2006, TV Show


The CW Gets Some Legal Aid

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The CW has bought a legal dramedy, Deadline reports.

Legal Aid follows a first-year law associate whose life is upset when her father — a big TV star two decades ago — joins her firm. Jonathan Abrams is writing with Tyler Mitchell, Jason Smilovic, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Robert Luketic executive-producing. Luketic, (The Ugly Truth) will also direct the pilot.

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A New Lease on Life

Sarah Shahi and Damian Lewis in Life by Trae Patton/NBC Photo

I’m still not convinced that NBC’s Life is a great series, but tonight’s episode (Nov. 13) is the best I’ve seen to date of a show that has toned down some of the elements that irritated me when it premiered. Detective Charlie Crews (the charismatic Damian Lewis), who is still trying to unravel the circumstances of the unjust murder conviction that kept him behind bars for 12 years, remains something of an acquired taste. But he is indulging his quirks (spouting Zen aphorisms, munching fruit) with far fewer mannerisms. There’s not quite as much of the aren’t-I-just-adorable mugging that turned me off in the first episodes.It helps that tonight’s case is a doozy, involving a corpse that would make TV’s various CSI teams do a double-take. Crews and his typically skeptical partner Dani Reese (nicely underplayed by Sarah Shahi) are called to a house that’s nearly as empty as Crews’ own mansion — his settlement after his release earn... read more

The recent release of ...

Question: The recent release of Kidnapped on DVD and the upcoming release of Kitchen Confidential, both shows that didn't last more than five or six episodes, surprised me and left me wondering about more creative uses of the TV-show box set. It must be lucrative for the production companies or they wouldn't do it. Do you think that in the next four to five years, high-quality, creative, outside-the-box TV shows that don't make it on their network will instead go straight to DVD? I think it would be great if there were limited-run miniseries that were heavily promoted (maybe even a one-episode run on network TV) but weren't then dumped onto networks and time slots where they can't possibly survive. This proposal would also solve the recent problem of the serialized dramas that we all know won't make much sense after one season (Reunion, Day Break) while still rewarding creativity and experimentation. Since you know more about the industry than I do, I would love to know what you think. read more

DVD Pick of the Week: April 24, 2007

I'm extremely excited for April 24, because that's the day one of my most anticipated titles is released. No, it's not WKRP, which is plagued with music-licensing issues. It's the BBC release of Planet Earth. This 11-episode series explores our planet like no other series has done, from the North Pole to the South Pole, it's all covered in this program. They spent $25 million and 2,000 days in the field shooting material for the program, and they did it all using high-definition cameras. Narrated by the legendary David Attenborough (the Discovery Channel version is narrated by Sigourney Weaver), this series is being released on DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD, and all formats are among the top sellers on Amazon (as of now, DVD is No. 1, HD DVD No. 8 and Blu-ray No. 19 — their list is updated hourly). The DVD set also includes a bonus program, "Planet Earth: The Future," and 110 minutes of behind-the-scenes material that isn't available on the higher-priced Blu-ray and HD DVD releases.T... read more

Short Cuts: Kidnapped, Peyton Manning and More!

Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning visits Late Show with David Letterman on Feb. 13.... The first season of One Day at a Time — not starring Jack Bauer, but Bonnie Franklin — arrives on DVD Apr. 24, as does the complete 13-episode run of NBC's Kidnapped.... YouTube has inked a deal with Digital Music group to post more than 4,000 hours of content, including such classic TV shows as I Spy and Gumby (damn it), in the coming weeks, says the Wall Street Journal. read more

Mid-season Comings and Goings

Because I get questions about it every single week, I figured I'd weigh in on the CW's announcement this week that the former WB Friday sitcom Reba (once a bright spot on that dim night) is finally coming back on air. But very much on the margins. And there's a reason for that.November is becoming an unexpectedly busy month for series and season premieres: ABC's Day Break is filling in for Lost, CBS' 3 LBS is replacing Smith on Tuesdays, and ABC's wedding-day sitcom Big Day and NBC's long-awaited return of Scrubs (as part of a new Thursday two-hour comedy block) will both bow the week after Thanksgiving.And now Reba joins the party. But you'll have to make an effort to find her. The CW has scheduled the show for Sundays, in the unenviable slot of 7-8 pm/ET. On the first night back, Nov. 19, two new episodes will air back-to-back. After that, starting Nov. 26, an "encore" Reba will air in front of a "fresh" episode (as they used to be called on the WB). If it looks like the CW is bur... read more

What About Brian? Goodish News, That's What

ABC has ordered four additional scripts for J.J. Abrams' What About Brian, which in its second season has been retaining more than 80 percent of The Bachelor's audience and a few weeks ago was nipping at the heels of the higher-profile Studio 60.... As first reported here yesterday afternoon, will unspool the remainder of Kidnapped's 13 total episodes online, premiering a new eppy each Friday (starting Nov. 3). Per Reuters, there is talk that the final eight may also at some point be burned off in a mini-marathon. read more

Kidnapped to Conclude Its Run on

About an hour ago, I updated today's original Kidnapped news story with a report on how the struggling serial is wrapping production on its 13th and final episode as we speak, and that the entire demi-season "is bound to have a life on DVD," said my source. Now, has procured an official update on the series' fate, from an NBC spokesperson: "Kidnapped will not return to the television screen after sweeps. However, the remaining eight episodes will run on" If only this newfangled "Internet" thing existed a year ago, back when Reunion was on. read more

NBC Sticks Up for Studio 60, Hides Kidnapped

In a statement to MediaPost, an NBC rep refutes talk — fueled by a recent Fox News report — that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is thisclose to being axed. The missive reiterates that NBC recently ordered three more scripts for the struggling Monday series, and maintains that the show, at this point, still "is profitable." The buzz here in the TV Guide hallways is that NBC will wait to see the numbers for one more Studio 60 airing before making any major decisions, while MediaPost says that a time-slot change, not all-out cancellation, is a more likely first remedy. On a related note, NBC has pulled the already humiliated Kidnapped from its sad Saturday burn-off berth for the duration of November sweeps, replacing it with Law & Order: CI reruns.KIDNAPPED UPDATE: It's just been whispered in my ear that, as we speak, Kidnapped is wrapping production on its 13th and final episode, and that the entire demi-season "is bound to have a life on DVD." As for the broadcast airing... read more

This fall season, more than ...

Question: This fall season, more than any other in recent memory, the viewing public has disappointed me in the shows it is choosing to watch, or rather not watch. NBC in particular has seen most of its fall slate go practically unnoticed. Friday Night Lights, Kidnapped and Studio 60 are arguably the three best new shows of this year, and yet no one is watching. I keep reading about Studio 60's "quality" of audience (yupsters who buy things), but at what point does quantity begin to matter? And while I appreciate that NBC will at least let Kidnapped finish its story arc (which can't be said for CBS' underrated Smith), why is the network so quick to cut the cord on this promising show? 24 wasn't a blockbuster initially, but has grown with time. Viewers were initially afraid of the serial quality of the show, but that has become less of a problem, and just now, in its fifth (and best) year it won an Emmy. I think Kidnapped would follow a similar trajectory, given the chance. This may be ... read more

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Premiered: September 20, 2006, on NBC
Rating: None
User Rating: (24 ratings)
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Premise: The abduction of a teenage boy from a wealthy New York City family is chronicled in this serialized drama.



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