Friday, October 23, 2015

WOULDA SHOULDA COULDA…. THE FIVE THAT GOT AWAY


Nowadays, in the world of delayed viewing, more shows are given a chance to succeed than ever before. Several shows on basic and premium cable channels often get a second season pickup even before the first episode airs. I wrote about these five shows in the era when you didn't get much of a chance to prove yourself. Schedulers generally preach patience but they have to deal with nervous executives who think that the next move will increase the performance of the network. Fortunately that is changing. Anyway, here's a post from the late lamented blog where I talk about five shows that might have had a different life with a little more love. Enjoy

Most network shows fail because they simply suck but every network has a handful of shows that, if promoted differently, scheduled better or with a bit of patience and consistency in scheduling might have gone down a different path. As the decade comes to a close I started thinking about some of the shows on FOX that, in my opinion, never had the opportunity to prove that they could have been more than what they became. Without breaking a sweat five came to mind.
THE BERNIE MAC SHOW.... one of the few scripted shows (HOUSE being the other) to really benefit from the AMERICAN IDOL lead in, this show was pushed aside in it's sophomore year for THE OC and never recovered. It was moved to Sunday night and then pulled until after the November Sweep so it never had the chance to premiere with the rest of the Sunday comedies. A real shame. One more year with an AI lead in and this show could have anchored a night of family comedies along with.....
GROUNDED FOR LIFE.... hammocked between THAT 70'S SHOW and TEMPTATION ISLAND, and then part of a Wednesday night comedy block this show was cast aside in season 3 after it was scheduled to lead out of THAT 70'S SHOW and lead into 24. Instead the powers that be opted for 70's repeats in the fall and Grounded never recovered on FOX...an offbeat "indie" family comedy that might have been on the brink of success.
KEEN EDDIE...Mark Valley and Sienna Miller in a smart, cool funny fish out of water cop show set in London was never given a chance to succeed. Kept off the in-season schedule KE wound up being paired up with AMERICAN JUNIORS in the summer....'nuff said...Oh well at least I got a chance to kiss Sienna Miller.
KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL...Bradley Cooper, John Frances Daley, Bonnie Sommerville, John Cho, Frank Langella Errin Hayes and the dude who's now a cop in The Mentalist all together in a smart adult single camera comedy. It should have been saved for mid-season and put behind the Idol results show (it was a very high testing pilot by the way) but instead was sacrificed as the companion to a third season of Arrested Development...so we wound up with two failed series in the Fall.... ugh
STILL LIFE...this one never even had a chance to air...it was the Lovely Bones.... family drama told from the point of view of the son, a murdered police officer. Written by Marti Noxon and Kip Koenig (who wrote an awesome pilot for NBC called CHAOS THEORY) and starring Jensen Ackles and Morena Baccarin (Firefly space hooker, V lizard lady and later HOMELAND) this never found a place on the schedule. There were those at FOX who loved it and begged to put it on in the summer (6 episodes were made) but it was not meant to be.
It's possible that all five shows would never have succeeded but we'll never know.


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