Category Archives: Reaper

Cultural Learnings’ Fall 2007 Lineup: Tuesdays

[The above/below is really quite tentative, if only because of CTV’s lack of a consistent Fall Schedule. Right now, Gossip Girl is airing a day before its U.S. airings on CTV in Canada, so I’m covering it a day early. However, Pushing Daisies is debuting in the same timeslot two weeks from now. I expect Pushing Daisies to get moved, but this could all change]

Tuesdays are a perfect day for television at Cultural Learnings thanks to a relatively light schedule on Wednesdays. Of course, spiting me once again, the TV deities weren’t kind enough to offer a plethora of shows on this particular evening. As a result, let’s look at the three shows that (for now) have made the cut into the rotation.


FOX’s biggest drama series has never quite had itself in a state of upheaval like this one: with Chase, Foreman and Cameron unemployed and a new set of residents incoming (Including Kal Penn (Kumar) and Olivia Wilde (The O.C.’s resident lesbian)), it seems like a good time to start paying closer attention to Hugh Laurie and company. I’m hoping this new element might cut down on the procedural predictability, but we’ll see.

Cultural Learnings’ House Coverage


Faced with the enormous task of battling off with House, a show that controls all sectors of the viewing audience, Reaper might struggle to gain traction. However, its pilot is quite sharp, and I think that there is a lot of potential in its concept that is worth investigating further. A few weeks in, I might be begging people to stop watching House to switch over to The CW for a change, but we’ll see if it even lasts that long. Fingers crossed.

Cultural Learnings’ Reaper Coverage

Gossip Girl

Earlier this evening, I already started covering this new drama from O.C. creator Josh Schwartz; it’s one of those shows where slick production values and adequate writing elevate what may otherwise be tossed aside as teen fare. My cynicism may grow too large to be contained within shorter articles, but for now we’re going to follow the Serena/Blair battle until the bitter end.

Cultural Learnings’ Review: Gossip Girl


Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, CTV, FOX, Gossip Girl, House, Reaper, Television, The CW

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


Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader [FOX]

September 11th


The Biggest Loser [NBC]

September 12th


Kitchen Nightmares [FOX]

September 14th


Nashville [FOX]

September 17th


Prison Break [FOX]


K-Ville [FOX]

September 18th


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

Bones [FOX]

September 19th


Kid Nation [CBS]

America’s Next Top Model [The CW]

Back To You [FOX]


‘Til Death [FOX]


Gossip Girl [The CW]

September 20th


Survivor: China [CBS]

September 23rd


The Simpsons [FOX]


King of the Hill [FOX]


Cold Case [CBS]

Family Guy [FOX]


Shark [CBS]

September 24th


How I Met Your Mother [CBS]

Chuck [NBC]

Dancing with the Stars [ABC]


Big Bang Theory [CBS]


Heroes [NBC]

Two and a Half Men [CBS]


Rules of Engagement [CBS]

The Bachelor [ABC]


CSI: Miami [CBS]

Journeyman [NBC]

September 25th


New Amsterdam [FOX]


Dancing with the Stars (Results) [ABC]


House [FOX]

The Unit [CBS]

Reaper [The CW]


The Singing Bee [NBC]

Boston Legal [ABC] [Special 90 Minute Premiere]


Cane [CBS]

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit [NBC]

September 26th


Deal or No Deal [NBC]


The Bionic Woman [NBC]

Criminal Minds [CBS]

Private Practice [ABC]


Life [NBC]

CSI: New York [CBS]

Dirty Sexy Money [ABC]

September 27th


My Name is Earl [NBC]

Smallville [The CW]

Ugly Betty [ABC]


The Office [NBC]

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [CBS]

Grey’s Anatomy [ABC]



Without a Trace [CBS]

Big Shots [ABC]

September 28th


Ghost Whisperer [CBS]

Deal of No Deal [NBC]


Moonlight [CBS]


Las Vegas [NBC]

Numb3rs [CBS]

September 30th


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


Desperate Housewives [ABC]


American Dad [FOX]


Brothers & Sisters [ABC]

October 1st


Everybody Hates Chris [The CW]


Aliens in America [The CW]


Girlfriends [The CW]


The Game [The CW]

October 2nd


Cavemen [ABC]


Carpoolers [ABC]

October 3rd


Pushing Daisies [ABC]

October 4th


30 Rock [NBC]


Supernatural [The CW]

October 5th


Friday Night Lights [NBC]

October 12th


20/20 [ABC]


Women’s Murder Club [ABC]


Men in Trees [ABC]

October 15th


Samantha Who? [ABC]

October 18th


Viva Laughlin (Preview) [CBS]

October 21st


Viva Laughlin [CBS]

October 25th


Scrubs [NBC]

November 27th


Cashmere Mafia [ABC]


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

Why the 2007 Fall Pilots are Leaking, and Why the Networks Should Embrace It

Over the weekend, online pirates were pleased to see that the flood was beginning: torrent sites across the internet began posting leaked screener copies of the 2007 pilots from FOX’s much-discussed Terminator spinoff Sarah Connor Chronicles (Pictured) to ABC’s buzz-worthy drama Pushing Daisies. I can only speculate, but I imagine that some people at the networks might be upset to see this. However, part of me really hopes that there is a certain number of employees who realize that these pilots leaking onto the internet is not the end of the world. In fact, it might be the best thing that happened to these shows. And the networks should have been putting them online themselves.

These pilots are leaking because the DVD Screeners sent to critics weren’t going to just sit there after being watched, and technology has reached a point where uploading shows is apparently quite easy (I’ve never done it myself). It is telling that the pilots uploaded thus far are the ones that are getting the most buzz in internet circles: fanboys are concerned over Sarah Connor Chronicles, critics are abuzz about Bryan Fuller’s (Wonderfalls) Pushing Daisies and NBC’s Chuck (From O.C. Creator Josh Schwartz), and Kevin Smith (Clerks) directed The CW’s Reaper (The first pilot to leak).

On the one hand, uptight network executives are probably concerned that their premiere ratings might go down as people watch the show ahead of time, or that bad buzz will take down the series before it can even get started. To those executives I make the following case: premiere ratings don’t matter, and the audience watching these shows online will not penetrate the casual mass of fans who make Two and a Half Men a comedy sensation. What you want to be doing is creating a fan base, something that this actually helps far more than it hurts.

Continue reading


Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, ABC, Andy Barker P.I., Chuck, FOX, NBC, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, The CW

Pilot Casting Changes Gone Wrong: ‘Heroes’ Illusionist subs in on CW’s ‘Reaper’

I have yet to see the pilot for The CW’s Reaper, but I will refer to people that have to help me make my point. The titular Brill and Eric of the Brill And Eric Watch TV Podcast had a ‘preview’ of Reaper and pointed out that they hoped that changes wouldn’t mess with the show’s formula. Specifically, they felt that the series’ female lead was different than the usual CW brand of ditzy female bimbos. Well, maybe not in so many words. And they also foreshadowed that some recasting might be in order.

And their prophecy has become correct: Nikki Reed, originally cast as the love interest for Bret Harrison, has been replaced by ‘Heroes’ alum Missy Peregrym, who played…”illusionist” Candice, according to the Hollywood Reporter. If people want to tell me exactly what to call her, feel free to do so. Regardless, I am OUTRAGED at this development for a few reasons. On a smaller note, before I get to the big ones, Reed would have been close to her character’s purported age of about 21. Peregrym, meanwhile, is 25. But that’s just a quibble. Here are the two main reasons:

1. Nikki Reed is Awesome

An independent film darling, and writer of hit drama ‘Thirteen’, Nikki Reed expanded into the world of popular television (My world, apparently) by appearing in The O.C.’s unfortunate third season as a love interest for Ryan while Marissa was off being a whore with Johnny. Maybe it was just that comparison, but Reed was absolutely charming. She was mature, she was attractive, she was engaging, and she was perhaps my favourite pairing for Ryan before Taylor came along. She brought real characterization to a painfully underwritten character, and her acting chops showed.

2. Missy Peregrym Isn’t a Good Actress

She’s not terrible, but Peregrym has done nothing in her two TV roles (ABC’s Life as We Know It and the aforementioned Heroes) to convince me she’s a good actress. She did some engaging work towards the end of Heroes’ first season, specifically in her scenes with Noah Gray Cabey, but on the whole Candice was a boring and not really that entertaining character. And, either way, there was NOTHING within her performance on either show that convinced me she was capable of being an interesting love interest.

Continue reading


Filed under Heroes, Reaper, Television, The CW

Summer TV Preview: The Return of FOX’s ‘The Loop’

I was up late at night trying to get to sleep and stumbled upon something on my snowy antenna reception in my dorm room that caught my attention: much as I had, months earlier, stumbled upon an episode of The Office (US) that got me hooked on the show, this series became of interest. That show was ‘The Loop’, a comedy that debuted on FOX last year to, well, not so great numbers despite an American Idol lead-in for a brief period. After catching up with the series, I found it to be an entertaining little diversion with an incredibly engaging lead actor in Bret Harrison. However, when it was surprisingly renewed for a 2nd season, there was talk of changes, and a fair amount of people worried that the show would lost its integrity when it airs two episodes tonight at 8:30 EDT and 9:30 EDT on FOX.  I am not one of these people.

The reason I was unconcerned is that the reboot of the show maintains all of the elements I liked, and gets rid of elements to which I felt little to no connection. The show was designed as a young executive who, despite moving up in the corporate world, still exists in the world of his youthful friends. Thus, he was stuck between two worlds: it was a decent concept, let’s be honest, but the problem was that it was the corporate world that was the most entertaining. Philip Baker Hall was hysterical as his out of touch boss. Mimi Rogers was bitingly funny as his Milf co-worker, and most importantly his over-educated and resentful secretary was the source of the show’s most consistent comedy.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under FOX, Reaper, Television, The Loop

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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 Five Most Promising Pilots of the 2007/2008 Upfront Presentations

Yes, this is it: the top five pilots which I believe have the most potential in the coming year. This is not a potential for success in ratings, or ad dollars, or anything like this: no, this is very much more about how well I think these shows can advance themselves creatively. It’s a list full of wishful thinking, if you will. While these shows might not light up the Nielsen ratings come next season, I think that part of me will feel better that they exist…and will cross my fingers that they succeed. They’re the next Veronica Mars, if you will, and I can only hope that networks have as much patience for these shows as they did for that one. Which pilots make the cut? There’s only one way to find out.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under ABC, Back to You, Chuck, FOX, Gossip Girl, House, NBC, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Television, The Bionic Woman, Upfronts

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 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

NBC Fall Preview []

New Shows


The Bionic Woman



The IT Crowd [Midseason]

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Network Upfronts Extravaganza – ‘The CW’ Announces 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

It’s official: via Variety, The CW announces its full 2007/2008 Fall Schedule. It’s not overly risky, really, but it’s got some potential. What is the fate of your favourite shows like Supernatural, Veronica Mars, One Tree Hill or newcomers like Gossip Girl and Reaper? Read on to find out.

Continue reading


Filed under Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Reaper, Supernatural, Television, The CW, Upfronts, Veronica Mars