Nobody said the TV business wasn’t brutal. Nobody, that is, who’s still employed and producing television shows.
We have our very first casualty of fall – and a few shows that got saved. For now.
The Playboy Club’s been canceled. Three episodes (remember how they just can’t wait around to see if people warm up to something?) and pfffft!! Which leaves just one 1960s period drama on network TV. AMC is sitting pretty with Mad Men, although Bobby Draper may have a varsity letter and a Draft-dodging Summons by the time it’s back on our airwaves.
Did you ever watch The Playboy Club? I saw the pilot, didn’t think it was so bad, but recognized that I was predisposed to like something where people are dressed nicely and men have short hair and hold doors. I was prepared to acknowledge my affinity for regularly used combs, hairbrushes, pomade and white gloves.What I wasn’t prepared for was something that didn’t have the oomph to get out of the starting gate. Which seems to me sad, because according to the show’s numbers, no one was ever watching it. Even the pilot was ignored. Thus, no one ever decided that it sucked – because they’d never seen it to begin with. Now that’s gotta hurt. Of course there’s also gossip about why it tanked…some are saying that in this era people didn’t want to witness a time of such wanton excess. Not sure about that one, because how then would we explain Desperate Housewives? There’s also buzz that people were too icked out by Eddie Cibrian’s tawdry extra-marital assignations with LeAnn Rimes. Don’t buy that one either, because how then would we explain Angelina Jolie’s huge following? Finally, we have to remember that the show was targeted by The Parents Television Council for promoting obscenity and even, I seem to recall, prostitution. Now, I’m in my 40s but I see that parents still have what it takes to ruin all the fun. Right?
Now, to the good news. Because NBC, while dissing Playboy, has opted to order full seasons of both Whitney and Up All Night. This is super-cool for them – remember the only other show with an immediate full-season order is New Girl. Which is great if you’re a fan of Up All Night (which I am). And deeply puzzling if you fail to grasp the appeal of sophomoric-jammed-down-your-throat-relationships-suck -jokes found in Whitney (me again). Here’s what I think. I think they spent sooo darn much cash promoting Whitney that they have to put their money where their billboards are and back it.Why else? Whitney’s other show – 2 Broke Girls, is alarmingly, incandescently, and doubly superior. Maybe it’s a pride thing.
So what’s next? As someone who is really impressed with a lot of fall’s new shows, I must say it’s hard to guess where the axe will fall. I’m really hoping Revenge and Ringer stay put as guilty pleasures, and hopefully Pan Am will correct its less-than-scintillating flight path from last weekend. Person of Interest is a neat concept, although I’ve only seen one episode; and even though I don’t normally like dead people talking, A Gifted Man is kind of great. In a lump-in-your-throat, Peace Corps ad kind of way. Terra Nova was boring (not that I’m its target viewer) but no way are they going to let that ship sink, now that they’ve spent Finland’s Gross Domestic Product producing it. So who stays and who goes may be anyone’s guess – let us know your opinion.
1) How To Be A Gentleman
2) Pan Am
3) Prime Suspect
4) Free Agents