Category Archives: Sarah Connor Chronicles

Pilot Preview: FOX’s “Sarah Connor Chronicles”

I have a confession to make: I’ve never actually sat down and watched the Terminator movies. While I’ve been catching up on television over the past few years in terms of what I missed in the days before my obsession, films have yet to receive the same treatment. And so, James Cameron’s films (I’m ignoring T3) have basically no resonance on my opinion of FOX’s new drama series, Sarah Connor Chronicles, which extends that universe into the world of television.

And so, when I offer my opinion, I can only do so as someone who has no idea if it’s destroying the mythology or ruining the franchise even more than T3 did. What I do know is that the pilot is a fast-paced adrenaline ride that creates the proper breeding ground for an action drama series that hasn’t quite actually grown yet, and that I don’t think it can possibly keep up this pace.

Therefore, let’s just say right now that the pilot is an entertaining 43 minutes of television drama, well-directed by David Nutter and generally well cast. I had a few quibbles with the writing in terms of Summer Glau’s female Terminator, but these are more or less quibbles in the grand scheme of things. The action feels real, the pacing seems right, and the plot that is revealed is neither too daunting nor too miniscule to drive interest in the series.

But, the important question is, where to we go from here? The pilot opens a whole host of doors for the series, and yet it gives absolutely no indication of which one it will enter. Let’s investigate these doors, and then we’ll try to piece together where the series goes from here.

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Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, FOX, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television

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.

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

Pilot ‘Previews’ and Pilot ‘Reviews’: Television Media and the 2007 Fall Shows

Recently, major entertainment websites and print media have begun to receive their DVD Screeners for the fall’s new shows. With only a glimpse of the shows being revealed at the Upfronts nearly four weeks ago, journalists are now getting a chance to see the entire episode that convinced a major network to give that show a spot on it schedule. However, they can’t tell you what they really think about them: based on Screener regulations, they are only able to offer a “preview” of the pilots. There will be no reviewing of this fall’s new shows as long as the Screener people get their way.

Now, while I haven’t quite been able to find any documented reason for why this is, allow me to speculate. I believe that the studios are afraid of the power that journalists wield when deciding whether a show is good or not. They fear that critics might be, well, critical of the work that they’ve done, and that said criticism will reduce the potential of that show in the fall. It’s a win-win for the studios, they believe, if all people can offer is vague commentary on the episode. Take for example TheTVAddict’s “preview” of Sarah Connor Chronicles (Pictured), FOX’s midseason entry:

THE GOOD: The action packed pilot had this TV Addict on the edge of his seat for the entire hour.

THE BAD: How exactly are they going to keep the action quotient up each and every week? If the season finale of HEROES taught us anything, it’s that with great power comes great respon… err, I mean – it’s that television budgets aren’t very conducive to an action packed weekly series.

For studios, they see this as fantastic: the good comment does little but help the show, and the writer isn’t able to offer enough substantiation for their complaint for it to feel definitive in the eyes of viewers (And let’s face it, that’s not even really a bad thing. Just a cautionary warning). These studios believe that they’ve found a way to protect their pilots from the savagery of the internet.

But what differentiates a preview from a review? Does it mean that you can’t be negative, or that negative comments are frowned upon? Or can you not discuss any details of the pilot? Or are you unable to offer examples of anything? And are people even paying attention to these guidelines? Well, let’s find take a look and find out just what that difference is.

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Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, ABC, FOX, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television

The Midseason Contenders: The Shows You Might Be Watching in January

It’s now been two weeks since the glut of Network Upfronts coverage, and I guess you could say I’m a little nostalgic for it. Gone are the days when breaking television news hits every hour, which is really quite unfortunate. However, in recent days there’s been some news about the one thing that networks are always unwilling to talk about: the midseason substitutes.

You see, each network knows that they’re not going to actually be able to hold on to all of their fall dramas and comedies, but publicly they need to talk about how awesome they are and how they’ll run for years and years and years! In reality, they’re quietly organizing possible replacements that could be plugged in by January. While some networks have actually scheduled shows at midseason, there is still the possibility that new pilots or existing shows could be picked up. So, let’s take a gander at all of these possible contenders to see where they might fight in should a space open up.

The Contenders



What is it: 70s-set drama about an apparently quiet suburb that, as new residents discover, is actually a swingin’ sex haven.

Where will it go: It will be scheduled at 10pm somewhere, based on its subject matter. Chances are that it would be a good fit on Sundays, but we’ll see how Shark does in the timeslot. Shark is a show that could easily be moved to fill in for a struggling drama, so it could give up its spot to the new show.

Chances of Midseason Placement: High. CBS is only saving the show until midseason so it can air uninterrupted through to May.


What is it: Post-apocalyptic drama turned town survival drama that garnered a strong enough cult following to result in the Nuts for Jericho campaign of the past few weeks.

Where would it go: I really, really don’t know. This is a tough one: technically, the spot guaranteed to open up (Wednesdays at 8 after Kid Nation ends) could work well, but it’s also going to run right back up against American Idol. Meanwhile, there isn’t a whole lot left in terms of timeslots. If CBS really wants to try to take its cult following with it, they could plug it in on Fridays and hope that people show up. Still, it wouldn’t be easy.

Chances for Midseason Placement: The ‘Save Jericho’ movement is still fighting, and the campaign is gaining steam daily, but the deadline is two weeks before CBS loses the cast to other projects. That’s a short amount of time to convince CBS to make a huge commitment, and a late fall miniseries might be the more likely option at this stage.

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Filed under ABC, FOX, Jericho, Law & Order, Lost, Medium, NBC, One Tree Hill, Reality TV, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, The Amazing Race, The CW, Upfronts, Veronica Mars

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 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

NBC Fall Preview []

New Shows


The Bionic Woman



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 – ‘FOX’ 2007-2008 Schedule

FOX always needed to be different, and this year they’ve certainly accomplished that. It’s perhaps their most epic full-year schedule to date, with three of their pickups being held over until the Spring and being replaced by a glutton of new reality shows. What does this mean for holdovers like Bones or House? And what are these new shows all about? For all the details continue onto the epicness that is the FOX Full Year 2007/2008 Schedule.

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Filed under 'Til Death, American Idol, Bones, FOX, Reality TV, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, Upfronts

Network Upfronts Extravaganza – ‘FOX’ Preview

It’s going to end up as the #1 network this season due to the American Idol juggernaut. And yet, can we really say that FOX has had a successful year? It’s to the point now where we really can’t even include Idol in the show’s ratings in order to get a decent view into its true success. The reality is that FOX had a rough development season, failing to put together a single new show that was buzzworthy except for the one they gave a shot after American Idol in the second half of the season…and a game show. The network looks to diversify that success yet again this season, and they’ve got a few options on the table which could get them there…and some which are just plain awful.

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Filed under 'Til Death, 24, American Idol, Bones, Drive, FOX, House, Prison Break, Ratings, Reality TV, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, The O.C., Upfronts