The 5 Worst Showings of the 2009-2010 Upfronts
May 25th, 2009
I am quite aware that there is something problematic about judging series based entirely on quick clips, but in many ways that personifies the upfronts process: it’s about making snap judgments, analyzing a show based on its potential when placed through the advertising machines of its respective network. It is true that there are some shows which are only hurt by this process, but then there are others which are so far removed from anything approaching humour or drama that I really don’t think they can be saved.
As a result, this is not a list of the worst shows during the 2009-2010 upfronts, but rather those which have the longest way to go in order to convince me that somehow, some way, they could be entertaining television. There may end up being more disappointing shows this fall/midseason, or shows which fall apart due to showrunning conflicts, but in their very setups/clips/execution these shows have demonstrated absolutely nothing to convince me that they are worth watching (some shows, like FOX’s Brothers which appears to be just downright awful, is so far off my radar that I haven’t even bothered watching the clips, which may explain its absence).
And so the uphill battle begins.
“Highest Standards in Television”
CBS 2008-2009 Fall Schedule
Last year, CBS’ Upfronts were a shock to fans of Jericho, a drama that had struggled mightily in the face of scheduling woes and was upended by a network with extremely high standards; heck, that year they even got rid of Close to Home, a show with much higher ratings but just not enough balance between buzz and Nielsens for the network to continue on that path. They wanted things to be a little hip, but not too hip, with good ratings as well. In other words, they’ve got an idea of what they want.
And now, a year later, things aren’t much different: Shark is getting the boot for not having enough buzz, and Moonlight is being tossed out with the bathwater because its ratings just aren’t enough to match its overwhelming and motivated fan base. This news broke yesterday, but today we get to learn which shows are replacing them, and whether or not CBS’ high standards are going to just have more casualties in a year’s time.
Eleventh Hour – Thursdays at 10pm
It gets the biggest lead-out in television amongst demo viewers, so there’s something to be said for the potential quality of this British import based on the BBC miniseries starring Patrick Stewart. It comes from Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produces CSI, and its real barrier is that is lacks star power (Rufus Seawell is not exactly a household name). It will be facing off with ABC’s import of Life on Mars, and I actually think that this show’s premise (Investigating abuses of science and scientific crimes) seems less intriguing at the end of the day. This is the first time the network has tested a show in the slot since Shark got moved from it, so we’ll see how it turns out.