New Renewals and Poll Results

What a busy Friday night we had! First, of course, we heard that Dollhouse has been renewed, though the formal announcement won’t be until Monday. Joss Whedon has commented on the renewal, and it’s true! This was a really big long-shot here, and I’m very surprised that they said yes, but I’m happy!

Not only that, but Castle was renewed. Plus, Amy Acker’s new pilot Happy Town has been picked up. It’s been a very nice weekend for the Whedonverse.

The only downside to me is that Scrubs was also renewed. I really wanted this show to rest in peace after its fantastic finale. Others aren’t quite as disappointed as I am–at least it’s a funny show–but I just think such a great finale as only a season finale (especially since Sarah Chalke and Zach Braff will be around for six episodes) is just a waste, and I’m afraid that the following season will just bring it down from such a high note.

Anyway…at least people aren’t out of jobs.

So what about my poll? I figure I should post my results now, seeing as some of our “bubble shows” have just been renewed. Keep in mind, these aren’t very representative or true to life. Forcing people to choose only one show when so many people are worried about bubble shows makes one tend to vote for their favorite shows on the bubble. Plus, with grabbing only my readers, my readers on Twitter, and my personal friends on Facebook, you don’t get exactly a perfect sampling of the populate. But it was still fun.

So let’s look first at the complete list of shows suggested for coming back in the fall (click on each graph to see a larger version):

All Shows AnsweredAs you can see, Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles were the top two, followed by Chuck. I think that’s not a huge surprise–especially since so many people I’m connected to are in the Whedonverse.

What surprised me is that next up are some shows that have been long gone. I mean, multiple votes for All in the Family? Seriously? But it’s good to know that Castle and How I Met Your Mother are up there, too (again, shows from the ‘verse).

But let’s look at this more realistically. I’m going to take out the shows that have been long gone and cancelled. Here we go:

A Better LookSo, now you see that our Whedonverse shows really are on top. And then come some good favorites. Honestly, I’m surprised that Lost didn’t get more votes, but like I said, I think people were more worried about the bubble shows. I did get a lot of people saying that they chose one show to save but would choose How I Met Your Mother overall. That’s nice.

It’s good to see The Unusuals on there, too, but I’m disappointed that more people didn’t say Kings. Kings on Twitter are really trying as hard as they can to spread the word about renewal. I wish it was a little stronger!

Show TypesFinally, just to prove I’m not crazy, here’s how it breaks down with shows that were on the bubble at the time of the poll, shows that were safe or already renewed, and the long gone.

All that purple means that people really care about their bubble shows. But then again, there were a lot this year. I mean, even Bones was on the bubble (has that been renewed yet?Update: Just got renewed!).

Anyway, the poll was fun. Let me know if there are any other poll suggestions you have. Next year, this should be even more fun. Who knows what shows will be on the air then? And maybe more people will be on Twitter or reading this blog so I can get a better sampling!

And thanks to everyone who participated!

UPDATE: Just heard via Twitter that The Unusuals was not renewed. I’m heartbroken. :-( Why, ABC, why?

NBC: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Well, NBC has announced it’s upcoming new shows, as well as some shows that will be picked up. And to be honest, I can’t say I’m over the moon about any of them. Well, maybe one.

What’s original here? NBC seemed to be one of the networks we’re more curious about, what with ER‘s  good-bye and their newest pitch to have Leno have a 10:00 daily talk show. And yes, that Leno plan is still happening.

And while I have mixed feelins about Leno’s show (I think it’s a terrible idea, though at least it will be a backup to reruns at 10:00 on other networks), that now limits NBC to two hours of programming. So what do we have?

Well, in place of ER, we’ve now got two new hospital dramas, one of which has Michelle Trachtenberg as a nurse–something I doubt very heavily. Sorry, Michelle fans, but somehow that just seems odd to me. Can she play an adult? I mean, I saw her relatively try in The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, and it was painful.

We’ve also got Day One, which apparently has someone from Heroes involved (let’s hope season 1) and involves people reacting after a global disaster. Didn’t we do this a few years ago and call it Jericho? The frontrunner of that show is Julia Gonzalo, the most annoying cast member of the lost Eli Stone.

And then what? Parenthood? Oh dear, Maura Tierney, is there no hope left? At least Monica Potter’s finding work after Trust Me was canceled.

But where, oh, where are the original premises? I’m most looking forward to Community, mainly because it stars Joel McHale of The Soup, but from what I’ve read on other blogs, people are less enthused because it’s “just another multi-camera comedy.” I’ll take that any day over another Parks and Recreation, which, by the way, has been renewed.

Speaking of renewals, what about the ones we’re really wondering about? No news on Chuck, and contrary to various reports this weekend, it looks like Medium hasn’t yet been decided on yet, either. From what I can tell, you’ll have to wait until May 19, when they announce the fall schedule.

These are two very popular series. I’m still surprised they’re being debated.

Meanwhile, we can expect the return of Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock, reality TV, and at least one Law & Order series.

What else is missing? My Name Is Earl. Again, very surprised.

I should mention that all of these might not be fall shows–some may be winter or “event”–but I think there are some surprises and disappointments here. With such original series as Chuck and, of course, Kings, we’re stuck with the old and the done.

So here’s what I suggest. If you don’t like what you see, and you’re waiting for your favorite NBC show to appear, you better get moving. Write to NBC, post blogs, do what you must. You’re running out of time, and we’re running out of quality.

It’s a brand-new May

[To the tune of Dr. Horrible's "Brand-new Day"]

It’s a brand-new May
And the sun is high
All networks are singing
That they’re gonna die
Go a head an laugh
Hey, I’m a funny guy…
Tell everyone good-bye…
It’s a brand-new May…
[STOMP]

Yes, yes. It’s the time for season and series finales. Honestly, why is it that I don’t know yet which shows are having series finales? Oh, maybe it’s because it’s all up to cancellation announcements (no, we haven’t heard about Dollhouse yet).

Anyway, it’s the time of year–May and, well, the week before it–where finales rule and characters die. Who’s spouting springtime deaths?

Heroes, for one, unless they already did the damage they were planning with Elle and Daphne. Personally, I’m hoping for more.

Then there’s Smallville, which is killing off two to three characters. It’s questionable as to whether the third character will be in body or mind, but there will certainly be some carnage.

For a while there, we thought there’d be some death in Grey’s Anatomy. I guess we still don’t know anymore about that one.

And then there’s One Tree Hill, which is constantly trying to kill off Dan (though I hear he’s not going anywhere…yet), and there is the question of Peyton and the baby. And have they signed her or Lucas on for another season? I haven’t heard a yes or no yet. All speculation, though.

I’ve also heard that not everyone is in the clear on Desperate Housewives. But then again, that’s always the case.

House already greeted us with our death for the season. I can’t say anyone was expecting the Kutner surprise.

And then there’s Dollhouse. I know nothing about whether anyone will live or die, but it is Joss Whedon, so that’s always the chance. Plus, you hear the name “Alpha,” and you automatically get scared. I’d say there is a good chance for some terror and death–again, all speculation.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that we’ve got some big episodes coming up on our favorite shows, and those are just the ones I’m willing to share info about or speculate on (and trust me, Dollhouse is complete speculation; I won’t share my opinions about who I think could kick it, though if you want to know my thoughts, just ask).

My point in all this is to not let your favorite finales pass you by. Somehow they’re sneaking up on me, so I don’t want you all to miss out! I mean, Heroes is tomorrow, people!

So here is a list of some of the shows I cover (and a few other popular ones that I know the kids are watching), so you’ll be sure to catch your favorites as they sign off (hopefully) for the summer. A complete list can be found here.

Monday, April 27: Chuck and Heroes
Wednesday, April 29: Better Off Ted
Thursday, April 30: Samantha Who?
Wednesday,  May 6: Scrubs and The Unusuals
Friday, May 8: Dollhouse
Sunday, May 10: Brothers & Sisters
Monday, May 11: The Big Bang Theory, House, and Castle
Tuesday,  May 12: Fringe
Thursday, May 14: Smallville, Parks and Recreation, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, and 30 Rock
Friday,  May 15: Ghost Whisperer and Prison Break
Sunday, May 17: Desperate Housewives
Monday,  May 18: Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, and One Tree Hill
Tuesday,  May 19: 90210
Wednesday, May 20: America‘s Next Top Model
Thursday,  May 21: Ugly Betty and Southland
Tuesday, May 26: Reaper and My Boys

So keep those eyes glued to the TV, people. It’s a brand-new May…

The Office: Super Bowl Edition

THE OFFICE: 5.13 “Stress Relief”

I think it’s no surprise that I’ve been disappointed with The Office this year. Pam’s turned into a real *itch. Jim’s lost his funny, with the exception of his cold open prank of wrapping Dwight’s “desk.” Dwight, Andy, and Angela got lost in their love triangle for way too long, and Michael’s…well…he’s been overrated since season threeish.

But last night was a special episode: The Super Bowl episode. Keeping with the tradition of having an hour-long episode of the network’s best show air after the Super Bowl, NBC chose The Office. Of course, if I recall, they also considered premiering Amy Poehler’s new show or doing the 3-D Chuck then, but ultimately, it was The Office.

I’ll give them credit. At least they found the funny. It was overall a funny episode, though I wouldn’t say it was one of the greatest episode ever. I finally found myself laughing out loud from time to time.

It wasn’t without faults. I thought trying to get Cloris Leachman, Jack Black, and Jessica Alba into the episode was a stretch. Sure, the Super Bowl shows try to get some great actors to guest star or cameo–think of Friends when they had four distinct guest stars–but this just seemed out of place. I suppose the movie clips were funny to some (I wasn’t thrilled), but it just seemed like a stretch to get these guys in here. I mean, Pam and Jim wanted to see this movie so they have to get Andy to download it, and it stretches to mentioning Pam’s parents’ separation? It was just a little too much.

But what could you do instead? Have them appear as characters? Honestly, why not? Some people say that it would have forced them into the show, which I thought was what happened anyway. It didn’t seem to fit right. Why not have them appear as customers or delivery men or friends coming to the roast? Or find a more clever way than a story in a story. I’m sorry, but even Shakespeare had some awkward plays within a play, so why did The Office try it? Look at a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother. They dropped some spoilers that stars from The Hills and Kim Kardashian would be on the show, and they cleverly stuck them in magazine covers so as not to take over the episode. I just felt that The Office stretched it a little far.

In other news, was anyone expecting the episode to be a little more fun? I mean, Dwight sets the office on fire, and Stanley has a heart attack. For some reason unknown to mankind, Dwight is not fired, but the rest of the episode is waiting to see whether Stanley’s going to fall over again or whether Pam’s father will leave her mother. Or Michael’s roast that left him crying (though we all knew that wasn’t a good idea). It’s a Super Bowl episode, people! What about an office Super Bowl pool, much like the contest about whether Hillary Swank is hot? Kevin would be all over that.

Anyway, I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer, but I guess I was just hoping for a revamp. We finally got some laughter out of the series, which has been lacking for a lot of the season, but it just didn’t seem spectacular to me. It seemed more like an hour-long episode that had been plucked from its usual Thursday night lineup.

I know I’m probably going against the crowd here, but what did you guys think? It was funny–trust me, it was. And honestly, the plotlines really didn’t get me as much as this post probably makes it sounds. I really just hated how they incorporated the celebrities. It was just…lame. And a stretch.

But at least we’re headed in new directions and we’re finding more humor. And that’s what a comedy’s about, right?

Welcome back, Heroes

If you’re not watching the Super Bowl, you may not be aware that Heroes starts back tomorrow night with a new volume: Fugitives. If you are watching the Super Bowl, you know this based on the large amount of commercials and teasers (including a fun one with lip syncing). That is, unless your tailgating party went heartily amuck, and you’re staring at your Bud label as if it were the face of Jesus Christ himself.

Bud aside, it looks like we’re not just returning to new Heroes, but we’re returning to GOOD Heroes. I’m actually (gasp!) looking forward to it.

It’s like we’re getting a fresh start. A much-needed, desperately needed fresh start. The heroes are returning to their normal lives, I hear, and attempting to protect themselves from those who are trying to collect them. As we saw at the end of the last episode, it appears the hunting and gathering is being ordered by Nathan. It brings about a little curiosity since he himself is a hero–or at least has powers–so is he hiding them or flying himself above the rest?

Sylar’s back, as we can see from teasers. Color me not thrilled. I think he’s an overdone character and needs to disappear. Give us a new big bad that lasts more than five episodes (like Arthur Petrelli, but around longer). If Nathan happens to be him, by all means.

Perhaps this volume won’t give us a heart-pounding questions like, “Will Peter get his powers back?” (after all, he did), but I think it definitely has some promise. Of course, we need to get past the need to put every hero in every episode like we seemed to have last time. Just too much going on.

So do you think we can get back to the roots of season one? I think it’s a possibility. I’m not saying I’m expecting it, but I am excited to see where we’re going. What about you?

And in case you’re curious, let’s list the types of commercials we have. These will probably be available somewhere and somehow on YouTube tomorrow by our many Heroes fans.

  • Cast lip syncs with the casts of Chuck and Medium to “Feelin’ Alright” (aired twice)
  • Regular TV show teaser
  • Cast plays football against NFL greats
  • Another regular TV show teaser (with less dialog)
  • Regular, boilerplate Monday night shows ad

Which one was your fave? I’m thinking the lip syncing got me. Though football playing was fun.

Well, this is handy

Need help remembering those mid-season premiere dates? Well, E! has made a nice list to help the cause. If you’re wondering what I’m most interested in, take a look below. Let me know if there are any you’re excited about, too. Including Dollhouse. That will ROCK.

Sunday, Jan. 4

Desperate Housewives 

Monday, Jan. 5

One Tree Hill

Tuesday, Jan. 6

Scrubs

Thursday, Jan. 8

30 Rock
The Office

Thursday, Jan. 15

Bones – Note that this show is moving to Thursday!

Friday, Jan. 16

Battlestar Galactica – I’m not as interested in this show because I’ve never seen it, but guest writer JC is, so new posts should be on their way!

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Fringe

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Life on Mars – Look! It’s still around!

Monday, Feb. 2

Chuck, 3D episode — Ok, I’m not actually interested in this show, but a 3D episode? Really? Probably won’t watch, but I needed to post that one.
Heroes, Vol. IV: Fugitives

Friday, Feb. 13

Dollhouse – Hell yeah!

Monday, March 9

Castle – I k now little about it, but Whedon alum and Dr. Horrible star Nathan Fillion is in it, so I might as well try it out.

Tuesday, March 17

Reaper – Not sure I’ll report on it, but might check out the second season.

Tuesday, March 24

Cupid – Debating whether it’s even worth checking out.

Wednesday, April 8

The Unusuals – Amber Tamblyn returns!

I’m noticing that some shows weren’t represented here that I know are coming back, namely, the CBS favorites. I’ll try to post them when I find out more.

I’m still heartbroken that Eli Stone is not on this schedule (supposedly, it will get a finale at some point), but I guess there’s not much I can to at this point except watch my season 1 DVDs over and over again. Sigh. Maybe I’ll be consoled by Dollhouse and The Unusuals. Maybe.