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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ABC Dumps Comedies, Adds 11 New Shows

Back to the drawing board. ABC canceled a bunch of comedies, and announced 11 new shows -- more than twice that NBC did yesterday. Four of the 11 are sitcoms -- including one with the Geico caveman and a new Christina Applegate comedy -- while NBC didn't roll out any new comedies Monday.

Say goodbye to "George Lopez," "In Case of Emergency," "Help Me Help You," "Knights of Prosperity, " "Big Day," "What About Brian," "In Case of Emergency, " "Six Degrees," "The Nine," "Day Break" and William Shatner's short-lived game show, "Show Me The Money." No surprises here, except for maybe "What About Brian."

Still on the bubble is Jim Belushi's "According to Jim." It may be back for midseason.

Back for sure are two spring tryouts, "October Road" and "Notes from the Underbelly." Not on the fall schedule is "Lost," which will return sometime in early '08 to run without repeats into May sweeps. Also back are "Supernanny" and "Wife Swap."

See the ABC announcement at

The four comedies are:
--"Caveman," a "unique buddy comedy" (I love the TV PR lexicon) about three modern cavemen in Atlanta.
--"Sam I Am," with Christina Applegate with amnesia, and discovering that she wasn't a very nice, honest or loving person before her eight-year coma.
--"Miss/Guided," from Ashton Kutcher, about a woman (Judy Greer, "Arrested Development") who returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor.
--"Carpoolers," about four guys who carpool. Hey, that should last three weeks. Stars include Fred Goss (from "Sons & Daughters," fictionally set in Hamilton last year), Jerry O'Connell and Faith Ford.

The seven new dramas are:
--"Private Practice," the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff with Kate Walsh, Tim Daly, Amy Brenneman and Taye Diggs.
--"Pushing Daisies," from Barry Sonnenfeld ("Men In Black") and Bryan Fuller ("Heroes") about a detective (Lee Pace) whose touch brings dead things back to life. With Chi McBride, Kristin Chenoweth, Swoosie Kurtz.
--"Dirty, Sexy Money," an idealistic lawyer (Peter Krause) goes to work for a filthy rich family (Donald Sutherland, Jill Cralburgh, William Baldwin).
--"Eli Stone," a San Francisco lawyer who becomes a prophet after some hallucinations. Only in San Francisco? With Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber.
--"Women's Murder Club," based on James Patterson's novels, about a San Francisco detective, district attorney, newspaper reporter and medical examiner who join forces to solve crimes. With Angie Harmon, Paula Newsome. What's up with San Francisco on ABC this fall?
--"Big Shots," about four CEO buddies, with possibly the strongest cast of fall so far: Dylan McDermott, Joshua Malina, Michael Vartan and Christopher Titus.
--"Cashmere Mafia," about four career girlfriends. With Lucy Liu, Bonnie Somerville, Mirando Otto and Frances O'Connor. Will debut after "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor" fall season ends in November.

So here's something to talk about: Did you watch the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff? Will you watch more? Do you disagree with any of the ABC shows canceled? Which of these new shows sound most promising?


at 5/15/2007 1:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the first show to bite the dust( I hope ) will be Cavemen!!!
from the neighborhood

at 5/15/2007 2:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

--"Eli Stone," a San Francisco lawyer who becomes a prophet after some hallucinations. Only in San Francisco? With Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber.

Indeed, sounds like somebody adapted the story of Judge Gaines' "visions" of Christ in the courthouse.

at 5/15/2007 3:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like over at the black eye network Jericho is getting nuked. Shame, really. This was a show with good plots, good character development, geared towards viewers who had an ability to think and reason at a higher level than plant life, unlike all of the reality crap that permeates the airwaves today. What I can't believe is what they are dumping it in favor of. The CSI spin-offs have pretty much jumped the shark at this point, and they are supplementing it with a drama about swingers in the seventies? That show will probably be cancelled 45 minutes into its first episode. A vampire crime drama called Moonlight, this has to be a sitcom, not a drama. Viva Laughlin about some family running a casino in a small town no one goes to, what Vegas already had its quota of TV shows?
I can understand why CBS' rating are continuing into the tank.

at 5/15/2007 3:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cavemen, huh? Wow, that should be riveting TV. Maybe as a lead in, they could get that guy and all those monkeys from the commercial to play a frustrated young TV programming/network employee, and the monkeys as his boss and coworkers.


at 5/15/2007 4:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I erally liked Big Day, that is a shame.

at 5/15/2007 5:55 PM Blogger Todd O said...

George Lopez is cancelled? Oh Oh! How many local Hispanic groups will picket the stations?

If you think about it, it has been the "Good Times" for hispanics.

at 5/16/2007 3:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have enough trouble watching the cavemen on a 30 second commercial. I can't imagine 30 minutes of it. My questions are these, Is the main sponsor of the show going to be Geico and is the Geico Gecko going to be doing a guest spot? I predict this to be the first show cancelled.

at 5/16/2007 7:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caveman could be cancelled by the first commercial break...

at 5/16/2007 7:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TV programming... So easy, a Caveman could do it.

at 5/16/2007 10:02 AM Blogger Tim Lones said...

What they ought to do is lead into "cavemen" with the original "Flintstones". A 47 year old cartoon series would get better ratings than "Cavemen". The 30-second commecial concept was kind of cute about the first 3 or 4 times you see it. It won't work for a half-hour show.

at 5/16/2007 10:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"good times" for hispanics? I never saw the George Lopez show, but from the promos I did not get the impression it was about down-and-out hispanics in the projects???

at 5/16/2007 11:06 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of "Women's murder club", but the series of books i would really like to see at a TV series are "The cat who mysteries" which feature two siamese cats who help their journalist owner solve mysteries
"400 miles north of everywhere"
Anything but the cavemen!
from the neighborhood

at 5/16/2007 11:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would seem I'm the only one who is upset by the cancellation of What About Brian...well what about it? It was a great cast...even if some of the story lines were less than perfect...they made it good. I'm still crossing my fingers for a save.

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