline leave you wanting to know what will happen next. They don't wrap the situation up in one episode like most shows do. Every show that does that has nothing realistic about it. People can relate to these characters unlike most of the dopey characters on most of the shows. One of the highest rated and critically acclaimed shows is Grey's Anatomy and all that is is a sappy version of ER.

Anthony:

Critics who are rating 24 the second worst show on are crazy. I'm sorry but when it comes down to ratings and viewers 24 beats almost any show out there, not including one of the biggest premiers ever just a short january ago. I'm pretty sure if 24 wasn't collecting attention from everyone across the world keifer wouldn't have signed that new contract with fox a few years ago, even he knows hes part of something great

ski:

Those critics rating 24 as the second worst show, is effin ridiculous!! I would like to see those same critics write and produce a show like that, which takes a lot of creativity and genuis to do. The show isn't perfect, but I'd watch 24's so called worse episodes rather than Laguna Beach/Hills/etc.!! BULLSH*t TV!!!

Jaque Vower:

OOOH i get it, the CRITICS RATED 24 THE SECOND WORST SEASON ON TV BECAUSE THE CRITICS WANT TO PLAY A VILLAIN ON 24 SO BAD, SO JACK BAUER CAN JUST PUT FREAKIN SCREWDRIVER UP IN THEIR ASS...ALRIGHT GOOD DEAL BOSS...:)

Jordan:

Flames and spam aside, many of the critics who have slammed 24 day 6 are the same people who have literally been glued to the TV for the five previous seasons. The fall from grace that 24 has suffered is worth drawing attention to, as opposed to something that was dreck right out of the gate (Pussycat Dolls, or Real Wedding Crashers... wtf?)

The criticism of 24 is worth it because now they're pulling their socks up (they tossed out a whole season's storyline in favour of something better).

whitney:

ok is october road coming back on because it was a wicked good show they just need to change the day its on so that it wont have to compete Grays Anatomy or whatever but it needs to have one more season or something

I truley love the hostility coming from the supporters of 24 against someone's intelligent, objective opinion...it's a great example of how success, longetivty, and hype can blind fans to the point of ridiculousness

"Drive"'s six episodes were more interesting, ten times better written, and didnt treat it's audience like an idiot, than the sixth season of this long-since-shark consumed mess. The sixth season of 24 did NOT feel like a day, or even a few days, it felt like a series of interconnected months and years unfolding before us because the story kept changing to suit critics

A NUKE going off and then becoming a footnote in the season rather than something that should have been talked about the whole season, is the DEFINITION of bad writing. This doesnt become bigger than it is, a NUKE going off means TEN TIMES more than 9/11 in a country like America, and yet by the end of the season, it's "The Family Bauer" and rescuing the nephew whilst re-enacting the final scene of "Diamonds Are Forever"

THINK for five minutes (that's how long your attention spans last when watching 24 during the opening and ending scenes, and you forget the middle portion that shows the lessened quality), 24 is so unreallistic now and so CONSUMED with sub-plots about characters that should be putting everything aside to deal with the present problem, that it's lost all sense of telling a major crisis and making it the most important aspect of the season.

When the writers of a succesful franchise keep hearing the critics and letting what they want dictate the direction every six weeks trying to figure out what works and what doesnt, they are not being true to themselves.

I hope 24 recovers with the seventh season, and some of the more ludicrous seasons (like "Jack vs The President") at least have gravitas and realism to it. The sixth season had NONE of that

No, sorry, a bad episode of 24 is outdone by a mediocre episode of Battlestar Galactica and a consistent marathon of ECW.

Jack Bauer:

To all the critics of my show: I can get my own fucking gun and kick all of your fucking asses....and if you strike me down, someone even worse than I am will rise: Duke Nukem!

doug:

October Road is what I want to see...I miss The Class too...Reality TV bites....and the Dance Shows please Lawrence Welk died a long damn time ago...doug in plano

dawn:

I think October Road is a great show. It is exciting and fun. I cant wait to see what is going to happen from week to week. I really hope this show continues. All of my friends and family watch it.WE all loved the show Reunion but for some reason that was taken off. It seems that all the great shows seem to go and are replaced by so many reality shows, you almost feel like not liking any show because soon as you get into it, it goes off the air.

lada:

24 is still the best show i've watched. alongside with LOST. Please keep it up!!!

Nicholas Rosewag:

Question:

If the Lovejoy TV program ran from Jan '86 to
Dec '94 (nine years), how does that compute to "the complete seasons 1 thru 6" as listed in the package I'm prepared to purchase online?
Individual sales list "series" vice "season"...
what's the difference?

Thank you.

Valerie:

DO NOT CANCEL OCTOBER ROAD!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS SERIES. YOU CAN'T LEAVE US HANGING LIKE THIS. REALITY SHOWS BITE AND ARE AS BORING AS CAN BE. COME ON, GIVE US BACK OCTOBER ROAD.

Erin:

PLEASE DON'T CANCEL OCTOBER ROAD!!!!This show is so great that I know the fan base will grow and grow as time passes. Give it a chance...look what it did for "Cheers"(it was supposed to be cancelled in the 2nd season and it went on to have 11). This is that show!!! October Road is one of those shows that really sucks you in. I haven't felt this way about a show in such a long time. You really start to care about each and every character. It's the perfect cast and the chemistry is amazing too. It's such a GREAT SHOW. Plus, I feel that it's kind of messed up for ABC to leave their devoted October Road fans hanging with so many qusestions left unanswered. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth...Why should I watch any new shows airing on the ABC network if they just keep canceling the shows that take 2 seasons to get into. I'm sure a lot of people will feel like their voice was heard and that you really care how your viewers feel if you brought the show back for another season. We will be very greatful....DO IT FOR YOUR ABC FANS!!

Beth:

So is October Roads cancelled or what???? There is so much garbage on it makes me wonder what is the iq of the american people these days. Hoe they give it another try.

Ron Craig:

I hope you bring back October Roads. It's a great show to begin with. I don't care what the critics say. And Why do they get to say what's on anyway? If they don't like it, they have other channels on their TV. As far as not liking. I think ABC & ALL OTHER NETWORKS need to scrap those reality shows. Just about all TV shows end up as reruns. Who wants to see reruns of reality shows. I HATE THEM. And DO turn my TV away from them. You keep making reality shows, and TV will fall by the wayside. All the so-called big networks SUCK now as it is.

marion mclaren:

My family was looking forward to the continuous story of October Road. It had some real life excitement to it and we were just getting to know the characters. Can't you prevvail on the writers to keep it going? Thursday night is nothing without them, Donna from the seventies was a good actress and Sam a really nice polite kid a treat in todays teen age actores,+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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