Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Grievin’

May 7, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The unveiling of networks’ fall lineups is one week away. The upfronts is a four-day ride on a nonstop roller-coaster.
So many new shows so well clipped together from pilots that they have that can’t-miss feel.
So many shows given timeslots that will mean painful Solomonic, Sophie-ish viewing choices, even for DVR masters.
Still, the debut of those lineups in September inevitably feels like Christmas, with so many new shows stacked under the tree with such shiny promise. Much of that promise soon will be broken, but that was Christmas in The Insider’s house.
The week just before the upfronts, however, dawns with mourning and fingers cripplingly crossed.
At the top of the list in the latter category is “Friday Night Lights.” The Insider’s reasons for hoping against hope grow with each new bit of bad news related to NBC’s prime-time lineup. The Insider thinks “30 Rock” is by far the funniest comedy on NBC; but if Alec Baldwin’s who’s-your-bully-daddy rant and Tracy Morgan’s inebriated take on life off camera can put yet another timeslot in doubt, it’s got to be good for “Friday Night Lights.” Right? NBC has so many problems, why kill a show that comes complete with the press as a fervent fan base? Right? Just move it to Friday night. Right? At the more civilized hour of 9 p.m. Right?
And while NBC is at it, maybe give the underappreciated “Raines”—and the uncharacteristically appealing Jeff Goldblum—another shot on the same night. Too much to hope for. Right? Or how about putting “Medium” back where it always belonged, at 10 p.m. Mondays, where it had quickly become a staple that would have thrived on the lead-in from “Heroes.” Instead, the slot was squandered on the excruciatingly mismatched “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” To have held “Medium” until midseason and then to bury it between “Lost” and “CSI: New York” was just not right.
If this list seems like one long knock on NBC, that’s because the only CBS show The Insider is nervous about is “Jericho,” another series whose freshman momentum was slowed by a network-ordered hiatus. Still, even against Fox’s worthy opponent “Bones,” “Jericho” is not rolling over and playing dead.
The Insider got over ABC cancellations long ago when the network gave the hook to “Six Degrees” and “The Nine.” Ditto for Fox’s cancellation of “Stand-Off.”
The Insider is not a wrestling, top model, pussycat or cookie-cutter comedy kind of gal, so The CW has been largely a no-fly zone, except for “Veronica Mars” and “Supernatural.”
But The Insider already has said her goodbyes to The CW’s “Veronica Mars.” Actually, the good-riddance stage of grief was reached so long ago that it was no big whoop last week when the writers had the placid, puerile Piz plant a feeble attempt at a romantic kiss on Veronica, and then had Veronica scamper after him despite her residual feelings for the more combustible but worthwhile Logan. The causes of death of this show—and one of the most interesting and credible young ensembles in a long time — are too numerous to mention, but they all have only themselves to blame.
There’s no reason to believe “Supernatural” is in jeopardy, except for the fact that it’s on The CW—and The CW has shown a propensity for ruining a good thing and spending too much time in the shallow end of the gene pool.


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