Zachary Quinto, Heroes
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.
Anna Friel and Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
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.
William Petersen in CSI
What a night of extremes is this first official (as in mostly complete) Thursday night of the new season. An absolutely terrific CSI opener, with William Petersen hitting a wrenching career high as he and his team deal with the aftermath of last season's dastardly shooting of Warrick (also memorably played in his swan song by Gary Dourdan, who has a heartbreaking scene midway through the episode that cements his relationship with mentor Grissom for all time).
More of the night's best and a look at some of its terrible comedy after the jump.
The question, and it’s a fair one, nags at many of this season’s new series: How long can they keep it going? It applies mostly to shows adapted from limited-run overseas hits (Life on Mars, Worst Week, The Ex List, Eleventh Hour, Kath & Kim), but is especially pertinent to NBC’s nonsensical spy thriller My Own Worst Enemy.
Reminiscent at times of “The Bourne Identity” or “Face/Off,” to name a few movie influences it does not improve upon, the beyond-high-concept Enemy asks us to believe Christian Slater as a cold-blooded assassin named Edward who doubles, when a switch in his brain is flipped, as a milquetoast family man named Henry. For the record, he’s more credible as Edward.
But credibility has little to do with Enemy, which calls upon Edward’s boss lady, Alfre Woodard, to spout this exposition: “We manifested a divergent identity, dormant in a sealed-off portion of the medial tem
Question: There has been a new term for a character on TV called the "anti-hero." I am a bit confused on this term, in that it has had such characters as Tony Soprano, Dr. House, Tommy Gavin and the cops on The Shield (haven't watched the last). Anyway, what I am confused with is that how are some of these considered 'heroes?" They don't really give anything positive back to the community, where some do. I see that they all have personality flaws which we all have, but the heroes thing is what irks me.
Answer: This isn't so much a new term — anti-heroes have been around in literature and movies, etc., for a long while — as it has become a significant TV trend in recent years, especially in the wake of The Sopranos, and later The Shield, which pushed basic-cable envelopes, with the oversexed Nip/Tuck doctors and the self-destructive Tommy Gavin of Rescue Me to follow. Anticipating all of these was Dennis Franz's unforgettable Sipowicz on NYPD Blue, who was heroic beyond doubt in hi ...
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: I was wondering who decides which shows post full episodes online. I ask because the traffic jam that is Monday night (with someone who doesn't have a DVR and is working with the old VCR) prevents me from watching The Big Bang Theory live. Currently, CBS is not posting full episodes online but only clips of the show, which is a disgrace given how great this little-known gem is. I admit that in the interest of instant gratification — since the CW refuses to post Gossip Girl episodes online until Sunday or even Monday — I always watch this guilty pleasure live so I don't have to wait a week to catch up. I am reduced to watching grainy versions of Big Bang online when CBS could be inundating me with ads online in exchange for viewership. I'm not complaining, since it is truly fun to have so many shows I enjoy watching. Really, when were Mondays ever this packed?
Answer: As far as I know, these are contractual matters, and the whole idea of making shows available online has been
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
Question: I heard a rumor over the summer that NBC will be showing shorter versions of Friday Night Lights than what DirecTV viewers will see. Do you know if there's any truth to that?
Answer: It's not a rumor, it's a fact. DirecTV has even been promoting that it's airing extended, commercial-free episodes — the season premiere roughly clocked 50 minutes, considerably longer than a regular network episode — that will be trimmed for NBC broadcast. I would assume the full-length versions will be made available either online or certainly on the third-season DVDs, whenever they're released. But I'd also assume that the edited versions will not be missing any of the major moments.
Another FNL question, from Dan: "As a fan of Friday Night Lights, I have always been trying to figure out NBC's decision to place Friday Night Lights on Friday nights. It seems that during the first season of FNL, NBC was trying hard to promote FNL and they seemed to be doing well. The second season rolls around
Question: I'm a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars. However, I need to vent. I have no problem with an 82-year-old woman being a participant of DWTS. I like old people — I am one myself. However, can you please get a message to Cloris Leachman for me? Tell her that I am embarrassed for her. Not because of her age, not because of her dancing skill, but because of her sophomoric actions that are not funny. People are not laughing with her, Matt, they are laughing at her. A funny person can also act smart and inspiring. An 82-year-old person can still have fun, dance, sing, laugh, entertain and be an active part of the world. A funny person doesn't have to try too hard, and Ms. Leachman is trying too hard. I believe that she is extremely desperate for as much attention as possible. I imagine that ABC is doing anything they can to keep her on the air in an effort to get more seniors to watch. We're watching, and ABC and DWTS both are actively embarrassing an actress who at one time was a ...