Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mid-season, the Fox way

Pretty slow day for the blog, what with no column to link to and only one show I watched last night. I spent the better part of today panning "Viva Laughlin" for tomorrow's column, but I wanted to make note of Fox's latest scheduling announcement: that "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (previously known simply as "The Sarah Connor Chronicles") will debut Monday, January 14 and will be paired with "24" going forward. (You can read the full press release over at Rich Heldenfels' blog if you want.)

I don't blog about every scheduling announcement, especially one this relatively far in the future, but I can never resist taking note of when Fox's actual mid-season schedule diverges -- as it so often does -- from the one they announce every May at the upfronts. At the upfronts, "Sarah Connor" was slated to air on Sundays at 9 (the old "X-Files" slot), while "K-Ville" would be moving from Monday at 9 to Monday at 8 to accomodate the return of "24." (As you can see in the release, "Prison Break" will take another mid-season hiatus after Dec. 17 and will be back in April '08, which was roughly the plan all along.)

What this means for the Sunday schedule -- where "Family Guy" was going to move to 8:30 and "King of the Hill" and "American Dad" to the 7 o'clock hour -- isn't clear, but this is essentially curtains for "K-Ville," I would think. Meanwhile, Fox has shut down production on "New Amsterdam" (which was originally on the fall schedule but got bumped by "Don't Forget the Lyrics!") after producing seven episodes, and reduced the episode order on "The Return of Jezebel James" from 13 to seven.

Not that I liked either "New Amsterdam" or "Jezebel James" -- or, for that matter, "Sarah Connor," which could sorely do with a new star (Lena Headey brings neither the muscles nor the crazy you expect from the character) -- but it does seem odd that, while so many other parts of the entertainment industry is stockpiling material in the event of a writers' strike, Fox would reduce the amount of material coming through the pipeline. Maybe they're more optimistic than the rest of us?

Anyway, I look forward to seeing whether "New Amsterdam" ever airs or joins the ranks of "Hollyweird," "Still Life," "The Grubbs," "The Ortegas," "Rewind," "Septuplets," "Schimmel" and "Manchester Prep" on the long and distinguished list of scheduled but never aired Fox shows, and to mocking the schedule again come May... assuming the strike isn't still going on and I'm in the middle of a twelve-martini lunch at the time to drown my sorrows.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out if they have inside info re: the writers' strike or if they just figure their "reality" stuff will carry them through: Who's Smarter than a 5th Grader can be spun off into Who's Smarter Than a 6th Grader (using last year's popular cast), Nashville, never officially canceled, can return, and every other night can be karaoke night. But even if you didn't like New Amsterdam as much as I did (which is to say I didn't hate it), surely it was better than what we might be left with?

But I suppose every season we're required to have Fox cancel one show without actually airing it...

Ellen

Anonymous said...

strike schmike. it seems like every other year there's talk about a strike and then nothing ends up happening. i'll believe it when i see it.

Kristin said...

Okay, New Amsterdam had better air. I was so intrigued by the commercials they kept showing all summer...and was excited to see the pilot. Then, they do this?

Since I have never agreed with every show you have disliked, Alan, I really think this would have been a show for me.

I'm going with the hope that the pilot hits big and finds an audience.

Taleena said...

I agree I was intrigued by the commercials for "New Amsterdam". But I am a sucker for fantasy/sf dramas and will watch them even if they are pretty dreadful, if only to mock.

Dark Tyler said...

Re: Jezebel James, from what I understand the order cut had more to do with Parker Posey not wanting to do more and Amy writing and directing her first feature film.

Re: the rest, they probably thought they could do with some cheap reality instead of ordering 4 or 5 more episodes of crap.

Nicole said...

I hope they air New Amsterdam too, because I want to know if it is worse than Moonlight.

I managed to see the pilot of the Sarah Connor Chronicles and it was okay. It actually made a better first impression than Moonlight.

Anonymous said...

FOX is going wall-to-wall AI with a 24 spritzer.

Anonymous said...

Alan, how can you read Variety and all of it's made-up words and bizarre writing style without wanting to jump off a building?

David J. Loehr said...

I suspect the remarkable similarities between "New Amsterdam" and Pete Hamill's novel "Forever" might have hurt the show's chances, even though Hamill has no plan to sue.

The linked article points out the freakishly identical concepts and plot elements--the visual effect of "for Eva" in the pilot being but blatant one--but also goes into detail about how unlikely it is that Hamill would win a lawsuit, not because it didn't have merit but because it would cost too much money and take too much time. Which is sad.

So yeah, if anyone out there liked the concept, go pick up Hamill's novel. I can pretty much guarantee it's better written.

Anonymous said...

If the writers don't go on strike they better not announce it until November 1st or they'll ruin my Halloween costume.

Kat said...

*sigh* I miss Gilmore Girls so much that I was hoping Jezebel James would be great or even watchable.

I know we all complained about Gilmore last year but it's really left a hole in my TV schedule.

Brian said...

Okay, so you didn't like what you saw of "Jezebel James." But isn't ASP's work on "GG" enough of a reason to give it a chance? And supposedly, the reasons the episode order was cut were ASP directing a movie and Parker Posey wanting to have more time to do movies.

I don't know. I just like well written, intelligent products. I've been watching episodes of "GG" that I've never seen, and even though they were part of the allegedly crappy sixth season, I still find a lot to like. I just want this woman back making television shows, like I want Aaron Sorkin back.

Dan Coyle said...

As long as Summer Glau kicks people in the face enough, then viewers won't mind Lena Headey.

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