Fall check-in: NBC

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. We tackled Fox last week, and up now … Continue reading Fall check-in: NBC

Test Pilot: File #53, Parks and Recreation

Test Pilot #53: Parks and Recreation Debut date: April 9, 2009 Series legacy: On the shortlist of great contemporary sitcoms First impressions mean a lot in television, and that’s why writers, producers, studios, networks, etc. put more time, effort and money into pilots than they do just about any other episode that could possibly be … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #53, Parks and Recreation

TV Surveillance Podcast Episode 26 — Upfronts 2012

Happy Monday, y'all! Although Upfronts came to a close last week, we're not done talking about it. Hopefully you saw my posts on NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS (sorry, I just couldn't get to the C-Dub), but today we offer you an extended look at all five networks' big scheduling-related decisions. My buddies Les Chappell … Continue reading TV Surveillance Podcast Episode 26 — Upfronts 2012

Upfront Week 2012: NBC’s Fall Schedule and Analysis

This week is basically like Christmas for television nerds like myself. Frankly, it is better. Of course, I am talking about Upfronts, the time of the year where the networks bring new fall schedules (and sometimes winter/spring schedules that do not end up sticking) to advertisers. Thanks to the glorious nature of the internet and … Continue reading Upfront Week 2012: NBC’s Fall Schedule and Analysis

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

Review: Community, “Contemporary Impressionists”

Not to cherry-pick from my own Twitter feed (not that I haven’t done it before), but “Contemporary Impressionists” is just a weird episode of Community. Weird doesn’t mean “bad” or “awful,” just as it also doesn’t mean “great.” This one featured some really intriguing character development, but was undercut by tonal and balance issues throughout. … Continue reading Review: Community, “Contemporary Impressionists”

Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Awake pilot last night (or over the past few weeks, thanks to NBC releasing it online fairly early). If you haven’t read my review, please consider doing that. But amid all the beaming reviews and superlatives for Awake, big questions remain: Is it a series? Can the story be maintained … Continue reading Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

Chitchat: Does Parks and Recreation have a Leslie Knope problem?

I talk television with a lot of people. Friends, family, other critics on Twitter, vagrants on the street. I just love talking about TV. Because I don’t have the time and resources to do a podcast like I used to in college, I’m going to sort of replicate that experience in textual form in a … Continue reading Chitchat: Does Parks and Recreation have a Leslie Knope problem?