Matt Roush


Question: I heard that my ...

Question:
I heard that my favorite show, State of Grace, has been cancelled. Is this true? I'm in denial and I'm hoping that it isn't. — Tamara

Matt:
Sorry to confirm its premature demise. ABC Family chose not to renew it, which makes you wonder why that cable network has "family" in the title. What a charming little show, better than any new comedy this season, including on ABC's broadcast network. Given the success of NBC's American Dreams, you'd think there'd be room for this nostalgic treat. A lost opportunity.

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Question: I was trying to ...

Question:
I was trying to find out why Gil Bellows is off CBS's The Agency, but I can't find anything regarding this matter. Do you have any info on why he left the show? — Jesse

Matt:
If you watched The Agency last season, what you saw was a show in constant change as it tried to figure out where it was going. Ronny Cox: Out. Daniel Benzali and Beau Bridges: In. And so on. Bellows and Gloria Reuben were both written out as the show prepared to reinvent itself again for a second season. I imagine the producers consider new cast member Jason O'Mara a more suitable action-hero hunk.

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Question: In the October 4th ...

Question:
In the October 4th episode of John Doe, was Dr. Jansen played by Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman)? He was buried at the end of the show. I have a bet going with my brother; please answer. — Michelle

Matt:
The doctor was played by Arye Gross (Ellen). What a gas if it had been Pee-Wee.

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Question: Did Buddy Ebsen do ...

Question:
Did Buddy Ebsen do a guest spot on an upcoming episode of Firefly? — Dan

Matt:
Not to my (or the studio's) knowledge. But I love the idea: Jed Clampett/Barnaby Jones in space. This is my favorite question of the week.

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Question: Do you know why CBS ...

Question:
Do you know why CBS changed The Agency from 10 pm/ET on Thursday to 10 pm on Saturdays? Are the ratings so low that it can be cancelled soon? And what's your opinion on the show? — Arash

Matt:
CBS moved it to Saturdays because the network needed to program a stronger, more compatible show alongside CSI on Thursdays. And they've succeeded with the compelling Without a Trace, which is doing better against ER than anything since Chicago Hope way back in the mid-'90s. Agency appears to be doing OK on a night with low expectations. Personally, I think it's a solid but uninspired show. It's certainly the most realistic of TV's new wave of spy dramas, but I find 24 and Alias, though more fanciful, more enjoyable and fascinating. But then, I can't make it through an entire Tom Clancy tome, so I'm probably not the target for this particular show.

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Question: Having watched ER ...

Question:
Having watched ER since it started, I was a bit annoyed when Doug Ross (George Clooney) and Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) were not at Mark Greene's (Anthony Edwards) funeral. Do you have any idea why the show chose to do this, because in my opinion it would have been perfection! — Brian

Matt:
I don't have a definitive answer as to why they were no-shows — probably a combination of money and scheduling — but I agree there was a glaring void in not seeing Mark's closest friends at his memorial. And after all the torment of watching the slowest and most maudlin death scenes in TV history, we deserved a better payoff as well. Pretty much on par with ER's disappointing last season, if you ask me.

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Question: Is HBO going to ...

Question:
Is HBO going to bring back The Wire? All of my friends (law enforcement officers) loved the whole series. It was like reading a good book. The ending could have been more exciting, but we are hoping for a season two to really knock us off our seats. — Keith

Matt:
Nothing's official yet, but it looks good. HBO was happy with the quality of the show, and even though it didn't generate Sopranos-level buzz, it performed well enough to earn a second year. I like your analogy of it to a good read. Some viewers grew impatient with it, since it didn't telegraph its twists. It was a subtle, thoughtful, troubling series, reminiscent to me of Homicide (also set in Baltimore).

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Question: Which series will ...

Question:
Which series will be the first ones cancelled (in your opinion)? — G bbbor (Budapest, Hungary)

Matt:
ABC has already pulled That Was Then, a dreary time-travel fantasy-drama-comedy that aired on Fridays, and is pushing Push, Nevada (a poor man's Twin Peaks, except for whoever wins the million dollars) off its schedule after its Oct. 24 airing. WB's Thursday comedies (Family Affair, Do Over) are also struggling, as is UPN's Haunted, but the smaller networks usually exercise more patience before yanking a show. As for which other new shows are unlikely to last a full first season, I'm thinking NBC's awful new comedies In-Laws and Hidden Hills and ABC's MDs are not long for this world. And there's already negative buzz around two new Fox shows that haven't even premiered: the disgusting comedy The Grubbs and the insipid-sounding Septuplets. They may be gone before they get seen.

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Question: I've really enjoyed ...

Question:
I've really enjoyed NBC's American Dreams so far. Some characters are overplayed and some outcomes have been obvious, but it's a real feel-good show as opposed to the gore and violence we're seeing more and more (for instance, do we really need a show all about sex crimes?). What do you think of American Dreams? Also, I love the song they play in the ads for the show. Do you know what it is? — Chrissy

Matt:
Since my initial response to most of NBC's obnoxious promos is to reach for the mute button, I'll leave your last question to the Televisionary, who tackles it in tomorrow's column. But one of my recent review columns was devoted to the show, in which, like you, I expressed admiration with reservations. I think it's very well produced and acted, and I love the backstage-at-Bandstand stuff. I just wish it weren't so self-important. I'm glad it's doing well, though. Nice to see something that isn't a crime show succeeding this season. Maybe it'll inspire others to get ... read more

Question: Fastlane wasn't on ...

Question:
Fastlane wasn't on last week, and it is not scheduled for this week either. What happened? Please don't tell me that it's been cancelled. I thought that it was getting good reviews and viewers. — Linda

Matt:
Not to worry. As soon as Fox gets finished with airing post-season baseball, its schedule will be back to normal. Look for Fastlane to return with new episodes Oct. 30. And if you miss it on Wednesdays, you can catch a second run on MTV starting later this month.

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