1994, TV Show


The Results Are In
A look at the winners and losers of the 2005-2006 season

Hugh Laurie, House

Put a fork in the recent TV season — it officially ended on May 24, so now it's time to tally the results. For the fourth straight year, CBS was crowned the most-watched network, with an average of 12.6 million viewers per week. While the network didn't score any smash hits, new shows such as Criminal Minds, The Unit and Ghost Whisperer were solid ratings performers. Fox was able to crow as well: for the second year in a row it was No. 1 among viewers aged 18 to 49, the group most coveted by advertisers. But this year the network won the demo race wi read more

Falling Up
The nets reveal their strategies for next season

Brad Garrett, 'Til Death

After attending the networks' upfront presentations all week, the Biz has this analysis of the coming season. (Click here for next fall's grid and new-show descriptions.) CWYou've got to wonder what went wrong in CW's new-series development process if the network had to bring back 7th Heaven — even though the show lost a reported $16 million for WB this past season. But the decision to have CW's inaugural schedule made up of established shows from WB and UPN may end up being a blessing. Many of the shows have small but rabid followings, and promoting new shows on a new network will be tough. The fans of shows like One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars will track  them down on their own. Viewers in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that CW targets don't watch networks, they watch shows. (According to recent survey, only one in four 1 read more

A Time to Laugh
The comedy pilots that might be ready for prime time this fall

Tina Fey

It's crunch time in the network scheduling rooms, as many questions are being asked about next season. Will Grey's Anatomy go to Monday nights? Will Lost start in November, to cut down on repeats during the season? Is Wayne Brady getting another show? The answers will come next week. We hear there wasn't a lot of laughing during the executive screenings of most of the season's comedy pilots, but here's what industry insiders say are the hottest of that tepid lot. (Click here to read about the drama-pilot buzz.) NBC: The Peacock network is only expected to add two sitcoms. One is the still-untitled show from Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey — a workplace comedy set behind the scenes of a read more

Criminally Good
We're mesmerized by these mobsters

It started with a bang: Uncle Junior popping Tony in a fit of dementia. But most of the fireworks in this brilliant sixth season of The Sopranos have been more emotional than visceral, a psychologically riveting study of the corruption (of soul and spirit) that taints anyone within whacking distance. That long list includes poor Gene, the hit man who hanged himself; hapless Artie Bucco, whose restaurant and psyche are in tatters; jailed Johnny Sack, whose daughter's wedding ended in his tearful public humiliation and loss of esteem; and Tony's delinquent son A.J., who can't live up to anyone's expectations and whose attempted revenge hit on Junior was truly pathetic (the kid can't even vomit like a man). "It's not in your nature," Tony told A.J. in one of the season's many wrenching scenes of anguish and regret. Not that there hasn't been comic rel read more

Was This TV Season Harsh to New Shows?

Reunion, Love Monkey and Commander in Chief

Reunion. Threshold. E-Ring. Invasion. Emily's Reasons Why Not. Love Monkey. Commander in Chief. Heist. What do these shows have in common? They all debuted at some point during this soon-to-wrap TV season, yet each saw their run either cut surprisingly short or handicapped by irregular scheduling. Was 2005-06 the worst year ever to sample a new show? Were the networks especially hasty in deciding the fate of freshman series? consulted a panel of experts with unique points of view to examine this strange little season gone by. Are New Shows Getting Short Shrift?Jeff Bader, executive vice president of ABC entertainment programming and scheduling, dismisses the suggestion that prime time is a crueler-than-ever proving ground for new series. " read more

Fire Dancer Burned by Survivor Alliance

Courtney Marit, Survivor: Panama

Falling victim to her tribe mates' harsh personal feelings about her, Courtney Marit was the 11th person to pack her bags and say goodbye on CBS' Survivor: Panama—Exile Island (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET). Saying that the vote to oust her was "shocking," the California-based performer realized that her status as a potential threat going into the final two resulted in the decision to send her home. grilled the former Casaya member about her finale voting strategy, her on-screen portrayal and her honest take on the remaining survivors. What has reaction been like since your elimination episode aired?
Courtney Marit:
My family is proud of me. I did the best I could and they've [provided] full support. I got a barrage of calls from my friends. I live in an artists community — we're all artists read more

Has Mrs. Huff Had Enough?

Paget Brewster, Huff

On Showtime's Huff (Sundays at 10 pm/ET), Paget Brewster plays the forlorn and fed-up wife of Hank Azaria's sad-sack psychiatrist. Could she be playing someone more different from the hottie Friends' Chandler stole from Joey? spoke to the actress about her Huffing and puffing, read more

After reading your latest ...

Question: After reading your latest Dispatch about The West Wing going out on a creative high (but with lousy ratings), I began to wonder. When was the last time a drama or other hourlong show went out on both a creative and ratings high? In recent years we've had Everybody Loves Raymond and, arguably, Friends go out before they got stale and the audience grew bored, but when was the last time a drama was allowed to go out with some dignity? Certainly not once-great shows like ER and NYPD Blue. I can't think of a single one. Can you, Matt? Answer: That's a good question. If I get some readers' answers worth sharing, I'll do so in a future column. Or maybe in my Dispatches area, which, starting later this week, will evolve into a blog format. It is a sad fact that successful drama series rarely retire at their peaks. I'm hard-pressed to think of one that didn't either exit too early because of ratings or stay on past its prime because the network and studio kept it going long beyond it ... read more

Love your column! Just wanted ...

Question: Love your column! Just wanted to ask you something: Over the years, we've seen great shows like ER and others take a tumble. It seems to eventually happen to every show. Even Friends seemed a little pushed on us at times. With such an intriguing and inspiring show like Grey's Anatomy on the air, how long do you think it'll be until its fire burns out and a new hit show comes in to compete? How long can Grey's, in your opinion, last? Answer: I have no idea. The show churns through stories and relationships like mad, and I don't know how it'll be able to sustain this pace and/or top itself next season. But I know it will try, and I know I want it to succeed. We can only hope that a couple of new shows emerge next season with the same broad appeal as Grey's, but there should be room for many more hits across the spectrum. Bring 'em on. On the other hand, will there be those sharpening their knives in anticipation of a slump after this amazing season? No doubt. But I don't want t ... read more

Anna Faris Loves a Scary Good Time

Anna Faris, Scary Movie 4

Believe it or not, Anna Faris likes it when her lovable but clueless Cindy Campbell, who returns in Scary Movie 4 (now in theaters), takes a hit or two as she saves the world. "I'm always pretty game for that," says the actress. "Cindy's so sweet and innocent, which gets a little annoying, [so] it's fun to take me down every now and then." Faris gets her wish in one scene in the latest sequel, when an airplane cart slams into Cindy's face. "It looks like it could have been [my] stunt double, which was frustrating because it was me," she reveals. On the flip side, Faris thinks moviegoers will see that it's definitely her "twin" taking hits from a Mike Tyson look-alike in the spoof of a boxing film. "[We] had this 10-minute, very choreographed sequ read more

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Premiered: September 22, 1994, on NBC
Rating: None
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Premise: A classic sitcom that reflected the lives of six twentysomething friends: three men and three women, living in New York. Sometimes touching and often hilarious, it addressed universal themes like falling in---or out of---love, finding a job and dealing with (as well as becoming) parents, and inspired numerous friends-themed knockoffs, none of which conveyed the warmth and humor of the original. A spin-off, `Joey,' featuring Matt LeBlanc's character, was slated to debut in the fall of 2004.



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