Category Archives: Private Practice

Cultural Learnings’ Fall 2007 Lineup: Wednesdays

Wednesdays are a day where there’s a lot of new shows debuting that I’ll probably be talking about at some point in time. Will Private Practice, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, bounce back from a weak back-door pilot? Will Dirty Sexy Money, one of three shows from Greg Berlanti on ABC’s Fall Schedule, take its fantastic cast and make it a primetime soap worth watching? And, as we’ll see tonight, will CBS’ Kid Nation overcome its child labor concerns to emerge as a feel good reality success?I want to answer all of these questions, but in the interest of cutting things down I’ve chosen two shows on Wednesdays that interest me that I’ll be covering in more detail. Considering that both are in danger of cancellation, I might be adjusting my Wednesday schedule (especially if Lost returns on the night early next year)

Pushing Daisies

I believe the adjective being thrown around for Pushing Daisies is “twee,” and I can’t really argue with that: its charm is perhaps its greatest asset, and Bryan Fuller’s series is the kind you fall in love with. I consider it my duty to cover it more closely, if only to help stave off its cancellation the best I can. Plus, it should be interesting to see how a fantastic pilot adapts into a procedural drama.

Pilot Preview: ‘Pushing Daisies’ 

Bionic Woman

NBC’s remake of the 70s property is getting a lot of buzz from NBC, but the huge changes from its pilot and Isaiah Washington’s casting certainly provide an extremely interesting perspective to the new season. My interest is piqued by the concept and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as the villain, but it should also prove an interesting case study for pilot changes as well.

Cultural Learnings’ Bionic Woman Coverage

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Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, ABC, Bionic Woman, Kid Nation, NBC, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Television

2007-2008 Fall Premiere Dates – FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC and The CW

This fall, all of your favourite shows will be returning, and some new blood will join the pack. Which nights should you be scheduling off? Here’s the full calendar list of premiere dates for the Big 5 Networks.

NOTE: New shows are shown in blue.

September 6th

8:00pm

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader [FOX]

September 11th

8:00pm

The Biggest Loser [NBC]

September 12th

9:00pm

Kitchen Nightmares [FOX]

September 14th

9:00pm

Nashville [FOX]

September 17th

8:00pm

Prison Break [FOX]

9:00pm

K-Ville [FOX]

September 18th

8:00pm

Beauty & The Geek [Two Hours] [The CW]

Bones [FOX]

September 19th

8:00pm

Kid Nation [CBS]

America’s Next Top Model [The CW]

Back To You [FOX]

8:30pm

‘Til Death [FOX]

9:00pm

Gossip Girl [The CW]

September 20th

8:00pm

Survivor: China [CBS]

September 23rd

8:00pm

The Simpsons [FOX]

8:30pm

King of the Hill [FOX]

9:00pm

Cold Case [CBS]

Family Guy [FOX]

10:00pm

Shark [CBS]

September 24th

8:00pm

How I Met Your Mother [CBS]

Chuck [NBC]

Dancing with the Stars [ABC]

8:30pm

Big Bang Theory [CBS]

9:00pm

Heroes [NBC]

Two and a Half Men [CBS]

9:30pm

Rules of Engagement [CBS]

The Bachelor [ABC]

10:00pm

CSI: Miami [CBS]

Journeyman [NBC]

September 25th

8:00pm

New Amsterdam [FOX]

NCIS [CBS]

Dancing with the Stars (Results) [ABC]

9:00pm

House [FOX]

The Unit [CBS]

Reaper [The CW]

9:30pm

The Singing Bee [NBC]

Boston Legal [ABC] [Special 90 Minute Premiere]

10:00pm

Cane [CBS]

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit [NBC]

September 26th

8:00pm

Deal or No Deal [NBC]

9:00pm

The Bionic Woman [NBC]

Criminal Minds [CBS]

Private Practice [ABC]

10:00pm

Life [NBC]

CSI: New York [CBS]

Dirty Sexy Money [ABC]

September 27th

8:00pm

My Name is Earl [NBC]

Smallville [The CW]

Ugly Betty [ABC]

9:00pm

The Office [NBC]

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [CBS]

Grey’s Anatomy [ABC]

10:00pm

ER [NBC]

Without a Trace [CBS]

Big Shots [ABC]

September 28th

8:00pm

Ghost Whisperer [CBS]

Deal of No Deal [NBC]

9:00pm

Moonlight [CBS]

10:00pm

Las Vegas [NBC]

Numb3rs [CBS]

September 30th

7:00pm

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2 hours) [ABC]

9:00pm

Desperate Housewives [ABC]

9:30pm

American Dad [FOX]

10:00pm

Brothers & Sisters [ABC]

October 1st

8:00pm

Everybody Hates Chris [The CW]

8:30pm

Aliens in America [The CW]

9:00pm

Girlfriends [The CW]

9:30pm

The Game [The CW]

October 2nd

8:00pm

Cavemen [ABC]

8:30pm

Carpoolers [ABC]

October 3rd

8:00pm

Pushing Daisies [ABC]

October 4th

8:30pm

30 Rock [NBC]

9:00pm

Supernatural [The CW]

October 5th

9:00pm

Friday Night Lights [NBC]

October 12th

8:00pm

20/20 [ABC]

9:00pm

Women’s Murder Club [ABC]

10:00pm

Men in Trees [ABC]

October 15th

9:30pm

Samantha Who? [ABC]

October 18th

10:00pm

Viva Laughlin (Preview) [CBS]

October 21st

8:00pm

Viva Laughlin [CBS]

October 25th

9:30pm

Scrubs [NBC]

November 27th

10:00pm

Cashmere Mafia [ABC]

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Filed under 'Til Death, 2007 Fall Preview, 30 Rock, Brothers & Sisters, Cavemen, Chuck, CSI: Miami, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl, NBC, New Amsterdam, Prison Break, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Scrubs, Shark, Supernatural, Television, The Bionic Woman, The CW, The Office, Ugly Betty

Network Upfronts Canadian Edition: CTV Finalizes Fall Lineup

With little aplomb, CTV has announced its finalized Fall schedule today [American Perspective, Canadian Perspective], and it’s one that continues its recent trend: continue raking in the ratings with established American hits while introducing Canadian content as an attempt to seem devoted to Canadian content. And, well, there’s a reason CTV is Canada’s #1 Network. And a reason why Canadian content isn’t really part of that success.

Their fall schedule basically confirms this status, building on their existing American distribution success by adding a series of new Dramas and a single new comedy.

New Shows for the 2007-2008 Season

Private Practice

Why CTV Picked it up: They have Grey’s, this was a logical extension.

Dirty Sexy Money

Why CTV Picked it up: It has Canadian cultural icon Donald Sutherland, and CTV will jump at any chance (See: Commander in Chief) to stake a claim on the family since Global has Kiefer and 24.

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Network Upfronts Extravaganza 2007: Canadian Edition

So, I spent last week covering the American Network Upfronts, but in reality that was all a warmup for the epic event that is: the Canadian Upfronts. Man, what a week this is going to…oh, you mean they already selected all their shows? And they just announced them in a press conference? Really? That’s, uh…wow, I wasn’t really prepared, I expected to have all sorts of time to write previews and…wow. Okay, so I guess I should run down some of the new that came over the past few days? I’m all out of sorts here.

Who are the Players?

Global (CanWest) and CTV are really the only major players involved now that CTV bought out CityTV and the rest of CHUM. There’s Sun TV out of central Canada, but they’re not a huge player. It’s really down to the big two for the big shows.

What should we know about Canada’s simulcasting system?

Well, first off, do the math: the shows airing on five different American networks don’t easily fit onto two Canadian networks, not all of them anyways. This has left some fairly substantial hits south of the border (America’s Next Top Model, Ugly Betty) off of these main networks and onto networks like CityTV or Sun TV.

Canadian networks struggle most with the fact that many of their shows overlap. For instance, they own the rights to both CSI and Grey’s Anatomy: as a result, the network is forced to air Grey’s an hour earlier than it is in the U.S. It’s all a give and take like this, which makes for some interesting Canadian scheduling. Another example was just last night, when CTV had the rights to both the Lost and American Idol finales, and actually split Lost into two parts in Central Canada to make it work.

Which network is better at simulcasting?

Definitely CTV. Global is a complete and total mess: its HD is extremely limited, its commercials are far worse, and all in all the production values just aren’t the same. I really wish they’d revamp everything to be less ugly, too. They really need to work on that. CityTV and the others aren’t terrible, but they don’t have the same level of nationwide coverage, which is a problem for families without digital cable or the joys of timeshifting that some of us enjoy.

So what’s happened so far?

Well, CTV has not officially announced any of its pickups thus far, but there have been some leaks ahead of their early June Upfront Presentation in Toronto. Meanwhile, Global has spilled the beans on which shows they’ve picked up. For all the information, you can follow to The Hollywood Reporter. For a complete summary and analysis, keep reading.

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Filed under Back to You, Chuck, CTV, Global, Gossip Girl, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Television, Upfronts, Without a Trace

The Three Timeslots to Watch on the 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

In a final word on the 2007/2008 Upfronts, I figure it’s time we returned to the schedule as a whole. Because, let’s face it, some of us watch a lot of TV. And, sometimes, that TV all falls within the exact same timeslot. As more and more shows emerge as fan favourites, more and more conflicts take place. This year’s Fall Schedule has created many of these conflicts, and some of them are sure to be key ratings battlegrounds in the year to come. Which five, however, will prove the most interesting? And, as a result, which ones will be a nightmare for non-TiVo owners across North America? Well, there’s only one way to find out.

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Filed under 30 Rock, ABC, Bones, Chuck, Dancing with the Stars, FOX, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, House, NBC, Private Practice, Ratings, Reality TV, Reaper, Scrubs, Television, The Bionic Woman, The CW, The Office, Upfronts

The Three Most Disturbing Trends of the 2007/2008 Upfronts

Each year, the Upfronts create a series of trends which show what the networks are really thinking for the following year. They take what was successful the year before, and they decide that they should just copy all of that into their own schedules. For example, Lost’s success led to three different sci-fi copycat shows the following season: Invasion (ABC), Surface (NBC), and Threshold (CBS). Similarly, after the success of Prison Break, networks switched to serial conspiracy/action dramas like Vanished (FOX), Kidnapped (NBC), and Smith (CBS). This season has seen a variety of different trends, and some of them actually seem quite good on the surface. However, I think that there is actually a number of bad precedents being set which we should all remain aware of as next season begins.

The Three Most Disturbing Trends of the 2007/2008 Upfronts

3. The Procedural Nature of Television Drama

I’ve expected it from CBS for many years, now: all of their dramas are unlikely to have any sort of serial aspect, choosing instead to stick to procedural structure. Law & Order really started it off, CSI picked up the ball and kept running, and there is surely to be a new franchise waiting in the wings with time. It’s a quality which the networks love, since it means people can just sit back and watch a single episode without getting too caught up in the previous week’s action. And, I like some of these dramas: they can be compelling and fun to watch, and they repeat well for the purpose of syndication. However, I don’t want to see all procedural and nothing but procedural dramas.

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Filed under ABC, American Idol, FOX, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, My Name is Earl, NBC, New Amsterdam, Private Practice, Reality TV, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Survivor, Television, The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, The CW, The Office, Upfronts, Veronica Mars

Network Upfronts Extravaganza: 2007/2008 Schedule Wrapup

The Network Upfronts have officially come to an end…well, for the big five anyways, as smaller networks are delivering upfront presentations throughout the day. Still, for all intensive purposes, the 2007/2008 Fall Schedule is officially in place.

Over the weekend, I want to run down some lists of what went down during the week, and what it means for our future TV viewing. These lists will be varied, and hopefully cover a wide range of information. Upfronts are a rather huge event, and the result has been a lot of news, views and previews overloading the senses. I’m hoping that in this post-upfront haze that we can sort it all out.

The lists will begin later today with “The Top 5 Mistakes Made During the 2007 Network Upfronts”, but for now I figure I’d put all the news in one place. So, without further adieu, here is your Network Upfronts Extravaganza 2007 Wrapup.

NBC

NBC 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

NBC Fall Preview [NBC.com]

New Shows

Life

The Bionic Woman

Journeyman

Chuck

The IT Crowd [Midseason]

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Filed under ABC, FOX, Gossip Girl, NBC, Private Practice, Reaper, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, The Bionic Woman, The CW, Upfronts

Network Upfronts Extravaganza: ‘ABC’ Fall Schedule 2007/2008

Well, ABC’s schedule is official, and there’s not much in the way of changes for the network. In fact, to be honest, the schedule is downright boring.

Reminder: Cultural Learnings’ ABC Fall Preview Schedule 

- Private Practice, the Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff, will be slotting in at 9pm on Wednesdays, the spot currently occupied by underperforming comedies. It will be sandwiched by two new shows: Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies and Greg Berlanti’s Dirty Sexy Money. This means three new shows in a single night, which is a departure from the stability found in Lost (Which is now officially held back until February).

- Thursday’s only change is that Big Shots, a male-themed CEO drama, is inheriting the post-Grey’s spot. Why, exactly, this show has the spot over the female-themed Cashmere Mafia (Held until midseason) I don’t really know. I guess because Dylan McDermott and Michael Vartan bring sex appeal? Seems to be the only logic I can think of.

- Dancing with the Stars goes to an hour and a half full time on Mondays as Sam I Am, the Christina Applegate amnesia comedy, fills in between the reality show and The Bachelor at 10. The network’s other two comedies, Cavemen and Carpoolers, fit in at 8pm on Tuesday (Where no other comedies are, good choice), but then lead into an hour-long Dancing with the Stars results show. ABC, the show doesn’t deserve that much of your schedule, cut it to a half hour and slot in another comedy.

- The other new show, Women’s Murder Club, leads out of Men in Trees on Fridays as the latter moves to the opening slot at 8pm. It’s a tough one, against Ghost Whisperer, and we’ll see what momentum the show has after a shortened first season.

- Meanwhile, Notes from the Underbelly and October Road will be headed for midseason.

For the full schedule (It’s really this boring, I swear!), continue on.

 

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Filed under ABC, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Ratings, Television, Upfronts

Network Upfronts Extravaganza – ‘ABC’ Preview

ABC is in a unique situation this year when it comes to pilots. On one hand, the network has seen some success this year and in past years, and the network has remained a solid demographics performers even with dips in viewership for its flagship shows like Lost or Desperate Housewives. However, outside of shows like Grey’s Anatomy the network actually saw a series of failures over the span of the year with both dramas and comedies. Judging from its pilot order, ABC is going with what I’d like to call a shotgun approach, something which is both good and bad for the network’s future. Either way, next season will be a test for the ABC brand: is there a cohesive image which can unite wildly different shows together under one banner?

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Filed under ABC, Brothers & Sisters, Cavemen, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Ratings, Sex & The City, Television, Traveler, Ugly Betty, Upfronts

Everything You Want To Know About the Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff

While there was some stuff about Cristina’s wedding, and about Meredith and her father, let’s face it: we were watching tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “The Other Side of This Life,” for a preview of Addison (Kate Walsh) and her spinoff (Tentatively titled ‘Private Practice’) which currently has a really good shot of making ABC’s lineup in the Fall (Although the Grey’s stuff got REALLY heavy at the end, I’m still choosing to ignore it). But, the thing is…is it any good? Is the show really worth a spot on ABC’s schedule? Let’s evaluate and find out.

The Premise

Addison takes a trip down to Santa Monica to visit some old med school friends who are running a doctor’s cooperative on the sunnier part of the West Coast. She arrives at Oceanside Wellness Group with one thing in mind: having a baby (which proves to be a difficult goal). The clinic is also currently lacking an OBGYN, after theirs had a little run-in with one of the partners, so there’s an empty office just asking for Addison to step in to fill the void.

The show basically operates like Grey’s Anatomy with a greater focus on different medical conditions. It’s got its procedural structure of cases of the week, in this case a surrogate situation gone wrong and a man with low sex drive. To what extent this would develop differently once picked can only be speculated upon. For now, it’s Grey’s Anatomy dealing with psychiatric cases and more OBGYN aspects.

The Characters

Any good spinoff, really, has to be able to create memorable characters that we’re willing to accept as part of the show’s universe. This means establishing archetypes that are different from what we see on the original series, and creating performances that are distinct and memorable. And, in my view, I’d say that this particular spinoff has done a fairly good job of this.

The Best FriendNaomi (Merrin Dungey)

Where you’ve seen her before: She played Francie on “Alias”.

She’s the friend for Addison, an old Med School buddy who is going through some problems on her own. She brings a nice parallel to the table in terms of Addison’s goal of having a child and her past relationship issues, and as the clinic’s fertility doctor she clearly factors directly into Addison’s plan to have a baby. On the whole, I’d say she’s a successful addition to the show’s universe, and she doesn’t come across as similar to any existing characters.

The Male Divorcee Struggling with SinglehoodSam (Taye Diggs)

Where you’ve seen him before: He played the titular character on UPN’s “Kevin Hill” and ABC’s “Daybreak”

On the surface, Jackson is a little bit like McDreamy, but in reality he’s more of the anti-McDreamy. Although he was recently divorced, he is certainly not reacting by sleeping with random interns; instead, he’s remaining single and owns a small little dog and working alongside his ex-wife (Naomi). He’s got a successful book (Dr. Feelgood is his other name, apparently), but you have the feeling that he could snap at any moment and just go wild. It’s a complex character, and it’s kind of interesting.

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Filed under ABC, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Television