Tuesday, October 04, 2005

More Network Deaths

When the fall comes along, a litter of new shows comes along, too. Then the pack gets weeded out to eliminate the shows that simply didn't hack it, whether it's worthy of the axe or not. It's all about ratings, and the networks only go by numbers, except in a few noteworthy cases. Now that the new season is a week or two old, it's time to find out how some of the more noteable acts are doing.

NBC is having a ratings crisis: they have no viewers. The new drama Inconceivable, which is based on a fertility clinic's daily happenings, has already been given the pink slip, and rumor has it Three Wishes is floundering and close to sacking. E-Ring is switching places with Apprentice: Martha Stewart, which means that neither of them are doing well, but don't expect to see either of them around for much longer. My prediction is that E-Ring will soon bite the dust (another case of a stellar cast in a mediocre vehicle) and Apprentice will finish out its season on CNBC. You just wait and see. The Donald is seeing much more success, by the way. My Name Is Earl is switching places with Joey to see if maybe the switch will help Joey do better. What the execs need to realize is that Joey is doing badly because it's not that great a show. You can't get blood from a turnip, no matter what time slot you put it in. NBC is hoping that their newest venture, a pilot for a show called "Heist," will turn its tides, so look for that during next year's season openers.

ABC has decided to renew Jimmy Kimmel's late night contract, which must mean that he's becoming (or is) a viable contender against NBC and CBS's stranglehold on the late night slot. Raise your hand if you were shocked at that, too. And it's no big surprise that the ratings juggernauts for the network remain Lost and Desperate Housewives. In fact, ABC seems to be the darling network for ratings, although it remains to be seen what the backlash will be now that Alias did something its viewers warned it not to. I won't say what they did, for those of you who haven't seen it yet, but she show's producers basically included a plot element that they swore they wouldn't, and a grassroots campaign has been organized to boycott the show in response.

Fox's big moneymaker this season will be the baseball playoffs, so expect to see that advertising plastered across the network for the next month or so. Much to everyone's shock (and possibly chagrin), the net also ordered four more episodes of Reunion, the drama that is trying to be suspenseful like Lost but have the gossip vibe of Housewives. The O.C. is holding steady despite being up against an onslaught of premieres on other networks, which bodes well for its season. Oh, and in case you've heard of that new show Sex, Lies and Secrets, starring newly-separated Denise Richards, you can stop holding your breath. The show will remain on the air for now, but don't look for it to come back. The jury's still out on whether or not the remaining episodes will even air - the network cites bad ratings. However, you can't blame UPN; with the right show even they can garner ratings, as evidenced by their shock hit Everybody Hates Chris. I was worried this hysterical show wouldn't last on UPN, but I guess everyone gets it right sometimes.