Friday, December 14, 2007

Some 'Lost' better than nothing?

So ABC became the final network to announce a strike schedule, and the big news is that, unlike what Fox is doing with "24," they've decided to air whatever "Lost" episodes they have, truncated season or no.

Also, "Lost," which comes back on Jan. 31, will air away from Wednesdays for the first time ever -- no doubt to get away from "American Idol," one of the few other guaranteed ratings draws in a strike season -- and will take over for "Grey's Anatomy" on Thursdays at 9.

So, before I present the full ABC press release after the jump, let me put it to you, "Lost" fans: would you rather wait to get all 16 episodes as Cuselof intended them, or will you take whatever "Lost" you can get, even if it means the "season" ends oddly?

The full release:
ABC will premiere four new series, “Cashmere Mafia,” “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann,” “Eli Stone” and “Oprah’s Big Give,” in addition to the premiere of the much anticipated fourth season of “Lost” on Thursday, January 31 at 9:00 p.m.

“Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” premieres with a special two-hour episode on Monday, January 7, followed by 90-minute episodes through January. “Notes from the Underbelly” and “October Road” will continue to air at 9:30 and 10:00 p.m., respectively. “Samantha Who?” will return with original episodes in February at 9:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Bachelor” start new seasons on Monday, March 17.

“Just for Laughs” returns Tuesday, January 1, at 8:30 p.m., following the Rose Bowl, and will air back-to-back episodes Tuesday nights (8:00 and 8:30 p.m.), beginning January 8. “According to Jim” will also return January 1, with two episodes at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. The series will regularly air at 9:00 p.m., followed by “Carpoolers” (9:30 p.m.) as of January 8. “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” will return at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25. “Boston Legal” will continue airing Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m.

“Wife Swap” will premiere at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2, and “Supernanny” returns with special back-to-back episodes at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. that same night. The new drama series “Cashmere Mafia” premieres in its regular timeslot at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, following a special premiere on Thursday, January 3. Beginning February 27, “MEN IN TREES” will air Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m.

On Thursday nights in January, “Ugly Betty” will continue to air at 8:00 p.m., followed by “Grey’s Anatomy” at 9:00 p.m. and “Big Shots” at 10:00 p.m. “Lost” will premiere on January 31 at 9:00 p.m., followed by the premiere of “Eli Stone” at 10:00 p.m.

On Fridays, drama encores will air at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., followed by “20/20” at 10:00 p.m.

On Sunday nights, “Oprah’s Big Give” will premiere on Sunday, March 2 at 9:00 p.m.

ABC’s midseason primetime schedule is as follows (all times Eastern; new shows in bold):

8:00 p.m. “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann”
9:30 p.m. “Notes from the Underbelly”
10:00 p.m. “October Road”
8:00 p.m. “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann”
9:00 p.m. “Samantha Who?”
9:30 p.m. “Notes from the Underbelly”
10:00 p.m. “October Road”

8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
9:30 p.m. “Samantha Who?”
10:00 p.m. “The Bachelor”

8:00 p.m. “Just for Laughs”
8:30 p.m. “Just for Laughs”
9:00 p.m. “According to Jim”
9:30 p.m. “Carpoolers”
10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal”

8:00 p.m. “Just for Laughs”
8:30 p.m. “Just for Laughs”
9:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal”

8:00 p.m. “Wife Swap”
9:00 p.m. “Supernanny”
10:00 p.m. “Cashmere Mafia” (“MEN IN TREES” beginning Feb 27)

8:00 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m. “Big Shots” (after special premiere of “Cashmere Mafia” on Jan 3)

8:00 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
9:00 p.m. “Lost”
10:00 p.m. “Eli Stone”

8:00 p.m. Drama encores
9:00 p.m. Drama encores
10:00 p.m. “20/20”

7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9:00 p.m. “Oprah’s Big Give”
10:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”


J said...

If I had my 'druthers, I'd wait and watch them all in a DVD marathon; the show just works better that way.

But I don't have that sort of control. So I'll take whatever they're willing to give me when they give it to me, I guess.

Carrie said...

I liked the Eli Stone pilot, so that interests me. I'm also glad they're taking Men In Trees out of the Friday slot of death and giving it a chance on Wednesdays. It's not the most innovative show in the world, but for what it is, it's very good.

Alan Sepinwall said...

No point wasting anything in a Friday death slot during a strike season.

It's not the most innovative show in the world, but for what it is, it's very good.

It's also one of the few shows -- along with "Friday Night Lights" -- that's going to have a bunch of episodes to air in early '08. Because last season ended so abruptly, they could have as many as 10 original episodes left over. (I think some are in the process of being edited to see if they're salvageable without the writer/producers on hand.)

memphish said...

I'm a LOST fanatic and at this point as long as its the case that Cuseloff is happy with all 8 episodes I want to see them even if I'm frustrated at the end of 8. The idea of waiting even more than the 8 months we've already waiting especially given how the S3 DVDs have whetted my appetite causes my brain to want to hemmorage spontaneously.

Unknown said...

I would much rather watch the shows as a chunk of 16. For one thing, 8 episodes without a real finale will leave me feeling unsatisfied and frustrated that I will have to wait who knows how long for the rest. Secondly, I think that any show should be presented in whatever way the creator thinks is best, if possible. That said, I'll be watching the 8 eps anyway.

barefootjim said...

If there is anything that we've learned from BBC America, it's that sometimes a limited run works just fine.

However, that's a self-contained limited run, plotted out in advance. So, I'd rather wait for a something closer to a full (U.S.) season.

Or ignore it completely, and catch up with it when the Season Four DVD comes out in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Considering nobody knows when the other 8 episodes will even be written, let alone aired, I'll take what I can get. After that season 3 finale, I just want to see what happens next. They got me. The bastards got me.

Stef said...

Hello, my name is Stef, and I am a Lostaholic. I'll take whatever fix I can get... heck, even if the screen cut to black 40 minutes in, it's still better than no Lost to me. I am a believer in Carlton & Damon's master plan, so I'm sorry the strike will goof up the plotting. But I'll still watch, with my chair scooted all the way up to the screen.

Dan said...

Dance War? Oh, yes, a US remake of the UK's Dance X -- starring Bruno, the judge from Dancing With The Stars... which is the US remake of the UK's Strictly Come Dancing.

What a hotbed of originality now the WGA strike is beginning to squeeze! :)

As for Lost, it's a shame we won't get the full season, but I can put up with 8 episodes, even if the 8th one isn't particularly climactic. Mind you, if it airs late-March and we have to wait till Sept/Oct for the final 8 --- THEN I'll be angry. :)

TimmyD said...

Let's say the strike ends, What are the chances of getting the 2nd 8 in the summer? That would be cool with me. I like summer TV.

Ryan said...

So the worse that can happen is that I'll be frustrated by a lack of answers and stuck wondering what the hell is happening and wish the plot could just move forward, right? No worse that any other season of LOST.

Anonymous said...

Please give me my 8 episodes of "Lost" & call it a day. Geez...wait until who knows when for 16? No thanks - 8 is better than 0.

And let me just this again - I despise, loathe ALL Reality TV - Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor - it's all complete crap to me.

This strike is going to completely depress me, I can already tell.

Matt said...

Not that I've watched, but this is a formal death notice for "Women's Murder Club" and "Cavemen," I take it.

Interesting that they're not sticking with their top-rated performers in repeats (Grey's, Private Practice) but are keeping on Ugly Betty and Boston Legal.

-M said...

I'll take what I can get. You know what they say about beggars.

And I know they're a lot of reality haters, but Dance Wars isn't going to be a "this-is-me-being-lame-in-contrived-social-situations" reality show. Just forward through the talk, watch the dance, and enjoy.

afoglia said...

I'm a "Lost" fan, and I think I'd rather see it now. Provided the episodes are good and finished, not rushed and poorly executed. I imagine that's the case for the first half, but the last episodes might suffer.

Ideally, they'd all air with a season-ending climax like originally planned, but if not, and with no clue when the remainder of the season will be produced, I'll take what I could get now.

How does this affect the three seasons of 16 plan? Will it become a season of 8 followed by two seasons of 20? Are Cuse and Lindelof adjusting the plans to take this into account? When's the latest the strike could end for "Lost" to complete the season? (I doubt ABC would air any new stuff in the summer, even if the strike ends.)

Anonymous said...

What about the Judy Greer sitcom Miss/Guided? It must really suck if it's STILL not being scheduled even during the strike.

Unknown said...

wasn't the 8th episode of lost supposed to be like a mid-season finale anyway? so if we just pretend season four's only 8 episodes long, we can all be happy? or am i just making that up.

cpennylane said...

From what I heard, episode 8 ends with a cliffhanger, shocking reveal or something, and will work as a "mini" finale. I am happy it will be back earlier than planned -- I had Feb. 6th marked down. But I HATE HATE HATE American Idol, so... I guess I will go have a life on Wednesday nights again.

K J Gillenwater said...

I'll take the 8 episodes, please. I have no problems waiting to see the rest of the 16... but I would have been ANGRY if ABC just held onto 8 complete episodes and gave us more reality crap instead.

Their schedule already looks bleak. Lost and Men In Trees pretty much being the only 2 shows I will watch at all.

I'm wondering if ABC is holding out the hope that the strike will end in January, giving them time to somehow continue production? Or is that just a lost cause??? How much longer would the strike have to last before the rest of this tv season is just abandoned to filler and reality shows?

Anonymous said...

Well, they had three 16-episode seasons planned, right?

So if they're still making all of those episodes no matter what, then I'd rather see 8 now, 8 later. Eight seems like an OK place to take a break. If it's, say, an 8-episode mini-season this spring, and another 8-episode mini season in the fall, and then they're back on track for 2009 and 2010, that sounds OK to me.

If it's a choice between waiting for the whole season to be done, or only ever having an 8-episode season, thus shortening the whole rest of the series to 40 episodes from 48, then I'd rather wait.

Anonymous said...

8 in hand is better than 16 in the bush.

olucy said...

Since I found the last split season very unsatisfying (you forget too much in between!), and TPTB went to the effort to AVOID a split season this time around, I'm voting for waiting until all 16 are ready to watch.

Anonymous said...

In the shocking climax of episode 8, Future Hurley is faced with the impossible choice between mustard and mayonnaise.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else was surprised when the world got out that Lost had 8 episodes written prior to the strike? I mean, the showrunners went to all that trouble to get a very unusual network schedule and then, despite the fact that the strike threat was a reality, they seem to have worried very little to try to have as many script asthey could till the strike date.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I am thrilled that they are choosing to air the 8 episodes, and a week earlier than previously announced. I'll take my Lost however I can get it. As I am re-watching Season 3, I am reminded of how brilliant the writing is, and how underrated the acting was last season.

Anonymous said...

@Filepe: One of the point of having a 16 episode season was so that they can have more time to make episodes. They are not going to put out a rushed product just to make sure that they write more episodes before the strike.

I say any Lost is better than no Lost. I've heard that ABC is very happy with the episodes and apparently ABC thinks that the episodes are so good that they would even satisfy the haters. I can't wait

Taleena said...

A drop of water in the dry desert of programming during the strike. And I like reality TV. (OK, some reality TV).

Lost is inevitably frustrating and fascinating by turns so 8 vs. 16 is not going to effect it at all.

Anonymous said...

My strike viewing consists of Scrubs reruns and the occasional firstrun episode if I think to check if it's on...I say 8 Losts will do in a pinch.

Anonymous said...

>Interesting that they're not sticking with their top-rated performers in repeats (Grey's, Private Practice) but are keeping on Ugly Betty and Boston Legal.

they still *have* Boston Legal. I think it started late and I know David E Kelley published three scripts days before the strike (according to an article - i didn't know scripts got "published"). They finished production last Friday, according to same article.

I watch Lost as much as I watch Heroes, which is not at all. Tried once, late, blew it, gave up, don't care.

Sad that they will be out of reruns of Grey's - with NBC moving Scrubs to 8:30, I was hoping to be able to watch all three shows in real time...

(I hear there's one more ep of Grey's - it's just un-Shonda-finished)
(so i'm guessing the editors are not writers)

Anonymous said...

I'll take 8 eps! This strike has gotten to me already, so I will take any new shows I can get...

In the meantime, I've got Dexter coming my way via Netflix, and when that is done I've got The Wire coming... and after that I'll hope for a "Man Men" rerun marathon and watch all of them in order.

Anonymous said...

I'll take 8 eps! This strike has gotten to me already, so I will take any new shows I can get...

In the meantime, I've got Dexter coming my way via Netflix, and when that is done I've got The Wire coming... and after that I'll hope for a "Man Men" rerun marathon and watch all of them in order.

BF said...

The only real problem with the 8 episodes is when it comes time to buy the DVD. No doubt Buena Vista is going to want us to fork over "regular length season" dollars for a half season's worth of episodes. Hey, if it worked for the Sopranos, Entourage & Galactica...

Anonymous said...

i bought the first season of Grey's - it was 9 eps. (and yes, it was truncated, sort of, from the original 12 or 13 or whatever, by ABC who wanted it to end when DH ended (don't know why)
They had to scramble a bit with season 2. (also not sure why) and write one new episode to stick in the middle of those. it was the one that hooked me)

But yes, I was considering the other day that the networks may end up with half season DVDs.

If they sell them, will the writers only get 2 cents?

tiff said...

I'll take the 8 episodes, and here's a programming idea for ABC... rerun season 3 (at least the last few EXCELLENT episodes) as a primer.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be difficult waiting after only 8 for the next 8 if they ever get finished, and I know I can wait a while for good television since Season 5 of The Wire will be on and I'll have the S3 DVDs of Lost to marathon. I do miss the show, and I will take the 8 episodes, but I'm not fond of the Thursday timeslot.

Whatever happened to Saturday at 4:30 PM? *shakes fist menacingly*