Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Upfronts, Part A

As I mentioned a few posts back, I will be providing impressions on the early description of the new TV shows and returning schedules for the Fall Season.

The network presentations where these decisions are provided to the media are called upfronts.
The good people at have spent some time actually covering these events like real journalists, while I sit at home and read magazines. So, decency demands that I acknowledge their importance in what I am going to be telling you.

I will be getting my information from other sources as well, such as Entertainment Weekly, but on rare occasion, I might provide my own opinions, since this is my website and all.
Part A:
First I will give some overview of the upfronts, based on this Teevee article.

The first thing that you have to know and expect is that television is created by smart, manipulative people who can't do anything without a focus group, but the is designed for a passive, average audience. So that means the smart people are going to see what has worked recently and give that back to you in four different guises. This is why a) ABC was once the "I Want to Be a Millionaire" channel--until it flogged that horse to death and b) we now accept 85 variations and spinoffs of the first "reality" show, "Survivor."

[As a brief aside, I have strong memories of when I first heard about the "Survivor" concept and I thought it was a sort of gutsy idea but would NEVER work. Shows what I know and provides ample proof that you should stop reading this right now and go play basketball.]

Anyway, what does all the above mean? It means that you will get plenty of "supernatural" shows next season thanks to the incredible success and buzzworthiness of LOST. I find this a reasonably good thing, as I am a big fan of LOST and also enjoy a fair bit of "supernatural" or "fantasy" type shows.

Onto my impressions of the upfronts:
  • I already knew that ST: Enterprise was a goner. I never fully bought into the show's original premise, worried that a prequel would be awkward. The show had its moments, but the franchise has needed to lie fallow for a while now. Give it some time and new creative blood and Star Trek will return. Besides, obscure, large-breasted actresses need work!
  • I am skeptical about all of these LOST spinoffs. LOST itself could go careening off the deep end of farce next year. Just like that shining show of my high school youth, Twin Peaks, which had maybe the most outstandingly bizarre and buzzworthy first season in TV history . . . only to go insane in a dismal season 2. So, if everyone is waiting to catch LOST's lightning in a bottle . . . well, let's just see what's in the hatch first, shall we?
  • I am glad and surprised that Smallville survived this past, fairly abysmal season. I guess the WB really doesn't have a better option. Not that I am complaining. I like the show and hope that Miller and Gough can right their footing next season. Besides, they still have to think of twenty more ways to humiliate Chloe and celebrate the wonder of Lana!!

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