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
The hot trend of the new TV season can be summed up in three words: "To be continued…." Serialized thrillers, sudsy dramas and even comedies with cliff-hangers beg the question: How many of these complicated stories will we be willing to follow each week?
Fox enters the fall race early with Prison Break's sleek new companion piece, Vanished (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) — not to be confused, though it will be, with NBC's upcoming Kidnapped. This is what you'd get if Without a Trace somehow turned into a cartoonish conspiracy chase thriller.
The missing person is the lovely wife of a Georgia senator, who disappears durin
Question: This past weekend I watched the pilot of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip because I saw it on Netflix and thought it would be cool to get a jump on the fall season. I loved it! Is this a new marketing strategy? Don't you think the ratings for the premiere will suffer if a lot of folks have already seen it on DVD? Thanks, love your column.
Answer: Be on the lookout for more aggressive moves to get new series sampled this fall: on the Internet, through DVDs and elsewhere (such as the Heroes pilot screening at Comic-Con). NBC is using Netflix to get Studio 60 and the serialized thriller Kidnapped in viewers' hands, and as far as the network is concerned, getting the buzz started early is worth any small downside in premiere-week ratings. Cutting through the clutter of the new fall season (Studio 60 goes up against the CSI: Miami premiere) is the biggest challenge many of these series face, and technology is now giving them the tools to try new methods ...
Question: The question about Ugly Betty being sentenced to death on Fridays made me think of the Law & Order time switch. When it was on the same night but one hour earlier, its ratings dropped. Will moving it to the "death slot" kill it, or do you think senior citizen L&O will be able to survive? If/when one of the lesser-quality new shows gets canceled, would NBC move L&O back to the Wednesday time slot, like they did after pulling Heist?
Answer: Law & Order will survive, if not thrive, on Fridays, but its numbers will drop there as it faces formidable competition in CBS' Numb3rs. (Pun not intended.) For NBC, having a proven veteran like Law & Order anchoring its Friday schedule (alongside other proven franchises like Crossing Jordan and Las Vegas) will keep the network in business on the night. But if Kidnapped does turn out to be an instant dud like Heist (it deserves a far better fate), NBC won't think twice before moving Law & Order back to its old home against the equally tired
Question: Is The Biggest Loser going to return? I thought I read a while ago that it was, but I haven't seen it advertised or read anything about it lately. Just curious.
Answer: NBC has been resting it for the summer, but it's on the fall schedule. It will air Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET (opposite Lost, among others), and will be the sole reality occupant of that time period, sandwiched between the comedy block of Twenty Good Years and 30 Rock and the new serialized thriller Kidnapped. ...