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Aidan Quinn in The Book of Daniel

Tuesday brought news of not one, not two, but a holy trinity of shelved series. Despite a riveting cameo by TV Guide's own former Party Boy, Daniel R. Coleridge, TNT has canceled Wanted, while ABC has brought Jake in Progress to a halt. (Think John Stamos has called ER yet to let them know he's available? Two words for you: Ask Ausiello.) Lastly, NBC has slammed shut The Book of Daniel, "due to many reasons," series creator Jack Kenny reports in a message to fans at NBC.com. Now, before the American Family Association gets all full of itself, their efforts had little to do with Daniel's demise, a reliable source tells us; rather, the ratings were just sinfully bad. read more

First of all, I wanted to say ...

Question: First of all, I wanted to say that I enjoy your column. My reason for writing is that I saw Emily's Reasons Why Not and I liked it right away (which doesn't happen often). It was really cute and funny. But then I just read in the Entertainment News that it's been canceled after only one episode! Why do networks do this? You can't expect instant success. A show needs time to gain a following. It's unrealistic to expect that to happen right away. I think it would've been great with a little more time. Answer: I didn't do cartwheels over Emily, although I did think Heather Graham was, as you say, "cute and funny," but I thought it deserved more of a chance than one airing against CBS' dominant comedy lineup. (Always risky to program a new comedy against a hit comedy, and ABC has traditionally struggled to fill Mondays after football.) Given that production shut down after only six episodes, there probably isn't much incentive for ABC to burn off this series — and while we're on ... read more

Laugh Tracks
Hoping for a merry mid-season

Reports of the death of the TV sitcom were, thankfully, premature. New critical hits like My Name Is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris and the steadily improving The Office have set a high bar for the new and returning comedies that entered the fray this month. Just getting Scrubs back on the air after an inexcusable fall hiatus is reason enough to celebrate, while some of the newbies hope to fill the romantic-comedy void left by Sex and the City and Friends. Here’s my quick take on the mid-season comedy crop. (I dismissed NBC’s generic buddy romp Four Kings in an earlier column.) ScrubsTuesdays, 9 pm/ET, NBCHeard it before? Thankfully, yes. The antics are as fresh as ever now that this endearingly irreverent medical comedy has returned — finally — with back-to-back episodes of bawdy slapstick and barbed verbal w read more

Emily's Reasons Why Not Is it...

Emily's Reasons Why NotIs it just me, or does every woman resort to voodoo dolls to release some anger? And don't we all expect a yellow parrot, aka "the love bird," after our hearts have been broken? No? OK, so anyway, this series debut left us wondering if we've got the next Carrie Bradshaw on our hands. The narration, the bad luck with men, it all sounds a bit Sex and the City. But Heather Graham's cute charm and her team of quirky sidekicks — including the token gay best friend — is definitely making this show a potential mid-season hit. Let Emily's reasons be a lesson for us all, starting with why not to smoke: Grandma Beatrice. By the way, I think so far my favorite character is Glitter, Emily's backstabbing former assistant who stole her idea to get a p read more

Emily's Reasons Why Not Is it...

Emily's Reasons Why NotIs it just me, or does every woman resort to voodoo dolls to release some anger? And don't we all expect a yellow parrot, aka "the love bird," after our hearts have been broken? No? OK, so anyway, this series debut left us wondering if we've got the next Carrie Bradshaw on our hands. The narration, the bad luck with men, it all sounds a bit Sex and the City. But Heather Graham's cute charm and her team of quirky sidekicks — including the token gay best friend — is definitely making this show a potential mid-season hit. Let Emily's reasons be a lesson for us all, starting with why not to smoke: Grandma Beatrice. By the way, I think so far my favorite character is Glitter, Emily's backstabbing former assistant who stole her idea to get a p read more

ABC BUMPS EMILY, JAKE AND HOPE

ABC apparently found a reason why not, deciding to bump Heather Graham's just-debuted Emily's Reasons Why Not, as well as John Stamos' own ratings-anemic series, Jake in Progress, from the schedule this Monday in favor of an encore of The Bachelor's season premiere. Both comedies are expected to return Jan. 23. Also, it's an unlucky Friday the 13th for Hope & Faith, which has been benched to expand the Dancing with the Stars results show to a full, overblown hour. Speaking of which, if Master P isn't gone by 8:59 pm, I smell shark. read more

Jake in Progress Didn't UPN once...

Jake in ProgressDidn't UPN once have a show called Jake 2.0? Too bad. ABC could have used the title, because that's what this second-season premiere essentially was: an updated pilot for the series' new direction. What that direction is, alas, remains to be seen. John Stamos and Co. have tweaked the Jerk in Progress angle, giving Jake an ex to pine over in an effort to make him a little more vulnerable. They should have gone for a little more funny. Say what you want about Stamos (and you probably want to say something about Full House, or his hair, or the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" video), he's just a likable guy. But is likability reason enough to watch a situation comedy short on other criteria? And what was with the occasional, completely unnecessary split scree read more

John Stamos' Jake Makes Progress

John Stamos of Jake in Progress

Seemingly since the day ABC and John Stamos agreed to put on a show together, Jake in Progress has been a work in progress. Originally envisioned as a real-time (i.e., 24-style, probably minus the gunplay) chronicle of a couple's first date, it dropped the gimmick in favor of a traditional single-camera take on hotshot publicist Jake Phillips' wild and woman-filled life. Now entering its second season (premiering tonight at 9:30 pm/ET), Jake has a new look (sharkskin suits out!), a new pal (Hidden Hills' Dondre Whitfield) and a "new" ex to pine for (NYPD Blue's Charlotte Ross). With those tweaks and others, everything's "jake" more than ever for the series' star, who phoned TVGuide.com last week from Miami. TVGuide.com: I had read on Page Six or somewhere that you'd be among the bold-faced names New Year's Eve-ing in Miami. Is it strange to have your whereabouts mon read more

John Stamos' Jake Makes Some Progress

John Stamos of Jake in Progress

Seemingly since the day ABC and John Stamos agreed to put on a show together, Jake in Progress has been a work in progress. Originally envisioned as a real-time (i.e., 24-style, probably minus the gunplay) chronicle of a couple's first date, it dropped the gimmick in favor of a traditional single-camera take on hotshot publicist Jake Phillips' wild and woman-filled life. Now entering its second season (premiering Jan. 9 at 9:30 pm/ET), Jake has a new look (sharkskin suits out!), a new pal (Hidden Hills' Dondre Whitfield) and a "new" ex to pine for (NYPD Blue's Charlotte Ross). With those tweaks and others, everything's "jake" more than ever for the series' star, who just yesterday phoned TVGuide.com from Miami. TVGuide.com: I read on Page Six or somewhere that you'd be among the bold-faced names New Year's Eve-ing in Miami. Is it strange to have your whereabouts monitored so?J read more

Now that the dust has settled...

Now that the dust has settled a bit on all the 2006 mid-season changes that will be kicking in as soon as the holidays are over, here's my night-by-night scorecard of the imminent battles we'll be covering a month or so from now. Monday The big news is the return of 24 on Fox, with a four-hour blast January 15-16, followed by all-new episodes through the rest of the season. For the first two months, Skating with Celebrities (a rip-off of Dancing with the Stars) will be 24's lead-in. But come mid-March, Prison Break will return. What a one-two punch that promises to be! CBS will coast along by capping off its popular comedies with read more

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