Tag Archives: Schedule

Cultural Catchup Project: Decision Time (Buffy and Angel)

Decision Time

June 13th, 2010

You can follow along with the Cultural Catchup Project by following me on Twitter (@Memles), by subscribing to the category’s feed, or by bookmarking the Cultural Catchup Project page where I’ll be posting a link to each installment.

When I sat down to considering the overwhelming amount of feedback in regards to the future of the Cultural Catchup Project, I felt as if I was a supreme court justice considering the fairness of a long-standing law. There were clear arguments from both sides, and it wasn’t as if any one opinion was wrong: for a while, it seemed like my decision would in some way serve as a definitive argument in favour of a particular side, a power that comes with a great responsibility which is a little bit exciting.

However, I realized when I really sat down to consider the situation that it is a power that I am not capable of wielding. What the response to that post demonstrate is that everyone feels differently about this issue, and prioritizing any one person’s opinion or even the majority opinion would be almost impossible. I’d love to be the one to finally determine the absolute best way to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but it’s impossible to make that determination unless I’ve, you know, actually watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel in various different configurations with an objective eye towards what I’ve been watching.

And when I really think about it, as much as I remain objective regarding my view of this series due to my position as a critical observer of television, I ultimately want my experience with Buffy and Angel to be as subjective as possible without losing all semblance of objectivity. I want to follow not necessarily what will result in the best experience but rather what will result in the most satisfying experience even if it is objectively inferior to other alternatives.

As a result, I can officially announce that…

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Cultural Catchup Project: How Do You Solve a (Scheduling) Problem Like Angelus?

How do you Solve a (Scheduling) Problem like Angelus?

June 4th, 2010

You can follow along with the Cultural Catchup Project by following me on Twitter (@Memles), by subscribing to the category’s feed, or by bookmarking the Cultural Catchup Project page where I’ll be posting a link to each installment.

We have reached a crossroads in our journey with Buffy the Vampire Slayer – later today, I intend on watching “Graduation Day,” at which point I will be officially done the show’s third season. Now, I’ll likely take the weekend to write about that finale and Season Three as a whole (which will include the previous four episodes of the series, which I haven’t found the motivation to write about in further detail amidst a fairly busy period of time but which seem to be building towards the finale in a way which will make my essay on the finale more complex), but there are other pressing concerns which need to be addressed.

While I’m looking forward to the finale, I’m also looking forward to what comes afterwards, the million dollar question of sorts. When I started this project, I committed to doing both Buffy and Angel this summer, and I don’t entirely think I understood the enormity of that task. Just so we’re clear, enormity isn’t all bad: I don’t mind watching large volumes of entertaining television, after all. That being said, I can’t help but feel like the decision I make now will fundamentally change how I experience two different television series, and it’s a decision I do not want to make lightly.

Accordingly, I want to run down my options here at the blog, and then ask anyone with experience in this area to share their own opinions on how, precisely, to handle the complicated nature of the series’ crossover episodes which start with Buffy’s fourth season as Angel splits off into its own narrative. I’m aware there is no right answer, and ultimately this is going to be a gut sort of thing, but I still want to see what the Cultural Catchup Commenters, those who have been reading but not wading into the discussion, and even those who haven’t been following the project at all, have to say on the issue.

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Chuck Season 3 Premiere Date Set: 2-Night Event on January 10th/11th, 2010

Chuck Season 3 Premiere Details

November 19th, 2009

Just an hour after the news breaks about Lost’s sixth season premiere, another internet criticism favourite breaks similar news. After rumours of the show gaining an order for six additional episodes broke about a month ago, it was expected that the show would be moved up from its schedule March premiere date, and today’s news of a two-night, three-hour premiere event of sorts confirms those expectations.

And yes, you read that correctly: in the spirit of 24 (and launching around the same time, really), Chuck will be airing a two-hour season premiere (which is actually two episodes, as they had not planned for a lengthy premiere) on Sunday, January 10th, at 9pm before moving to their regular timeslot with a third new episode on Monday, January 11th, at 8pm. Now, there’s something to be said about this strategy: it creates more of an “event” style premiere to capture people’s attention, which is why 24 has been doing them for a while, and it also ensures that the show gets some plot momentum going into the Olympics break in February.

However, there’s enough concerns surrounding this move for my excitement to be tempered by at least a little bit of concern, as I’ll discuss after the break.

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Lost Season Six Premieres Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Lost Season Six Premiere Date + Ramifications

November 19th, 2009

Well, there’s finally a date. On Groundhog Day, 2010, Lost returns for its sixth and final season with a two-hour finale on a new night (Tuesdays) and at a new time (9pm Eastern), and…well, it doesn’t really matter.

See, I’m as excited as everyone else is about Lost’s final season, and since my Tuesday viewing schedule is more open than Wednesday I’m pleased to have the show making the move to the night. However, this season isn’t about ratings, or timeslots, or really anything: Lost is getting a final season that is for the fans, not to prove anything to Nielsen or anyone else, and the result is that this move says less about Lost and more about the remainder of ABC’s lineup.

As such, while this is certainly exciting news (only 75 days away!), I want to take some time to discuss what this means for some of ABC’s other shows that will be affected (or won’t be affected) by this change.

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The Glass Ceiling: How Dollhouse can Overcome the Friday Odds

dollhousetitle

The Glass Ceiling:

How Dollhouse can Overcome the Friday Odds

When FOX first announced that Dollhouse was going to be placed onto Fridays, I wrote the following:

My immediate response: seriously, FOX? Are we going to go through this again? After Whedon’s last FOX show, Firefly, was destroyed by mismanagement by FOX, fans of the creator have already had reason to be slightly concerned about the show’s trajectory. Now, with the creative side seemingly together, comes the next blow – that even when it does air, its opportunity for success has shrunk dramatically.

Now, since that point, both creator Joss Whedon and FOX have stuck to the line that this plan actually works out for them: by creating a night of male-skewing Sci-Fi on a night where FOX has historically gone with either repeats or reality programming, the show will have low expectations and a certain security thanks to not having the same type of time period competition as it would elsewhere on the schedule. By keeping expectations low, essentially, the show’s inevitable failure to attract the kind of audience that FOX might be looking for went from a crushing disappointment to an understanding between creator and network that time might be necessary.

Unfortunately for FOX and for Whedon, the results are in and they don’t look good: the show debuted to just 4.7 Million viewers and a 2.0 rating in the key demographics. The second number isn’t half bad, good enough for second in its timeslot, but the first number is a pretty big concern for the series. It’s about the same ratings that sent Firefly to the television graveyard before its time, actually, and the plan to try to create low expectations and then spin these ratings into something positive is somewhat tough to swallow when you get trounced by Supernanny on ABC.

But there’s a fair few factors that we need to take into account here, at least before we start writing off Dollhouse as a failure. Much as I believe the jury is still out after writing my own review of the premiere, I believe there is still time for Dollhouse to turn it around. Unfortunately, the universe might well be working against Joss Whedon and his fanbase once again.

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Seriously, FOX? Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse to air on Fridays

dollhouse

I don’t normally post news, but I figure this is frustrating enough to enjoy a bit more analysis outside of my Twitter feed. Ironically, it was through Twitter that the news was revealed to me. From FOXBroadcasting’s new twitter feed came the following:

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse launches Friday, February 13th

My immediate response: seriously, FOX? Are we going to go through this again? After Whedon’s last FOX show, Firefly, was destroyed by mismanagement by FOX, fans of the creator have already had reason to be slightly concerned about the show’s trajectory. Now, with the creative side seemingly together, comes the next blow – that even when it does air, its opportunity for success has shrunk dramatically.

The thing is, a lot more could have been done: FOX could have premiered the show behind an episode of American Idol, something that is increasingly common and that their other new drama, Lie to Me, is likely getting on January 21st. Nothing about this move seems even remotely like a network that is fully behind this show: and would premiering it a week early and avoiding the ominousness of Friday the 13th really have killed them?

I’m excited for Dollhouse, even as someone who outside of Firefly and Dr. Horrible is woefully behind on my Whedonverse viewing, but these signs keep popping up that this show is cursed. I don’t want to be a harbinger of ill-will towards the series’ fate, and I would love to feel more optimistic, but considering that repeats of NCIS and other crime procedurals are the shows performing best on Fridays something tells me that FOX’s attempt to rekindle The X-Files’ success in the timeslot a decade ago isn’t going to work…and if this means that Whedon’s fans are going to have to pick up FOX’s slack at promoting one of his series AGAIN, I don’t think this is the kind of deja vu the show is trying to discuss.

Below the jump, though, let’s take a look at what the rest of FOX’s January schedule brings us – to be honest, it’s quite reasonable, if frustrating for fans of the network’s science fiction dramas.

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‘Jericho’ to Return to CBS on February 12th

It was a long road for fans of CBS’ Jericho this past summer, but the end of that road is officially in sight. CBS announced their Spring schedule today, and Jericho will be airing its 7-episode second season at 10PM EST on Tuesday Nights starting on February 12th.

From Zap2it.com:

Let’s get the important business out of the way: Rescued from cancellation by an outpouring of nuts, “Jericho” will begin its seven-episode second season on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 10 p.m. ET, airing in the time slot where “Cane” is currently struggling.

What does this mean for the series?

Competition: Law & Order SVU and Boston Legal – both shows have shown some slight decreases this year, although it didn’t help previous occupant Cane which could never gain traction in the time slot.

Lead-In: The show will be following a Spring Season of Big Brother, which was widely anticipated considering the Writer’s Strike. This could be postponed if the writers return in the very near future, which I think would benefit the show – while Big Brother is important to Jericho, it serves what I believe to be a considerably younger audience than the average Jericho fan. The Unit, the show usually in the timeslot, speaks better to some of the show’s more difficult serial elements. Still, at the very least the timeslot ensures that even if the Writer’s Strike continues, Jericho will be following new programming.

Schedule: By this schedule, Jericho’s episode would likely run out at the end of March. This would mean two straight months of Jericho episodes, with half of them occuring during the all-important February Sweeps period.

In case you were wondering, there are only 71 days remaining until Jericho returns to the airwaves. While this particular premiere date falls smack dab in the middle of my thesis deadlines, I will do my best to make sure there is plenty of coverage to drum up the show’s return.

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