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Latest Video: FilmCrunch 067: Hairspray, Chuck & Larry, Premonition reviewed
Kidnapped seemed ill-fated when NBC switched it from Wednesday to Saturday nights—the proverbial “kiss of death.” Well, the series has been kissed, and it’s now officially dead. NBC has removed the show from the schedule permanently. Good news for fans, however—NBC will air the eight remaining episodes on NBC.com. I saw a commercial for Kidnapped the other day, and it’s a surprise that it didn’t take off—with stars like Jeremy Sisto, Delroy Lindo, Dana Delany and Timothy Hutton, there was plenty of star power. The original timeslot averaged under 7 million viewers per week; the move to Saturday proved lethal, with numbers dropping to 4 million. So far, we’ve seen the passing of CBS’ Smith and The CW’s Runaway. Twenty Good Years will reportedly get the axe as well, since it will be leaving the air in a couple of weeks. Warner Bros. TV, however, says the show is still in production.
Read More | Zap2it
The axe just keeps falling—the latest casualty is the CW’s drama Runaway. With only four episodes aired, this new series barely got off the ground to provide itself. This is the one about a family on the run, when dad (Donnie Wahlberg) is accused of murder. Of course, it’s all just a misunderstanding, as he is really innocent. The series aired Mondays at 9:00 p.m., then CW moved Runaway to Sunday, but the move didn’t make any impact on ratings. CW will fill the slot with repeats until another replacement is announced. As you recall, CW came about when UPN and WB combined. Runaway was only one of two series from the newborn network. The other was the comedy The Game.
Read More | CNN
In a surprise move, Fox has requested additional scripts of Happy Hour and ‘Til Death—two new sitcoms seemingly perched on the edge of cancellation. The ratings indicate that both of these freshman series are in jeopardy of the axe, but the network is willing to give them some more opportunities to make ‘em laugh. Media reports are saying that Fox wants three more scripts from each—and we’ll see where things go from there. Both shows air Thursday nights, with ‘Til Death averaging about 6.9 million viewers. Happy Hour averaged under 5.6 million viewers in its three airings. Both went on hiatus because of baseball games on Fox, while ‘Til Death took additional time off when Brad Garrett put the brakes on production because of the quality of the scripts.
Read More | Zap2it
With the recent gap left by the cancellation of Smith, CBS has made the decision to bring midseason medical drama, 3 Lbs. on air sooner than anticipated. The Hollywood Reporter reports that CBS has ordered four scripts of 3 Lbs.—this is a good indicator that it may premiere in November, rather than midseason. The original pilot had Dylan McDermott starring, but the show was re-worked and McDermott was replaced by Stanley Tucci. Tucci plays a mentor to a young brain surgeon, played by Mark Feurstein. The show is currently in production, so CBS can determine whether or not to add it to the lineup based on the early episodes. The series would replace Smith‘s time slot of Tuesday at 10:00.
For now, a variety of crime show repeats will air through the end of October in place of Smith.
Read More | Zap2it
Now that the fall schedule is in full swing, one thing is certain—there will be casualties. Smith, the much-hyped CBS drama with big headliners Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen, is the first show to be officially canceled. The show, which aired on Tuesday nights, followed Liotta as the leader of a bunch of thieves. CBS said on Friday that the show is now off the schedule and will be replaced by reruns of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Minds. The word ‘cancel’ never was uttered, but the show’s producers give no guarantee that the show will come back. The viewership was so-so, with Nielsen Media Research reporting only 8.4 million viewers. The competition was tough too—up against Law & Order: SVU and Boston Legal.
Read More | Yahoo! News
While not officially canceled, two shows have received the kiss of death—being put on hiatus. It seems pretty early in the season to pull the plug already, but Fox’s Happy Hour and Justice have already been put on “hiatus” status. Fox is saying that the comedy Happy Hour will return in November, citing the upcoming baseball playoffs and World Series as their reason for shelving the show, if only briefly. Until baseball takes over, Fox will be running a rerun of ‘Til Death during Happy Hour‘s Thursday time slot.
Justice will also take a break, with a repeat of House airing in its place on October 4th. The network will, however, be airing a repeat of Justice‘s pilot on Friday, September 29th at 8:00 p.m. This time will cut the finale of Celebrity Duets short by one hour.
Neither of these new shows really stood a chance against the competition (even though neither is officially canceled yet)—up against Survivor: Cook Island and The Office.
Read More | The Futon Critic
Website Brilliant But Cancelled is offering visitors the chance to vote on which new series they think will get the axe. Their contest, Death Watch Fall ‘06 offers weekly iPOD prizes and a grand prize of a 37 inch Aquos flatscreen HDTV. Hey, not too shabby, considering you probably have your own ideas about which shows will succeed or fail. Just log in each week and make your selection—each correct bet puts you into a drawing for the prizes. Place your bets now, since the contest starts today, September 8th and runs for nine weeks. Visit http://www.brilliantbutcancelled.com/deathwatch/ for more details. The odds change often, with 2:1 most likely to get the axe.
Read More | Brilliant But Cancelled
On Wednesday, HBO announced that the upcoming second season of its original series Rome will be the last. The show, which is currently filming in Italy, will come back on Jan. 7, 2007.
The show had okay ratings, but is very expensive to produce, with the first season costing something like $100 million dollars. I’m sure that price tag figured into HBO’s decision, even though it’s a co-production with the BBC, which helps foot the bill. The second season will pick up after the death of Julius Caesar, which occurred in last season’s finale.
While Rome does have its flaws, I have always enjoyed it, and am sad it will only be getting one more season. That being said, however, I am pleased that they are announcing the cancellation before shooting wraps in October, so that the show’s creators will have the chance to wrap things up properly. This is more consideration than the network gave to David Milch and Deadwood, after all. Also, though I understand this move in terms of the network’s bottom line, it leads me to continue to question HBO’s seemingly wavering commitment to producing artistic, groundbreaking television.
Read More | Zap2it
NBC’s short-lived, controversial series, The Book of Daniel, which starred Aidan Quinn as a Vicodin-popping Episcopalian priest who talks to Jesus, will be coming to DVD in September. The two-disc set, priced at $29.98, will feature all eight produced episodes of the show; only four episodes aired, though NBC did offer the rest online. The show had already stopped airing in a few markets, though, due to its controversial treatment of religion. Despite its being about a priest, the show was a bit soap opera-esque, what with the pill popping, the visits from Jesus, the alcoholic wife, the gay son, and the drug dealing daughter. Even so, I thought it had its amusing and charming moments, so I’m glad all the episodes will be available. It may not be worth buying, but it can’t hurt to add it to the Netflix queue. Look for the set to hit the street on September 26th.
Read More | TV Shows on DVD
After two low-rated but critically acclaimed seasons, Showtime has pulled the plug on its drama Huff, according to a report in Variety yesterday. The cast of the show, that focuses on a psychiatrist played by Hank Azaria and his family, was apparently notified earlier in the week. The show was noted for a huge Emmy campaign after its first low-rated season, resulting in an Emmy for Blythe Danner. A second season only aired, however, because Showtime exec Robert Greenblatt had been so impressed by the show that he green-lit a second season before the first even aired. The second season still failed to increase its numbers, so the season finale on Sunday night will also be its series finale. Huff also stars Oliver Platt, and Season One is available on DVD.
Read More | Coming Soon
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