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Last Resort – Weirdest ABC Attempt to Make a LOST Show

Imagine if Lost were done by Tom Clancy and Richard Patterson North and imagine if it was really stupid. (Well obviously it’s stupid, it’s being done by Tom Clancy and Richard Patterson North.)

Back when I used to browse used bookstores, I would come upon lots of ragged paperbacks with plots just like these. They would be classified as Science Fiction, but only marginally so. Someone decided that the best way to revive the castaways genre would be to merge it with the military unit on its own genre to create Lost Crimson Tide.

The only thing Last Resort has going for it is a good cast. The trailer, like so many of these, gives you the entire opening pilot. But how many people are going to keep watching this just to listen to Andre Braugher delivering monologues? I’m not.

This isn’t a TV pilot, it’s a movie and the movie has nowhere to go after a few episodes. Also Tom Clancy and dramas about people yelling in submarines, so 1980’s. Also Pakistan has no submarines.

Reba: The Next Generation Meets the Beverly Hillbillies

I’m trying to understand how this show exists. Wasn’t this already a sitcom on the WB? Did they just revive it and merge it with The Beverly Hillbillies? And why does this have such a 70’s feel to it? I keep expecting Reba’s mother to be played by Mary Tyler Moore and the whole thing to turn into a variety show.

Malibu Country. Another title that feels so 70’s. Maybe it’s the voiceover that feels so 70’s. Maybe it’s the obvious lines pitched to the audience waiting for canned laughter. Maybe it’s the writer who got his start on The Golden Girls and worked on the original Reba sitcom and on Roseanne. But none of those are seventies.

Lilly Tomlin as Reba’s mother? I guess Reba was originally a Jewish New Yorker before she went country. Isn’t the whole fish out of water, southern belles in LA, premise supposed to be that they are southerners. Why cast someone who so isn’t?

Here’s a proposal. Just merge this together with Last Man Standing. Tim Allen and Reba McEntire can just goggle at California while delivering obvious jokes. It’s bound to be a winner.

How to Live with a Bad TV Show for 40 Minutes

Whatever happened to Orlando Jones? This happened to Orlando Jones. It also happened to Brad Garrett and Elizabeth Perkins and Sarah Chalke. For which we can only blame Brian Grazer.

I’m assuming it’s an hour long, but maybe it’s a 30 minute long. And I feel like it’s the third time I’ve seen this show in the upfronts, except that maybe last time it was about a single mother and her wacky brother, instead of a single mother and her wacky mom or a single mother and her wacky poodle who takes her on adventures in outer space. But I probably made that last one up at out of boredom.

There’s the dick jokes and the tender moments and the pitch to “How we live today as single mothers trying to keep it all together”. It’s a good cast with a tired premise that condescends to the audience, but has enough quality people involved with it, like a lot of Brian Grazer projects, to seem better than it is.

I’m guessing it’s not. Also if you sat through that, you’ve just seen the pilot.

Zero Hour Zeroes in on Nazi Devil Clocks of Doom

What can I say, I like this.

Anthony Edwards is underrated and he’s effortlessly charming here. The story is goofy, but the whole thing has a certain charm to it. Do I have any real expectations for it? Probably not. This isn’t a marketplace where this show can survive. But then again the National Treasure movies were unexpectedly popular and people like conspiracies. Movies about exorcists and the supernatural also unexpectedly catch fire.

On paper mashing up the Da Vinci Code and National Treasure and putting Anthony Edwards out front as a more sympathetic Mulder with a less abrasive Scully could work. But ABC has tried something similar before and it didn’t. The producers on this thing are interesting and Taken director Pierre Morel is directing. Not to mention Prison Break’s Paul Scheuring.

It’s charming, the pedigree is good, but I’m not convinced of the momentum or that audiences will jump on board. If they do ABC will have one idiosyncratic hit.

Three Numbers on Park Avenue

Forget the three numbers the real sell here is the Park Avenue part and the 1 percenter porn of the good life with some supernatural things thrown in to give people a way to rationalize watching it. From the Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars people for their viewers who are hitting twenty and want a “grown up show” to watch.

The “Haunted Building” drama has been done on TV with no success. Stephen King had a haunted hospital. But here the haunting is just providing forward momentum for the soapy elements that would otherwise have to be created by introducing more nefarious characters plotting things. It’s why Dark Shadows became well… Dark Shadows, because doing the supernatural is easier, it adds drama and you don’t have to explain things.

Daytime soaps may be vanishing, but prime time soaps are still proliferating. And a bonus of a supernatural soap is that some men may tune in thinking it’s a scares and chills series.

I’m not sure whether to feel sorry for Terry O’Quinn or not. It’s a better part than showing up on Hawaii 5-0 in his old standby as “military guy”, but it’s not that much better. It’s just different. Which might be good enough. He should have been able to nail a series after Lost, but instead he’s wandering around as a sideline on other people’s shows, delivering exposition and making sly remarks.

Weird ABC Mashup #1 = King of Queens + Third Rock from the Sun

King of Queens and Third Rock from the Sun were both successful sitcoms so why not combine them into something that looks a bit like ABC’s own canceled No Ordinary Family, but funnier.

I’m not going to hate The Neighbors out of the gate. It has a bit of a Victor Fresco, the Better Off Ted and Andy Richter shows, feel, and a little bit of Galaxy Quest. It’s also hard to hate anything that prominently features Doug Jones. And Dan Fogelman has an interesting track record.

…but I see this going the way of most sitcoms that hit this angle. And this is an area that has been strip mined already by everything from Mork and Mindy to Third Rock from the Sun. There’s not much you can do here except make a few weird alien jokes and a few alien learning moments and that’s not all that entertaining in the short run, it’s harder to manage in the long run.

Third Rock from the Sun was only funny when the jokes depended on John Lithgow acting like a lunatic. See Robin Williams and Mork and Mindy. Doug Jones has to fill in for Robin Williams and John Lithgow as a drier British alien, more Hitchhiker’s Guide, less zany lunatic. Will that work?

ABC announces cancellation of proposed ‘Uday and Qusay’ Sitcom

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Hours after Saddam’s two sons Uday and Qusay were killed in an assault by coalition forces on their compound, ABC announced the cancellation of their proposed sitcom deal. The sitcom deal inked last year before the US led invasion of Iraq would have produced 13 half hour episodes of a sitcom tentatively titled ‘Uday and Qusay’ to air on Wednesday nights at 8:30 between George Lopez and the Drew Carey show.

IRAQ-SADDAM-SONSABC which came under fire from conservative groups for sticking to the deal even during the invasion of Iraq is now coming under fire from liberal organizations for the sitcom cancellation.

“The Bush administration supposedly claims that Uday and Qusay are dead but this is the same administration that claimed that Saddam was a threat and that he played a major role in the assassination of JFK. Does anyone still believe anything that this warmongering cowboy administration claims.” Actor and political activist Tim Robbins stated in a press release. “As a fellow entertainer who’s been targeted for my views, I oppose ABC bowing to the fascist dictates of the right wing and cancelling ‘Uday and Qusay’ before I’ve personally inspected their bodies to be sure they’re dead.”

While no one has actually seen the pilot for the series ‘Uday and Qusay’ a report on AICN claimed that it featured such hilarious situations as Uday and Qusay both deciding they wanted to rape the same woman and settling it with a Molotov Cocktail tossing contest only to be surprised by Saddam’s sudden return home from gassing Kurds to find the bunker on fire. However despite extremely negative audience reactions ABC had decided to go ahead with the sitcom with support from civil rights groups such as the ACLU which has come out criticizing the ABC decision.

“First the Dixie Chicks had their record albums burned and then Tim Robbins was bumped and then Janeanne Garafalo’s sitcom was pulled and now Uday and Qusay have also been targeted by another media monolith marching in line with the Bush administration,” ACLU spokeswoman Kathryn Freid said at a press conference announced to protest the cancellation. “Have we suddenly woken up in Nazi Germany where anyone whose views are unacceptable can be deprived of lucrative sitcom deals afforded to them by the Constitution?”

ABC in turn responded with a written statement defending their actions.

“ABC supports the creative freedom of all entertainment professionals regardless of their political views. As Uday and Qusay’s production company ‘Homicidal Psychotics Entertainment’ is aware ABC has been a big booster of the proposed series throughout a variety of controversial events including the time Uday tortured and ate three ABC network pages at the annual fall preview and then claimed diplomatic immunity.

“Nevertheless the deaths of Uday and Qusay make it impossible for this series to continue production as its lead protagonists have been burned to death and are currently employed as rotting corpses at Baghdad International Airport. We at ABC however will continue to be open to working with both Uday and Qusay on any future projects should their situation change in any way.

“Furthermore we at ABC will continue developing controversial programming such as “Kim Il Jong’s Happy Funtime Torture Hour’, ‘Secrets of National Security Broadcast To The Enemy’, ‘Bill Maher and Osama’s Profiles of Al Queda’s Courage’ and our children’s educational program ‘Flagburning for Preschoolers.’

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