Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: The re-freshman class of '08

Today's column looks at how the five freshman shows from last season -- "Dirty Sexy Money," "Life," "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice" and "Chuck" -- that didn't come back after the strike are planning to relaunch in the fall.

20 comments:

bill said...

"We are re-launching the show," says "Life" creator Rand Ravich. "Our episode one this season is a sort of pilot. If you have never seen the show before, you can come to this episode and be thrown into the world and not be left behind, and be instantly up to date with everything that's happening."

Is this a complete do-over, as in last season didn't really happen?

Anonymous said...

So if the shows suck will it be a sophomore slump or a serious case of the freshman 15?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Is this a complete do-over, as in last season didn't really happen?

No, last season happened. They're just going to try to make it as easy as possible to understand the show for people who didn't watch the first season.

Isa said...

I miss Life a lot and its good to see it being talked about. I noticed that Sarah Shahi's Dani Reese wasn't mentioned... I hope it doesn't mean that Reese isn't being replaced as a second lead just because Donal Logue's Tidwell is in the series.

Bad enough Logue replaced Weigert as Crews and Reese's CO.

Nicole said...

I don't think any of these shows are so complicated that the basic premise can't be conveyed in the first fifteen minutes so I don't see what the big deal is about the break. Outside of the U.S., a 13 episode run per season is usually the norm and somehow audiences manage to figure out what's going on and tune in again, if the show is worth watching. HBO has been doing the same for a while with its shows too.

I'm also glad to hear that Shonda realized that a show starring a surgeon show actually show some surgery.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a big fan of Lucy Liu, so I'm kinda sorry to see her come over to DSM. On the other hand, I'm not going to miss the Samaire Armstrong character either.

Adam said...

Don't producers say this every year with regards to non-hit shows that have been renewed?

Grunt said...

Thing is, while I appreciate all of this, I'm a little frustrated.

NBC only has about 3-4 episodes of 'Chuck' on at any one time. ABC has had the same 4 episodes of 'Pushing Daisies' on for months and months (the last three episodes and episode 2 or 3). (I lost interest in 'Life', never had any interest in 'Dirty Sexy Money' and saw the pilet of 'Private Practice' and ran screaming from the building...remember how cool Addison Montgomery-Sheppard was. Yeah, no so much anymore).

I didn't watch either 'Chuck' or 'Daisies' when they first ran and only started watching the on-line episodes at then end of the strike because I was desperate. But now I want to see the rest of them. These shows (and the networks) would be wise to make the 9-13 episodes available on-line to viewers to allow them to catch-up and understand what they're getting. But they haven't and I can not understand why.

Dan Coyle said...

Not Samaire!

NOT SAMAIRE!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Don't producers say this every year with regards to non-hit shows that have been renewed?

This is different, though, in that these shows have been off the air forever, and barely had any time to build a loyal following before they went away. All but "Life" were relative ratings successes, but this isn't like being a bubble show that was on from September-May of one year and then comes back the following September.

As I mention in the story, this isn't like "Lost" or "Sopranos" or "24," where the audience has already been primed to care about these shows enough to want to wait. How many people even remember that Chuck or Pushing Daisies exists?

LA said...

Of the five mentioned, I'm most looking forward to Daisies and DSM. But I must say, I won't miss Samaire Armstrong at all. I thought the episodes without her last season were all better than the ones she was in. Any idea who Lucy Lui's character is going to be? A love interest for Bryan perhaps?

I gave Private Practice a shot last year, but to say I hated it would be an understatement. There's literally nothing Shonda can do to get me back.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I noticed that Sarah Shahi's Dani Reese wasn't mentioned... I hope it doesn't mean that Reese isn't being replaced as a second lead just because Donal Logue's Tidwell is in the series.

They're not getting rid of Shahi. And Weigert will be around in a recurring role.

Karen said...

Is there really a sense that the shows weren't able to build a loyal following in their strike-shortened seasons, or is their loyal following simply not yet large enough for guranteed renewal? I know that I am absolutely devoted to DSM, Chuck, and Pushing Daisies, and never missed a single episode. I also believe dancing was involved when the news broke that they were renewed. I encouraged many of my friends to watch them. Am I just in too small a group to count?

J said...

I've been surprised how much, when I'm reminded of its existence (e.g., those Hellboy ads), I've missed Chuck. It could be an absenceheartgrowfonder thing, but I could use some light, low-key spy shizzle about now. It would be perfect summer programming.

Hope you're okay amidst the Star-Ledger tumult I'm hearing about, Alan.

KLE said...

Based on cast changes alone, I'm out on DSM (liked SA and can't *stand* LL) and in on Life (I'll take a look at anything Donal Louge is in, and i didn't know Robin Weigert was in it, why didn't anyone tell me?).

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think the most interesting case will be Heroes, which built a loyal audience, completely alienated them with an awful first season finale and unwatchable second season, and then disappeared for nine months. I'll watch the show once it comes back, but if NBC had canceled it I don't think I'd miss it at this point.

Anonymous said...

Really looking forward to the return of Pushing Daisies (my favorite new show in ages) and Chuck. Life and DSM will probably have to win me over again; I enjoyed them, but not so much that they couldn't be bumped off my schedule.

filmcricket said...

I miss Chuck and will be first in line to buy the DVDs on Sept 16th. I probably wouldn't buy the Pushing Daisies DVDs quite so quickly, except that I'm hoping that might help encourage ABC to keep it around.

The news that Samaire Armstrong is leaving DSM means I might check it out again, although Donald Sutherland and Peter Krause might not be able to compensate for the awfulness that is Glenn Fitzgerald's performance.

Oaktown Girl said...

I'm on board with DSM as long as Blair Underwood will still be on the show.

Eugene Freedman said...

Even moving Lieu on Life to a different role, it appeared as if she was involved in the conspiracy against Edmond Dantes, er, I mean Charlie Crews. In the end he has to pay them all back one way or the other. And, of course they can't get rid of Reese either, as her father is a pivotal character in the conspiracy.