Upfront Week 2012: CBS’ 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: CBS’ Schedule and Analysis

Test Pilot: File #42, CSI:

Test Pilot #42: CSI: Debut date: October 6, 2000 Series legacy: One of the most popular, but not necessarily well-regarded series of the last decade-plus 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 groan or … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #42, CSI:

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

“We’ve had a really bad fall” (and decade): On the fatal flaw of NBC’s development strategy and defeatist thinking

Note: This post is a longer (but barely) and hopefully more coherent version of my tweet explosion from Friday night. With the annual winter Television Critics Association Press Tour coming to an end and many of the season’s mid-season premieres here or right around the corner, I wanted to take a little time and talk … Continue reading “We’ve had a really bad fall” (and decade): On the fatal flaw of NBC’s development strategy and defeatist thinking

#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”

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

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The Best (and Worst) of the Rest

2010 has been a fantastic year for television. This year brought us a slew of great new programs and if we include the second halves of all the series that debuted in the fall of 2009 (which I am for these features), we have probably just experienced the best run of newbies since 2004. While … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The Best (and Worst) of the Rest

25,000 people are good enough: The hegemonic impacts of the nielsen television ratings system

The [Nielsen] overnight numbers widely reported by the media—and Hollywood’s general barometer of a show’s health—can account for as little as 25 percent of the eventual audience for, say, an FX comedy. – Josef Adalian, New York Magazine[1] Imagine you watch every new episode of your favorite television series (for this example, NBC’s comedy Community) … Continue reading 25,000 people are good enough: The hegemonic impacts of the nielsen television ratings system

Series Premiere — Hawaii Five-0, “Pilot”

While watching the revamped Hawaii Five-0 pilot tonight, I tweeted that it felt weird watching an hourlong drama series on CBS. This is literally something I have never done unless you count the random episodes of JAG I used to catch as a youngster when my mom regularly enjoyed that series. But for most of … Continue reading Series Premiere — Hawaii Five-0, “Pilot”

The Emmys to split into two shows? Other suggestions for TV’s biggest award night

Just one day after the Emmys aired, the Hollywood Reporter ran a story that speculates the Emmys could be split into two different shows in the future. Under the possible (and let me stress that word) deal, one telecast would air on the usual rotating trolley of broadcast networks and focus on the comedy, drama … Continue reading The Emmys to split into two shows? Other suggestions for TV’s biggest award night

Upfronts: Musings on CBS’s schedule

This week is one of the most exciting and hectic times for the television industry and those of us who like to pontificate about it — upfronts! All week the broadcast networks will be announcing their fall schedules for advertisers, which means all sorts of stories about pick-ups, cancellations and armchair quarterbacking from people like … Continue reading Upfronts: Musings on CBS’s schedule