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Showing posts with the label Idiotic Moves By Networks

UPDATED: Starz Ends the Party: Pay Cabler Axes Party Down

Looks like it's the end of the road for Party Down . Despite critical acclaim and cult-like status among viewers, pay cabler Starz has cancelled Party Down after just two seasons. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva broke the news of the series cancellation this morning, reporting that Starz had opted not to review Party Down and fellow Friday night lead-out Gravity , the latter of which aired for a single season. "While the off-beat comedy has become an instant cult classic, I hear at the end of the day its appeal was deemed not wide enough to keep the show beyond its recently concluded Season 2," writes Andreeva, who goes on to say that Starz may make an official announcement later today about the fates of both series. Sadly, it seems as though Party Down is in fact a goner, a decision that I believe to be myopic, foolhardy, and heartbreaking in equal measure, particularly as the series was starting to catch on with viewers thanks to Netflix's Instant Viewing functio

Must All British TV Series Be Adapted?: FOX Plans US Version of "Spaced"

Yet another entry from the annals of what in the hell are they thinking: FOX has given a put pilot commitment to an American version of.... wait for it... Spaced . While, yes, The Office proved that you can successfully adapt a British television format for US television, it seems that no one was paying much attention to the recent crop of botched attempts like Viva Laughlin, The Thick of It , and The IT Crowd . Hell, does no one remember Coupling ? What you're seeing right now is my jaw spinning out of control on the floor. If there's one series that really shouldn't ever be messed with and transformed into a US comedy, it's Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson's brilliantly mordant series Spaced , which ran for two seasons beginning in 1999 on the UK's Channel 4. The series was an early pairing between actor/co-writer Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright, who would go on together to bring us such feature films as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz . Spaced, which a

Chain of (Awful) Title: "Dancing with the Stars" Spinoff Title Revealed

Every now and then you stumble on a monumentally bad title for a television series. Often it's the name of an equally horrific series ( Shasta McNasty and One Tree Hill come to mind) and sometimes the series is actually good in spite of such a bad title ( Dirty Sexy Money, Samantha Who ). But then there's the rare gem of a pitiful title that belies not only an inherent weakness but an ability to make the American public question all rules of grammar, spelling, and good taste. I'm talking, ladies and gentlemen, about the title for the spinoff series of ABC's hit reality competition series Dancing with the Stars . It's been previously referred to as Dance X or Dance Wars ; those titles positively gleam with thoughtfulness and intelligence in comparison. According to a source close to the production, the title that the producers have now chosen is... DanSing . Before you ask, that's not a typo; yes, the S in the middle of the misspelled word is capitalized. As f

Looking for Jaw-Droppingly Bad TV? Try CBS' "Kid Nation"

Sometimes I do feel as though I am a glutton for punishment. Case in point: the fact that I actually sat down to watch CBS' horrific reality series/child labor law violation Kid Nation in an effort to bring you, my readers, a complete picture of just what's going on in television. (I will, however, admit that I didn't waste my time watching it at night but caught it the following day.) Say what you want about the egregious violations of child labor laws and about the fact that these children's parents willingly signed away their rights during this production, but the truth is that Kid Nation is just mind-bogglingly bad television. I do wish I could understand the mindset of both the producers who thought up this exercise in craptacularness as well as the CBS programming and development executives who believed that adults would tune in to see a bunch of kids trying to win $20,000 gold stars and cleaning out latrines in a desert town. (I also don't understand why th

Ever Wonder What the Hell Went Wrong with NBC's "Coupling"?

I loved the UK Coupling . Still do. Everything about the series, from co-creator Steven Moffat (who's been popping up with more than a few Doctor Who writing credits to his name lately), was absolutely brilliant, from the hysterical and taut writing to the memorable characters. I own the DVDs and have watched them repeatedly. So what exactly went wrong with the US adaptation of Coupling , which aired on NBC back in 2003 and never became the Friends -sized hit Jeff Zucker and NBC hoped it would? TV Week 's James Hibberd has the story, from Moffat's own mouth . It's only a paragraph but it's blunt and to the point. My favorite bit: "If you really want a job to work, don’t get Jeff Zucker’s team to come help you because they’re not funny." Touché, Steven, touché.

Peacock Snags Posh and Becks for Reality Series

Following a tense bidding war, NBC has signed a deal for an untitled reality series documenting every moment of Victoria "Posh" Beckham's move to Los Angeles with husband, soccer star David Beckham. Reportedly, the ex-Spice Girl has been offered £10 million to do the series. The series will be executive produced by American Idol 's Simon Fuller (who, not so coincidentally, used to represent Posh and the rest of the Spice Girls back in the day) through his 19 Entertainment shingle. NBC is said to want to air the series as early as this summer. But the question is: Do we really care? I'm not entirely sure why NBC (desperate though they might be for another ratings hit) would spend this kind of dough on an already super-overexposed celebrity couple that most people don't bat an eyelash over outside of Blighty. In fact, the only super-couples I'm interested in seeing on NBC next season are The Office 's Jim and Pam and Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy on the st

Cursed Numbers: Why "Lost" Seems to Be Losing Viewers

Maybe the computer countdown digits aren't Lost 's only cursed numbers, after all. Longtime readers of Televisionary will remember that I sided very much against ABC's decision to pull Lost for 13 weeks in a (now fatal) attempt to launch a new serialized drama Day Break . I think, between the failure of Day Break and the horrific erosion of viewers for Lost , that it was a monumental error on ABC's part to yank Lost for so long... and to return it to a third timeslot in three years. If you recall, I had sat down with the producer of a top US series (here called Mr. Producer for the sake of anonymity and mystery) to get his take on Lost 's controversial hiatus (hint: he too was against it), and he's kindly returned with some further thoughts, now that the series has returned to the airwaves. So, what does Mr. Producer think of the ABC execs who decided to schedule the season this way? "Those foolish programming execs must be eating crow now," he said

Nobody's Watching "Nobody's Watching"... Again

Say it isn't true. After all this time (not to mention brilliantly funny webisodes), could Nobody's Watching actually be dead? Sadly, it looks like that's the case, despite the Peacock ordering a live episode of Nobody's Watching a few weeks ago and setting the stage for a March launch of the live format, which could have led to a series pickup. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 's Tuned In Journal , an NBC source confirmed Nobody's Watchin g creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence's suspicious that the network wouldn't in fact go forward with the series or the live show, despite the TCA announcement last month. Lawrence says that contracts for Paul Campbell and Taran Killam--who play the fictional Will and Derek--expire at the end of the month; Lawrence ( Scrubs ) also said that he would cease making all webisodes/viral videos for the Nobody's Watching site . "If I kept doing it and nothing happens," he told t

Televisionary PSA: LA-based Fans of "Veronica Mars," Beware

Sometimes it seems like The-Powers-That-Be are against you, especially if you're a fan of Veronica Mars . Just a few days after learning that the CW had picked up additional episodes of mystery/drama Veronica Mars (even if it had been for a back seven, rather than nine), I learned (via a tipoff from Televisionary reader Travis) that Los Angeles' CW affiliate, KTLA, would be preempting this week's episode of Veronica Mars to instead air the Clippers vs. Lakers game. No mention of the switcheroo has appeared on-air so far and Los Angeles-based fans who anxiously watched the previews for this week's episode of Veronica Mars are sadly out of luck. KTLA is shunting this week's episode to Saturday night at 9 pm. (The same goes for Gilmore Girls as well, which is being booted this week to Saturday at 8 pm.) Which means we'll have to wait to see how Veronica reacts to her attack by the Hearst College serial rapist and the rather tongue-in-cheek kidnapping of guest s

Deja Vu: NBC Cancels "Kidnapped"... Again

Call it the anti-Stockholm Syndrome. NBC has abducted its serialized kidnapping drama, um, Kidnapped , from its primetime schedule... again. Despite pulling the struggling freshman series last month and then announcing that it would air its remaining episodes on Saturday nights (and allow the drama to wrap up its storyline), the Peacock has now officially declared the drama dead on arrival and unceremoniously yanked it out of its Saturday night berth. To date, Kidnapped has aired five episodes in two timeslots. It's unclear whether production will wrap immediately or whether the Sony-based program will finish its 13-episode original order. What is clear is that NBC won't be airing any more episodes on Saturday or any other day of the week, instead choosing to fill the timeslot with repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent , beginning this Saturday. Sad but true. So, if you're one of the 3.7 million paltry viewers who tuned in this past Saturday to see if Knapp would inc

Should ABC Really Lose "Lost" for 13 Weeks?

I was stunned to learn yesterday that more people tuned in Wednesday night to watch CBS procedural Criminal Minds than ABC's Lost . While 16.10 million viewers caught Mandy Patinkin over on the Eye, a blip less (16.07 million viewers) tuned in to find out exactly what happened to Locke, Eko, and Desmond when the hatch went kablooey. I find that downright troubling, even more worrisome than the fact that we're already halfway through Lost 's "fall season." I should mention that, thanks to the coveted 18-49 demographic, Lost still came out number one for the evening. But the fact that the two series are virtually neck and neck for viewership makes me concerned, given that Lost has seen double-digit percentage declines year-to-year. Serialized dramas as a whole have taken a hit this season with Jericho and Heroes being the only two new series able to find an audience. Meanwhile, NBC is burning off Kidnapped on Saturdays and, yesterday, Fox announced their plans

CBS Yanks "Smith"

In an unexpected move, CBS has stolen crime drama Smith right off of its primetime schedule. Smith , which features an all-star dream cast including Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Jonny Lee Miller, hadn't exactly caught on in the ratings like gangbusters, but it's surprising that CBS would pull the beleaguered show rather than test it in a less competitive timeslot. While CBS has yet to use the C-word (that would be cancelled, folks), it does seem like the jig is up for Smith 's team of thieves. The news comes on the heels of NBC's announcement that it would not be ordering the back nine episodes of drama Kidnapped and would shift the series, now only 13 episodes total, to the Saturday night graveyard shift. Meanwhile, the odds are that one of these series will be the next to get the axe: CW's Runway , ABC's Six Degrees , and CBS' The Class . Start placing your bets as to which will be next...

Televisionary Rant: "MI:5" (a.k.a. "Spooks") Vanishes Right Off A&E Schedule

I was all excited to watch MI-5 tonight. While it's on at 11 pm and, though preceded by two and a half hours of Doctor Who tonight, I couldn't wait to catch up on those daring Brit spies and whatever dastardly plot they're foiling this week. Hell, I even wrote about the espionage drama this morning. And then A&E had to go and mess up all of my carefully laid TiVo plans. The cabler, better known for reality fare like Dog the Bounty Hunter and Criss Angel, Mindfreak than top-notch quality programming from across the pond, has decided in its infinite wisdom to pull tonight's episode of MI-5 --and all subsequent episodes--and burn off the fourth series on Saturday, October 21st, airing the remaining episodes (um, that would be all of them other than the two-part premiere) in a single eight-hour block during the day. Um, wow. Really, thanks, A&E, for depriving the American audience of a quality drama like MI-5 and relegating it to burn-off status on a weekend a