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)
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’
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
Although it is officially Emmys week here at Cultural Learnings, Fridays always bring forth a certain level of Jericho consciousness. As a result, I started to think about ways in which Jericho’s plight could have been improved by the Emmy Awards. Fans already let the world know that Jericho deserved Emmy nominations here at Cultural Learnings, but the show unfortunately didn’t get a nomination.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Emmys couldn’t have been a boost to Jericho and the rest of CBS’ 2007-2008 lineup. Each year, the host network of the Emmys (It rotates each year) is in the position of being able to use an audience of tens of millions of potential viewers to promote its new fall shows as well as returning programs. And what better stage for promoting Jericho could CBS have than TV’s biggest night?
Unfortunately, of course, FOX is hosting the Emmys. But it’s impossible to ignore how much CBS needs this right now.
CBS’ fall lineup certainly has its problems, but one of its show has been forced to deal with a large portion of the media blitzkrieg. Kid Nation was conceived to draw some level of controversy: placing forty kids into a ghost town on their own is never going to be seen as anything less than exploitation upon first glance. However, beyond that point, the series has been attacked from all sides.
It started, immediately, with the show being unfortunate enough to be placed directly into Jericho’s former timeslot during the Nuts for Jericho campaign. It was one thing for a show to be replacing Jericho, but a reality program with a very different set of values on the surface was quite another. Jericho fans, unsurprisingly, targeted Kid Nation quite directly in their efforts to save their show.
Things really hit the fan, if you will, when the show began to face ethical and safety concerns on behalf of parents and, more importantly, authorities. Claims of child abuse, evasion of child labour laws and enforcement officials, and just about everything else under the sun have started flying, and things are not looking good for the series.
L.A. Times Article (via Zap2it.com) – CBS Addresses ‘Kid Nation’ Controversy
And yet, out of all of this, I think that something needs to be said: as a concept, I do not think that this is a bad idea. As far as reality shows are concerned, I would argue it is in fact one of the least exploitative of the new season. While the show should not receive a free pass for any abuse which may or may not have taken place, I think that it has received a stigma not quite equal to its content. And, well, I think that viewers should keep an open mind.