PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

October 4, 2007

TV Past and Future

Thanks to all who watched Pushing Daisies last night. It won its time slot handily in the ratings, coming in second for the night, behind only Criminal Minds. This was thanks in large part, one would have to figure, to the almost universal raves it got. In fact, this was one of the few times that I can remember when reviewers (professionals) actually begged people to watch a show. The interesting test will be next week, on both ends: Will the episode be as good, and will as many people tune in to it?

In my preview post earlier in the week, I forgot to mention that tonight’s 30 Rock premier features the return of Jerry Seinfeld to episodic tv. Hey, anything that gets more people to watch the Emmy-winning comedy is fine by me.

Also, I missed a show on the weekly premiere preview: Law and Order:Criminal Intent premiers tonight. But I missed it because it’s not on one of the big 5 (and yes, the “big” is relative) networks. The show, while still making new episodes, has moved from NBC to USA. This is not unprecedented. A number of shows have jumped networks, and Baywatch started out on NBC before jumping to syndication, and a few shows (boxing reality program The Contender comes to mind) actually have moved to a cable network mid-season to finish their runs. I think The Contender is actually still producing new episodes as well, a number of seasons down the line. It is, however, the first time that a member of one of the major “tentpole” families (L&O and CSI) have supplemented their endless cable reruns with new episodes. If only Crime and Punishment (the L&O family’s reality show) had managed to find its way to CourtTV.

October 2, 2007

Another Lunchtime TV Post

Since I didn’t get to it last night and it looks like tonight will be another late evening, here’s another quick lunchtime post, covering the rest of this week’s premieres.

 

Tuesday. ABC, 7:00 and 7:30. Cavemen and Carpoolers. One is a sitcom version of a car insurance commercial, and the other takes place in a car. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

 

Wednesday. Pushing Daisies (ABC, 7 p.m.) is without a doubt my favorite pilot of the season. It has a style and a vibe all its own, with director Barry Sonnenfeld’s (THE ADDAMS FAMILY) fingerprints all over it. Daisies is the story of Ned the Pie Man (Lee Pace, Wonderfalls), a young man who discovers at an early age that he has an unusual talent — if he touches someone who is dead, they will come back to life. As with all things, though, there’s a price: If the reanimated person remains alive for more than one minute, someone nearby will die in their place. And a second touch from Ned will send that person to their grave permanently. Believe it or not, this is a lighthearted romantic comedy.

In addition to owning his own pie restaurant, Ned works with private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride, The John Laroquette Show), reviving murder victims just long enough to reveal who killed them so that Ned and Cod can collect the reward. When one of the victims is Ned’s long lost childhood sweetheart, Chuck (Anna Friel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the choice of letting her remain alive is, predictably, not so hard. Of course, now that he has his true love back, he can never touch her again, but that’s sure to be some of the fun going forward. One woman he can touch (but doesn’t seem to want to) is his waitress, Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth, Bewitched), who’s repeatedly foiled in her attempts to reel Ned in.

As I’ve said, this is a delightful show with an energy and a vibe all its own. Whether that vibe will be maintained over the course of the series (always a dicey proposition with these sorts of things), or whether the network will give it a chance to land the kind of audience that it so richly deserves is anybody’s guess.

Interlude. Okay. I maybe gave Cavemen and Carpoolers short shrift because I wanted to get to the Pushing Daisies preview. But come on. Cavemen is adapted from a series of Geico commercials which, while they were maybe a bit amusing, weren’t begging for more background. Add to that the fact that the series was extensively altered once the original pilot was shot, and the outlook is not good. Of course, According to Jim is still on (maybe), so there’s no underestimating what people will watch. I don’t know much about Carpoolers, but none of the reviews I’ve glanced at have been particularly glowing, and there hasn’t been one whit of positive buzz. There. Now don’t say you haven’t been warned.

 

Thursday. NBC, 7:30. 30 Rock. Fresh off a Best Comedy Emmy, this behind-the-scenes look at a late night comedy show is deserving of whatever praise it gets. Consistently funny, sometimes outrageous, the only criticism I can offer of the show is that creator/writer/star Tina Fey sometimes shortchanges herself in favor of Tracey Morgan’s character.

Thursday. CW, 8 p.m. Supernatural. I gave up on this last season, but for those needing a hardcore horror fix, this is about as close as you can get this season. They’re adding two new female characters, including the daughter of former teen heartthrob David Cassidy.

 

Friday. NBC, 8 p.m. Friday Night Lights. Routinely considered the best show no one’s watching, this quality drama about football evidently isn’t really about football. I don’t know. I’m not watching.

 

Sunday. CW, 7 p.m. Life Is Wild. Vet moves his family to a South African game preserve. Sounds entirely too uplifting and naturey. We here at PavCo MultiMedia do not do uplifting and naturey, and we certainly do not do them together.

 

Interlude 2. I just realized I haven’t said “What, this is still on the air?” at all this week.

 

Sunday. ABC, America‘s Funniest Home Videos. What, this is still on the air?

 

 

If tv be the food of life, view on!

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