Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the endangered list 2007

Variety is now reporting on the television shows whose fate will be determined in the coming months as the networks finish their primetime schedules for the fall. Here are the shows I currently DVR and my thoughts on their possible cancellation:

1. 30 Rock - I believe 30 Rock is the funniest show on television. Granted, I also believe there is not nearly enough competition in this category. I was late to come to 30 Rock due to (in my opinion) poor scheduling. It airs in the same timeslot as Grey's Anatomy and The O.C. (R.I.P.), and my DVR can only handle two shows at once. I'm only three episodes in, but I love it. If I were wagering, I would bet NBC will keep 30 Rock; it's only mildly underperforming, and it does air against the two most-watched shows of the season (American Idol not withstanding).

2. Friday Night Lights - I have never watched this show due to scheduling conflicts (Bones, Jericho & now America's Next Top Model). I plan to catch up on the season as soon as the dvds are released, and then I will offer a full opinion. I'm guessing the combination of good writing, sports and teen melodrama will have be hooked.

3. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - I love this show, but I won't be terribly broken-hearted if it isn't renewed. I think it's had a fantastic run, but I also fear it's already hit its stride. The last couple of episodes (before it went on hiatus) were lackluster. If it comes back, I hope it returns to its early ways.

4. Law & Order - If I were writing this post last year, I would be ambivalent on the future of L&O. Have you seen the show this season? I finally enjoy Jesse L. Martin as a detective, although admittedly, he did have a few shining moments in the Jerry Orbach days. Milena Govich is the best female detective on tv after Mariska Hargitay (oh, how I love Mariska). Alana de la Garza manages to bring freshness as another attractive, young ADA. Her role has been rehashed by nearly countless actresses over the years, and she is the first in years to make me want to watch the second half of the episode too. The writers have gotten creative again; they are not only ripping from the headlines, they're tearing them to shreds. L&O is one of the shows that sits in my DVR the shortest amount of time, and I have faith in it returning. I would love to see a timeslot shift away from the Friday night wasteland, where i'ts doomed to mostly those who DVR. If it played during the week I think people might realize that despite its age, this show is the freshest it's ever been.

5. Law & Order: Criminal Intent - For me, CI falls into two categories: the Chris Noth episodes and the Vincent D'Onofrio episodes. I wait with baited breath for the opening credits, and as soon as I see the face of the leading man I squeal (Noth) or groan a little (D'Onofrio). Now, I've always loved the show, despite Kathryn Erbe's lackluster character. I can't say if it's the acting or the writing, but it's a weak detective role. Chris Noth and Julianne Nicholson, however, are a delightful combination. Nicholson is a gem, and I credit the writers for delivering a dynamite female detective role. She may be new and a little green, but she holds her own with Logan. I also surprisingly love Bogosian on the show; he and Noth manage to make me laugh in the midst of tragedy every time. I would be less upset if CI were cancelled than if L&O were cancelled, but I still think this show should stick around. I would change the timeslot; I don't think it leads into SVU well. I'm strictly a DVR gal, but I never watch the shows back to back. Move it to the Monday night wasteland, where there is barely any crime drama.

6. The Nine - I love this show, and I try to block it out because I am still mad at ABC for yanking into hiatus when they spent months intriguing me with teaser ads. I want to know what's happening in their lives! Apparently it's not gone for good yet. I doubt ABC will bring it back, but I do hope they put it out on dvd for those of us who did watch religiously each week and still wonder what happened to those nine people inside the bank.

7. Jericho - I love(d) this show. When I actually sit down to watch it, I enjoy it immensely. It took a long hiatus, however, and since it came back in late February, all of the new episodes are still sitting in my DVR waiting to be watched. I'm sure it will be satisfying and enjoyable to finally sit down and watch them, but it always seems there's something else I'd rather watch. I'm ambivalent about it coming back. I think it's a well-written and well-acted program, but also think it has severe long-term limitations. I would rather it be tied up well this spring and not come back then wither and die because it was a ratings gem the network didn't know when to quit (hello Lost). I think Jericho has the potential for two to four strong seasons of story.

Seven shows I watch are in jeopardy. I'll be interested to see what new programs come from development this season as well. My current television rotation is heavy in reality and crime drama. I would love to see more viable comedies (the kind that actually make me laugh out loud) and more dramas with characters I care about through those long mid-season reruns. Stay tuned...

Here's the article in Variety

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