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TV Hell - Headlines

Reported By Ian Malone


Email Ian at ian@tvhell.net


TV Hell News Headlines


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Headlines 51
December 26, 2009

ABC has announced that Scrubs and Better off Ted will air back-to-back episodes starting in January. NBC has done this with Scrubs in the past but this is likely the last of Scrubsí nine lives.

Big week for cable ratings. Monkís swan song delivered 9.1 million viewers, which beat The Closer for most watched scripted cable show ever.

TV Hell congratulates USA for winning the 2009 cable wars. Almost every show in its line-up came up big this year. TNT and FX have some catching up to do.

Men of a Certain Age delivered big in its debut. The new TNT drama pulled in 5.3 million. Itíll be interesting to see how it does without The Closer however.

Sons of Anarchy was renewed for another season. Solid move for FX as it needs to revamp its drama department.

Dexterís season finale was its most watched episode yet. The season four finale was watched by 2.6 million viewers, Showtimeís best ratings in well over a decade. HBO may have gained some ground back but Showtime isnít going down without a fight.

CBSí Friday night line-up is due for a shake up. Canadian import Flashpoint will return in January presumably leaving Medium or NUMB3RS as the odd man out. My prediction is that NUMB3RS days are limited.

Headlines goes into hibernation during January since thereís not much news to report. The What-IF page will be getting some updates so send you what-ifs to ian@tvhell.net. We will still be answering e-mails so send a message to Rich or myself if youíve got a question.


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Headlines 50
December 02, 2009

Headlines celebrates its 50th edition, hard to believe Iíve done this that many times.

Ugly Betty is being moved to Wednesdays. It wasnít doing well on Fridays (anyone surprised?) and Eastwick was given the boot.

Three Rivers has been pulled by CBS. Alex OíLoughlin is becoming the new Luke Perry of TV. Everything heís on gets cancelled.

Psych and Burn Notice were both renewed. No surprises here as both have been part of USAís highly successful line-up. USA also renewed WWE Monday Night RAW until 2014. Iím not sure which of the three is the most realistic.

Six former cast members of The Shield will guest star soon. Both shows are produced by Shawn Ryan. Michael Chiklis and CCH Pounder will not be among the six but this should still be fun for fans of The Shield.

Oprah will call it a day in 2011. No word yet on how people will survive without her free cars or mediocre book club.

Questions? Comments? Word of praise after we celebrate 50 editions of bad jokes? Send them to ian@tvhell.net


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Headlines 49
November 07, 2009

CBS has slashed NUMB3RS episode order from 22 to 16. This decision was probably made because Medium has been a hit for CBS on Fridays and Flashpoint is set to return soon. Flashpoint not only delivers similar ratings but also is a lot less expensive than NUMB3RS is. NUMB3RS has had a really impressive run but I think itís time to call it a day.

TNT picked up Southland. Iíll discuss TNTís position in the cable battle in my next article. This is a very good move for the network that is regularly beat by USA.

The Onion is teaming up with Comedy Central for a half hour comedy series. Iím a huge fan of The Onion so Iím pretty excited for this pilot.

Jay Leno told reporters that he would return to The Tonight Show if asked. Conan is a funny guy but this whole thing was a big mess. Leno needs to go back to the Tonight Show and NBC needs to move scripted drama back to 10 oíclock.

The premiŤre of ABCís remake of V drew 14 million viewers this week. Very impressive numbers for a show I didnít think would make it.

Congratulations to Sesame Street for its 40th anniversary.

If youíve noticed we put a link to the Ask Ian section on the main site in case any of you were having trouble finding my responses. Questions or words of praise can be sent to ian@tvhell.net


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Headlines 48
October 27, 2009

Benjamin Bratt will be returning to Law & Order for a guest appearance. I was never really a fan of Brattís L&O character (the Orbach/Martin team was my favorite) but itís nice to see that NBC is trying to hype L&Oís impressive 20th season.

TNT is trying to capitalize off of NBCís stupid decision to cancel Southland. The cable channel is trying to pick the show up which would give a huge boost to a line-up that is now regularly beaten by USA.

Community, Parks & Recreation, and Mercy all got full season orders. Trauma was a bust but maybe NBC can do something with a fairly nice crop of new shows. Oh wait itís NBCÖ nevermind.

ABC has given Castle a back nine order. Nice to see that Nathan Fillion is being given a shot at some success.

In Treatment was renewed for another season. Not my favorite HBO show but the network has been doing a nice job revitalizing its line-up.

Ashley Simpson and Colin Egglesfield have been evicted from Melrose Place (arenít my jokes hilarious?) The CW has been hyping Heather Locklearís return but I think theyíre overestimating her power. She couldnít save LAX and both of these shows are pretty similar in terms of stupidity.

Questions, comments? Send them to me at ian@tvhell.net You can also follow us at twitter.com/tvhell. We also have a great forum you can visit.


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Headlines 47
October 17, 2009

HBO isnít quite Bored to Death yet. The network renewed Bored to Death for another season. This move gives HBO the most depth in itís comedy line-up that weíve seen in a long long time.

Lenoís average has dipped under five million. Hate to say I told you so.

Last weekís Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and the Vikings average 21.84 million viewers. This makes it the most watched telecast on cable ever. I donít think MNF regularly had those ratings even when it was on ABC so this is a really impressive feat.

NBC cancelled Southland before it even premiered this year. Looks like rock bottom is still a few more feet down the rabbit hole. TNT is trying to pick the show up but it doesnít look good.

So far Flash Forward, The Middle, Modern Family, Cougar, NCIS: LA, The Good Wife, and Glee have received full season back nine orders. This should represent the majority of the pickups for the season plus one or two each from NBC and The CW.

For all of our Canadian fans, Flashpoint will be coming back to CBS. The exact return date is still up in the air but it might be moved to Sundays if Three Rivers continues to flop.


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Headlines 46
September 30, 2009

NCIS continues to defy all ratings trends. The veteran drama averaged over twenty million viewers this week. NCIS: Los Angeles is also off to a nice start as well.

The Beautiful Life has become this yearís first casualty. The show reminded me of this show called Sex, Lies, and Secrets that aired on UPN a couple years ago. Thatís not a good thing.

In other news regarding The CW, Melrose Place is off to a terrible start. The show is averaging around 1.5 million, which is well below where it should be. The original Melrose Place got off to a bad start so maybe Heather Locklear can come save this one as well.

Itís a bad time to be a sci-fi show on network TV. Heroes and Fringe have taken huge hits and The Forgotten is on its way to being forgotten (pardon the bad joke). Flash Forward got off to a nice start but thatís about it.

Leno is averaging around six million right now. Not an awful number but it looks life I was right about him. Seventeen million was too high an average to sustain unless he wants to hire Kanye West as his new sidekick.

Vincent DíOnofrio and Kathryn Erbe are leaving Law and Order: Criminal Intent. While itís sad to see the last two original cast members leave, they stuck around a lot longer than most people do when it comes to Law & Order.

Glee and The Vampire Diaries both got full season pickups. For analysis on any show I didnít list you can reach me at ian@tvhell.net


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Headlines 45
September 16, 2009

Jay Leno has been the butt of my jokes for almost a year now. His show debuted to 17.7 million viewers Monday night, a very impressive number. While I wonít admit I was wrong about him until at least midway through the season I will say that heís off to a great start.

The CW didnít have the same luck that Jay had however. 90210 and Melrose Place are off to mediocre debuts. I said that pairing the two was a bad plan and it looks like I was right. Both are averaging a little under 2.5 million viewers.

Rescue Me will end two summers from now. That will give the series 7 seasons, not counting the almost double season that just ended. Very few scripted cable series make it to seven seasons so Rescue Meís longevity is pretty impressive.

Leverage has been renewed for a third season. TNT needs to catch up to USA in terms of ratings. Leverageís numbers arenít that great but itís a fun drama so this renewal is definitely a plus.

The networks are aligning to banish the dated Nielsen ratings system. Iíll have more on this in the news section later this week because this news is too big for headlines.

Patrick Swayze died on Monday. His work on The Beast was excellent and his death is a terrible loss for the entertainment world.

Questions or comments about the new fall line-up? Send them to ian@tvhell.net


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Headlines 44
August 3, 2009

Headlines returns after being MIA for most of the summer

HBO has been having a summer to remember. The premium cable juggernaut that Iíve been criticizing for the better part of two years is brining back True Blood, Hung, and Entourage for next year. While I still donít think HBOís roster has the depth that Showtime has this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Speaking of renewals USA is bringing Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, and the rookie Royal Pains back for more episodes. USA has been killing rival TNT and hasnít produced a dud this year. Burn Noticeís ratings are better than Heroes and all of The CWís regular season programming.

Maura Tierney, star of the new NBC drama Parenthood, has been hospitalized. Parenthood will be pushed back to midseason. Thereís no word yet on whatís going to take its place but this could mean more episodes for Chuck or Heroes. Neither show received a full seasons order.

Last year Bones had a crossover with Family Guy and Fox seems to want more of that. There are discussions about a crossover between Bones and Foxís new hit series Lie to Me. Obviously nothing will come close to the bizarre encounter Booth had with Stewie Griffin but this should be interesting if it actually happens.

SyFy (I hate that name) has renewed Eureka for a fourth season. Eureka has been a sleeper hit for SyFy and itís good to see the network keep on some of its veteran shows. I thought the cancellation of Stargate Atlantis was a bad move but Iím glad Eureka will be back.


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Headlines 43
May 20, 2009

Fox has renewed Dollhouse, the struggling drama from cult hero Joss Whedon. Dollhouseís ratings are terrible but since I happen to be one of the many who own all 13 TV DVDís of the 3 shows heís put out I can understand why Fox is giving this one more time.

Terminator Salvation may be coming out but Sarah Connor Chronicles wonít get its salvation. Instead it can have spot 944 in Hell.

Cold Case was renewed by CBS. This doesnít fare well for The Unit or Without A Trace.

Bones was picked up for two more seasons. Apparently licensing issues were in the way of negotiations but Bones continues to perform for Fox. No word yet if there will be any more Family Guy crossovers.

Medium was not renewed by NBC after the contract issues with Patricia Arquette fell through. Chuck and Law & Order were renewed although both will have shorter seasons. NBC is cutting seasons in favor of airing a bunch of new shows and fewer repeats. Looks like a good strategy until you realize Leno is still a part of it.

The CW picked up Melrose Place, Vampire Diaries, The Beautiful Life and the Gossip Girl spinoff. This means the end of Privileged but The CW has put together what appears to be its strongest line-up ever. Not that thatís saying muchÖ..


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Headlines 42
May 12, 2009

Thereís been a little bit of controversy regarding NBCís renewals over the past few weeks. Despite early reports that Medium would be returning, it hasnít actually been renewed. This is largely because Patricia Arquetteís contact is for 22 episodes and NBC only wants to renew t for 13. Also Chuck and Law & Order appear to be renewed as well.

Weíve seen a lot of shows jump networks but this one is interesting. Fox, which produces My Name, is Earl is looking to pick up the comedy if NBC doesnít renew it. My Name is Earl would be the only mistake I made in my predictions and the odds of NBC letting it go are growing.

Despite having a pretty great finale ABC is looking to bring Scrubs back for another year. Creator Bill Lawrence and we here at TV Hell seem to think the Scrubs as we know it is finished and thereís a great chance it wonít be named Scrubs if it does come back.

The Gossip Girl spinoff is reportedly having some trouble getting picked up. The CW has a rather full line-up and has some other really promising shows. Gossip Girlís ratings are not spectacular so this move really shouldnít be surprising if anything happens. Leonard Nimoy is guest starring on Fringe. This is no surprise considering J.J. Abrams brought him back to Star Trek and not the Shat so Spock is bound to have a friendship with the Star Trek director and Fringe creator.

Southland was renewed. Southland shows a lot of potential but ratings have been consistently sliding since the premiere, which is not a good sign. Then again airing on NBC isnít exactly good for your survival.


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Headlines 42
April 29, 2009

President Obama scheduled a press conference right in the middle of sweeps. Since Fox isnít quite set on its Fall line-up they have decided to air ďLie to MeĒ instead of the conference. This is a pretty bold move by Fox who will air the conference on Fox News as they always do. ďLie to MeĒ gets good ratings already but an airing with no competition besides the President can do wonders for the show. This hasnít happened before so Iím pretty interested to see how ďLie to MeĒ does.

Adult Swim has acquired the rights to ďThe OfficeĒ, the British version that is. Adult Swim is no stranger to live action comedy but this move seems a bit shocking. I donít think the average Adult Swim viewer would like the British version of ďThe OfficeĒ but then again the network needs some shows to fill the gap left when Adult Swim cut back on its anime.

ďThe Celebrity ApprenticeĒ has been renewed for a third season (or ninth depending on how you look at it). Apprentice hasnít gotten great ratings but NBC doesnít care. Personally I was a big fan of last season and I think that this season is too long and boring.

ďGreyís AnatomyĒ and ďCSIĒ, two of TVís top rated shows, have suffered massive drops in ratings this year. This coupled with the pending departure of Simon Cowell from American Idol means that the throne of TVs top show could be up for grabs next year.

ďHarperís IslandĒ was banished to Saturday night. I donít any show has ever made it back from Saturdays so I think the 13 episode limited run is a done deal.

Laura Conrad is leaving ďThe HillsĒ. I donít really know what she expects to do next but this likely means that her 15 minutes of fame are up.

I wrote an article about my renewal predictions and now I think its time for an update.

ďChuckĒ bombed in its finale. So did ďHeroesĒ but NBC has already committed to another season of that so ďChuckĒ is probably done.
Southland has been getting great ratings (for NBC) so its safe to say that it will be back. Scrubs currently sits at 912 in TV Hell for good reason as the creator himself said this was it. However ABC still may renew the show without most of the main cast. Stupid decision? I think so. Despite what any website besides this one is saying, Privileged isnít going to come back. The CW has three drama pilots that are going to get picked up and there simply isnít room for it. The Unit is doing ok right now but seems to be the most likely to go since it has a higher budget than Cold Case and Without a Trace, the other two shows looking to come back. Of the three I think Without a Trace has the best shot although I wouldnít be surprised if a few cast members were let go. I didnít go in-depth with this one so if you have any questions regarding the chances of your favorite shows you can reach me at ian@tvhell.net. Remember we are also on twitter at twitter.com/Tvhell.


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Headlines 41
April 14, 2009

There hasnít been any real news on Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles yet but the finale didnít fare well in the ratings. The important thing though was that it didnít lose any more viewers so I think Fox will keep it around if the movie Terminator Salvation is a hit.

The Tudors was renewed for a fourth season, which will be its last. The Tudors helped establish credibility for Showtime and set up what should be great couple years for Showtime. The bad news was that Showtime passed up on all its new pilots so new programming might come to the premium cable network later than we would like.

Trust Me entered TV Hell already but I think itís important to point out that Trust Me regularly got a little over three million viewers. Goes to show you how the cable market has evolved since those numbers would be unheard of a few years back.

WHDH, the Boston affiliate of NBC, has caved and will air Jay Leno after all. NBC threatened to strip it of its network affiliation and WHDH didnít think that was worth snubbing Leno and his chin. Jay Leno is one of my favorite late night hosts so Iím glad to see he is being given the benefit of the doubt but I think the move to 10:00 was beyond ridiculous in the first place. Iím planning an article for the news section about this so I wonít go into it anymore for now.

Kings was banished to Saturdays where it can rule amongst re-runs of Law & Order and CSI. On the flipside, Southland drew almost ten million in its premier so hopes for Kings are pretty much gone. Kings showed promise but Southland looks to be the best network cop show since Third Watch.

Dollhouseís 13th episode is going straight to DVD. The only thing worse is that episode 14 isnít going to air at all since Dollhouseís chances at renewal are about as good as Life on Marsí oh wait Life on Mars got cancelled.


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Headlines 40-A
April 01, 2009

In a shocking move NBC have decided to merge with The CW. The new network is tentatively titled CNBC, which leads some to believe the cable business news network is also joining the new network.

In another surprise move, 90210 has fired all its current cast members with the intent to replace them with the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. This move seems a bit odd seeing as most of the cast members are too old to be in high school but weíll see what happens.

Without a Trace will crossover with Lost. It appears that CBS is attempting to boost the ratings of the struggling veteran FBI drama by having the team search for the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.

In a move reminiscent of Friday Night Lightís deal with DirecTv, Fox is renewing Dollhouse for a whopping six seasons. First run rights go to Itunes and then will air sometime next year for Fox.

NBC has greenlit a new spinoff of Law & Order. Law & Order: Jaywalkers deals with the dedicated detectives of NYC who attempt to stop people from illegally crossing the street. Jesse L. Martin and recently departed Chris Noth are expected to return to the franchise for this interesting new spinoff.

The premiere of ABCís new show The Unusuals drew whopping 11 viewers. When asked to comment, a Nielsen representative had this to say. ďWe are shocked by this abnormally low number but refuse to admit there might be some flaw in the system.Ē Now we all know Nielsen is corrupt but I donít think there was a flaw this time.

Thatís all for today. By the way, April Fools.


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Headlines 40
April 01, 2009

I donít usually comment on upcoming pilots but I thought this one was interesting. Lucy Lawless is returning to TV in Spartacus, created by Sam Raimi. Raimi made Lawlessís career as he created Hercules and Xena and it looks like sheíll be headed back to ancient times once again following a stint on Battlestar Galactica. Itís interesting too see a resurgence of the fantasy genre after Legend of the Seeker saw some success.

Well itís official; Friday Night Lights has been renewed for two more years. However Lipstick Jungle will not be supported by DirecTV meaning the days of Lipstick Jungle are over. Itís nice to see Friday Night Lights see some success though.

ABC cut Motherhoodís episode order to six episodes. I canít remember the last time a series had its order cut midseason and actually survived so this doesnít look very good at all.

MTV has renewed The Real World and its spin-off the Real World/Road Rules challenge for four more cycles apiece. This along with the news about MTV back in Headlines 37 shows that MTV is actually trying to piece together a line-up that isnít dominated by re-runs or low budget dating shows.

Cartoon Network will begin to air live action shows soon. This along with Sci fi Channelís rebranding shows that genre specific channels are struggling in this economy.


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Headlines 39
March 24, 2009

George Lopez is returning to TV, no not the sitcom. Lopez will be the host of a new TBS late night talk show. This is a good time to introduce a new talk show and George Lopez is a great fit for a late night show. Iíve seen a lot of his standup and its hilarious. Unless his show airs at 11:00 pm, George will have to square off against either Conan and Letterman or Fallon and Ferguson (Kimmel doesnít count). I like this move by TBS a lot; this show has a lot of potential.

Weíve learned that Mischa Barton will return to TV on the Melrose Place spinoff but hereís another bit of O.C. related news. The Gossip Girl spinoff, which will take place in the 80s, is considering reviving the characters of Kirsten Nichol and Jimmy Cooper from the O.C. to appear on the new show. Obviously the same actors will not play them but this would be a pretty unique crossover.

In other bizarre crossover news Bones is set to have a crossover withÖÖ.. Family Guy. Iím not sure how this is going to work but this isnít the first time Family Guy has appeared on a live-action series. Stewie appeared in a bonus mini episode of My Name is Earl, which can be found on the season one DVD set. I like crossovers and this should be entertaining.

Weíve seen The CW do some pretty stupid things over the course of its short life but this one is an all time low. The CW is thinking about possibly dumping One Tree Hillís Chad Michael Murray from the show. One Tree Hill is past its prime and has escaped death a few time but taking Chad Michael Murray away would be like taking James Gandolfini away from The Sopranos. Then again The CW is not known for making good decisions so this makes sense.

ER brought a bunch of its old cast members back for the final season and Monk is doing the same thing. Bitty Schram, Monkís old assistant will be stopping by to help everyoneís favorite OCD detective one last time.

March 27th marks the one year anniversary of my return to TV Hell. I want to thank everyone who read my work and commented. We really appreciate every e-mail we get and try really hard to answer all your questions. I also want to thank Rich for being the glue that holds everything on the site together. Without him TV Hell would just be something that everyone wished was a reality.


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Headlines 38
March 18, 2009

President Obama will be appearing on The Tonight Show on Thursday. This is a pretty rare thing since Presidents typically avoid the late night circuit while in office. Obama hopes to explain his plans to fix the economy. I like to keep politics out of TVHell so Iíll resist the urge to put a funny joke here.

The Sc-fi Channel will change its name to SyFy in an attempt to dissociate itself from the nerdy connotations that they feel the word Sci-fi brings. The problem I have with that is that its still pronounced ďSci-fiĒ defeating the purpose of even renaming the channel at all.

Kings premiered on Sunday night to a horrendous six million viewers. Fortunately Kings wasnít half bad and showed some promise. If Kings can get up to around 8 or 9 million then it stands a shot at another season but things arenít looking too good for the biblical inspired drama.

Steve-O had to miss this weekís Dancing With the Stars due to a back injury. This seems a bit lame coming from the man who ate a goldfish only to vomit it back up and has done numerous things inappropriate to mention on this website. Then again some may say dancing wasnít quite Steve-Oís thing.

Moonlightís Alex OíLoughlin may not be a vampire anymore, but that doesnít mean heís finished with blood. The Australian actor who also had a good guest stint on season six of The Shield has been cast in Three Rivers, a medical drama pilot for CBS. Pilots are almost always picked up if they make the news so this news doesnít bode well for Without a Trace or Cold Case.

Henry Rollins, the host of the Henry Rollins Show on IFC will appear in a few episodes of Sons on Anarchyís second season. I only really found this worth mentioning because while I think Rollins is a pretty lousy talk show host, the role of a biker seems perfect for him.


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Headlines 37
March 12, 2009

MTV has ordered scripted comedies, no not another Laguna Beach spinoff. After years of doubt about whether or not writers really were behind the curtain MTV is brining us Private High Musical and Long Distance relationship. Both are based off of web series so the credibility of these writers is called into question but itís nice to see them try to move past Next and Parental Control.

George Lucas has finally begun casting his live action Star Wars TV show. I remember writing a bit on the creation of this show on a very old Headlines that is at least 3 years old. What weíve learned since is that it will most likely air on HBO. Look for more info in Headlines 74.

Early reports say that CBS is considering cancelling veteran dramas Without a Trace and Cold Case. I mentioned Cold Case as a possibility for cancellation but Without a Trace comes as a shock. Trace has been performing consistently since being separated from CSI where it had a very large retention rating from its lead-in. I see Cold Case as a probably victim but I still donít see Without a Trace leaving this year unless CBS really is strapped for cash.

Showtimeís The L Word may not have received its own tribute article on TV Hell but it did draw some big numbers. The finale drew around 750,000 viewers, which may not seem like much unless youíre The CW but it was enough to become the shows third most watched episode ever. Odds at a spinoff are looking pretty good.

NBC is continuing negotiations with DirecTV to keep Friday Night Lights alive. While the results of this unique experiment werenít mind-blowing, DirecTV appeared to be pleased with the whole project. FNLís is not a big performer on NBC so Iím surprised they still want to keep the show around.


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Headlines 36
March 06, 2009

Seinfeld is back. Well kinda. Jerry, George, Elaine, and Cosmo will reunite with Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Details are pretty vague but this will be the first time the four have acted together since the Good Samaritan law sent them all to jail.

Despite all the controversy about the budget cuts at the Sarah Silverman program, Comedy Central renewed the series at its current budget of slightly over a million an episode. This was made possible with the help of sister network Logo whose target demographic in the LBGT community enjoy Silvermanís show.

Despite all the ďcontroversyĒ surrounding The Bachelor, it delivered its best numbers in five years in most of the demos and brought in over 10 million viewers for ABC. Those arenít great numbers but ABC should be happy since they use The Bachelor to plug holes in their line-up.

Well looks like if Law & Order: UK does air on USA it wonít be partnered with Law & Order: CI. CI will return in April despite reports that it had been pushed back to the summer in Headlines 31. L&O: CI will be partnered with In Plain Sight which co-exist in the same universe via crossover which also means that they are connected to such diverse shows as Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire, Arrested Development, The X-Files, The Beat, and the rest of the Law & Orders. Richard Belzer whose character of John Munch appeared in all of the shows I just listed made this bizarre connection possible. Munch was good friends with Chris Nothís Mike Logan who guest starred in In Plain Sight. Relevance? None but I think its pretty funny.

Jimmy Fallon made his debut this week as the new host of Late Night. If we learned anything from Conanís debut on Late Night itís that we shouldnít judge a host until heís given some time to settle down. Yes Fallon looked nervous but he still made some good jokes. Iím against Leno stepping down from the Tonight Show but a late night line-up of Leno, OíBrien, Fallon, and that tool Carson Daly could be pretty powerful. If only it started at 11:35 and not 10:00.

NBC has quietly hinted that Heroes will be back next season. No surprises here.

Speaking of renewals, CBS has renewed Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory for multiple seasons apiece. While this may come as a shock to some of you, consider how few half hour comedies there are on TV. CBS is going to rake in a lot of money from syndication by having a lot of episodes of their comedies. The fact that they bring in good numbers doesnít hurt either.


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Headlines 35
March 01, 2009

Despite terrible ratings, The CW has decided to bring back 75% of its mediocre line-up for next year. Gossip Girl, Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill, 90210, and Americaís Next Top Model will back in the ring to take another swing next year. As for the rest of the line-up, expect Everybody Hates Chris to come back. Privileged earned the privilege of additional scripts this season but donít expect a renewal. While Reaper may not have even started its new season yet, expect it to be the other show moved to make room for the new Melrose Place spinoff and the Gossip Girl spinoff. The Game isnít too far from the minimum required for syndication so a renewal for the Girlfriends spinoff is possible.

Starz has renewed its first original drama, Crash despite universally negative reviews. Starz also noted that around half of the shows cast would be sent packing while mentioning that star Dennis Hopper will be back. Crash was a mess but itís never easy to be the first drama on a network so Iím ok with this renewal.

Law & Order: UK premiered earlier this week on iTV. The new L&O which stars Battlestar Galacticaís Jamie Barber should travel across the pond in a couple of months. No word on what channel itíll air on but since Dick Wolf is involved I can assume itís going to air on some sort of NBC Universal property. My bet is that itíll air on either NBC or USA in the summer potentially partnered with Law & Order: CI.

The Simpsons has broken another record, or is poised to I guess. Fox has renewed the longest running primetime animated series for another two year, which will put it past Gunsmoke as the longest running American primetime series ever. While The Simpsons has a long way to go before it comes close to Gunsmokeís 639 episodes, I congratulate The Simpsons on this amazing feat.

Iíve been asked a lot about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its future and Iíve got to say that I think it has better odds than people think. These odds still are not very good but what people seem to forget is that the fourth Terminator movie is coming out this summer, which could serve as a great platform to draw new fans to the show. Then again, the executives at Fox have never been the brightest people out there and Terminatorís move to Friday could signify its end on TV.


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Headlines 34
February 16, 2009

Rescue Me, the firefighter drama starring Denis Leary, has been renewed for a sixth season. This move seems to be a bit unorthodox considering season five doesnít start until April. Nonetheless Rescue Me is one of my favorite shows and itís almost been two years since Iíve seen a new episode thanks to the writerís strike. I donít know how ratings will hold up after such a long hiatus but itíll be good to see Tommy Gavin again.

My Network TV has announced that it will no longer produce original programming except for WWEís Friday Night Smackdown! The whole telenova experiment was a bust but few networks find success in their first couple of years. My guess is that the economy is responsible for this and Iíll explore that in my next article in the News section.

Weíve already pointed out that The Starter Wife will not be starting another season at USA but I thought it was relevant to point out the ratings. The Starter Wife was cancelled after posting an average of a little over two million. What does that show? The bar has clearly been raised for USA as TNT renewed Saving Grace, which had almost identical ratings.

Nicolette Sheridan is leaving Desperate Housewives. While Sheridanís character wasnít exactly the ďleadĒ this coupled with the Greyís Anatomy rumors about T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl gives ABC a lot of reasons to worry about the future of its line-up. Both shows are getting a little bit past their prime but both remain very important pieces to ABCís success.

Speaking of ABC, Life on Mars has had a lot of trouble in the ratings since returning from a long hiatus a couple of weeks ago. Life on Mars has been getting around 5 million viewers and ranks 14th in ABCís rankings. After the failures of Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, and Pushing Daises this comes as a real disappointment.

Iím not going to review Dollhouse all Iím going to say is that I was very disappointed with Joss Whedonís return to TV. Dollhouse had a lot of negative press prior to its debut and obviously the problems behind the scenes carried on to the final product.


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Headlines 33
February 04, 2009

For all the Dallas Cowboys fans out there, thereís something to look forward to past the first playoff game ďAmericaís teamĒ plays in each year. Wide receiver Terrell Owens aka T.O. has received his very own show on Vh1. Arguably the most entertaining personality in professional sports, T.O.ís new show should be pretty entertaining for all those interested.

The City, the third show from the people who brought us Laguna Beach and The Hills has been given a second season. This show sickens me not because of its stupidity but because one of its costars, Erin Lucas is the daughter of AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams. Williams shouldíve followed the advice Bon Scott sang in their popular song TNT, ďlock up your daughter lock up your wife lock up your back door and run for your life.Ē I know I will.

NBC is attempting to salvage Lipstick Jungle in a similar fashion that they used to bring Friday Night Lights back for a third season. While the ratings between the two are similar, Lipstick Jungle lacks the rabid critical support that Friday Night Lights has. I donít think the whole DirecTV experiment worked all that well so you can expect Lipstick Jungle to retain its spot in Tvhell that a few of you commented on in the sites main mailbag.

TNT has renewed Leverage for a second season consisting of 15 episodes. TNT has had pretty terrible luck when it comes to series not called The Closer but is now building a stable line-up. Leverage joins The Closer, Saving Grace, and Raising the Bar as TNTís returnees for next year. Trust Me had a solid debut so unless something goes terribly wrong (not unheard of for poor Tom Cavanagh) you can expect it to return next year as well.

Fans of Reaper will be happy to hear that its second season will premiere on March 3rd. two weeks earlier than planned. The bad news, no one watches The CW.

The new episode of Heroes was beaten in the ratings by an episode of ABCís The Bachelor this week. Iím not going to add anything else because thereís nothing funny about that.


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Headlines 32
January 27, 2009

The Legend of the Seeker, the first syndicated drama in years, has been renewed for a second season. I mocked Seeker back in Headlines 28 but they show has definitely gotten better since its premiere. I love Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess so I had to stick with it for at least the season and now its starting to pay off.

ABC has commissioned a pilot that will serve as a remake of V, a sci-fi show that aired on NBC in the 80s. Apparently nobody at ABC saw Knight Rider, Bionic Woman, or 90210 or else we wouldnít be in this predicament. Fortunately for us this is only a pilot and nothing is official yet.

Speaking of cheesy 80ís sci-fi, the British science fiction series Red Dwarf will air a special after being off the air for 21 years. Iíve always respected British television for its ability to bring old shows back like this and itís really something Iíd like to see more of here in America.

The next edition of MTVís long running series The Real World will be filmed in Cancun, Mexico. Look for MTV to air The Real World Antarctica later this yearÖ

Good news for those of you still watching analog, due to the economy and budget concerns with the governmentís coupon system the Senate voted to postpone the switch to digital.

Since the second half of the season began, there have been a couple newcomers to TV. Hereís my review of a few of them:

Trust Me (TNT) Ė I love Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh but I was really unimpressed with the pilot. Trust Meís plot isnít completely established yet but so far the advertising company doesnít interest me all that much. Aside from a guest appearance by Life on Marsí Jason OíMara, the supporting cast is horrendous and while itís only been the first episode, things arenít looking very good.

United States of Tara (Showtime) Ė The United States of Tara so far has been an interesting show and while the jury is still out on this one for me, Iím entertained. Toni Collette is a good actress but Iím concerned with the longevity this show will have.

Shows like Weeds and Entourage are beginning to show signs of aging after a few years but I think Tara might show the same symptoms in a few weeks.

Lie to Me (Fox) Ė Lie to Me impressed me with its pilot, Tim Roth is a talented actor, his performance in Rob Roy was excellent but I donít see this one sticking around very long. Fox messes up crime dramas like no other and I donít see any reason to believe they wonít mess up again.

While I wonít get in depth with old shows returning, Burn Notice, Damages, and Battlestar Galactica have all been great and are certainly worth checking out for new viewers. Scrubs was already bashed in the news section so Iíll spare it another beating. I gave up trying to review Lost midway through the second season but Iím never going to stop watching so I guess Iíll leave it at that. Look for more reviews next Headlines.


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Headlines 31
January 23, 2009

After months of speculation, George Clooney will return to ER. Clooney joins a long list of ER alumni to return to the show. Few shows that last 15 seasons have this many alumni return, a pretty impressive feat.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been pushed back to the summer. Information on the delay has been pretty scarce, and CI will adopt USAís 16 episode season format this year after airing a full season on its new cable home. CIís ratings were solid last year, but itís been a long delay so hopefully Jeff Goldblum can breathe some life into it.

While Heroes has been anything but a success this season, early reports show that NBC will renew Heroes for next season. This may have seemed like a no-brainer in previous years, due to the new Jay Leno takeover of the 10 oíclock slot, NBC canít afford to keep everything it has on the air. The good news, there isnít a whole lot NBC wants to renew. The futures of Chuck and Life are not looking as good right now and you can expect Law & Order and SVU to join Heroes The Office, 30 Rock, and most likely My Name is Earl for next year. Depending on how much Kings is affected by ERís extra three episode order, it might get asked back but NBC has little luck with shows premiering in March with the exception of The Office.

Speaking of Kings, the King David inspired drama starring Deadwoodís Ian McShane has been moved to a Sunday March 15th premiere at 8 oíclock. Why NBC thinks that moving a potentially good drama to its weakest night save for Friday at its weakest time-slot escapes me. Lead-ins are still important and airing a show with the new two-hour Apprentice is a ridiculous.

To break the chain of four NBC related headlines in a row, Showtime is leaning towards cancelling Brotherhood after three years on the air. Brotherhood is a good show but its ratings have not been there and Showtime has promoted it slightly better than Fox advertises its timeslot between 3 am and 4 am. 3 seasons isnít a bad run for a show that nobody cares about.

Matthew Weiner, the man behind AMCís Emmy winning series Mad Men has agreed to stay on board for at least another two years. Mad Men will forever be remembered as the first basic cable show to win the Emmy for best drama and now it can also be remembered for being a good show for a couple years as well.

Iíd like to remind everyone who wants a what-if to be examined by me to send your what-if to ian@tvhell.net where Iíll examine what couldíve happened if it wasnít sent to TV Hell.


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Headlines 30
January 12, 2009

With new programming returning to TV, Headlines returns as well

Stephanie March will reprise her role as Alexandra Cabot on Law & Order: SVU. This marks the third time that March has returned as Cabot. She previously appeared as a guest star on SVU and was a cast member on Conviction as Cabot. Whether or not this is a stunt to get more ratings for SVU, itís nice to see some old cast members again.

Due to its successful 15th season ER has been given three more episodes for its final season. ERís final season is itís best in a long time but I donít like this move at all. Kings, which is set to take over for ER is bound to be bumped back from its March 12th premier. I canít name one NBC show besides The Office to premier in March and be a hit in a long time and Iím really looking forward to Kings. ER wonít be back next year and this move is making sure that Kings wonít be back either.

Instead of airing an episode a night all week, HBO is bundling In Treatment to two episodes on Sunday and three episodes on Mondays. Expecting people to watch that show five nights a week was bad enough, but to expect viewers to watch In Treatment for an hour and a half on Mondays is ridiculous.

Tori Spelling will return to 90210 after contract problems kept her out of the series premier. I donít know what she settled for but I wouldnít sign her for more than ten dollars an episode. Her father Aaron Spelling is no longer around to put her on the air so how she managed to get paid to appear on network television escapes me. Oh wait; itís The CW, nevermind.

Hilary Duff has been cast in a new legal comedy series for NBC called Barely Legal. The last two legal shows that were advertised as ďfunnyĒ were Head Cases and Just Legal. Head Cases was the first cancelled show of the 2005-2006 season and Just Legal outlived it by a mere one episode. Barely Legal will probably last more than three episodes but itís unlikely to last much more than that.


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Headlines 29
December 04, 2008

In an unconventional move by NBC, Knight Rider, which was given a full 22-episode order, will cease production after episode 17. This doesnít necessarily mean itís done but the odds donít look too good.

In other NBC news, Kings, the new drama starring Deadwoodís Ian McShane (who I like for his acting not because we share the same name), will air on Thursdays after ERís finale. Kings may be one of the few midseason relievers I actually care about; The Black Donnellyís was the last show to air in ERís 10:00 pm slot. Hopefully there wonít be another curse, or maybe it will fail because of NBCís inability to produce successful TV shows.

In even more NBC news, the Peacock network has decided that instead of finding quality programming for its post football Sunday line-up, it will instead extend The Apprentice to two hours. I may have liked the celebrity version of the Apprentice last year, but this move is just plain sad.

Showtime had renewed Californication for a third season. The crude comedy starring David Duchovny has been performing well for Showtime, helping it gain retain the upper hand in the battle against HBO. Now if only HBO had stuff I wanted to see.

Sci-fi Channel has officially announced that the Battlestar Galactica prequel spin-off Caprica will receive a 20 episode order. It will begin airing in early 2010 roughly a year after Galacticaís finale.

I just got news that The Legend of the Seekerís premiere snagged 4.1 million viewers and has been averaging around 3 million viewers since. Call me whatever you wish I think this merits a spot on The CWís line-up.

CBS has been considering developing a spin-off to NCIS, which continues to defy all ratings patterns and really deliver for the network. The only potential problem is that CBS may have to add a couple hours to primetime to fit all its procedural crime dramas.


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Headlines 28
November 24, 2008

Big week for ABC. The network has decided to cancel Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, and Pushing Daisies. While one could expect Pushing Daisies and potentially either Eli Stone or DSM to get the boot, seeing all three go is a bit of a shocker. Despite seeing three shows exit its line-up. ABC had some good news. Life on Mars, one of the few new shows you could call a hit has been given four new episodes. While four seems like an odd number the amount of midseason programming ABC has somewhat justifies the bizarre order.

NBC has banished Crusoe to Saturday night, basically a preamble to its cancellation. The only way I can see this work is it people who tune into Legend of the Seeker will watch Crusoe an hour early but that would imply that not only backwards lead ins work but that anyone watches Legend of the Seeker to begin with. Look for Crusoe to be one of the first entries on our soon to be new fourth page of cancelled shows.

Way back in May in the 19th edition of Headlines, I reported that The CW had sold off its Sunday night primetime hours to Media Right Capital to air whatever it wanted. Well the grand new experiment was less that successful and call it eminent domain if you please but The CW has taken back its Sunday line-up. Even more shocking is The CWís decsion to air repeats of failed CBS drama Jericho and a Sunday night movie to fill the timeslot. I donít know what idiot executive decided to put Jericho in the mix but if a show gets six million on a major network, how do you expect even a million at 7:00 pm on a Sunday on The CW?

The SAG is requesting approval to strike. While nothings official yet letís hope for the best, I donít see TV ever recovering if another strike happens.


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Headlines 27
November 16, 2008

After four years, Prison Break may come to a close. Fox is debating whether or not it will add two more episodes to the twenty two-episode order, with the possibility that those episodes would serve as a series finale. Prison Break has not been doing well in the ratings and while it probably has overstayed its welcome on Foxís line-up, I would caution Fox to end the series properly. Fox has left a lot of shows unresolved over the years and the last thing it needs now is a boycott from Prisonís Break loyal fan base.

NBC has cancelled Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy. NBC has not had any luck with its line-up this year and if Crusoe does not get a back nine order, that makes the less that spectacular Knight Rider as the only new series from NBC to make it to the end of the season.

Fox has canceled MADtv. Itís last episode will air in May concluding fourteen years of competing for the large part unsuccessfully against Saturday Night Live. I never liked MADtv but SNL could use some competition to keep it in check.

On a brighter note, The Sci-fi Channel has renewed Sanctuary, the new show from Stargate SG-1ís Amanda Tapping will return in 09 for another season. Sanctuary scored over 3 million viewers in its premier episode, numbers better than half of the CWís line-up. Nice to see that thereís some good ratings news this week.

Speaking of The CW, Privileged has been given five additional episodes by The CW, not quite a full season but encouraging nonetheless. Privileged has not performed well but then again nothing on The CW gets anything that resembles good ratings.

Hilary Duff has signed a contract to appear in a NBC series. While the name of the series is yet to be determined, sources close to NBC confirmed that it will not be named Law & Order: Lizzie McGuire Unit.


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Headlines 26
November 03, 2008

King of the Hill, Foxís longest tenured animated comedy behind The Simpsonís, will conclude itís run after this season. King of the Hill has made Headlines a couple years ago only to be brought back by Fox but it appears as though this time is for real. King of the Hill battled for thirteen years in a timeslot often preempted by football and still managed to bring in decent ratings.

In other animation news, American Dad will be back for a fifth season. Fox has had great success with creator Seth MacFarlane so this should not be surprising to any. I just wish Fox would bring Futurama back to network TV. ABCís very successful dramedy heavy line-up is running into a couple big problems this season. While Life on Mars has been critically acclaimed and decent in the ratings, Dirty Sexy Money, Private Practice, and Pushing Daisies have all been nothing shy of terrible this year. Private Practice got a full pickup most likely because itís ties to Greyís Anatomy though I havenít really heard anyone talk about Greyís Anatomy with any form of emotion since Isaiah Washington was fired. In my professional opinion I would expect Dirty Sexy Money to get a full season pickup and more likely than not Pushing Daisies will get cancelled.

David Tennant, the tenth person to play the Doctor on the BBCís long running series Doctor Who, will leave the show after this season. While this may be surprising to some, Tennantís five years on the show make him the second longest serving actor to play the Doctor. Nevertheless he will be missed.

Itís been a long long time sine first run syndication produced any scripted material and this week Legend of the Seeker makes its debut. The new show from Hercules and Xena creator Sam Raimi brings back the cheesy New Zealand made fantasy shows that I used to love back in the 90ís. Most of you will probably hate it but anyone interested should check your local listings for it.


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Headlines 25
October 15, 2008

Lauren Conrad is considering leaving The Hills. Whether or not she understands that that decision will likely end her fifteen minutes of fame is yet to be determined.

Sons of Anarchy will receive another season. The Ron Pearlman led drama earns my vote for best new drama of the year (not that it has much competition)

Other full season pickups include Eli Stone, The Mentalist, and shockingly, Knight Rider. Critics hate it (myself included) but for some reason NBC has decided the awful remake of a pretty bad show to begin with deserves to plague television for a couple more months.

While Vincent Chaseís career may be in the toilet, his show sure isnít. Entourage will be back for a sixth season.

While this is hardly news, Iíd like Headlines to formally bid farewell to The Riches, one of my favorite cable shows in awhile. A victim of the writerís strike, The Riches second season never lived up to the outstanding first season and the nice cliff hanger will never be resolved.

This year has been pretty awful to network sci-fi so far. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is on the verge of cancellation and Heroes isnít doing much better. If ratings fall beneath the 8.5 million that watched last week donít expect the high budget Heroes to be saving any more cheerleaders.

Itís October, sweeps are just around the bend and most new shows are either getting picked up or being sent packing. Hit up ian@tvhell.net if you want to know which ones are going to go.


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Headlines 24
September 24, 2008

With the return of the regular TV season comes news you actually care about Despite lackluster ratings and reviews, 90210 becomes the first series to get the full episode order this year. Ratings may not be out of this world but then again The CW doesnít have much else to work with.

True Blood, another one the TV Hell jury isnít quite out on yet, got another season. I guess the same thing applies to True Blood as it does to 90210 but at least 90210 presents an actual plot.

Heroes didnít exactly do anything heroic for NBC in itís opener. The show couldnít even get 10 million viewers and while NBC isnít looking to get rid of it anytime soon this should raise more than a few eyebrows, at least those on the few who actually watched the lengthy two-hour premiere.

Look for Fringe to get a full season order sometime this week. The new thriller on Fox was lifted by the return of House. With that being said, anything with ten million viewers or more should get renewed seeing as ratings have been universally down.

Mary McDonnell will join the cast of Greyís Anatomy for a few episodes this season, showing us that while Battlestar Galactica may be ending soon, the actorís careers sure arenít.

Flashpoint the drama from our friends up north in Canada will return to CBS for another season. Originally brought in to fill some hour during the strike, Flashpoint caught on with many viewers. The cast includes Veronica Marsí Enrico Colantoni and the original Pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson.


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Headlines 23
September 14, 2008

Joss Whedon has indefinitely halted production of his mid season return to television Dollhouse. Whedon states that the show wasnít going the way he thought it should and wants to take some time off to get the show back on track. Seeing that his previous three shows Buffy, Angel, and Firefly were all cancelled at one point (yes Buffy was cancelled after season 5 before moving to UPN), I think good old Joss wants to put forth his best effort.

Hugh Laurie joins the ranks of the increasingly fewer number of highly paid stars on television. In exchange for staying on House for at least three more years, Laurie will get at 400k an episode, more than nine million a season. House is one of Foxís only truly consistent dramas and with 24 and Prison Breakís feeling a bit tired, Fox really needs House to stick around.

Just because Battlestar Galactica is ending doesnít mean NBC Universal wants to lose any of its actors. Katee Sackhoff aka Starbuck will join the cast of Dick Wolfís LAPD crime show Lost and Found. Hopefully sheíll be able to reverse the fortune that Dick Wolf has had with his past few new shows, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Conviction.

While the season isnít truly underway yet, Fox, The CW, and most of the cable networks have already started showing off their new shows. Iíve taken a look at a bunch of them and here are my thoughts on some of the seasonís new shows Sons of Anarchy (FX) Ė FX has really surprised me with the pilots of its newer shows. Iím not really a person who likes pilots at all since I feel like they try to do too much in the first episode. Sons of Anarchy kept me interest without introducing the back-stories of every single character. Plus it has Ron Pearlman, who is one of the best actors of the past few decades. If you havenít checked it out donít miss FXís newest hit show.

True Blood (HBO) Ė The juries still out on True Blood for me. Superb acting by Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer but I struggled to get through the rather boring pilot. It shows a lot of potential but so far the plot was too weak for me. I know better than to count Alan Ball out though.

90210 (The CW) Ė I want to like 90210, I really do. So far Iíve seen the first three episodes (the two hour premiere counts as two), and Iím already bored. The show is more like a poor OC rip-off then a Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off. It doesnít help that the show more or less has three individual casts then one giant cast because there are several main characters that donít even appear like theyíll have anything to do with each other. I hope 90210 is successful but itís off to a bad start.

Fringe (FOX) Ė As a big Dawsonís Creek fan I was pretty happy to see Joshua Jackson back on network television. Throw Lance Reddick, one of the most underrated actors of the new millennium, in and you already have a great cast. The pilot didnít make me jump on the couch and scream to the moon about how good it was, but I enjoyed it. Iím looking forward to seeing what the future brings for Fringe.


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Headlines 22
September 05, 2008

Flight of the Concords, one of the only shows currently on HBO worth watching will likely end after itís second season. Basically the showís creators donít want the show to grow stale, similar to Battlestar Galacticaís fairly early ending.

In other HBO related news, True Blood the vampire show from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball debuts this Sunday. I donít know if any of you are long time readers of my work but this might be the start of the resurgence Iíve been saying HBO desperately needs.

NBC recently announced that Chuck the spy comedy that impressed critics last year will get a full season order before it even started on its second season. NBC needs a strong performance from its younger shows and this appears to be a step in the right direction.

The Closer might be the next show to receive a spin off. The announcement isnít all that surprising given the fact that The Closer is the most successful show in ad supported cable history.

For all you Stargate fans out there, Iíve been hearing that Stargate Universe will debut this summer. Stay tuned for more accurate news on the subject.

With the new tv season comes new shows to be cancelled. Stay tuned to TV Hell to see more news updates as we get back to business after a relaxing summer break.


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Headlines 21
July 23, 2008

Jay Leno will end his tenure as the host of The Tonight Show on May 29th. Whatís next for Leno isnít certain but seeing as he doesnít really want to leave you can bet it wonít be with NBC.

Showtime will keep dealing out Weeds for at least two more years bringing the total amount of seasons to six, pretty good for a cable show.

In other Showtime related news 'The L Word' will reportedly get a spinoff. Itís been eight years since Showtime was without a gay related show so itís somewhat good to see that some things donít change in the TV world.

FX has given the green light to more 'Itís Always Sunny in Philadelphia' and has decided to axe 'Nip/Tuck' when it reaches 100 episodes.

Zach Braff is still pretty adamant about leaving Scrubs following this year. Seeing as ABC doesnít have many other reliable laughers, itís a fairly safe bet that it will try and continue Scrubs without him.

Amy Poehler is linked to The Office spin-off hinting that she might be leaving SNL. With the election coming up and The Office spin-offís late premiere itís safe to assume sheíll be around for a little while longer.


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Headlines 20
June 29, 2008

Chris Noth has left Law & Order: Criminal Intent. His replacement is Jeff Goldblum who will hopefully act better than he did on Raines, which entered TV Hell pretty quickly. Noth was an original L&O cast member so his presence will be missed but hopefully Goldblum can bring back some ratings to CI, which isnít exactly doing so hot on USA.

While this is still a rumor, an Arrested Development movie is in the works. Iíll post more information when I hear it but hopefully this gives fans closure after the near certain move to Showtime fell through.

In Treatment has been renewed by HBO. This move is not surprising considering the last article I wrote about HBO but Iím not convinced In Treatment is the answer to HBOís drama problems.

The Wire finally got nominated for Best Drama. Iím not going to do Emmy coverage because I did it during my last stint on TV Hell a few years back and hated it.

Apparently ABC does not want Leno after his contract is up. ABC renewed Jimmy Kimmelís contract through 2010.

Gossip Girl is getting a spin-off. I personally donít understand how a show that gets two million viewers a night merits its own spin-off but then again this is The CW weíre talking about.

Let us all take a minute to remember George Carlin, the man who dares us all to go against the norm and be ourselves. His stand up gave me hours of laughter and Iím very saddened to see him go.

With that all being said, Headlines for the summertime will be updated very sporadically. Thereís just not that much to report.


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Headlines 19
May 17, 2008

Despite my prediction in last weekís headlines "Moonlight" was in fact cancelled by CBS. I donít know how much better CBS can do on Fridayís than the ok ratings Moonlight was giving them. Warner Bros is shopping the show to other networks but given Jerichoís recent failure I donít expect it to be back unless The CW wishes to return to its roots once again by adding a vampire drama to its line-up.

Speaking of shows jumping networks, "Scrubs" has been officially picked up by ABC for next year. This move works for everyone because the finale was the worst attempt at a series finale Iíve seen in a long time and ABC gets some stability for its pitiful half hour comedy line-up.

"The Unit" was given another season despite declining ratings and a high budget.

James Woodís legal drama "Shark" has been beached by CBS. Shark never really lived up to the expectations of the network and did not perform well after being separated from CSI.

"Boston Legal" has been given the green light for a fifth season but only for thirteen episodes. This will also be the final season for 'The Practice' spin off which has brought in sub par ratings but is very popular among rich viewers. This move is probably for syndication purposes considering the Writerís Strike shortened this season.

This Fall "24" will receive a TV movie to bridge the gap between seasons 6 and 7, which will be more than a year and half because the Strike prevented 24 from completing the whole season. Not many details have been revealed other than it will be set in South Africa and it will premier in the fall.

The CW has cancelled Sunday night programming. In a move reminiscent of UPN, The CW has sold the three-hour block to Media Rights Capital to do more or less whatever they want with it. I donít see how it can be any worse than the line-up they have now on Sundays.

The CW has renewed "Reaper" for another season. I donít understand why The CW expects to do nay better when it renews shows that didnít perform all season but perhaps they also understand seeing as Reaper was only renewed for 13 episodes. Expect Reaper back in January unless something goes wrong with its fall line-up.


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Headlines 18
May 11, 2008

Gossip Girl has received a twenty four-episode season for next year, two above what a typical season would have. The show draws terrible ratings and this is somewhat of a surprise because The CW was considering scaling the order down to sixteen if ratings didnít improve.

In similar news, Lostís final two season will have seventeen episodes instead of the previously announced sixteen. Both of these changes in episodes have to do with The Writerís Strike and I wouldnít be too surprised to see other shows follow suit.

Comedy Central is bringing back The Gong Show. I donít really know why anyone would want to do such a thing but if thereís hope for The Gong Show I wouldnít rule out any of the hundreds of TV Hell shows from coming back. Anyone remember Steve Harveyís Big Time Challenge? Maybe Comedy Central should bring that back to.

MTV has green lit a reality show by Justin Timberlake called The Phone. Its premise appears to be similar to The Amazing Race. This is somewhat hypocritical of Timberlake who stated at the MTV music Awards last year that MTV should ďplay more damn videosĒ but I guess MTV needs some more shows to complement itís line-up of compelling hits such as Next and Parental Control.

Judging by the recent success in ratings, count on Moonlight getting another season. CBS has had trouble filling the nine oíclock slot JAG used to occupy and Moonlight has a better shot at holding the ratings than its predecessor, Close To Home, did.

Ugly Betty is moving to New York leaving a long list of shows that are based in New York but filmed in LA such as NYPD Blue and CSI: NY. I never thought Iíd live to see the day when NY was cheaper than Hollywood to film in.


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Headlines 17
April 28, 2008

The Tudors has been picked up for a third season. While ratings probably still arenít what Showtime wants for a rather expensive show, the financial aid from the CBC and the popularity of the show in Europe helped it out. Itís good to see that some quality shows can live on in this era of television.

Jimmy Fallon has been confirmed as Conan OíBrienís replacement on Late Night who in turn is replacing Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. This might be a problem for NBC considering Leno has no stated he does not wish to retire. Hopefully it doesnít turn into another Leno-Letterman feud but personally Iím a big Jay Leno fan and would like to see him stay.

Viacom, the former parent company to CBS and its empire, is trying to launch a rival cable network to Showtime and HBO. This seems like a terrible idea considering that when Viacom split from CBS Corporation, CBS Corporation got CBS, Showtime, and UPN, which now is 50% of The CW. Viacom got MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET and Spike, which are all composed of mainly unscripted programming. How Viacom plans to compete with the scripted programming Showtime and HBO offer on a premium cable platform has yet to be seen.

Britney Spears is supposedly getting a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother. The episode she appeared on got 10.7 million, which is enough to keep it out of TV Hell for the time being. Whether or not Britney Spears will also kill the show is yet to be seen.

Nick Lachey is on board to host High School Musical: Summer Session on ABC this summer. Iíd rather watch the washed up bubblegum pop star mentioned before than this washed up bubblegum pop star mentioned now.


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Headlines 16
April 18, 2008

Friday Night Lights got a 13 episode order thanks to some additional funding from DirecTv for some exclusive first run broadcasting. History has not been kind to struggling shows that receive half season orders, but itís still a chance. The Office is getting a little bigger next season. NBC has ordered an untitled spin-off to take Scrubsís slot in the Must See TV Thursday line-up. Whether or not ABC will renew Scrubs is still up in the air.

In a rare and for once intelligent move, fans of the CBS drama Moonlight have launched a fan campaign for the show to be renewed before itís cancelled by the network. Coming off the recent failure in Jerichoís second revival would all but guaranteed the vampire show to not come back form the dead. Getting a head start is a very good idea.

While most shows on the bubble will be given another month before a final decision is made, we could see a reversal of the decline in reality programming. Shows like Deal or No Deal and The Celebrity Apprentice have been doing very well. ER will close shop after next season. Law & Order most likely will too but its stellar performance in syndication may help it get past Gunsmoke as the longest running American primetime drama. It needs 2 more seasons to do so but itís about 230 episodes to as seasons typically ran longer in the early days of TV.

Not a whole lot happening this week in TV as the scripted shows rev up for one final run of the year.


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Headlines 15 Ė The Return
April 02, 2008

Rob Thomas, creator of 'Veronica Mars', has been on a winning streak lately, getting three pilots picked up. The writer turned producer has been commissioned by The CW to make a spinoff of 'Beverly Hills 90210' as well as a remake series of 'Cupid', a dramedy he created in the late 90ís. The third pilot is yet to be officially titled by follows the comedic drama formula Thomas practically pioneered this time about a crime family. Little else is known but if itís from Rob Thomas is bound to be worth a look.

Speaking of pilots, Joss Whedon has a new show called Dollhouse which is supposedly airing on Fox despite Whedon publically saying heíd never work with them again over the handling of his masterpiece Firefly. Dollhouse is about a group of people who are brainwashed with false memories and identities to carry out special assignments for the government. Eliza Dusku aka Faith from Buffy and Angel has reportedly been cast. Knowing Fox and sci-fi type shows this shouldnít be around long.

Speaking of Fox, Prison Break has been renewed despite the fact that it started out as a miniseries.

'The Return of Jezebel James' has entered TV Hell. Anyone care? Nah me neither.

CBS has publically announced that if NBC were to cancel 'Medium' it would pick it up, similar to what ABC has done with 'Scrubs'.

'Shark' has been sent swimming to Tuesdays in a feudal attempt to get ratings up. I guess 'Medium' might end up replacing it if James Woods canít get his show from drowning in the mess that has been crime shows on CBS this year.

'Jericho' has been cancelled once again. Whether or not it will get two slots in TV Hell has not been decided.

Thatís about it for the news in TV this week, hit me up at ian@tvhell.net for any other questions.




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