Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NEWS FROM THE TV TRASHPILE: SHARK GETS BOOT, CW GETS SKED, AND FALLON GETS JOB

I have been following the upfronts with total disinterest this year. I don't know why I'm not so interested. Maybe it's got to do with the fact that I watch less TV these days, for a number of reasons -- most of them having to do with that awful writers strike. Maybe it's because the shows on these networks have been less than compelling, especially these new shows. Plus, lots of established shows have gotten renewed this year.

Not so much at CBS, though. Nikki Finke surprised me with news that the James Woods legal drama Shark has been cancelled. I guess ratings have gone head-first into the toilet for that show. CBS also axed Moonlight and apparently the fans are mad. Me, I didn't even watch that show.

Today Finke has posted the schedule for The CW on her website with word that the spinoff series from Beverly Hills 90210, entitled simply 90210, is on the schedule. But of course the WWE is OFF the schedule. And people are still mad that there's even a CW to begin with because of what went down with the departure of UPN and the WB. Plus, the CW cancelled a lot of beloved veteran shows the past couple of years (Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars), so people are mad about that. I gotta say, the CW seems to be relying on reality show junk to get by these days. Whether it's Top Model or the Pussycat Dolls, or Beauty and the Geek, this channel really has too much reality junk. If it wasn't for Gossip Girl no one would care about this network.

And the only big news I have out of NBC is that Jimmy Fallon will take over Conan O'Brien's Late Night host spot after Conan takes over for Jay on The Tonight Show. Rumor is Jay will probably bolt NBC completely. I dunno if Fallon will be a hit. Former Saturday Night Live stars have never done well hosting talk shows in late night, for some reason. Dennis Miller's syndicated show was OK but it was still cancelled, and Chevy Chase's FOX show was one of the worst shows ever made and was pulled after a few weeks. Fallon faces a tough crowd.

By the way, read an article chronicling the ratings woes for Survivor and American Idol. Apparently Survivor's season finale, usually considered the Super Bowl of reality shows, wasn't even in the Top Ten for the week. And the ratings for American Idol continue to dip week after week. That on-air gaffe a few weeks back with Paula blowing it on TV and critiquing two songs in mid-show, before both songs were even finished, was a real head-scratching moment.

I think people are truly fed up not only of the garbage they are getting from these reality shows on TV -- they are also tired of what they are getting from popular culture these days, period. They are sick of Simon and Paula and Randy, and sick of Lindsay and Britney and all the Jessicas, and Heidi and Lauren, and all these other fools on TV. I think people are sick of Miley, too.

Whatever happened to classy TV like what we got in the Seventies or Eighties? There ain't much of it these days. No wonder no one is tuning in, then, with all these fools on TV these days.

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