Thursday, February 05, 2009

Chuck vs. The Obama

Taking a break in between transcribing various interviews (including Demetri Martin, whose very funny show premieres next week, plus Bret and Jemaine from "Flight of the Conchords" and their very thick accents) and thought I'd point out a couple of TV developments that may be of interest around here. (Most links courtesy of TV Tattle.)

"Chuck" is being pre-empted next week by President Obama's primetime press conference. That's a bit unfortunate, as the show may lose some of the momentum it got from the Super Bowl ads and the 3-D. But the plus side is that the show will now be timed to air only on nights when there's also a new episode of "Heroes" from Feb. 16 until the "Chuck" season ends, which will now be on April 27 instead of a few weeks earlier that month.

ABC has pushed back the premiere of the new "Cupid" from March 24 to March 31, which also means that there will be one fewer episode of the first season produced. That's on top of the previous episodes that were already trimmed. I continue to think that this is a budgetary thing -- ABC's trying to save money and not produce more episodes than they need to get through the end of the season -- and if the show does well airing after "Dancing with the Stars," it'll be back next season.

HBO ordered a fourth season of "Big Love."

Ausiello says that the "NCIS" spin-off is close to landing Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J as two of its leads. The original "NCIS" is one of those shows I watch often but almost never blog about, but unless more interesting actors are gonna follow these two -- O'Donnell is one of the least charismatic actors to ever have a viable (albeit brief) stint as a movie leading man, and Cool James has a tendency to coast a little too much -- I'm not sure I'm down with the spin-off.

James Poniewozik discusses the twist at the end of last week's episode of "Damages," and whether or not TV shows try too hard to upend viewer expectations of what characters will do and why. I should say that when I saw that particular twist, I decided once and for all that "Damages" was in the Not For Me category and deleted the season pass from my DVR.

33 comments:

Dean Winchester said...

Alan, this has nothing to do with any of the above bits of news, but since this was sort of a potpouri post I figured I'd ask:

Last week's episode of Friday Night Lights ended with a killer Death Cab for Cutie song (Bixby Canyon Bridge). The version of the show that's now up on Hulu however, has a different song at the end of the episode.

Is this a licensing thing or what?

Mase said...

Assume that the other network shows at 8 EST will also be preempted for President Obama (i.e. House and How I Met Your Mother?).

Alap said...

more potpourishness...just wondering if you've been checking out the 2nd season of "spectacular spider-man," which premiered in canada a few weeks ago.

it looks like the action sequences have actually gotten better--it's one of the few shows where three-fourths of an episode can be a long-ass fight scene and not even bore me a little bit. the way the animators get spider-man to move, he's like michael jackson plus adrian peterson plus cirque-du soleil-guy, but airborne.

i know i'm gushing, so here's a youtube link to the episodes that have aired so far (if you don't mind watching them part-by-part, "cupid"-style):

http://www.youtube.com/user/JustAnotherSpideyFan

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. What do you mean Chuck will now only air on nights when Heroes isn't in repeats? I thought, like Lost and 24, Heroes would be rerun free until the end of the season.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Let's save the potpourri questions for the next open thread, okay?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm confused. What do you mean Chuck will now only air on nights when Heroes isn't in repeats? I thought, like Lost and 24, Heroes would be rerun free until the end of the season.

I think there was going to be one night where Heroes was pre-empted for some reason and Chuck wasn't. That will no longer be the case. Now Chuck will be pre-empted as well on that other night (in addition to this Monday), and if you believe that original Heroes episodes have any remaining halo effect on Chuck ratings, that might be a good thing.

Fran L said...

Yeah. Screw it. I've given up on damages too. It was making me depressed.

Hatfield said...

I love "NCIS" but cannot think of any situation where those two would work into the current cast, so how would they work as a spin-off? Would it be one lame episode where DiNozzo and Chris O'Donnell's guest character argued over who was prettier and Abby and Ziva swooned over LL Cool J's abs? I guess the second scenario would be ok if it resulted in a Mr. & Mrs. Smith-style fight/sex scene between J and Ziva

K J Gillenwater said...

Damages was actually very very good this week. Some good twists and turns, a revelation or two. And it went in a direction I didn't expect this early on in the season, which really makes me wonder now where all this is headed.

BTW, my kids watched 'Chuck' on Monday for the 3-D, but neither of them finished it. They were bored by it. I thought that was interesting. I'm no fan of "Chuck," but it seemed like it had enough life in it for pre-teens? Maybe not.

domino87 said...

You called it quits on Damages one week too soon. Last nights episode had a scene with John Doman talking to Clarke Peters. Wire reunion!

Alan Sepinwall said...

I love "NCIS" but cannot think of any situation where those two would work into the current cast, so how would they work as a spin-off?

The same way that "NCIS" was a spin-off of "JAG": they're going to do an episode (or a two-parter, as they did on "JAG") where Gibbs and company cross paths with the people from the new show, and then the following fall the new show will debut.

It's not a pure spin-off like "Boston Legal" or "The Jeffersons" where characters who had been on the parent show for a while got their own show, but TV has featured plenty of series that started life with one or two appearances on another show.

(And there have also been plenty of instances where shows attempted to force a spin-off and it didn't take. I always love seeing the original "Star Trek" repeat where Kirk and Spock stand around at the end speculating on how many marvelous adventures Gary Seven and his ditzy blonde secretary would have in the future. The answer: none.)

Hatfield said...

Ha, nice bit of TV trivia there, Alan. Thanks for the knowledge; I shall immediately seek out that episode. And I guess I knew that bit about "NCIS" coming from "JAG" and other shows being born that way, but it seems like a cheat to call that a "spin-off" to me, even if it's perfectly logical. I'm probably just as disappointed as you are that the cast for it sounds lame, since nothing makes me happier than going home after work and turning on USA for some Gibbsy goodness while I unwind.

Andrew said...

The NCIS spinoff's got me thinking. How often does a show spinoff from another spinoff? I'm sure it's happened before, but I can't think of any off the top my head.

Z said...

@Andrew: Good Times comes to mind... spun off from Maude, which was spun off from All In The Family. If you consider reality (which I try not to), the latest MTV docusoap the City is also a spin-off of a spin-off (The Hills --> Laguna Beach).

Alan Sepinwall said...

Andrew, Good Times was a spinoff of Maude, which was an All In The Family spinoff.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Z, jinx!

Mark B said...

"All in the Family" spun "The Jeffersons," which in turn spun Florence off into the short-lived "Checkin' In," where she was head of housekeeping at a hotel.

Depending on how loose a definition of spin-off can be, the George Jefferson character also appeared in a comedy called "E/R" (whose cast, like the long-running "ER" without the slash, included George Clooney) along with characters who were never on the parent show.

"Make Room for Daddy" spun the one-off character of Sheriff Andy Taylor into "The Andy Griffith Show" which spun "Gomer Pyle."

Anonymous said...

Happy Days was, technically, a spin off Love, American Style, I believe, and begat Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy and, of course, Joanie Loves Chachi.

Would it be a stretch to say that JLsC begat Scott Baio is 40-something And Somehow Manages To Get On TV Even If It Is VH-1.

WV: pinesses

No comment.

Stylist Mick said...

@Andrew

Don't even have to leave the network to get your answer:

CSI -> CSI: Miami -> CSI: New York

Comb & Razor said...

*sigh*

Damages really, really, REALLY disappointed me last night with that twist... and I just recently got into the show too!

I'm sticking with it, but I'm going to have a hard time taking it "seriously" from this point on...

Comb & Razor said...

(oops... Just realized that you were talking about the twist at the end of last week's episode...

Well, last week was bad enough but last night was just ri-goddamn-dic-ulous.)

Anonymous said...

Obama just took away the only reason I wanted to live till Monday .... sigh, maybe I can watch Chuck in the next life.

Matt said...

Big 4 networks will all preempt for the news conference, though it may only be a half hour, so HIMYM wouldn't be preempted. The CW will probably stick with normal programming, so "Gossip Girl" viewers can be happy.

Pamela Jaye said...

who runs NCIS now? I don't watch it, but then I'm not into military or crime, and I was never fond of Bellisario, except for Quantum Leap.
So I heard from someone that Don was kicked out - some of my fellow Grey's fans were into JAG - and that's all I know.

Matt said...

At Mark Harmon's demand, Bellisario left, and was replaced by co-creator Charles Floyd Johnson and writer Shane Brennan.

Anonymous said...

eh, since you stopped watching damages, I think it would be ok if I tell you that you are missing out on Lester Freemon

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks Matt

also, what's up with HIMYM & TBBT rerunning on Thursday at 8?

Anonymous said...

Pamela, the sitcom reruns are just keeping the timeslot warm for when survivor returns next week.

Alan, you gave up on Damages a week too early. Last week's twists all make sense now. Unfortunately, now we have to wait a week for the answers to *this* week's twists.

Pamela Jaye said...

aw darn.
but thanks Anonymous

JJ said...

Today's Washington Post tv column warns that the President's staff notified the networks of the possibility that he will be speaking in prime time for the next three mondays (9th is for sure, of course).

LakeShow said...

This from the WashPo article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9020503599.html

Here are the important excerpts:

Broadcasters are bracing themselves for the likelihood of three prime-time interruptions in three weeks, totaling at least three hours of prime time -- and ad breaks -- yanked.

The networks were awaiting more information about the two Monday prime-time appearances at press time. "They're playing very close to the vest," one network exec told the TV Column.

And NBC might chose to preempt "Chuck." Price tag: $1.5 million to $2 million.


Alan, so does this mean Chuck will be pushed back 2 weeks?

Anonymous said...

how does alan bail on a show with bill rawls and lester freeman on it?

Pamela Jaye said...

nowhere to put this. maybe Tuesday

Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) would like to know your 5 favorite shows
not including his