Whats wrong with the networks? Theyre usually quick to cancel new series, and here we are, a couple weeks into the new season, and as of press time, only one show, The CWs Online Nation, has been canceled. While CWs docu-soap Nashville has been pulled from the lineup, speculation is it might return in Novemberwhich is almost a certainty if the Writers Guild goes on strike (well know for sure by Halloween if there will be a strike or not).
My guess is the threat of an impending writers strike has made network executives more cautious about canceling new series because, if there is a strike, their options will be severely limited. While normally tempted to ax any show that doesnt draw great ratings from day one, a potential strike means networks need to milk all the value they can out of their existing inventory.
The upside is viewers get more than two or three episodes to decide if they like a show, giving series a chance to build an audience. The downside? More Cavemen, Carpoolers and Big Shots. Maybe even Viva Laughlin.
While its hard for most people to sympathize when those earning more money per episode than some of us earn per year (plus all kinds of benefits we can only dream of) threaten to go on strike, Im sure they have legitimate issues. Figuring out fair compensation for the rights to stream their work onlinecheck any networks Web site and see how many shows are being streamed online, a trend that hadnt even begun the last time the writers were negotiating termsis important. And in the grand scheme of things, Hollywood scriptwriters probably earn nothing compared with studio and network executives and the actors who bring their words to life.
So in the next week or so, as the threat of a writers strike looms, be sure to check out some of the newer shows while theyre still around. If the strike doesnt happen, axes will no doubt start falling around Nov. 1.
Here are my favorite new shows of the season:
Chuck7 p.m., Mondays on NBC
Reaper8 p.m., Tuesdays on CW
Pushing Daisies7 p.m., Wednesdays on ABC (this is my absolute favorite new show)
Back to You7 p.m., Wednesdays on Fox
Shows that werent instant favorites, but are growing on me:
Sam Who?8:30 p.m., Mondays on ABC (the amnesia idea might get old over a full season)
Journeyman9 p.m., Mondays on NBC
Life9 p.m., Wednesdays on NBC
Moonlight8 p.m., Fridays on CBS
These are shows I expected more of, given their casts and/or pedigrees. Mind you, I had high expectations for most of these, which may be why Im slightly disappointed in them. Yet, most are still worth a watchtheres always hope for improvement:
K-Ville8 p.m., Mondays on Fox
Private Practice8 p.m., Wednesdays on ABC
Bionic Woman8 p.m., Wednesdays on NBC
Gossip Girl8 p.m., Wednesdays on CW
Dirty Sexy Money9 p.m., Wednesdays on ABC
So what shows are you loving, hating, and loving to hate?
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
.from the Oct. 24-30, 2007, issue