Tag Archives: Pushing Daisies

Upfronts Analysis: ABC 2008-2009 Fall Schedule

“No Alarms and No Surprises”

ABC 2008-2009 Fall Schedule

Of all of the major networks, one could say that ABC is playing it safest when it comes to this year’s upfronts. The only drama pilot to make it onto their fall schedule is one that was technically completed for last season’s pilot group, and they are the network who held back the most new shows from last fall to be relaunched with gusto when September rolls around.

The result is a schedule that is eerily similar to the one that we saw this past year, which saw decent success although certainly not to the levels that they experienced in years previous. After a year of success facing off against CSI, Grey’s Anatomy has seen post-strike ratings tumble, and shows like Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty are fading if not quite to levels that are dangerous to their health and stability on the network.

So, let’s take a look at the schedule, and see which shows are going to make a splash this time around, plus finally getting confirmation of the worst kept secret of the year’s upfronts.

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The 2008 Golden Globe Awards – TV (Comedy) and Film Predictions

At 9pm EST this evening, viewers across America will tune into NBC (Or E!, or TV Guide Channel) and enjoy the coverage of the 2008 Golden Globe Awards News Conference. Yesterday I covered the TV Drama side of things, and this afternoon I’ve got the Comedy and Film awards. I’ll be posting live from the press conference (aka Live from the TV Lounge where I’ll be watching the press conference) this evening, along with my thoughts on The Amazing Race. I’ll probably post tomorrow night about Sarah Connor Chronicles, which debuts post-Football tonight on FOX – you can read my thoughts on the pilot from August here, and I’ll have my thoughts on tomorrow’s second episode in its regular slot (Mondays at 9) sometime over the next couple of days.

Comedy Series

  • Californication
  • Entourage
  • Extras
  • 30 Rock [Myles Choice / Predicted Winner]
  • Pushing Daisies

There are some occasions where the Golden Globes’ focus on newness cannot possibly overcome the power of a sophomore series just getting its due. Considering that 30 Rock was left out last year in favor of Ugly Betty, now is the time for the Globes to honour its growing success and hilarity. Out of the two new series in the category, I’d say Pushing Daisies would have the advantage, and obviously it would also be a deserving winner. Still, I think that Tina Fey and Co. have this one, although this is in no way a definitive prediction.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin, [30 Rock] [Myles’ Choice / Predicted Winner]
  • Steve Carell, [The Office]
  • David Duchovny, [Californication]
  • Ricky Gervais, [Extras]
  • Lee Pace, [Pushing Daisies]

He’s certainly the best actor in the category, even amongst a fairly decent crowd, but history is against Alec Baldwin picking up this trophy again – the Globes don’t tend to like repeat winners. In terms of other options, Duchovony has a certain mystique about him and Pace is starring in the “it” show of the moment. However, let’s not leave out Carell, who still does great work on The Office, and Gervais DID win the Emmy. I think it’s the gluttony of other options which convinces me that we can forget tradition – Baldwin is too great on 30 Rock, and too big a star, to lose this award.

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Because They Won’t Complain About Themselves – The 2008 Golden Globe Nominations

I won’t lie – there are many things that are capable of interrupting my academic productivity and resulting in a lengthy blog post. As of late, this list has been shrinking with the loss of original programming, and with some of that original programming just becoming uninteresting (Heroes, I am looking in your direction). However, there’s nothing like Award Shows to get my blood boiling, and my fingers typing – you can read Cultural Learnings’ other Award Shows coverage here, of which there is an extensive amount.

Cultural Learnings post-dates last year’s Globes (Which means our 1-year anniversary is coming up, so stay tuned!), which means that this is my first time to REALLY complain about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to stick with the Television nominees from an analysis-standpoint, but I’ll probably end up offering predictions on both the film and television side of things come January (Ironically, when I will have even less time). Of course, this is all dependent on the WGA offering the Golden Globes a strike Waiver.

[Speaking of the WGA, their nominations were revealed last night: Mad Men, which you might see more of over the weekend, leads the way with three nominations in Drama, while The Office has four nominations on the comedy side of things. Pushing Daisies also grabbed two nominations, as did 30 Rock and Dexter.]

Anyways, onto the Globes!

Drama Series

  • Big Love
  • Damages
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • House
  • Mad Men
  • The Tudors

Can I get a woot for Mad Men? It’s clear that the series will be getting some January Awards love, based on the WGA and Golden Globes love. I’m very pleased – the show is fantastic, and hopefully the Emmys remembers it as well. Otherwise, interesting that the other new series on the docket are relatively not new Big Love and the Tudors, along with Damages which…I liked enough, I guess. Missing is Lost and Heroes, which was the big new series last year.

Comedy Series

  • Californication
  • Entourage
  • Extras
  • 30 Rock
  • Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies and Californication are the new series, bumping The Office from the list. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I do know that Pushing Daisies and 30 Rock have an advantage in this category. 30 Rock is a rare show that despite being “new” last year, its star is rising – compare to Heroes, which has dropped off the radar entirely in its 2nd year. Ugly Betty, last year’s winner, is also no longer new, and thus no longer nominated.

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One Week Later: Hey! Nielsen Reflections

Okay, so this is jumping the gun on the week part a little, but the television week has essentially come to a close as of today. With it comes the end of a hectic and exciting public beta launch of Hey! Nielsen, where Television, Movies, Internet Sites and Celebrities are lauded, criticized and given a rating defining their popularity. It has been a week of growing pains, “spamming,” and a whole host of issues (good and bad) rising to the surface.

First, I want to thank the crew behind Hey! Nielsen for being quick to answer queries, easy to relate to, and willing to engage their audience. The future of the site hinges on a combination of our feedback and your willingness to accept it, and I have been wholly impressed on this front, as has been reflective of the coverage here at Cultural Learnings.

Cultural Learnings’ Hey! Nielsen Coverage

That being said, I want to address some of the issues that have popped up. And no, this isn’t me complaining about the lack of love for Cultural Learnings’ own entry: I’d like to thank everyone who has voted or commented, I really appreciate it. However, Rich over at Copywrite Ink. has written a very insightful piece about the problems the site is currently facing, and I want to refer to and expand on his argument:

“It took less than a day for fans to see what Hey! Nielsen really is — a social network that asks “users” (a word that is well past its prime) to pile into the school gymnasium and have a shouting match. Those with the biggest lungs win. And those with the most outrageous comments get the most attention.”

The distinction I want to make here is that what Rich says here is an accurate description of the way Hey! Nielsen is currently operating…but this is not how it has been designed. I think that the problems Hey! Nielsen is currently facing are due to the fundamental difference between how they imagined the system being used and how it is actually being used.

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