Matt Roush


Question: In a recent column, ...

Question:
In a recent column, a viewer asked about an October 4th episode of John Doe. Did I miss something? I live in New York and that episode never aired due to a Yankee playoff game on Fox! (Is this because I live on the East Coast and this other person doesn't?) Now it's due to return on the 18th but I feel like I missed a show. Please explain. — Lawrence

Matt:
This dilemma also affected Firefly fans who lived in either the New York or Los Angeles markets, where the national broadcast of both series was pre-empted for baseball. (In New York, both Friday episodes were shown on the following Sunday afternoon, but you would have had to be watching Fox to know about it.) It's impossible at this stage to know when these episodes will be rebroadcast — it was probably the strongest and funniest Firefly episode to date, alas — but in so many ways, baseball has become a real hindrance in getting Fox's schedule established. Which is a real problem for fragile shows like Firefly and ... read more

Question: I haven't seen ...

Question:
I haven't seen anything mentioned in your column about my favorite new comedy this season, ABC's Life with Bonnie. It always makes me laugh out loud. What a great cast of characters. What's the buzz? — Barbara

Matt:
The buzz is much better than anyone expected. It's doing OK against very tough competition in Frasier, and ABC has picked it up for a full season. I find the show a little messy, but I'm a believer in Bonnie and wish her well.

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Question: My wife and I love ...

Question:
My wife and I love the lovable and flawed Adrian Monk. Do you think Monk will be back next year? I see ABC has been short-changing its audience by putting it against Friends and Survivor. Wouldn't it do better on Sundays at 10, Mondays at 8 or Tuesdays at 9? — Scott

Matt:
Funny you should mention this. Starting November 18, ABC will air Monk on Mondays at 8 pm/ET, switching with the fading Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway, which move to Fridays. But the show isn't really ABC's property. The network developed but passed on it, and first-run episodes aired on USA Network from mid-July through last Friday (October 18). The show is currently on hiatus but will return for a second season. For more on Monk...

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Question: As a huge ...

Question:
As a huge television junkie, I've begun noticing a pattern with many TV families: the smart-mouthed middle child, who's showed up on shows like Roseanne (Darlene), Home Improvement (Randy) and current shows like Reba (Kira) and 8 Simple Rules... (Keri). Aren't there any polite middle children out there? — Rhonda

Matt:
And how would that be funny if there were? Seriously, you're absolutely right in pointing out one of the least imaginative cliches in the family-sitcom genre. We used to call the entire format "three kids and a couch" comedies, and now that they're coming back into vogue — that cyclical thing again — it's just becoming more obvious how difficult it is to find innovation in the writing or casting of these shows.

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Question: I love Monk. Tony ...

Question:
I love Monk. Tony Shalhoub is one of my favorite actors and he is wonderful in this role. ABC, given its current programming woes, made a huge mistake by passing on the show. But did ABC give up all rights to it? My friend contends they kept some rights to the property. From what I've understood, when they passed, they had to negotiate with USA to get second-run rights. And while they'd love to get first-run rights to it, there's a snowball's chance in you-know-where that USA will give them that. What do you know about it? — Laura

Matt:
All USA will say is that the cable network has committed to a second season, which indicates they have first rights and plan to keep Monk. But if ABC tries to outbid for it, if that's even a possibility, then maybe we'd see it first on ABC, then replayed on USA. However it turns out, this is one of the most unexpectedly fascinating TV stories of the last year. And a good show to boot.

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Question: On the season ...

Question:
On the season premiere of Alias, Agent Weiss (Greg Grunberg) was shot in the neck. They ended the show never mentioning his condition. I didn't see him in the 3rd episode either. Is he okay or did he die? — Cheryl

Matt:
If memory serves, there was a line of dialogue somewhere along the way that he is recuperating. But the actor has a role in a midseason NBC comedy, so I think he'll be sparingly seen for a while.

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Question: What ever happened ...

Question:
What ever happened to USA Network's show Cover Me? It suddenly went off the air without warning and has not had reruns since. I loved that show. — Nancy

Matt:
Sadly, this very clever series, about an undercover FBI agent's family that was often drawn into his cases, fell victim to mediocre ratings on a cable network desperate to find a breakthrough signature show. More happily, USA scored big time with Monk this summer.

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Question: The TV Guide Fall ...

Question:
The TV Guide Fall Preview listed the premiere of ABC's Dinotopia to be October 10. Why has it been changed to November 28? There's a lot of disappointment in this household. Is Zippo still in the cast? He's a favorite. — Aturia

Matt:
After our Fall Preview issue went to press, ABC pushed back the premiere date, citing production difficulties because of all of the special effects in bringing this dinosaur-inhabited world to life. As far as I know, Zippo will be a primary dinosaur character. He was the breakout creature in the miniseries, so while they replaced all the human actors (a good call, if you ask me), the computer-generated stars should be unfazed.

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Question: Any thoughts about ...

Question:
Any thoughts about potential romance — or more unresolved sexual tension — on Alias between Sydney and Vaughn, with the possibility of jealousy coming from Will now that he knows who Vaughn is (and what he looks like)? It seems to me that we've been given glimpses of this in the past few episodes, but I haven't heard any talk about it. — Diana

Matt:
I know Vaughn and Will will be working together again at some point, but how that will translate into the show's palpable romantic subtext is something I can't wait to experience for myself. As with most TV, though, I hope the sexual tension is unresolved for as long as it still makes dramatic sense.

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Question: Miami Vice, the ...

Question:
Miami Vice, the groundbreaking undercover cop show of the '80s, was taken off the air a while ago. I understand it will be aired again on TNN in November. Is this just a rumor? The writing, acting, music and romance of this series are hard to beat. — AJ

Matt:
TNN promises Vice will return to the schedule in November, airing weekdays at 3 pm/ET. Enjoy. (And I wish I were a bigger fan of Vice creator Michael Mann's new CBS series, Robbery Homicide Division. Like Vice, it looks great. But it's so impersonal and routine. A real disappointment.)

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