Category Archives: Traveler

Summer TV Wrapup: Most Mistreated Show – “Traveler”

In a perfect world, Traveler would be airing its 11th episode tonight on ABC.

However, ironically, ABC is instead airing one of the shelved episodes of another drama it ended before its time, The Nine, in the timeslot. Traveler, meanwhile, concluded its season after its eight episode. This was a shortened order from its original 13 episodes, and the series ended on a ridiculous cliffhanger having resolved none of its storylines.

And the show didn’t deserve that kind of treatment: it was summer popcorn fun, a constantly moving show that was never quite great but also declined the invitation to fall into ridiculousness. And yet, ABC refused to give it a decent shot at succeeding, and its failure is entirely the fault of the network. Traveler was not the best new show of the summer, but it is without question the most mistreated show of the season.

Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under ABC, Television, Traveler

Reviewing the Series Finale: Traveler – “The Exchange”

ABC’s Traveler never had a fair chance. Simply getting a debut following Grey’s Anatomy wasn’t nearly enough to give the show a shot at engaging a summer audience that are sticklers for easy, breezy television. Traveler isn’t easy, but it certainly is breezy enough. The series moved at a blistering pace to fit an entire season’s worth of action into a single, short eight episode season. The show’s pilot was a blistering piece of work, an action-packed hour of mystery and intrigue.

It is perhaps, then, interesting to see that this finale is really about the reunion of Jay and Tyler with Will Traveler, this time with very different circumstances than in the pilot. Once three friends on a road trip across America, they’re now fugitives on the loose with the FBI on their trail, and one of them isn’t who he said he was. This isn’t a finale about action, but about emotional payoff for its characters. The dynamic of the three young males is perhaps the most important one, but Marlowe’s payoff has been equally choreographed. And let’s not forget the Porter, a mysterious character who needs an explanation. So, the Traveler finale had a lot to prove.

And, well, it did as you’d expect: a solid finale to a solid series. That is, until its ending.

Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under ABC, Television, Traveler

Traveler – “The Trader” Review

After last week gave us a glimpse into the life of Will Traveler, which opened the series up to new areas of investigation, ABC’s Traveler is heading towards its finale. First and foremost, we are now following yet another story line in full detail. This is good, since Jay and Tyler have been somewhat repetitive in past weeks, and something fresh is needed. With the FBI always one step behind the “suspects,” that formula is shaken up slightly by Traveler’s introduction back into our core narrative. However, the problem is that it didn’t really ignite the show’s storytelling beyond its other elements. There was some decent advancement on a few levels, but the structure of the series didn’t advance much further. Still, the show is moving along at its usual breakneck pace, and the drama between Tyler and Jay has served to add a bit more suspense to the show’s conclusion. Is Tyler the trader for turning on Jay, or is his father the trader for selling out his own son? I’m personally thinking it’s the latter.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under ABC, Television, Traveler

Traveler – “The Tells” Review

Switching gears from high-action chase sequence to a match of wits between Will and Kate, someone who works for Will’s mysterious organization, this week’s episode of Traveler allowed us a glimpse further into what exactly it is Will did during that period, while Tyler and Jay continue to make more headway than expected in their quest to find their friend. And in the end, it’s all about the Tells: Jay and Tyler never saw Will’s apparent purpose in their interactions with him, Will saw the organization’s mistrust in him with the 2nd man at the Drexler, and Kate saw Will’s tells during her interrogation…or thought she did.

On the whole the episode was a nice change of pace for the series. While Tyler and Jay are still traveling around the Northeast U.S. as if every state is minutes apart, I think that the brisk pace keeps the show from being bogged down at any one point. However, it was still nice to be able to stop and rest on Will’s story for a change. This character has been pretty well left behind over the past four weeks, other than in flashback, and gaining new insight into his character was important. By learning that he really did become friends with his targets, and that he didn’t really know the endgame until the very end, Will becomes an immediately more sympathetic character. After murdering Kate and sending their people to the wrong location (An exploding one at that), Will is out on his own and fighting for survival…but now we’re on his side.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under ABC, Television, Traveler

Why You Should Consider Taking a Trip with ‘Traveler’

I hadn’t watched the Traveler pilot since last summer when I sat down last week to catch up on what I’d missed thus far. By all accounts (Those being that of my parents, who had been watching the series weekly), the series appeared to be on track for decent drama, so I figured that catching up might not be a bad idea. In the end, I’m quite glad I did: Traveler has developed into a succinct, well-made serial drama that should be garnering better ratings than its current averages. The series has managed to pull together its disparate parts into something cohesive and strong, and after last week’s “cliffhanger” ending it is clear that this story is only beginning. And, well, I think people might want to tune in for the end. Traveler has done a number of things right, and they’ve all contributed to its serial success.

Consistency of Character

Jay is the lawyer, always thinking of lawyer-like things. Tyler is the trust fund kid with parental issues, and has never wavered from this fact with his paranoid and impulsive behaviour. The FBI agents are even getting their own characters, but they’re simple and not complex for the sake of being complex. The characters are not full of depth, but for what this series is trying to put together there is just the right level of consistency for the series to work. While Jay’s girlfriend has yet to become much more than a cliché, at least they’re not attempting to pass her off as anything more.

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under ABC, Television, Traveler

Summer Ratings Update: ‘Traveler’ Gets Lost, ‘Hidden Palms’ Remains So

Last night saw the first real full night of nothing but summer programming, and there was mixed results across the board. [All Ratings Information Courtesy of PIFeedback.com]

The most disappointing result is for ABC’s Traveler, their attempt at launching a serial drama in the summer of all places. The show re-aired its pilot at 9pm (It previewed after of Grey’s Anatomy earlier this month), and then aired its 2nd original episode. The ratings results, however, were not too kind to the drama.

That led into a repeat of the Traveler pilot at 4.99 million viewers (#4) and a 1.6/ 5 in the demo (#4) at 9 p.m., followed by the Wednesday 10 p.m. time period debut of Traveler at a disappointing 6.20 million viewers and a 2.1/ 6 among adults 18-49.

Finishing a distant 2nd to a repeat of CSI: NY is nothing strange or out of the ordinary, but it kind of sucks for the drama as it now has little chance to succeed. It will air out its 8 episodes over the next two months, and likely won’t be returning next year with numbers like these.

The CW’s Hidden Palms, meanwhile, failed to make an impact at 8pm either. This isn’t too surprising, but looks like The CW will indeed leave this season without a single new non-reality show left.

In series-premiere news, long-awaited CW drama Hidden Palms was hidden in the ratings, with a mere 1.82 million viewers and a 0.7/ 2 among adults 18-49 from 8-9 p.m. Obviously, that was last in the hour.

ABC, disgustingly, had decent ratings for the debut of its celebrity impersonation show that was just utterly terrible. Honestly, my parents had it on for a few minutes and it was entirely unpleasant. How more people watched this than Traveler boggles the mind.

ABC had better results with the launch of the non-scripted The Next Best Thing: Who is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?, which was the most-watched show at 8 p.m. with 7.75 million viewers (and a second-place 2.5/ 9 among adults 18-49).

FOX continued to find success with its audition phase of So You Think You Can Dance?

Fox got over the “hump” in winning fashion, with a first-place Wednesday finish in the fast nationals courtesy of 9.21 million viewers and a 4.0 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 for So You Think You Can Dance from 8-10 p.m.

The Summer Programming continues tonight with CBS’ entrant: Pirate Master, from Mark Burnett. Filling into Survivor’s timeslot and following the schedule of that show’s first season, the show has a decent shot of making a splash…except that Survivor’s concept is by now a bit dated, and I wonder whether people are really looking for an apparent carbon copy of it. However, viewers can walk the plank for the show’s premiere at 8pm EST on CBS.

1 Comment

Filed under ABC, FOX, Hidden Palms, Pirate Master, Ratings, Television, The CW, Traveler

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?

Continue reading

1 Comment

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

Thursday Night TV Club Memo: NBC Supersized, 10pm Guests

This is just a quick note for what promises to be a hectic Thursday evening. Thanks to some unfortunate circumstances, I am faced with a very large dilemma: there’s way too much TV on tonight, and I’m not going to be able to watch it all within the next day since…my “VCR” is out of commission. *Cough* Ahem.

As a result, I’m going to have to choose carefully what I choose to watch.

ABC

ABC’s got a fairly strong lineup, to be honest; Ugly Betty (8pm)is heading towards its finale with some momentum behind the Betty/Henry romance, Grey’s Anatomy (9pm) is certainly dramatic with its George/Izzie issues, and the new drama Traveler is something to consider…but at the same time there’s nothing pressing about watching these particular shows. I already watched Traveler (10:01pm) last summer, Ugly Betty is unlikely to be spoiled for me, and Grey’s has been far too annoying recently considering I still think this George/Izzie thing is just plain stupid.

CBS

CBS has a unique schedule as well, tonight, with a former friend occupying the 10pm slot. However, it starts at 8pm with the penultimate episode of Survivor: Fiji. I’ve been following the season, and feel obligated to see it through to the finale this time (I missed the finale last season). It’s nothing too interesting, but it’s also the most likely to be spoiled for me tomorrow. CBS then loses my interest, but gains the interest of others with a new episode of CSI at 9pm, followed by the return of Without a Trace at 10pm on Thursdays for its 5th Season Finale. Considering that recent timeslot occupant Shark is likely to depart the timeslot, could it be moving back full time? It’s possible.

NBC

Here’s where the real problem lies, because NBC is once again going with a Supersized lineup this evening. My Name is Earl’s 2nd Season Finale runs from 8:00pm EST to 8:40, and then The Office runs from 8:40 to 9:20, followed by Scrubs from 9:20 to 10:00pm. They close the night with the rapidly declining ER (Hitting Grey’s last week was not good for the show), but it’s a real scheduling conundrum regardless of what airs at 10pm.

If I watch the NBC comedies (Well, The Office and Scrubs) I’m watching less TV than I could if I watch Survivor and Grey’s instead. Heck, think about how awful it would be if I was not appalled by FOX’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and wanted to watch its two back-to-back episodes where someone attempts the Million dollar question? Or, if I was addicted to Supernatural and Smallville, airing new episodes on The CW (I totally almost wrote fresh episodes, damn you The WB! *Shakes Fist*)?

It’s quite a night for the Thursday Night TV Club…I’ll check in later with details on what I watched, but if you have any suggestions please let me know. And, for the love of all things good, don’t forget that The Office is supersized and miss any of it when TiVoing!

Leave a comment

Filed under ABC, FOX, Grey's Anatomy, NBC, Reality TV, Scrubs, Survivor, Television, The Office, Traveler, Ugly Betty

Review: ABC’s ‘Traveler’ Walks a Difficult Road

Admittedly, it has been about 9 months since I first sat down to watch the pilot for ‘Traveler,’ ABC’s new serial drama which debuts tonight following Grey’s Anatomy. During that time, I think that the industry has become predisposed to believe that the show cannot possibly be a success, which is really unfair to this particular program. Sure, Kidnapped and Vanished both failed while covering similar ground, and Jericho went from modest hit to moderate failure, but I think that it’s unfair to consider this too highly. Still, in the end the show faces a difficult road with both viewers and critics. However, we need to give ‘Traveler’ a fair shot…and I think it deserves it.

But first, a brief word of warning: there is a moment in this episode which surprised me quite a lot, considering that I had not heard a word about the show when watching its pilot. However, thanks to media coverage, and commercials, and all of this, you basically will know about it before it happens, which sucks. I talk about it at the very end of the part of the review which appears on to front page (It’s a great cut point, I couldn’t resist), so if you want to stay completely surprised stop reading and just watch the show at 10pm tonight. If you’re unconvinced and want more info, do continue on.

‘Traveler’ tells the story of three college students who were housed together in a fancy house while attending Yale Law School: Jay, Tyler and the semi-mysterious Wil Traveler (Aaron Stanford). Why mysterious? Well, through flashbacks, we see that he entered the house as a stranger, but yet made a direct connection to both of his roommates through convenient enjoyment of the Chicago Cubs…oh, and at the end of the first act he blows himself up.

 

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under ABC, Television, Traveler