THE RETURN OF THE PRIME TIME DEATHWATCH: The last few weeks of the regular TV season are usually as full of blood and death as house full of frat boys playing Halo, but the recently settled writers’ strike has accelerated the life spans of many shows on network TV, and they’re dropping like flies before the first blooms of spring.
For some shows, the end has been nigh for weeks, or is just awaiting an official announcement as a final formality. There’s Bionic Woman, which debuted to considerable excitement, and began its death spiral with its second episode – according to a TV Guide story, staffers have already been told that NBC’s relaunch of the show has been scuppered, even though a new showrunner had been announced. Cane was conspicuous by its absence from CBS list of shows renewed for the fall, and Florida’s Palm Beach Post has already reported that it’s a goner.
NBC is leaving Las Vegas – I’ve been waiting months to use that one – as TV Guide reported this week that ratings have been too poor to get the network to try another throw at a sixth season. Finally, Jericho – the Lazarus of last season – might have legions of fans willing to send thousands of packages of nuts to CBS headquarters to nag them into canceling their cancellation, but they don’t get out much anymore, according to a Los Angeles Times story.
The stars and producers of the show were underwhelmed by the turnout at an event organized by the L.A. Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention last Sunday, according to a story in the LA Times, which found 14 of the cast and crew onstage and barely 80 fans in the audience. The sparse turnout “could manage only a handful of questions and a palpable lack of enthusiasm,” according to the Times, likely because the show “is neither a comic book nor a work of science fiction.”
“I can see the energy inside of you,” said actor Sprague Grayden. “Let's get things crazy in the Shrine Auditorium!"
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“After this event today,” added executive producer Jon Turtletaub, “I'll be shocked if [Jericho] doesn't become enormous [in the ratings] - with all 80 of you.”
iDol GOSSIP: I apparently spoke too soon about the availability of American Idol downloads on Canadian iTunes. As of yesterday the local iTunes store had an Idol section, though tracks by the show’s female performers were only available for pre-order on both the Canadian and U.S. iTunes stores, even though they were supposed to be available the day after the performances aired. And no, I didn’t listen to any of them – are you crazy?