Sunday, 2 September 2007

The new TV season is making me sweat

Ain't It Cool has printed a list of the new shows for late 2007, and it's insane how many shows we're watching. Try 18 for now, with The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica turning up later (as well as Big Love and Flight of the Conchords, though they're months away). It's just insane. How will we get through them all?

The interesting thing is that the UK buys TV shows from the US and hardly ever makes a big deal about it. Unless they become hits in the US, of course. When Heroes exploded the Beeb could hardly contain itself, bragging about their acquisition even though it took 9 months to get on BBC2, and that was after Sci-Fi milked it to death. I can understand the usual caution. For every Lost there's a Deadwood (a failure on Sky) or Boomtown (a failure in general). This year, however, Sandro Monetti of the Sunday Express (in their first interesting article ever) has revealed which show is going where. I'd link to the article, but it's the Express. Their website is, like, totally medieval. You'll have to make do with my interpretations and take my word for it.

C4 is getting Dirty Stupid Monkey (I swear to God, I made that stupid joke weeks ago and now I think it really is called that) and Back To You, the seemingly unwatchable archaic sitcom with Kelsey "Not Hank McCoy" Grammer and an actress I don't recognise. If DSM is even half as bad as is rumoured, that's not really a safe investment for C4, but I'll wager they're hoping it will be this year's Brothers and Sisters. As for Back To You, it shows a staggering lack of imagination on the part of the channel. It's blatantly obvious they're trying to chase the Frasier fans with another show that will feature jokes about high culture and wine as a veneer of sophistication while the majority of the comedy comes from laboured, smutty puns and hi-larious farcical misunderstandings, this time without the saving grace of David Hyde Pierce. Or Eddie the Dog. Cheers re-runs would be more welcome. ::grumble grumble::

The Beeb has splashed out for Damages, when it should have paid for Mad Men, which might be a tad overrated but still has a better shot at lasting more than one season. Five is buying the Duchovny sex-a-thon Californication, which seems shrewd, especially now Sky has pilfered Prison Break (at enormous expense; £500,000 an episode! For that shit?). Sky also has Journeyman, i.e. Quantum Leap with that junkie from Trainspotting, which sounds like this year's Standoff in terms of longevity. At least they didn't option the similarly named but actually completely different Traveler, which didn't actually go that far. ::pats self on back::

ITV1 has got Pushing Daisies, and would be well advised to make a huge deal about it. That's a brilliant move, landing a critical darling starring the fragrant Anna Friel, and will pay huge dividends. And oh, they've got Bionic Woman too, and have stuck that on ITV2. At first glance I thought that was a terrible mistake. It's not like ITV2 is the BBC2 to ITV1's BBC1 (oh God, what did I just write?). ITV2 is as much a ghetto channel as ITV3 or ITV4, which is where they shove good or great shows (ahem Friday Night Lights ahem) to die a terrible death, at least in the past. However, with the digital switchover right around the corner, and ITV2 being a free-to-air channel, it could work out. There's a chance it will bury the show, but it also might prove to be a stroke of genius. There must be millions of UK TV watchers who are fascinated to see how Michelle Ryan deals with the new show and her brand new cheekbones, so this could go well. It's rare that ITV do something smart, so kudos to them.

No information on when the shows will appear on our screens, but don't expect any of them in 2007. We can't have that now, can we? It's a particular bugbear of mine, and something I hope to find out more about in the near future. I'm sure there's a reason. I just doubt it will be a satisfying one.


sjwoo said...

I also had reservations about Back to You when I saw the promos, but it's being helmed by Burrows and Lloyd, so we'll get part Cheers and part Frasier. Maybe it won't be such an awful combination.

Californication is not a bad show. The pilot left something to be desired, but we just caught the second one and it was much better. Now that the Duchovny character is writing a blog, we may get more integration between what he's writing and what happens in the show, a la Carrie Bradshaw's column and her escapades in Sex and the City. If the formula works, why mess with it, right?

You know what new show will absolutely stink? Bionic Woman. I saw the ten- or fifteen-minute preview and it just looked terrible.

Masticator said...

Re: Bionic Woman, it beggars belief that if some specky scientist rebuilt his girlfriend to be all bionic and shit, he would give her shoulders like that.

Re: ITV2, I agree that it is not yet ITV1's BBC2 (ha!), but it's getting there and it's definitely not as ghetto as ITV3/4. (They are well ghetto.) This is mainly because it has the advantage (which I guess you would not know or care about) of being channel 6 on Freeview, ie the first channel you come to when flicking through after the main five.

ITV2's listings are far more common in newspaper TV guides as well, which in turn makes its shows more likely to be previewed in said papers. I think Supernatural has become a decent hit for ITV2 and I expect Bionic Woman will do as well, assuming it lasts.

Admiral Neck said...

I'm sure linebacker shoulders come as standard with bionic women. There's no getting around it.

I have a terrible feeling it will be around for a while, even though it looks crap (Mr. Woo is not wrong, it looks absurd). It's not Heroes, but even so there is a market for "hott" women getting into fights. As for Back To You, I can't see it capturing that Cheers magic. God, I loved that show. Mr. Woo, please keep us updated. If you say we're wrong, we'll trust you.

Mr. Cator, I'm sure you will be watching [i]Bionic Ender[/i], what with your favourite mancrush Katee Sackhoff in it, not to mention Miguel Ferrer (OMG!). And I do care about Freeview. I care passionately!

Masticator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masticator said...

Must you address everyone as Mr. Something? It makes me feel as if I am trapped in a Jane Austen adaptation, if only Elizabeth and Darcy had sat around discussing American TV shows all the time.

Miss Bennet: And how do you find the country, Mr Cator?
Mr. Cator: Tolerable, I dare say. Of course, it is rather unvarying and cannot compare with the opportunities for leisure that exist in town, but while I have my Battlestar Galactica DVDs I find the days pass quite pleasantly.
Miss Bennet: I'm quite sure of that. And do you ever attend the dance? I have little doubt that one such as yourself would need now and again to disentangle your mind from the tribulations of William Adama's crew and take a turn about the floor with a young lady.
Mr. Cator: I receive frequent invitations, but I am sorry to say the expected presence of the disagreeable Admiral Neck at such events occasions me to remain at the manor and turn my attentions to the struggle against Cylon tyranny faced by the unfortunate inhabitants of New Craprica.
Miss Bennet: I cannot say I find fault with Mr. Cator's judgment in this matter.
Mr. Cator: I receive Miss Bennet's approval with warmth and gratitude. And besides, that Katee Sackhoff is twice the woman any of these uncultured country girls will ever be. And I'm not just talking about her rack.

Admiral Neck said...

Must you address everyone as Mr. Something?

Not everyone, just men. Duh! You're just jellus of my naval ranking, Catah. Perhaps a spell in the armed forces might be worth a try, you sassy civilian with no manners.

I gather from your verbose and accurate spoofering of Jane Austen that you have Battlestar Galactica season 3 DVDs. I look forward to your comments on the last half of the season. If you make it through alive.

Masticator said...

I didn't when you posted that, but I have those sweet, sweet discs right in my hands right now. And even better, there was an erroneous advert in today's Metro, which means HMV is being forced to sell the season box set for the princely sum of £13.95 rather than the RRP of £39.95! Bar. Gain. That is helping to overcome the frustration of my Heroes DVDs failing to arrive as yet from the normally reliable

Admiral Neck said...

Still overpriced. ::bitter:: I would have spent that money on Bob Dylan CDs. [/cryptic comment that will make sense once you have seen the end of the season]

That was unnecessarily harsh. The first four episodes are AMAZINGLY AMAZING and part two of Exodus may make your pants burst into flame, it is so exciting and moving and just brilliant, but the last ten episodes are not good. Except for the union episode by Jane Espenson. That one's cool. Hope you enjoy them, though, as this is only my opinion, and as such does not hold the same weight as fact. IMO for short.

Masticator said...

See, it's always useful when you say "IMO", so that I don't mistake your words for someone else's opinion entirely, like, say, Kelly Rowland's, or Jeffrey Archer's, or the Under-Bishop of Salisbury's.

Admiral Neck said...

Not so fast there, Mr Sarcasm. I spent last week espousing the compulsory wedding of single mothers to the fathers of their children and then started panicking about immigration, and it was days before I realised I was possessed by David Cameron. So there is precendence. If you ever see me write IDCO or IHMMcCO (i.e. I start talking about alimony and bedpans), you'll be glad I clarify my writing so often. You big poop.