Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CBS breaks up with 'The Ex-List'

Been a busy day, so I haven't had a chance to note that CBS canceled "The Ex-List" -- and the day after one of the Hollywood trades suggested that the bad economy was making the networks reluctant to cancel borderline series.

Despite the messy exit of showrunner Diane Ruggiero, I gave "The Ex-List" a positive initial review because I liked the Ruggiero-penned pilot, and I figured I'd stick around at least long enough to see what the post-Ruggiero episodes were like. Not gonna happen now, and I may as well delete the two episodes I still have eating up space on my DVR hard drive.

The writing aside, I thought Elizabeth Reaser was terrific in the lead, and hope to see more of her in the future. And in the meantime, are the "Moonlight" fans gloating yet?

23 comments:

Matt said...

Yes. Yes, they are.

Actually, if MRC had some sense, they'd pick up the show for their CW Sundays. Better fit there, and even with a huge ratings drop, would be a success by CW standards.

That First Andrew said...

So the Ex List is dead, and Easy MOney has been shuttered. Now we just need them to cancel Crusoe and every new show Alan liked even a little bit will be gone. Apparently a good review from Alan Sepinwall is like getting on the cover of a Madden game.

Long live Gary Un-married and Kath and Kim!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Apparently a good review from Alan Sepinwall is like getting on the cover of a Madden game.

Hey, hey! While I'm often the kiss of death, I did also give a semi-positive review to "Fringe," and that got a full-season order (and, given the state of things, is a good bet to be back next year).

Anonymous said...

Also in his defense, he gave a similarly semi-positive review to "Sons of Anarchy" and that's been picked up as well. 2 for 4 is awesome in baseball!

Matt said...

Alan was lukewarm on "The Mentalist" (and certainly not resoundingly negative), and that's the seasons one legit hit.

Alanna said...

What's it going to take for us to get another set of pilots like in 2004-05? That season couldn't have been a complete fluke ... could it? *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Alan,

I sincerely apologize to you and fans of this show for being totally off topic. But, did you know that David Simon is going to be on The Colbert Report tomorrow?

I think it's amazing that Simon hasn't been a guest on more political type shows. I can't believe he's never, as far as I know, been on Real Time, with the HBO connection he seems to be right up it's aley.

Anonymous said...

In defense of Alan, he wasn't the only one who gave Ex List a decent review: http://www.metacritic.com/tv/shows/exlist

And while I'd agree that he, I and others have probably killed some shows with kindness, I'm placing blame for this one squarely on CBS, which wants to make some noise every May and put on something other than crime dramas but by October is running for cover.

Until they can prove that their audience has even heard of The Ex List -- or Moonlight, for that matter -- I'm going to consider them trigger-happy.

-- Ellen Gray

Matt said...

It didn't make sense as a pickup for CBS. CBS skews older and very procedural, and while Ex List was a procedural in a way (each week is largely a self-contained story), the audience that eats up NCIS and The Mentalist with a spoon isn't likely to go for a show with major subplots about waxing, masturbation, and the like. Would have been a better fit on ABC (as a pre-Dancing with the Stars show) or maybe on the CW (pair with Privileged).

Dark Tyler said...

Matt, the place you linked to scares me.

(...and what is 'Dollhouse' doing over there?)

Matt said...

That is not a place I have ever visited before. I just punched "Moonlight Fans" into Google. I continue to submit that Moonlight fandom has the highest ratio of vehemence to actual quality of program. Yes, there are more vehement fandoms, but they're typically of better programs.

Nicole said...

I was disappointed to hear they cancelled the Ex-List. It was actually enjoyable... but then again I am at least 25 years younger than the CBS audience. Doesn't Viacom/ CBS own the CW? if so, a shift would be a way to get more of a younger crowd.

I just don't understand the obsession behind Moonlight because there were far better vampire shows out there.

Rachel said...

I know it's annoying thread jack, but did you see what Nikki Finke is reporting re: Mad Men and Weiner?

Color me concerned.

electricia said...

I'm sad to hear this, I really liked the show. I actually didn't really like Elizabeth Reaser on Grey's, but thought she was great on this show. Besides, I was just happy to have something to watch on a night other than Monday.

What does Moonlight have to do with it?

Nicole said...

Moonlight had this time slot last year and it was cancelled. The obsessive fans then went crazy on Alan's NJ blog when he dared to say that it wasn't that great of a show anyway.

henry said...

I liked this show, too. I'm a little disappointed it's cancelled but not altogether too surprised given that it was in a Friday death slot. I would have thought CBS could give it a little more of a chance given that there are so few new shows out there.

LA said...

I was watching this show, but each episode got a little worse than the one before it. Last week's was downright abysmal, so this news doesn't shock.

Ciao, Bella.

Joolie said...

I think the psychic was my favorite part of the show. She was so deadpan. Overall it was a little too Beautiful People for me, but it was amusing. I do wish they could do a wrap-up episode where Bella finds her guy, but only if Diane R. writes it. I suppose the search is the point, anyway.

Tracey said...

Alan, you are the "kiss of death" because you know quality when you see it, and most of the TV viewing audience wouldn't know quality if it hit them upside the head with a clue-by-four. Or as Homer Simpson so aptly put it: "Hmm...Barney's movie had heart, but 'Football in the Groin' had a football in the groin."

Pamela Jaye said...

It didn't make sense as a pickup for CBS. CBS skews older and very procedural

ah, so the high ratings for the older skewing Joan of Arcadia (with a side of police drama) didn't sane it...

Does this (otherwise) not canceling hold out any hope for our Chuck?

(and who is David Simon? should I watch him?)

(also is there anyone who could pop into the 30 Rock thread and explain the last two or three eps of season 1? i have not yet finished season 2, but at least my DVR has not yet eaten them like last year (someday I'm going to find out what happened in the last two eps of Veronica Mars)

as to the Ex files - Iwatched two eps, recorded 4, disliked the first, like the second a bit, and never figured out who the other three friends were.

Pamela Jaye said...

and apparently, didn't even know the name of the show...

(was it on at 8 or 9? cause if 9, I've still got a grudge with Les from Friday nights on CBS in 96...)

Anonymous said...

Ex List was not "that" bad. It certainly was a different brand of programming than your typical CBS crime drama of the week. The sub plots were also fun, particularly involving the teacher friend and her boyfriend, including the shower attachment episode. Again, not your typical CBS programming. I didn't necessarily care about who Bella ended up with, but it was a pretty show to watch. The outside shots were nice and would have been nicer as it got colder here in the northeast.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a great show. Nothing to watch anymore on Friday nights and I always looked forward to this show. Fresh and insightful on everyday life. I'm very disappointed in CBS, no wonder their on the bottom of the television tottom pole.