Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Early siesta for 'Studio 60'

NBC just announced that "The Black Donnellys" will premiere a week early, on Feb. 26 instead of March 5. That gives "Studio 60" just one more airing before it goes on hiatus, before it "will return to the schedule later this season on a date to be determined" -- loosely translated, "if Haggis' show does significantly better, get ready for a bunch of unaired episodes on the 'Studio 60' DVD set."

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are 7 episodes of Studio 60 left, and 15 Mondays until the season ends. So is The Black Donnellys gonna occupy all 15 weeks?

Andrew said...

Black Donnellys has a thirteen episode order. If I had to guess, I'd say that they'll air the remaining Studio 60 episodes in the summer.

Anonymous said...

I'd be shocked if The Black Donellys runs for 13 weeks. Or at the very least 13 weeks in that timeslot. I know it's getting good buzz, but I saw the pilot and absolutely hated it. It's full of cliches, the leads all overact, and its present day setting doesn't resemble modern day NY at all. I'd be shocked if it takes off.

Matt said...

Also, do not underestimate the hatred that a lot of folks bear for Haggis. Even though "Crash" won the Oscar last year, I don't recall a winner that's more widely reviled.

IMHO, nothing's going to catch fire in that slot until a network moves a decently established hit (outside of the procedural genre) in to combat CSI: M. How about ABC seeing if Brothers and Sisters can make it there, or trying Lost?

ooda said...

Brothers and Sisters may go decently against Miami, due to, you'd assume, the vastly different viewer demographic. That said, What About Brian is going disastrously, and it's somewhat in the same vein as B&S. Like it or not (and I don't), but CSI:Miami is a full fledged hit.

Moving Lost would be a bad move. Even though fans and advocates of the show would like to think otherwise, the show is in a slump, and the good episodes aren't good enough to overlook that. It used to be the premiere show on television, and now it's getting numbers that can be called "good" at best. No matter what, it has a sizable core audience, but I doubt it could sustain viewer momentum with yet another move. That and both show's (Lost and CSI:MI) demographics are fairly similar (though I remember reading somewhere that the CSIs tend to skew older). The ABC we're seeing now isn't the ABC of two years ago.

Black Donnellys may even be a hit, as don't assume cliche filled drama won't catch on (read:Jericho). It actually has a chance, as people may want to watch a show that you'd typically only see on cable. Then again, I don't know how much of a draw Paul Haggis is. Hell, if I recall correctly, even Entourage made fun of him in the past season. That said, I heard there's supposed to be some amazing twist at the end of the pilot which I'm kind of interested of seeing.

Carrie said...

Ooda, if you've seen the extended previews they are doing for The Black Donnelly's at AMC movie theaters right now, they totally spoil the twist. I thought it was a great ending specifically because I was surprised, and I was disappointed to see it being given away in the promotional campaigns. Try to avoid them if possible.

I for one will be watching The Black Donnellys. Despite its cliches and my hatred for Haggis, I thought it was interesting -- a hell of a lot more interesting than anything else on Mondays at 10pm. I'm going to give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen Black Donnellys, agree it seems cliched, but Paul Haggis will have creds forever from EZ Streets. Let's see what he's come up with.

Andrew said...

I'll say this about Paul Haggis, I think he's pretty good with dialogue; it's the storytelling and structure that usually screws him up. I give him a lot of the credit for how good Casino Royale turned out since the other two writers were responsible for Die Another Day. If, and this is a big if, he sticks to straight, unpretentious, crime-drama-style storytelling, he might have a really good show. He just has to keep as far away as humanly possible from anything even vaguely resembling a social message. For the pilot at least, he manages to do that, and I hope he can stay that way.

ooda said...

Carrie: Up to this point I had only read about The Black Donnellys, so I went over to NBC.com to check out the preview. God damn it, I think you're right, about the twist being given away.

At least from the feel of it, it was almost like I was watching a slightly sanitized version of The Sopranos combined with Brotherhood, with a slight touch of the second season of The Wire (especially when you consider the inclusion of the one actor in question. It reminded me a bit of the whole shtick that went on with Ziggy). That said, the good thing is that there isn't really too much like it on television, the least of all network television.

On a side note I probably should also watch Crash so I have a least an idea of what the guy is up to, rather than just listening to hearsay.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the preview at NBC's site and they do give the twist away. Although I don't think most people will realize it just from that trailer. However, it's the kind of twist most people will be able to figure out 10 minutes into the pilot if they really think about it.

SJ said...

I did watch The Black Donnellys and it just seemed...'meh'. Nothing too exciting, though I'll definitely watch it for a few episodes.

Crash was laughable. It brought out all the 'white liberal guilt' in the Hollywood Oscar voters. It definitely seemed like one of the worst racial discussions ever put on film.

I thought that it was embraced by people who had little to no contact with other races. Just my personal opinion that's all.

Dark Tyler said...

Studio 60 may have been problematic and uneven (come on, haters, even you have to agree that there were a few moments, and episodes like "The Christmas Show" that at least made it uneven and not flat-out, 100% bad) but it doesn't deserve the carmic payback in the form of Death by Haggis.

This is just too cruel. First Ang Lee, now Aaron Sorkin. Sigh. I just hate this guy. If you (we? Okay, I give. We) thought Studio 60 was condescending and smug, then we must have forgot what Paul Haggis feels like. I have this nightmare that he is going to win a bunch of Emmys this September, for producing nothing but a bunch of cliches. Again.

dez said...

I don't know the story behind the hatred for Haggis. Could someone please fill me in? Thanks!

Matt said...

Basically, a lot of people found "Crash" cloying, manipulative, and heavy-handed, and were irate when it beat "Brokeback" at the Oscars last year. Add to this that Paul Haggis is responsible for "Walker, Texas Ranger," and you get some hatred.

Alan Sepinwall said...

To be fair to Haggis, he only came in to do some script doctoring on the "Walker" pilot, but got a creator credit as part of his deal. If you're judging him based on his TV work, look at "EZ Streets," which was the only time he was ever left alone to do what he wanted. (Albeit only for a few months before cancellation hit.)

I understand the hatred of "Crash," even if I don't share it. "Donnellys" is fun, in a "let's try to redo 'EZ Streets' now that we have some Oscar clout" way, but it's also lacking the kind of star turn that Joey Pants delivered on "EZ."

Grimoald said...

I thought Crash was horrible, and hated Million Dollar baby as well, but I did really enjoy the Black Donnellys pilot.

That said, I want Studio 60 back, but at least I got a full season of Sorkin dialgoue, and next time his show will be a little less self-indulgent.

Anonymous said...

Is it too late to change the entire premise of the show? Trying to superimpose an issue-oriented drama on the making of a TV comedy show didn't work. What Sorkin should have written is a behind-the-scenes drama about a last-placed cable news network. MSNBS, perhaps. Then you could talk about issues without it sounding so out of place.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

Alan got there first, but trying to base opinions of Haggis entirely on Crash and script doctoring work on Walker is specious at best. I hated Crash, but I've liked what I've seen of EZ Streets and his thirtysomething work. And didn't he create Due South or something? That show was sort of fun.

I really like a lot of things about Donnellys, but I'll agree it's a significant step down from EZ Streets (then, most things would be).

Brandon said...

Try watching Crash as a black comedy. It works much better that way.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Todd, thanks for reminding me of Due South. It's one of those shows that began while I was in college and not paying attention to most new TV series, where EZ Streets debuted in my first season as a TV critic. (I think it was the first pilot tape I ever watched, in fact, so it has special meaning for me.)

dez said...

Basically, a lot of people found "Crash" cloying, manipulative, and heavy-handed, and were irate when it beat "Brokeback" at the Oscars last year.

That seems kind of silly to me, especially as "Munich" should have won ;-)

I like some of Haggis' work, so I'll give "Black Donnellys" a change. It's got to be better than "Brotherhood," right?

Anonymous said...

Haggis did a lot of work on the first season of "Due South", for which I remember him fondly. I do admit that his score on the Hack-O-Meter had risen significantly by "Walker Texas Ranger"...shudder....

Anonymous said...

My two cents and I am posting this anywhere I find this discussion. Who knows, maybe some of the decision makers actually track public opininon. Here's mine. So typical, assemble a talented cast, hire writers who can wrap humor, depth and relevance together to present three dimensional characters intelligently, give it half a season to become the next big thing and when it doesn't spread like a Santa Ana wildfire, replace it with anything that will appeal to the lowest common denominator. As if there could not be a worse show in NBC's lineup to make room for a new action series with such positive story lines and characters for the youth of America to glorify and emulate. We all realize that this is a corporate bottom line decision but how low will you sink before you have absolutely no self respect left for it to hit home that you have a responsibility to provide a modicum of intelligent thought provoking programming with the abundance of dreck you broadcast day and night. If you need evidence of your contribution to the illiteracy of the American populace, surf the net for blogs and comments on pop culture if you haven't already done so. There are people in this country who can't even put together an intelligible sentence and yet have the time to gossip on line about any pop icon that pushes their buttons but can't find the time to learn how to speak or write intelligibly. Well, I know this isn't going to make any difference but at least we have a forum in which to vent our frustration.