Good news and bad news

TV networks are giving their annual upfront presentations this week, revealing their fall schedules to advertisers and audiences. Things are much more predictable this year than most, given that the 2008-2009 schedule will, in many places, be a reboot of the strike-disrupted 2007-2008. Here are some of my thoughts as announcements are being made.

1. Given the creative resurgence it’s shown in every single post-strike episode, I’m glad to see that the CW is giving Reaper a second season. As of now, it’s been picked up for 13 episodes that will probably start at midseason. This was one of my favorite pilots of the fall, but the show sagged a lot under the formula it set up for itself (The Devil visits Sam, Sam lies to Andi, Sam catches an escaped soul, rinse, repeat). The latest batch of episodes introduced two inspired characters, the gay demons Steve and Tony, who began a subplot involving a group of demons trying to overthrow the Devil. Plus, Andi finally learned the truth about Sam’s “job”, so now she can join in the Scooby-Gang-Junior shenanigans instead of just giving the boys puzzled eye rolls all the time. All in all, the show has been stellar lately, and I look forward to more.

2. Though CBS’s official presentation is not until tomorrow, all signs point to go for a fourth season of How I Met Your Mother. How this show is always considered “on the bubble” is beyond me, as its ratings are solid and skew young, not to mention it is quite possibly the funniest show on TV (in my opinion, only 30 Rock delivers as consistently). This show elevates the whole concept of a traditional three-camera sitcom. The sometimes quite elaborate flashback structure and dedication to building upon itself and rewarding consistent viewing with both emotional payoffs and inside jokes really do make it the Lost of sitcoms, as I’ve heard several critics describe it. If you don’t watch, please, get season one and get with it.

3. Of all of the shows I watch now, only one seems positioned to not return in the fall—the charming and smart but almost totally unnoticed Aliens in America, which I don’t think I have ever even mentioned on this blog. Sorry, guys. You made a good show.

4. Though cable networks aren’t involved with upfronts, all this talk about scheduling has me thinking about them as well. Since so much production was pushed back by the strike, many of the shows I would usually be watching during the summer most likely won’t be back until fall: Rescue Me, Mad Men, Big Love, Entourage. So, the summer will be mostly barren (I think I only have Psych and My Boys to look forward to) and the fall will be even more overwhelmingly packed than usual. Lame.

5. Finally, my condolences to fans of Moonlight. Never watched it, wasn’t the slightest bit interested despite my general love of vampire stories, but holy geez is the despair ringing out around the internet since CBS announced it was cancelled. Just don’t start mailing them vials of your blood in protest or something, okay? You’ll get through this.


1 Response to “Good news and bad news”

  1. 1 Sara May 26, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Good news: Jon and Kate plus 8 will be new at least part way into the summer.

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