Fall check-in: CBS

Hey all. It’s been too long. I’ve been really busy this fall and writing elsewhere (hopefully you’re following me over at This Was Television and TV.com). But frequent contributor Wesley Ambrecht decided to exchange some emails about the state of the broadcast networks with sweeps upon us (well now over, but still). We have tackled Fox and … Continue reading Fall check-in: CBS

Test Pilot: File #44, The Shield

Test Pilot #44: The Shield Debut date: March 12, 2002 Series legacy: One of the best cop dramas, and series, of all-time Hello, everyone. Welcome back to your favorite discussion of television pilots on the internet, Test Pilot. Today we conclude our survey of the contemporary police drama. Hopefully we have done a fine job … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #44, The Shield

Test Pilot: File #43, Boomtown

Test Pilot #43: Boomtown Debut date: September 29, 2002 Series legacy: A well-respected but barely-watched entry into the police procedural genre Good afternoon! Hey there, party people. Welcome back to the internet’s most popular discussion of television pilots, Test Pilot. We’re still chugging our way through an exploration of the contemporary police procedural. Before you … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #43, Boomtown

Test Pilot: File #41, Homicide: Life on the Street

Test Pilot #41: Homicide: Life on the Street Debut date: January 31, 1993 Series legacy: One of the most well-respected series of all-time, but still, somehow, undervalued Hey there, party people. Welcome back to the internet’s most popular discussion* of television pilots, Test Pilot. We’re still early into our contemporary police drama theme. Before you … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #41, Homicide: Life on the Street

TV Surveillance Podcast Episode 18, Parts 1 and 2 — Broadcast Network Analysis Extravaganza!

In this episode of the TV Surveillance Podcast, I'm joined by Wesley Ambrecht for an expansive, massive, two-part, four-hour podcast covering the successes, failures, schedules and developments of all five of the broadcast networks. Because this conversation went so long, we split it into two parts, both of which cross or come close to crossing … Continue reading TV Surveillance Podcast Episode 18, Parts 1 and 2 — Broadcast Network Analysis Extravaganza!

#TVFail Entry 14: CSI:, “19 Down”/”One to Go”

The accused: CSI:, “19 Down” and “One to Go” (Season 9, Episodes 9 and 10) The crime: Embodying the internal tension between character and procedural in contemporary network crime series Television’s failures are supposed to be obvious. From the overhyped non-starters that flop from the very beginning (hello, FlashForward, Lone Star) to the much-discussed clumsy … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 14: CSI:, “19 Down”/”One to Go”

Test Pilot: Announcing the Test Pilot schedule through May 2012

Tuesday update: I've now filled each of these entries with a co-writer. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and shared this.  Hiya folks! Just as I did with #TVFail on Friday, I've decided to take this short burst of free time I have currently to plan the schedule for the Test Pilot feature. Constructing the schedule … Continue reading Test Pilot: Announcing the Test Pilot schedule through May 2012

Surveillance Spring Stumping: Why CBS should renew The Good Wife

It’s May, which means we’re very close to the network upfronts. Choices about which series live and which series die are probably being made right now by all the major networks. This of course means it’s time for fans and critics to start stumping for their favorite series stuck on the bubble between cancellation and … Continue reading Surveillance Spring Stumping: Why CBS should renew The Good Wife

Stuck in the middle — The failure of the complex, restrained television series

Let's play pretend for a moment (since I planned on writing this column had this thing we're pretending about actually happened), if you don't mind. Let us assume for the sake of argument that AMC's fantastic new drama series The Killing didn't open to nearly 3 million viewers, which is a sizable success for the … Continue reading Stuck in the middle — The failure of the complex, restrained television series

Welcome characters, knowing drama and more — Discussing branding approaches by cable and broadcast networks

A few weeks ago, a number of critics and TV-related folk were blowing up my Twitter feed with their discussion on the greatness of USA Network. In short, these folks were watching screeners of White Collar's second season and the first few episodes of the network's new series, Covert Affairs. They loved them. If I … Continue reading Welcome characters, knowing drama and more — Discussing branding approaches by cable and broadcast networks