Last spring, ABC experimented with the short-run series model that's so popular abroad (think the Israeli show Prisoner of War, which beget Homeland here), ordering up a ten-episode, single-season run of the Taken knock-off Missing, starring Ashley Judd in the Liam Neeson role of a vengeful parent searching for a kidnapped kid. Although the series was constructed with a definite endpoint in mind, the finale carefully left room for another batch of episodes should the show prove to be a hit. It wasn't. But the network is giving the concept a second chance with Red Widow, another limited-run series that aired the first two of its eight hours tonight.
Stop, or Katee's mom will shoot!
We're still trying to figure out what ABC's execs were talking about at their upfront presentation when they claimed they were the "number one must-keep" network, but at least they had something resembling a sense of humor about their shows, talking about while their Bachelors may not stay engaged, their viewers are. And then, as usual, they unleashed Jimmy Kimmel, whose show has been on the air for ten years, which is about nine longer than I predicted way back when. He joked to the ad buyers in the crowd that "We don't know what we are doing. We have no idea what people want to see. If we did, we wouldn't have an upfront; we'd just put the shows on the air and you'd just mail us a check." Then he added, "That show Work It... you know we were just kidding about that, right?" Of course, he had to rip on the other networks as well. On NBC: "Spinning chairs and a monkey. This truly is a golden age of television." On Fox's X Factor: "No one knows talent like Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. Britney Spears wanted to be a judge since she's spent the last ten years appearing before them." On CBS: "For the 18-to-49-trips-to-the-bathroom demographic." On The CW's new musical chairs show: "Oh Sit! It used to be called Steaming Pile o' Sit, but they shortened it." Still, his best joke was also at The X Factor and Idol's expense: "I feel bad for Paula Abdul. She's the Rosa Parks of bipolar talent show judges. No one was more dedicated or more medicated." It's a good thing that Kimmel was funny, because none of ABC's new comedies looked amusing at all.
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