Before we settle in for a nice long Thanksgiving weekend, some thoughts on a few of the TV shows and headlines that caught my eye over the last few days—some of which makes me thankful, some not so much.
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THANKS to Fox for suddenly making the midseason interesting with its bold scheduling moves in the new year — though NO THANKS to some of the side-effects (especially involving Fringe) and NO THANKS to breaking the news late on a Friday night, as if we somehow wouldn't take notice...
p>TV Guide's Senior Critic Matt Roush takes your TV questions. Have a rant, rave or burning question about your favorite show you'd like addressed? E-mail him here.
Question: What shall we do with Heroes? NBC must be asking itself the same question. Its first season, the show was a breakthrough hit, and then its season finale disappointed many. The abbreviated second season disappointed many more. Its producer publicly apologized for mistakes in that season. Then it comes back, supposedly rejuvenated and better than ever. NBC promotes the hell out of it and, almost unbelievably, viewership is down. The episodes that have aired so far have certainly been pretty good and even promising. I have to wonder if NBC made a blunder by airing the premiere against the Dancing with the Stars premiere. Maybe they should have come back a week earlier. Regardless, we need some explanation as to why the show can't get back on track to where it was in its best first season moments. My conclusion is that there was one colossal blunder made by the show's producers that has caused most of the problems, and that decision was to keep Sylar around after the first season. — Kelly H.
See Matt's response and questions on The Mentalist, Crash, Flashpoint and more after the jump.
TV Guide's Senior Critic Matt Roush takes your TV questions. Have a rant, rave or burning question about your favorite show you'd like addressed? E-mail him here.
Question: I'm devastated, but not necessarily surprised, by the early ratings for Pushing Daisies. I thought it was risky of ABC to leave a show this fragile and unique off the air for so long and expect viewers to flock to its return. It's sad that something this unique, this creative and this original just can't "click" with a general public, but my hope is that the demos are decent enough that it will make it through at least 12 episodes and give us fans a proper, affectionate sign-off. — Andrew M.
Matt Roush: Let's not suggest the show be pushing up daisies just yet, though the opening numbers were dismaying. I can only hope ABC won't let this delightful show go down without a fight (the same argument I've been adopting lately for Fox's struggling Terminator series). But I agree the out-of-sight, out-of-mind argument has been devastating for this show in particular.
More on Daisies, the great Grey's debate and a look at the 24 prequel movie after the jump.
Question: There clearly must be something magical about Mondays. What is it with the insistence of every network to schedule all of their decent shows on Monday evening? In just the one night, I am expected to watch Prison Break, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Heroes, How I Met Your Mother and now Chuck as well. Yet, come Wednesday, the schedule is about as interesting as Paris Hilton reading a book entitled "The Future of Plumbing". I can't be the only person who shares an interest in these same shows, so would it hurt to spread them out a bit, please, people?
Answer: The Monday battleground has been a very popular topic so far this season, and now that nearly everything is in place — with only NBC's My Own Worst Enemy (premiering next week) a no-show so far — the dilemma is becoming even more pronounced. I'm with you that a few of these shows should be given a chance elsewhere on the schedule, and Wednesdays would seem a likely option for both NBC and Fox. I'd love to see
Question: A lot has been mentioned by you and others about the overcrowding on Monday nights, especially in the 8 o'clock hour. Chuck and the CBS comedies are must-DVR's for me, but I also love Sarah Connor. My situation is further complicated by the fact that I work nights and thus don't have the option to watch one and record two. I would hate to see any of these shows canceled (either mid-season or before next year) because they were simply in the wrong time slot. With that foundation, I have a couple of related questions. First off, do networks take the level of competition into account when looking at a show's ratings and deciding whether to keep it or axe it? Also, how are the number of people who DVR a show counted? How about those who stream them online? Is there enough evidence out there to support streaming a show online later versus DVR-ing it when it comes to the effect on how a network views its survival chances?
Answer: It's all very complicated and still a work in