Question: I have a laundry list of questions about summer viewing: Is Life on Mars going to have a second season, or was it a one-off? (I'm scared to death of the American remake — I'm expecting Starsky & Hutch.) I was disappointed to hear about the bad ratings of Brotherhood — it's too good to be ignored. If there is no second season, will we be left hanging, or does the first series come to some sort of resolution? I know it's early, but what is the likelihood of Vanished making it through the season? Is Fox willing to take a chance based on the success of 24 and Prison Break, or will this be another Firefly/Wonderfalls/Reunion? Finally, what is your reaction to Denis Leary getting an Emmy nomination for acting but not one for writing? As good as he is as Tommy Gavin, his and Peter Tolan's scripts are the heart of that series. How could the writing be ignored?
Answer: There is a second series of Life on Mars, but no word on when BBC America will present it. No word yet on a second season for Brotherhood. Given how the first season ends, enough is left hanging that it will be frustrating if Showtime doesn't at least order up a movie for a final chapter. It is a huge disappointment that when Showtime produces something of that quality, so few of its subscribers seem to turn up for it. Vanished? Again, way too early to tell. It had a soft opening, but that may have something to do with Fox's attempt to jump-start the fall season about two weeks too early. If it doesn't catch fire, I fear this may be another elaborate story that won't reach its natural end (especially as the conspiracy here appears much more elaborate than the mystery behind NBC's Kidnapped). But to say this is early is an understatement. As for Rescue Me and its lack of writing nominations: The show did get nominated for directing and writing in its first season, which is something of a triumph for an FX series. And while the writing for the show is phenomenal, so is the competition in this golden age for drama. This year's writing nominees include Six Feet Under (for its finale), The Sopranos (for its shocking season-opener), Lost (for one of the Mr. Eko episodes) and two episodes of Grey's Anatomy, including the amazing post-Super Bowl episode. Not a slouch in that bunch (though I might have favored Rescue Me or The Shield over the eternally overrated Six Feet Under).