Prime Time Pulse Roundtable Discussion: A Look Back at the 2006/2007 TV Season and a Look Forward to the 2007/2008 TV Season

Last month another TV season ended. It was another interesting one. But who exactly came out on top? Which shows climbed to the top of the mountain and looked down at all of its fallen foes in “TV Rerun Hell”? Which shows got cut too soon and which shows surprised us all? What about the upcoming TV season? How will the TV war go down between the major networks this Fall? Which shows will be the surprise hits of the 2008 season? To help me answer all of those questions, I decided to ask a few staff members here at Prime Time Pulse. So what follows is a look back at this past TV season and I look at the future TV season coming this Fall…


Craig Russell

What a long, strange season it’s been. Fox is giving long-standing CBS a legitimate run for its money as the #1 overall network. Thanks to the juggernaut that is American Idol, they’ve already taken over the 18-49 demo. NBC had, by far, the best new programming yet you wouldn’t know it by the ratings. And ABC had a very up-and-down season, much like its franchise show Lost. And in the “if a tree fell in the forest and didn’t make a sound” category, we have The CW

So which network has the most to sing about as the 2006-07 campaign comes to a close. And who is positioning themselves to move up the charts in 2007-08? Here are my thoughts

ABC: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
It must be hard for ABC execs to decide what kind of mood they should be in. Every success the network enjoys seems to coincide with failure. Sure, they scored a pair of freshmen hits with Ugly Betty and Brothers & Sisters. Yet that was offset by a very long list of misses: The Nine, Day Break, Six Degrees, Big Day, Notes From the Underbelly, Knights of Prosperity, In Case of Emergency, October Road, and Help Me Help You. Dancing With the Stars became a bona-fide (albeit strange) ratings-winner, but how do you explain The Bachelor and Boston Legal still hanging around? ABC will head into the fall in dire need of a few more breakout hits, yet I’m not sure Cavemen (yes, those cavemen from the Geico commercials – seriously) or Carpoolers (looks like a blatant Office rip-off) fit the bill. As for how ABC rates on a night-by-night basis, they remain strongest on Sunday (Desperate Housewives) and Thursday (Grey’s Anatomy) which should come as no surprise. Their bizarre, un-even split of Lost‘s third season certainly didn’t pay off so our favorite castaways don’t return ‘til January ’08. This turns Wednesday into a question mark, as ABC will take a risk by debuting three new shows. I guess you’d have to say Grey‘s spin-off Private Practice is the safest bet for ratings. Overall, ABC can’t be entirely satisfied. They must improve the beginning of the week: finding a solid partner for Dancing With the Stars on Monday, and suring up Tuesday would be a good place to start

CBS: Still Solid, But..
Well, they knew it wouldn’t last forever. While the Tiffany network still boasts the most stable programming lineup, they don’t have American Idol. And no one has to tell them about the importance of a beyond-huge non-scripted show: it wasn’t too long ago that Survivor was the hottest thing going. Those days are gone, and CBS is smart enough to know they’re going to have to start taking some risks. The trick is to continue playing to their strengths (procedural dramas and comedy), yet being open to change. Some will argue that CBS has played it a little safe the last few years, and that’s why Fox is catching up. True, some of their signature shows are starting to look tired: Without a Trace was a slight disappointment on Sundays, seemingly chased off the block by the new kid (Brothers & Sisters). It returns to Thursday, its old stomping grounds, in the fall. They also didn’t have a significant breakthrough newcomer this past season (sorry, Shark doesn’t qualify), and that has to be a cause for concern. Going forward, CBS knows it can count on at least two of its CSIs to anchor Monday and Thursday. And Two and a Half Men still delivers, just not like Raymond used to. Plus, it doesn’t have as strong a supporting cast: How I Met Your Mother is really funny, but simply doesn’t pull in the numbers. The two envelope pushers they are banking to succeed are Cane, an ambitious project revolving around a wealthy Latino family; and Viva Laughlin a British spin-off (all the rage these days) starring Hugh Jackman and leading out of 60 Minutes.

The CW: Starting Over…
However many worse-case scenarios CW execs prepared themselves for heading into last fall, surely they didn’t plan on pretty much every one coming true. Outside of America’s Next Top Model, which is suddenly their only trademark show the CW’s 2006-07 was basically one to forget. They were beyond excited about the prospect of teaming two of the coolest shows of the decade, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. The result? Gilmore ratings declined nearly 20%, V. Mars failed to hold even half of that audience and both just aired their series finales. Ouch. The CW is also saying goodbye to 7th Heaven, and Everybody Hates Chris numbers are in free-fall as well. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, though. As I stated in my Fall 2006 preview, the new network’s success or failure simply wasn’t going to depend on vets like Gilmore Girls and 7th Heaven, or critic-cult fave V. Mars. As strange as it sounds, The CW might be better off. And there’s really nowhere to go but up. But starting from scratch is a scary proposition. The question is, how’s the new product? At first glance: a mixed bag. The Reaper (think Clerks meets Buffy) and Gossip Girl (based on the popular book focusing on prep-school rich kids) show promise, and could say a lot about the future of the network. On the flip-side, their Sunday lineup is more frightening than any episode of Supernatural

Fox: The A.I. Network…
Let’s just come right out and say it: as long as America continues its love affair with Idol (and no one in their right mind would expect anything different), Fox will remain a major player. All you have to do is look at the pile of junk they offered up last fall: Vanished, Standoff, Justice, Happy Hour, and ‘Til Death (the only returning show, for reasons beyond the unknown). Just think of fall as Fox’s opening band, and American Idol as their headline act. They do have House as well, which might be their only show combining ratings and a sense of dignity. Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? certainly supplies the former: we’ll see how it fares on its own next fall. Fox’s two weekly cliffhangers, 24 and Prison Break both delivered less than stellar seasons creatively, yet (for now) can still be counted on for numbers. And it must be nice to have a license to be lazy, and keep that older than dirt animated Sunday lineup intact. Do American Dad and King of the Hill really have any right being on anyone’s schedule? But I digress. Fox rolls out So You Think You Can Dance? in the summer, which did extremely well for them last year. Looking ahead, they’re spinning off Idol with The Next Great American Band (title still subject to change) but will it be too rock n’ roll for the masses? And they might actually be trying with Back to You, bringing together comedic vets Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton as bickering news anchors. Whether it’s any good remains to be seen, but if Fox can actually deliver a freshmen hit in the fall they could realistically catch CBS for total household ratings

NBC: When Improved Programming Doesn’t Equal Improved Ratings
It has to be frustrating. NBC had three of last season’s five best new shows in Heroes, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights. Yet here we are in May, only Heroes delivered big ratings and NBC is still running a distant fourth behind Fox, CBS and ABC. So what now? And, more importantly – what went wrong? Well, for starters: Studio 60. I think NBC was counting on that show for a lot of things, and it failed across the board. The Apprentice’s alarming decline didn’t help, either. You just had a feeling the move to L.A. was too little, too late. When your network’s strongest vehicle stars Howie Mandel, you know you’re in trouble. Deal or No Deal is brainless, harmless fun I suppose. But that doesn’t make it okay to be your signature show. So does NBC have anything else going for it? The Thursday lineup remains intact, with a solid group of comedies led by The Office – plus the ancient ER. They just wish the ratings were better. Sunday Night Football in the fall is certainly something to look forward to. But come January, they had better hope Lipstick Jungle (pulled from the pages of Sex and the City’s Candace Bushnell) is something special especially going up against Brothers & Sisters. They will also have a lot riding on their reboot of Bionic Woman. I hate to be a pessimist, but I don’t see NBC’s fortunes changing anytime soon.

Writer’s Note: Rumor has it that NBC just dumped Kevin Reilly

Raffi Shamir

The Good
When it came to returning shows, Lost was the kingpin this season. After a second season that didn’t go very well with the viewers, Lost knew they had to deliver big time in the third season, and they did just that. Granted, they didn’t start very strong but once the show came back from the winter break everything just clicked. New twists, new characters, new directions, new ways to tell the story, together with the favorite elements from the past meshed together and paved the way to the spectacular and brilliant season finale, that had to live up to very high expectations caused by all the hype, and managed to surpass them. The show took the promised 180 turn and now I’m more excited about the season 4 premiere than I was about the premieres of the last two seasons. The Office should also be mentioned as the best comedy on network TV.
As for new shows, I think we can sum it up with just three letters NBC. Almost every new show presented by the peacock was good to great. Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, Kidnapped not a bad show in the bunch (Let’s just ignore 20 Good Years). Not all of those shows had the best start, not all of them connected with the audience (I’ll touch on that later) but NBC delivered the best new shows line-up this season, and added to that in the mid-season with The Black Donnellys. They had something for everyone for comic book lovers (not geeks), for the families watching together, for the high-end audience, and for those just looking to sit in front of the tube and forget about their lives.

The Bad
Rather than go with just one show (or a bunch of them) that were bad, I’d like to focus on the bad trend that started a couple of years ago no patience. Shows are being pulled from the schedule very quickly, sometimes after just two weeks. This puts a lot of pressure on the creators of new shows but also hurts viewers’ involvement with new show. I believe one of the reasons there are no break away hits this season (Heroes is the most successful new show this year but it didn’t come close to making the impact Lost made in 2004) is that the audience is afraid to start watching a new show that might be cancelled in a week or two. It’s an even bigger concern with the increasing number of serialized dramas that demand more attention and devotion from the viewers at home. NBC, for example pulled a show that could have been its new flagship, Smith two weeks after it premiered and left the audience in the air. Same can be said for The Nine, Vanished, Kidnapped, Six Degrees etc. In a few cases the networks put the remaining episodes on their websites, but it’s doesn’t necessarily help, as not always those episodes wrap the story up (coughvanishedcough) and the viewers are still left in the air not knowing how everything ends.

The Shark Jumpers
Two shows come to mind when it comes to jumping the shark. The first one is ER. That show has jumped the shark so long ago, that the shark has been hunted and served in Japanese restaurants years ago. I understand that NBC is desperate and needs to hold on to any show that makes decent ratings, but please, close down County General.
The second show is 24 but this one still sees the shark in its rear view mirror and may still return to its glory days. Sometimes it seems like the Bauer gang has exhausted everything they had (This year they detonated the nuke very early) and it’s getting harder and harder to suspend the disbelief. They can still turn back and rebound, but they need to change the show in a major way. Perhaps a change of scenery, perhaps less of the same old formula in any case the seventh season is critical for 24.

Most Frustrating
Again, just three letters NBC. I already mentioned how that network had the best lineup of new shows this past season. But only about half of them live to see a see a second season. Kidnapped was pulled very early and finished its days on nbc.com (Same goes for The Black Donnellys) and Studio 60 took a very long hiatus and returned only to finish off the remaining episodes after the official word came that it’s cancelled. The cancelling of this show is particularly depressing for me it was the new show I expected most this season and it’s also the best new show not to get renewed, in my eyes. But none of it helped, as NBC is still stuck in fourth place and is now going to invest more in cheap reality and game shows and less in high-end dramas.

Most Promising Trend
It took the networks long enough but they finally recognized the power of the internet. Full episodes are available on their websites (Sometimes as previews before the season starts and sometimes as replays), cancelled shows get to finish their lives on the web and special web content is produced to supplement the regular TV episodes. To fully understand Lost or Heroes it’s not enough to watch TV you need to visit their websites. Once the internet started playing such a major role there’s no turning back and it’s going to continue in the coming years.

January
January belongs to FOX. It’s amazing how a network can lag in third or fourth place between September and December and then ride just two shows all the way to the top. Can you imagine FOX without American Idol and 24? Would any of the network execs have a job without these two shows? It’s not like FOX doesn’t have other good shows they have Prison Break, House and the Sunday cartoon/comedy block, but until January nobody seems to care about FOX and from January nobody can follow them.

End of an Era
We’ve been focusing so much on the major networks that the biggest story of the year was almost neglected – The Sopranos had its final episode this year. What can I say about this show that hasn’t be said? Hell, what can I say about its finale (Especially the final five seconds) that hasn’t been said? I’ll keep it short. The best show on all of TV (Lost, The Office, FNL etc. are the best of network TV) signed off and this medium will never be the same. Until The Sopranos, the film industry (And fans) always looked down on TV. They can no longer do that and the entire TV industry has improved thanks to the existence of The Sopranos. Thank you David Chase, thank you despite the last five seconds.

Looking Ahead
I can’t really make any predictions. In previous years there were always certain show that I wax excited about just by reading the premise and description before they premiered. Lost, The Office, My Name is Earl, Studio 60, How I Met Your Mother (Thanks to the cast) and several others. This year I have no such show. There are shows that seem good, shows that I know I’m gonna watch at least once – Chuck, Journeyman, The IT Crowd, Cavemen, Big Shots, Dirty Sexy Money, Viva Laughlin, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Reaper (Not counting some reality shows I look forward to). The problem is I’m not excited about any of these shows like I was about Studio 60 and 30 Rock last year. It’s even harder to predict which show will even survive its first month. After this past year I won’t surprised if many viewers will just record the new shows, wait to see whether they survive, and then watch it from their Tivo or PC. But still, we’re all here because we love TV, so we might as well hope for a good season.

Trevor MacKay

When it comes to new TV shows, I’m pretty fussy. I don’t really have any interest in the standard crime/legal/medical/suburban life shows. On top of that, I’m really picky about what sitcoms I will watch. So, right off the bat, the vast majority of new series’ fail to pique my interest. In the fall 2006 season, there were only two new shows with a premise that motivated me enough to actually watch them (Jericho and Heroes).

While there are exceptions, in general there are only a couple of types of shows that I’m likely to get interested in before their debut. I’ve always been a sci-fi/fantasy fan so if a show falls into one of those two categories I’m likely to at least give it a couple episodes to impress me. I’m also a fan of quirky shows, so if your show is quirky, even without any sci-fi or fantasy, I’m probably interested in it.

Obviously, when one looks at the ratings, it’s apparent that not everyone shares my lack of interest in regards to legal, police, and medical dramas. But I bet some of you out there are like me, drawn to things that are a bit different. So with that in mind, here’s my look at the upcoming season’s new entries.

ABC

At the moment there’s not a single TV series I watch on ABC. The 2007 season does have a couple possibly promising shows though.

High Hopes
Not a thing for this category, ABC.

Potentially Promising
Pushing Daisies – The quality of this show will be entirely dependent on whether or not the writers can keep the touch of life/death thing interesting. It’s a neat idea, in and of itself, especially with the added ability to save a life at the cost of another, but it seems like an idea that might be better suited for an episode of a show like The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Still, if the writers can keep the touch of life fresh, this could be a good show.

Samantha Who? – The idea behind this show, an amnesia victim slowly recovering their memories and not liking who they were, has actually been done at least once before (with Viper, a not so great action show from the mid 90s), but it’s still a fun idea. The show could easily get too sappy though, plus it’s not really a premise that lends itself well to a long running series (after a couple seasons, the main character will either have her memory back, or have built up enough new memories that the amnesia wouldn’t be that big a deal anymore).

The Rest
Big Shots – Top executives having crappy lives does not compelling TV make.
Carpoolers – If they went all out and had the show set exclusively in a single car, then I’d say promising. Otherwise, pass.
Cashmere Mafia – I like a lot of the people involved in this, but it still holds no interest for me.
Cavemen – Even if they somehow made a good show out of this, people have already concluded it’s a failure.
Dirty Sexy Money – I do kind of like the premise for this one, but not enough to check the show out.
Eli Stone – Oh boy! More legal drama!
Miss/Guided – It was created by Ashton Kutcher. And has a really lame pun for a title. Enough said.
Private Practice – I haven’t seen a single episode of Grey’s Anatomy and I’m not about to start with the spin-off.
Women’s Murder Club – The premise isn’t bad, but I still have no interest in crime procedurals.

NBC

At present there are two shows on NBC I watch regularly (Heroes and The Office). 2007 looks to expand on that.

High Hopes
Heroes: Origins – This has the potential to be a neat addition to the Heroes franchise. The fact that one of the heroes featured will end up becoming a regular member of the main series is cool, but at the same time it places some limitations on the anthology format (for example, you can’t have the hero die at the end of the episode if fans are going to be voting to decide on them becoming a regular). I expect some interesting stories to come of this.

Journeyman – I’ve always been a fan of shows dealing with changing history (particularly Quantum Leap, and Early Edition but those shows didn’t really spend much time dealing with the domino effect changing history can have (Early Edition was changing the present with a paper from the future and so that wasn’t really an option for them, and Quantum Leap just never focused on that aspect very much). So the premise of Journeyman, with a man dealing with the consequences of meddling in time, appeals to me. I have a feeling the show will be short-lived, but I’ll be all over it while it lasts.

Potentially Promising
The IT Crowd – I’ve never seen the British version of this show, but apparently it’s quite funny. That is, of course, no guarantee the American version will be any good, but given NBC’s most recent adaption of a British series (The Office) turned out so well, I’m hopeful they can do the same here.

Chuck – This series, with its premise of an average guy suddenly winding up with a head full of spy secrets and having wacky adventures could be amusing. It could also be incredibly stupid. It’s been deemed ‘Family Friendly’ but the Family Friendly Programming Foum which certainly doesn’t do much to bolster the chances of the show being amusing. Still, I’ll probably give it a shot.

The Rest
The Bionic Woman – I’ve never really had any interest in the Bionic franchise.
Life – The premise is kind of neat, but I still have no interest in crime shows.
Lipstick Jungle – Much like Cashmere Mafia this one is way
outside my interest area.

CBS

I only had one show I watched on CBS this year, and it was canceled. Fortunately, the show was Jericho and its revival means that there will be one returning show on CBS for me to go along with the new crop.

High Hopes
Moonlight – It amuses me greatly to see ‘vampire detective show’ well on its way to becoming its on genre. Not only have there been two previous vampire detective shows (Angel and Forever Knight) but there’s even a second vampire detective show premiering this fall (a Canadian series called Blood Ties). The earlier examples of the ‘genre’ have been pretty good and this one has David Greenwalt (co-creator of Angel) as the show runner so I expect good things.

Potentially Promising
The Big Bang Theory – This one sounds like it could be amusing. ‘Could’ is the operative word in that sentence as, if the writers get lazy, the show could devolve into little more than “Look at those two guys, they’re doing something geeky! Haha! And now look at this hot chick, she’s being hot! Hilarious!”

The Rest
Viva Laughlin – I give it props for being quirky, but the actual premise just doesn’t do anything for me.
Swingtown – I’ve never really been a fan of shows set in the recent past. This also sounds like a type of show which would work better on a channel like HBO.
Cane – Do you find the sugar and rum businesses fascinating? Then this is the show for you!
Kid Nation – The only way to make this show interesting would be to leave the kids completely to their own devices, with no structure or support. But then it would be uncomfortable and cruel.

Fox

It seems like each year I have less and less shows I watch on Fox. I gave up on Family Guy this year leaving on The Simpsons, American Dad and 24 to entertain me (in 24‘s case, that didn’t go so well). The new season brings potential but no sure bets.

High Hopes
Sorry Fox, no high hopes for you.

Potentially Promising
The Sarah Connor Chronicles – Fox seems to have high hopes for this one, but I think it could really go either way. I think as long as the show doesn’t take itself too seriously, it has the potential to be a fun, action-adventure style show. In the show’s favour, it’s got Summer Glau kicking all kinds of ass; that’s always a good thing.

Back to You – Kelsey Grammar’s a funny guy. His presence on the project alone is enough to move the show into ‘Potentially Promising’ category. The premise, with a Grammar being forced back to his old job, now beneath him, has the potential for comedy.

New Amsterdam – The premise of the show, with a cop who will remain immortal until he finds his true love, could possibly be good. The show could easily get too sappy and/or melodramatic over the true love aspect though. If the writers are careful with how they handle the true love clause, this could be an interesting show.

The Rest
K-Ville – This is one of those shows that sounds like it could be good, but is outside of my interest area.
The Return of Jezebel James – 2(Estranged sisters) + baby != comedy
The Rules for Starting Over – Sounds like another generic sitcom to me.
Kitchen Nightmares – I don’t think I’ve ever liked a show with ‘Kitchen’ in the title.
Canterbury’s Law – Wow, a rebellious lawyer who plays by her own rules?
Nashville – I’ll pass.

The CW

The only show I watched regularly on CW this year was Veronica Mars. Sadly, that show is gone. So if CW wants to keep me around, hopefully one of these new shows will impress. There aren’t a lot of likely candidates for that though.

High Hopes
Reaper – Kevin Smith directed the pilot for this one, so automatically that makes me optimistic about the show. The premise of a guy being assigned the task of retrieving souls that escape Hell has actually been done before, but not in a comical fashion. I have a lot of hope for this one.

Potentially Promising
Which is good because there’s nothing else that’s even promising on the CW this season.

The Rest
Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants – I have about as much interest in seeing a mother/daughter beauty pageant as I have in stamp collecting.
Aliens in America – I envision
Gossip Girl – Kristen Bell is the narrator, but otherwise, this show has nothing to interest me.
Life is Wild – Once again, I’m struck with a vision of lame humour and overly-sweet, end of episode scenes.

So it looks like we’ve got four shows I’ve got high hopes for, six that are potentially promising and a whole bunch I have no interest in. That doesn’t mean all of the shows counted among The Rest are going to be bad, or even that I’ll never see any of them, I just will have no interest in checking them out unless someone else starts raving about how awesome the show is (the premise for Veronica Mars, for example, held no appeal to me. It wasn’t until my sister bought the first season and forced me to watch it that I realized how great the show was).

Josh Clinton

After reading the thoughts of Craig, Raffi, and Trevor, I thought I would just sum up things. I will tell you what I agreed with from them and what I didn’t agree with, and just throw in my general comments on everything.

I kept track of the ratings the entire season and there is no doubt that CBS is the #1 network on TV. They dominated from beginning to end. Actually, that’s a little bit of a lie. In the beginning, ABC and CBS dueled it out for #1. But once reruns started coming into play, CBS was king. I don’t know what it means exactly, but it’s definitely interesting when the majority of CBS’ reruns are kicking the pants off of every other network’s reruns. Maybe people decided to watch new episodes of shows from other networks first, but then don’t want to watch them again so they head to CBS. I think one word can sum up CBS, though. Consistent.

Make no mistake about, FOX dominates the second half of the TV season. However, it really doesn’t help them in the overall scheme of things. They suck so much in the first half, that they dig themselves in a GIANT hole that even the great Ryan Seacrest can’t pull them out of. Really, it’s just American Idol and House as far as ratings go. Nothing else comes close. They may get the demographic that advertisers love, but they are still battling it out for 4th place with NBC in the overall ratings.

ABC is an interesting beast. Its top 5 shows are VERY popular. Most weeks you can find at least 3 ABC shows in the top 10. But guess what? After those top shows, there is nothing. Somehow ABC is able to survive on these shows and at least contend for the #1 prize with CBS. FOX can’t say that, because their top shows only air in the second half of the season, with the exception of House. Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Lost can still deliver when it wants to, and ABC was smart to put Dancing with the Stars on twice a year. Too bad that American Idol is still able to CREAM DWTS when it counts, though.

NBC definitely had some of the best new shows on TV, but I agree with everyone else when they said “but you wouldn’t know it.” That’s pretty much all you can say on that network. It is still stuck in 4th place, eventhough it has some quality shows.

The CW is not worth talking about really for a few reasons. My new cable company doesn’t even carry that channel! Yeah, you heard right. It has the freakin’ MY NETWORK channel on the old UPN channel and that’s it. They continue to say that it’s coming, but it never does. It doesn’t matter, though, as nothing on that network interests me. There is one exception actually and that’s the underrated Everybody Hates Chris. That show is funny and should be CBS or something.

Now then I agree mostly with Craig on the new shows that became surprise hits with two exceptions. Shark and October Road actually did great in the ratings and are coming back next season. October Road can have Grey’s Anatomy to thank for that, but that’s the kind of show that should follow GA. These two shows aren’t the best, but people are watching them so that is what counts most to ABC right now.

I also agree with Raffi on the bad trend of pulling shows too early, but really Smith, Kidnapped, Six Degrees, and The Nine weren’t setting the world on fire either. They just weren’t as engaging. Now then I do think a few new shows got pulled too soon and pretty much agree with Raffi on Studio 60 and The Black Donnellys. Studio 60 was good, but it was stuck in a bad timeslot. The same one The Black Donnellys was in. Although, some would argue that being after Heroes would help but Heroes is still new as well. It’s fan base it not fully built yet. Those two shows are the only ones I will miss, but I won’t cry about it.

My top shows haven’t changed much. I still dig The Office and it’s the best comedy on TV. How I Met Your Mother is a close second and luckily it got renewed for another season. I actually soured on Grey’s Anatomy a little bit this year as it was pretty boring during the middle of the season, but it did end strongly once again. 24 was good at the start, but it got hard to watch and I agree with Raffi. They need to change something next year. It’s completely predictable. My favorite drama is and always will be The O.C.. Yeah, I said it. It was sad to see it go, but it went out with a bang. Lost was probably as good as the first season, but poor scheduling hurt it. But it was probably my favorite drama overall ahead of Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C., and Heroes.

Let me talk about the success of Heroes for a second, which took home our prize as the “Best Show of 2006”, eventhough it was only on the air for half of that year. What really helped Heroes, though, was the fact that people thought it was a “comic book” show, but NBC said time after time that it wasn’t. In fact NBC pretty much hated Heroes being called that. So that just pushed the comic book fans further into the show and drew in casual, non-comic book fans as well. Heroes was without a doubt, the best marketed show on TV this past season. I was in probably 7 conference calls for that show. The cast list just kept getting bigger, but you hardly noticed. It just felt like a natural progression. New shows this coming Fall should talk to the marketing people behind Heroes.

Speaking of new shows, let me tell you what I want to see this Fall. First with ABC. The Grey’s spin-off, Private Practice is not half bad. It has a different vibe than Grey’s Anatomy and that’s a good thing. It will need to anchor down the Wednesday night lineup for ABC to contend with CBS next year. It will also need another breakout drama to do well as well. Dirty Sexy Money looked like the top prospect, but they should talk to Six Degrees and The Nine about being overhyped. The new comedies on ABC really don’t look that appealing. Carpoolers could be okay and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to Cavemen for “off-beat” factor.

On NBC I only really like Chuck thanks to Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C., being behind it. The It Crowd could be a decent comedy. That’s about all right now, though.

For CBS, I’m looking forward to The Big Bang Theory with Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules. Of course, it replaces The Class so who knows if people will catch on to this show or not. Cane may very well be the breakout drama of the bunch, though, thanks to Jimmy Smits.

On FOX, K-Ville and Back To You look interesting, but FOX doesn’t have a good track record with new comedies OR new dramas. It needs something new to succeed, though, and hopefully before the month of January.

Not like I have The CW, but if I did, I would check out Gossip Girl. That’s another new Josh Schwartz show. I still say that Beauty and the Geek is the most underrated reality show on television, though.


And that’s about all we can say about this past season. We will have more coverage on the new shows airing this Fall as we get closer to September. Also, look for a more complete rundown on the upcoming season as well. But for now, say goodbye to all of your new old favorites and the ones that didn’t get a chance to breathe. Celebrate as your favorite shows get renewed and cry when they get canned one week later! TV is one crazy busines. You just have to learn how to hang on tight and enjoy the ride. My suggestion is to learn this phrase in as many languages as you can. “TiVo is My Best Friend!”

Sir Linksalot: Television News

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