Lots of casting and cancellation news today, but the first entry in our lineup has been pre-empted in order to bring you a very special message about pre-emption...
TV show names often aim for simplicity over complexity: For every Buffy the Vampire Slayer or How I Met Your Mother, there are a dozen Houses, Fringes and Heroeses. But is it just us, or do this season's new shows come off as a little... generic? We're all for brevity, but can we at least get a hint of meaning? Or mystery? Or, dare we say it, excitement? Just because The Office is entering its sixth season doesn't mean that a show named after a common noun is going to win you an Emmy. Here are a bunch of new programs that we feel could use a little something extra in the name department.
The third day of upfronts brought us the endurance test that is the CBS presentation, held for the umpteenth year in freezing-cold Carnegie Hall. And once again, I was bemused by how defensive the executives sounded while touting the most successful network on television. CBS has the most popular drama (CSI), the most popular comedy (Two and a Half Men) and the most popular new show of the 2008-09 season (The Mentalist). And yet there's this undercurrent of resentment towards their lower-rated, but far "cooler," competitors that's actually fascinating from an armchair psychologist's perspective.
CBS' spin attempt to make a House-like series debuted last night, but while there were patients of the week introduced via bizarre scenarios, the doctor in charge isn't nearly as cranky or believable. Really, am I supposed to believe that there is a cardio transplant specialist who is going to sit and hold his patient's hand and wants everyone to call him Andy? In my experience surgeons are far too busy and self-important to allow for either of those scenarios. This isn't Everwood. This is a seemingly large hospital, given that they have an entire transplant team and a jet at the ready.