Friday, November 27, 2009

Reader mail: 'Lost' forces ABC mid-season changes, 'The Corner' vs. 'The Wire'

Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving. Today's column is another reader mailbag, mainly dealing with the fall-out of ABC's plan for the final season of "Lost."

Enjoy your weekend, and try to stay away from the malls. And I say that not just because I once almost lost my spleen driving home from a Black Friday sale.

10 comments:

cadfile said...

On a side note I am liking the promotion NBC is doing now for the return of Chuck. They had adverts on during the Macy's parade and Zachary Levi is going to be on the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree lighting special on Wednesday. They have also had many promos rotating on the network to the point I'm starting to get sick of them - since they are same one over and over. Hopefully NBC keeps it up.

amysa said...

Seeing "Chuck" advertised in every possible place on NBC has made me happy, too.

On the subject of "Scrubs" and scheduling, Atlanta's ABC affiliate, as they do way too many times a year, has seen fit to preempt the first episode and show it in the early hours of Wednesday. They are, however, showing the second episode. Which means that they're kind of screwing the show (and me) because either you watch the second episode and have no idea who these new people are or you have to wait until the following day to get to see it because you're DVRing the late night airing. It hurts any potential ratings and it hurts the chances that viewers curious about the changes will come back the following week if they don't know what's actually going on in the show.

There is never any logic behind what they choose to preempt for their lame local programming. They couldn't have bumped the *second* episode until later? For that matter, it would be nice if they would advertise the time shift. But, no. Last season they preempted Ted once for a *repeat* of a local weather special about tornadoes. I don't know why I'm surprised. This is the same affiliate that chose to air repeats of "Entertainment Tonight" for years instead of "Jimmy Kimmel Live".

Geoff said...

Actually, I think V would do well as a Lost follow-on, or even BEFORE Lost. I didn't get into the previous Lost-follow ups (Invasion, etc) but V has its own hook, and if the show improves a bit more on what it did in 4 seasons, I can see a V-Lost block as something big enough to challenge even American Idol.

What V has going for it is that it managed to find an audience independent of Lost, and odds are that that audience will follow it wherever it goes. There may be some overlap with Lost fans, there may not be...I for one can wait until both shows are finished before I jump into discussion/theorizing...

Geoff said...

I meant "4 episodes" of V, not 4 seasons.

Matthew L said...

I recently finished reading The Corner, and am now watching the mini-series, and I agree with Alan, both are worthy of your time. But man is it hard-going in either form. It's like all the depressing parts of The Wire, but without much of the humour that made it easier to cope with the hard parts. Plus the fact that it's true doesn't help - the mini-series may be a dramatisation, but you still know that Gary, Fran, DeAndre were real people, which makes their struggles and suffering that much harder. One of the reasons I managed to finish the book was because I knew (from reading The Wire: Truth Be Told) that some of the people actually managed to get their life straight, and that knowledge kept me going through the hard parts of the book, because I wanted to see them get better.

But certainly, if you're a Wire fan, then The Corner book or mini-series (as well as the Homicide book) are essential, and well worth your time.

alynch said...

I've always kind of viewed The Corner as The Wire: Season 0. While it certainly doesn't fall within Wire continuity what with being true and all and there are a fair number of stylistic differences (flashbacks most notably), it still falls neatly into the Wire model of each season expanding in scope from the previous one. Season 0 focuses exclusively on the fiends, season 1 expands to include the cops and dealers, season 2 the docks, etc. Thematically, it lines up.

schmoker said...

I really think the shows that failed after Lost failed because of those shows themselves rather than because of Lost. Bad shows fail, regardless of time period. They weren't awful, but they weren't all that good either. And any genre show, regardless of time period, has to be that much better to succeed. There is a limited hard core audience, and so a show has to be really good, as Lost is, or was (if you feel that way), in order to attract a mass audience that is sustainable.

FF, V, Nine, Invasion, and on and on and on. These shows only common link to Lost has been genre, not quality. Personally, if a show as good as Lost was on after it, I'd eat it up with a spoon. But I tried all of those shows, and I bailed on all of them because I didn't like them. It stands to reason that most people agree with that sentiment, because they all started off fairly well, or, in some cases, exceptionally well in terms of sampling. So, it's not that a show after Lost cannot attract an audience, or that genre shows in general have trouble attracting an audience, but that they haven't been good enough to sustain the audiences that have tuned in to check them out.

I know Lost is dense and cool, but the number of people who feel an intense need to shut down and/or dissect online immediately following an episode is really a very small percentage of the overall audience. We all think it's big because we are all a part of that subset, but we forget that most people are not.

There is no such thing as a death slot, unless by that you mean following a show that no one is watching.

Dave Weldon said...

Wow, Blog has been kidnapped by Teresa robot

Jill said...

Wow, Alan...your spammers are worse than mine. At least mine has a profile and I can report his/her spamblog to Google...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Teresa's gone bye-bye, folks. He/she/it hit a few posts like this in the middle of the night, but I deleted it all this morning.