Friday, May 18, 2007

The Upfronts: FOX & The CW.

And here we are on the last day of the upfronts. It's been a wild ride. There's been lots of cancellations. Some wise, some foolish, and a shitload fairly irrelevant. Today, I will cover the cancellations made by FOX and The CW, and I will mix them all up into my standard four categories:

1. GOOD -- These are the shows I'm glad are gone, and would have pulled off the air myself if given the chance.
2. I DON'T CARE -- These are the shows I have absolutely no opinion of because I didn't watch them.
3. I KINDA CARE -- These are the shows I watched, but are not exactly a huge loss.
4. FUCK FOX -- These are the shows I loved, taken before their time.

The CW:
- 7th Heaven -- This is a show that I think has probably long outlasted its usefulness. It ran for 10 seasons before they decided to cancel it, and when The WB became The CW, they actually uncancelled it and brought it back for an 11th season. I used to watch it at some point during the earlier seasons when I was in high school. It was about a Christian family, the father being a church minister. The main reason I stopped watching it is that the show sucked, everyone on it was annoying, and the parents were insanely strict, which made the kids act equally insane.
- Justice -- I watched the first few episodes of this because it sounded pretty cool. Each episode would follow a court case to its outcome, and at the end of the episode, we would see what actually happened in the initial crime, and we would know whether or not justice was served. Good premise, but the show itself was lousy. They concentrated on all these high-tech tactics the characters had to use to win over the jury, using slick demonstrations and the cutthroat media that studied their every move. But I didn't give a shit about that sensationalistic garbage. I just wanted some good ol' fashioned courtroom justice. FOX ordered 14 episodes, produced 13, and aired 12. But that 13th one did air, in like, Mexico. So, in a way, justice was served.

The CW:
- All of Us -- This was a sitcom about a racially blended family. Sounds hilarious! It ran for 3 seasons on UPN, then 1 season on The CW.
- Gilmore Girls -- This was like an hour-long dramedy about a single mom and her daughter. I've heard this is a good show, but I've never seen it. It ran for 6 seasons on The WB, then 1 season on The CW. What's up with established shows helping The CW get on its feet, only to be cut down after a single season?
- Reba -- This was a sitcom about a wisecracking single mom played by country singer Reba McEntire. I can only assume there's people on the planet who actually enjoyed watching this. It ran for 5 seasons on The WB, then 1 season on The CW. Good lord.
- Runaway -- This was an hour-long drama about a family that was secretly on the run from the law (for a crime the father didn't commit) while at the same time being hunted by the real killer. It was one of only two shows that actually premiered on The CW. As such, The CW aired only 3 of its 13 episodes. Ah, see? Now The CW is acting like a real network.
- Veronica Mars -- This was a teen mystery show. It ran for 2 seasons on UPN, then 1 season on The CW. Anyone else pick up on that pattern? Anyway, that's it for all The CW shows.
- Happy Hour -- Happy Hour was a sitcom about a young guy trying to rebuild his life after losing everything. I'm gonna guess he didn't make it -- FOX aired only 4 of its 13 episodes.
- The O.C. -- This was a popular teen drama about people who lived in Orange County, California. I could never bring myself to watch this show. I guess I'm more of a Smallville guy. FOX cancelled this after 4 seasons.
- Vanished -- This was an hour-long drama about a senator's wife getting kidnapped, followed by a bunch of other unanswered secrets and conspiracies. FOX aired only 9 of its 13 episodes, leaving no storyline resolved. At least the show's title became tragically appropriate.
- The War at Home -- This was a sitcom about a dysfunctional family starring Michael Rappaport. I never saw this show, but with Rappaport as the lead, how bad could it have been? FOX cancelled it after 2 seasons.
- The Wedding Bells -- This was an hour-long dramedy about wedding planners, co-created by David E. Kelley. Being an admirer of Kelley's work, I tried to watch this show, but it was uninteresting and, just, filled with wedding shit. FOX aired only 5 of its 7 episodes.

- The Rich List -- This was a game show in which teams of two would compete at making lists, to see who could name the most things out of each category. Holy shit! I remember this show! I had completely forgotten about its very existence. Maybe that's because FOX cancelled it after airing only 1 episode. You fucking cowards! Don't get me wrong; this show was even more asinine than it sounds, but it was still fun to play along at home and make all the contestants look like idiots.
- The Winner -- This was a sitcom about a man-child in his 30's who lived with his parents (narrated by his future millionaire self). It wasn't a brilliant show, but it was pretty funny, and it demonstrated a love for classic shows (not unlike Family Guy) that made me appreciate it a little more than I otherwise would have. FOX ran all 6 episodes of this, perhaps forecasting its imminent demise by burning them 2 at a time over a period of 3 weeks.

- Drive -- This was an hour-long ensemble drama about a secret illegal underground road race being run by a mysterious organization. It wasn't a great show, but it was certainly engaging, and as of its demise, I would have kept watching it indefinitely. It was a blatant Lost ripoff, which was at the same time its best and worst quality. And while I'm confessing to this guilty pleasure, I might as well also admit that this show managed to sneak in a twist at one point that actually blew my mind. Which is embarrassing, because that rarely happens, even with far better shows. I hate FOX for putting this in the Prison Break time slot and not helping it build an audience before immediately pulling the plug on it. Especially because they are once again jerking around Nathan Fillion, who previously starred in Joss Whedon's Firefly, an unbelievably good show that didn't even make it through its first season on FOX. In the meantime, Prison Break sucks ass. FOX aired only 4 of Drive's 6 episodes, with tentative plans to burn off the last 2 on July 4, 2007. Well, God bless America.

And that's it for all the shows that were left out of the network TV upfronts. Stay tuned for more upfront bullshit later if I feel like it.


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