Sunday, April 15, 2007

SAVE TWO SHOWS (!) (?)

The big controversy of the week in TV is that E's Kristin Veitch released the results of her Save One Show campaign and decided to turn around and name two winners. She claimed Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars as the co-winners of this poll, but people are mad because Gilmore Girls actually beat Veronica quite handily. In fact it got 300,000 more votes. So people are mad that Gilmore Girls has to share the title.
There are also lots of people claiming that a lot of cheating and electronic/computerized voting was going on, with multiple votes being cast by computers located in the middle of nowhere to save Gilmore Girls. So people who voted for One Tree Hill and Supernatural are mad about that. I find it interesting that the top four votegetting shows were all on the CW network--- you know, that network that nobody watches except of course for the die-hard TV fans who truly love television. This is truly the "TV fans" network, the CW. Yet they act like all the rest of them in making programming decisions a lot of the time, putting on reality junk like the rest of them in order to prop up their dismal ratings.

Anyway, Gilmore Girls' fate seems to rest entirely on whether cast member Alexis Bledel comes back. As for Veronica, creator Rob Thomas is trying to sell a format change of the show to the network and do a radical makeover of the show, and turn Veronica into an FBI agent. Personally, I think this sounds like a rehash of Alias, but people who have drunk the Veronica Mars koolaid think this sounds great. I think at some point you have to accept defeat and give up on a show if the ratings are really bad, and not tinker around with radical format changes and other nonsense that might affect the integrity of the show. The real problem with Veronica Mars is that nobody watches it! The show has some of the lowest ratings on network TV. But the fans are practically a cult.

WHAT ABOUT LAW AND ORDER?!

What sucks about that poll by E! is that there are a few shows they left off that silly list which probably should have been nominated and allowed a shot at getting a few votes. Such as: Law and Order. Did you hear the comments of Kevin Reilly of NBC about this show this week? In a Variety interview he said the fate of the mothership is "a real discussion. Nothing lasts forever." In another interview he called the show "expensive."

Yikes. These are scary comments for fans of the show to hear. But let's face it, the ratings this year have been truly awful and the storylines have been lousy. It seems these writers on the show are obsessed with religion and topics like that, with these cases "ripped from the headlines." If you think this sounds like a lame, hack-job excuse of a show, well, these days that's what it is.

And it's sad because it never used to be this way. The diehard fans at the NBC boards think this season has sucked and are calling for big changes. They are miserable because they all want the old, great Law and Order back in all its glory. They are sad because these days they have to put up with lame storylines, lame actors, and a terrible time slot on Friday nights--- and they are deeply worried that the show is going to be cancelled before it is able to turn things around. This show is on its last legs, and the fans know it and they are angry.

More particularly, these fans are mad at Dick Wolf's attempts to appease the numbskulls who run NBC by going after a younger audience, sexing up the show and adding babes to the cast. The fans think Milena Govich is going to succeed in putting this show in the grave!! There's even a petition going on the NBC fan boards trying to fire Milena and get Dennis Farina back on the show. Which I find funny because people were blasting Farina for not being as good as the late great Jerry Orbach. But anyone's better than Milena Govich. She completely sucks on the show.

There's also similar worry among the Law and Order: Criminal Intent fans, and I notice the Crossing Jordan fans are really sad and agitated these days, waiting for Jill Hennessy's show to kick the bucket. They're doing the petition thing, too, and the letter writing, and all that. What a sad situation for those Jordan fans, because that show appears completely doomed. What I notice is these fans are hurling blame at NBC for not promoting these shows, putting them in death time slots and the like, while littering the schedule with reality shows, game shows, and other cheap junk. You know how I feel about a lot of these cheap shows already and how utterly unwatchable most of them are. More of them are on the way, in fact.

NBC is going to be putting on The Real Wedding Crashers, another lame reality show about weddings getting crashed. And they have on there a comedy show Thank God You're Here, which looks like it's made on the cheap (even though it's funny). This sounds like the kind of stuff that ought to be relegated to cable TV, but NBC insists on serving this up to a national network audience! But can you really blame NBC for doing this?! This is exactly what the lame-o people in these Nielsen households are watching right now: cheap junk. I read somewhere that the top shows on television right now are American Idol, Dancing With the Stars and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader. And even Idol's ratings are down 10%. Still, these are the hits. Meanwhile Studio 60 has flopped and The Black Donnellys just tanked, and Fox had to cancel pretty much all of its new dramas as well.

All in all these are sad times for TV fans and fans of long-running television shows, seeing their favorite scripted series getting shafted by the networks and by the general public.

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