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Tuesday 9 March 2004, by Webmaster
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Don’t Hate TV Execs for Arresting Your Favorite Series—Save a Show with Your Vote
by Kristin | Feb. 27, 2004 (The artist formerly known as Wanda)
And so it begins. That nail-biting, hair-pulling, edge-of-your-La-Z-Boy time of year when we wait...and wait...and wait to see if our favorite shows will survive to see the light of fall.
We are tubers. We have no patience. And, personally, I think it’s the cruelest form of torture imaginable (well, other than that dentist dude on Alias who rips out teeth—that can’t feel good).
Last week’s surprise cancellation of Angel was a wake-up call that some of the shows we are expecting to see next fall could instead go up to the big rerun channel in the sky. And, right now, network execs are making their decisions about what sticks around (final schedules are announced in May).
SOS! So, now seems the perfect time to roll out our fourth annual (eesh, I am getting old) Save One Show campaign.
Here’s how it works: (1) Check out the list of shows below with questionable fates—meaning they have not yet been picked up for next season, and in most cases, don’t have the ratings to presume a renewal; and (2) pick the one show (one!) you simply cannot live without, and vote in our SOS poll. (If you’re feeling verbose, you can also send me an email, and tell me why you think the show deserves to live.) How simple is that?
Now, here’s my part. After I receive your votes and tally them, do the hokeypokey and turn myself around (that’s just for fun), I will write up a big, fancy column featuring a desperate plea to save the top three contenders. That column will be sent to the appropriate network suits (along with some of your emailed thoughts) so they can see how much we fans care.
This Year’s Endangered Series List:
Angel: To be honest, it was a difficult decision whether to include Angel because, as you know, it has already been canceled. However, as you also probably know, Joss Whedon’s camp has pitched the former WB show to UPN, which would be our target here. Despite my comments in this week’s chat (that the peeps at UPN say it’s not likely), I never say die when it comes to my favorite undead. So, in addition to voting for Angel (if that’s your calling), make sure you check out the petition at SupportAngel.org & Buffy.nu & Savingangel.org.
Arrested Development: This one is rave reviews, awards, kudos and hands down my favorite new show of the season. Per usual, cancellation is imminent. Howevah! There is a glimmer of hope. Last week, Fox decided, last minute, to preempt Arrested with Bernie Mac, and Mac received an audience (6.3 million viewers) similar to that garnered by A.D. (Showing that time slot is not a walk in the park.) And, hopefully, Heather Graham’s guest stint on March 7 will reel in new viewers—honestly, peeps, it has some of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on television. Maven’s honor.
Boston Public: Officially, B.P. is "on hiatus" for the rest of the season to clear the way for Wonderfalls (that show I can’t stop raving about). The David E. Kelley series has struggled in the ratings since moving to Friday nights (surprise, surprise), and its season finale aired on Jan. 30. B.P. is not expected to return.
Ed: Barring all miracles (like, ahem, your massive show of support) it looks as if Ed and Carol’s trip down the altar was the show’s swan song. Sources close to NBC say higher-ups are ready to cut the cord, especially with reruns of the unflappable (and not just Donald’s hair) Apprentice doing well in Ed’s former slot on Wednesday nights. Phewey!
Enterprise: Adding Star Trek to the show’s title Enterprise didn’t inspire quite the ratings boom UPN had hoped for. Insiders say higher-ups will be watching ratings very closely for the next few weeks to decide whether the series has enough steam to come back in the fall. Current audience: 3.5 million.
Miss Match: It seemed the surest bet of the season, what with Darren Star and an all-growed-up Alicia Silverstone. But Miss Match suffered against CBS’ Joan of Arcadia on Friday nights (improving only slightly when it moved to 9 p.m.) and has been on hiatus since Dec. 15. NBC says the show will return "this spring" but so far, there’s no set date. And no pickup yet for fall.
One Tree Hill: Those of us still pining over the loss of Joey, Dawson and Pacey (sigh...let’s take a moment) have found a little reprieve in One Tree Hill, one of the best teen-angst guilty pleasures of the season. There has been no second-season pickup yet, though it does look likely—OTH has picked up steam since its premiere (from 2.5 million to more than 4 million viewers), and it especially does well with young females. (And psst...By the way, check out this week’s episode; Sheryl Crow is guest starring.)
Tru Calling: So strange. Fox put a new show up against Friends and Survivor on Thursday nights and (looky there!) it didn’t do so well. Despite Buffy fans’ excitement over the return of Eliza Dushku, Tru Calling is currently rated 131 out of 165 shows in the Nielsens and doesn’t look likely to get a second season.
Now, go vote. And if you want to testify about your TV addiction, email me about why that show is your must-see TV (put the show’s name in the subject line), then check back for the results next week.
And speaking of endangered faves, not to sway your vote or anything, but...
Arresting Behavior: It’s official, my favorite TV comedy on the planet is now Fox’s Arrested Development.
How much do I love A.D.? So much that, earlier this week, I infiltrated a special screening and informal Q&A with the cast—get this—for UCLA students, thanks to my undercover disguise of retro-fab sweater, backpack and like, totally cool lingo. (You know I have no shame.)
I’m, like, so totally glad I went, because, omigod, you guys, I’m, like, seriously not kidding...The episode they showed was so funny it, like, almost made me pee my pants. (Omigod, can you imagine if Bobby saw?!) And I, like, totally got to take my picture with actor Tony Hale (who plays Buster). How jealous are you?
Okay, enough sorority lip. Here’s what you must know: The aforementioned genius episode airs March 7, and you really must see it. The UCLA screening also included the pilot of the new Molly Shannon show, Cracking Up (debuting March 9, and it’s pretty good, too), and both casts were on hand to answer questions.
Now, clearly, UCLA has some sort of pact with the devil to get such talent. Especially given that the setting was a multipurpose room with rusty folding chairs and broken mikes, and—here’s the best part—the questions were asked by the students. Delish.
Among the prime inquiries were:
"What’s your favorite bad word?" David Cross’ answer: "Doublec—t, which is something I just made up for this question, but I think we should spread it."
From a foreign-exchange student: "What’s the best time ranks for a comedy?" To which Portia de Rossi nearly bit a hole through her lip from fighting back laughter, as no one understood, and the poor soul kept repeating, "Time ranks! Time ranks! Hour or half hour?"
And the clincher: A Jamaican student, complete with dreadlocks, a beanie and dark glasses, asked Molly Shannon (though he didn’t even know her name) if she hits the bottle before she acts (she replied that she does not), then asked the other actors if they ever "smoke the ganja." Jason Bateman’s response: "Ashton Kutcher, is that you?"
Personally, though, my favorite moment of the night was when someone asked de Rossi what the biggest difference was between working on Ally McBeal and Arrested Development. "Well, for starters," she said, "I actually like these people."
Whee! Me, too! See, it like totally pays to be a superfly fly on the wall.
Fandemonium! What’s a poor, shell-shocked Angel fan to do after the show gets slaughtered? Naturally, get together with other Angel fans and drown those sorrows.
That’s what Angel-philes did over the weekend at a charity event called the "Wolfram & Hart Annual Revue," which benefited the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, a South Central revitalization project. In attendance were Sarah Thompson (Eve), Julie Benz (Darla), Andy Hallett (Lorne), Tim Minear, Jeff Bell and David Fury.
I couldn’t help but ask a few questions of Tim M.—love that man, as he is behind both Angel and the show I won’t shut up about, Wonderfalls (premiering March 12 on Fox...set your TiVo or face my wrath!).
As expected, he was saddened by the cancellation news, but that didn’t stop him from taking a friendly crack at Angel boss Joss Whedon. When asked if he’ll ever work with Joss again, Tim said, "I’m sure we will. Clearly, he needs me. He really had the one idea, and I kept it alive for him. And then I left, and look what happened—he had three shows on the air, and now he’s gonna have none."
Meanwhile, Julie Benz says that there are no plans for her to return this season (we all know what that means; she’s probably on the set as we speak). But Tim spoke of another possible love interest—well, sorta. When asked if he was a Buffy-Angel worshipper or an Angel-Darla worshipper, he said, "I don’t understand how you could watch ’Becoming, Parts I & II’ and not be a Buffy-Angel ’shipper. And I don’t understand how you could watch anything I wrote, and not be a Darla-Angel ’shipper. But really, I’m an Angel-Lindsey ’shipper."
Join me for my next chat this Monday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. You can get last week’s transcripts here. And don’t forget to vote!