Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yet more reasons to buy a good book...

And don't forget Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" arrives soon on TBS. This offsets the good news that the CW network is cutting all of those sad-ass black sitcoms. Hopefully someone will end "Girlfriends" misery as well, now that Jill Marie Johns is doing liquor commercials. Worse still, BET and TVOne have seemed to re-affirm their slave status to 10Qs and de massas who truly run the show, and are quietly renegging on their very public pledges to us folk that they are looking for new, fresh, original quality black programing (hell, even news and documentaries!). If we don't demand this stuff, we won't get it. But then again, look below at what's up in Mr. Charlie & Missy Anne's world, so I guess we'll all suffer together...

NEW YORK - (AP) ABC scheduled its "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff for Wednesdays and committed to a comedy derived from the Geico "Cavemen" commercials as part of an ambitious schedule with eight new series for the fall and 11 overall.
The third-place network lost an average of a million viewers in prime-time from last season, many attributable to the end of "Monday Night Football." With bankable hits "Grey's Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives" and "Dancing With the Stars" returning, ABC is giving viewers plenty of new choices in the fall.
That approach contrasts with fourth-place NBC, which is introducing half as many new series under the theory that it's tough to market so many new shows.
The most anticipated new ABC series is "Private Practice," which takes Dr. Addison Shepard (Kate Walsh) from Seattle and moves her to Los Angeles. A special "Grey's Anatomy" that served as the show's pilot was seen by 21 million people earlier this month. The new series will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m., part of a night with all-new programming.
Despite the high hopes, ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson indicated Tuesday that creator Shonda Rhimes has work ahead of her.
In the pilot, he said, "we spent a lot of time introducing the characters and not enough time introducing the stories."
"Cavemen" takes the commercial characters and sets them up in Atlanta, trying to live like normal guys in their 30s. The series pokes fun at the normally serious topic of racial attitudes, but since they're cavemen "it gives you kind of the ability to offend everybody but offend no one," McPherson said.
The pilot has already gotten some poor word-of-mouth, but McPherson urged caution. Out of 17 drama pilots ABC tested before audiences last season, eventual hit "Ugly Betty" did worse than all but one, he said.
After serial dramas on dark topics failed last season, ABC leaned more toward series that don't need an intense commitment to follow. Lighter, fantasy-oriented topics are also evident, with series on a lawyer with visions, a man who can bring dead people to life and ambitious executives.
"People didn't show up for these shows (last year)," McPherson said. "It wasn't a matter of seeing a show and rejecting it. People didn't show up. So we listened to that."
The network canceled the comedies "George Lopez," "Help Me Help You" and "Knights of Prosperity." "What About Brian" did not make the cut, and ABC is still debating the future of "According to Jim," while leaving it off the fall schedule.
The cancellation angered Lopez, who complained in the Los Angeles Times that his comedy about a Latino family is being dumped in favor of cavemen.
"TV just became really, really white again," Lopez said.
The first prime-time series from Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, "Oprah's Big Give," will debut in midseason. It's a reality series where contestants compete in philanthropy.
In contrast to last year, when "Grey's Anatomy" made its successful switch to Thursday nights, ABC plans no major shifts of its existing series. "Men in Trees" moves to an earlier time slot on Friday nights.
"Lost" will return in midseason, but ABC made no time slot commitment.
Other new series that ABC plans for next season:
_"Pushing Daisies," a "forensic fairy tale" about a young man who can bring dead people to life with his touch. He does that for his childhood sweetheart, only to learn that if he touches her again, she's dead for good.
_"Dirty Sexy Money," a trashy prime-time soap about the venal Darling family of New York. Family members include Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin and Jill Clayburgh.
_"Big Shots," a drama about four hard-charging friends and CEOs who are less successful with women. Dylan McDermott, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina and Michael Vartan play the lead characters.
_"Cashmere Mafia," ABC's attempt to inherit the "Sex and the City" mantle. Four women, friends since business school, juggle their personal and professional lives in New York. NBC has a similar new show with three women. ABC's show has Lucy Liu; NBC's has Brooke Shields.
_"Sam I Am," a comedy with Christina Applegate about a woman who awakes from a coma with no memory, only to find out she was a creep before.
_"Eli Stone," a drama about a top lawyer in San Francisco who begins having visions because of a brain aneurysm, only to find his firm has a bunch of creeps.
_"Women's Murder Club," a drama, is also set in San Francisco. Based on James Patterson novels, it's about four crime-fighting women _ a detective, district attorney, medical examiner and reporter.
_"Carpoolers," a comedy about four men from different backgrounds who get together each day for some male bonding on the drive to work.
_"Miss/Guided," a comedy about a former high school geek who returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor, only to see an ex-cheerleader and former nemesis come back as an English teacher.
Time to hit the public libraries, the indie book stores, etc. folks. Millions of minds are a terrible thing to waste.


Chicama Vineyard said...

You don't have to twist my arm. I am also switching to Showtime now that the Sopranos, Rome and Deadwood are gone, and Carnivale isn't coming back. Other than Dog Whisperer and hell yes, NASCAR and BASS FISHING! I have nothing I wish to see.

Abadiebitch said...

"Cavemen" takes the commercial characters and sets them up in Atlanta, trying to live like normal guys in their 30s. The series pokes fun at the normally serious topic of racial attitudes, but since they're cavemen "it gives you kind of the ability to offend everybody but offend no one," McPherson said.

Bullshyt. It still perpetuates the oppression of the "Other."

Anonymous said...

I agree with chasingmoksha on the Cavemen tip. This is going to be bad for a lot of reasons. Reason #1 is stupidity, and milking a joke commercial.

I saw a preview of House of Payne during the playoffs and this looks bad, bad, bad also. More fat black folks mugging and cooning. Tyler Perry has a magic touch only with a core group of folks and they can't support a network singlehanded. I think you're seeing even dumb WHITE sitcoms being pulled. If Tyler Perry can support a whole network, then why isn't he on BET, or even USA? Why is TVOne moving all around the cable dial? Hell bruh you know when I ain't reading your stuff or what you recommend, I'm relaxing on the Lazy Z Boy with my HALO 3!

To the Chicama lady--don't leave HBO yet until The Wire's final season this fall.

dc_speaks said...

AHHHHH....a good book surely does sound like a plan these days.

great post

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, The Wire's final season. Okay, FX TV has a two pretty good series - The Shield and Rescue Me.

As for the Cavemen, I wonder if they'll live in Atlanta and have no contact with black folks. After all, Seinfield and Friends lived in NY city and damn near NEVER had any contact...Hmm!!! I like what George Lopez said. Yes, TV is really really white AGAIN - instead of just being really white.

Anonymous said...

What's next--the gecko runs his own pub in London?

The PC and Mac guys are already on TV (Mac is in the new Die Hard flcik with Bruce Willis and was in Dodgeball, PC guy is a commentator on The Daily Show) so let's give them a sitcom!

Are the guys who run these networked retards, or are we who watch?

What on earth is House of Payne?

Anonymous said...

There's quite a number of talented black writers out there, yet the networks refuse to hire them. This is why tv has become, for the most part, an inbred wasteland.

Pebbles Flintstone said...

It is sad that cable TV (even premium) is getting as bad as network TV. But fiction books are bad and getting worse, too. That is not an elitist statement. That is the truth!