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Jump the Shark – The Network Upfronts – Snowball’s Opinion

So the Network upfronts have come and gone, and there are some good news(Dollhouse, Chuck, Castle got picked up for another season), and some bad news(Terminator and Reaper are canceled).  I’m not a fan of upfronts personally.  Yes, they are needed and I agree finding out what new shows and what current shows are staying, starting, or going by the wayside, are exciting.  What I am not a fan of is the waiting.  It’s either waiting until I find out if a show is being picked up or not, or when they announce new shows I have to wait a full summer to find out if the new shows are good or not.

Either way, here are some of my positive/negative thoughts on the Network Upfronts of 2009.

Positive:

Chuck (NBC) – One of my all-time favourite shows gets a third season.  This show had been consistent throughout the second season with it’s quirky, geeky, humour that I enjoy a lot.  This show was literally on the bubble right up until NBC announced Chuck got a third season.  With the season finale that Chuck had, you could tell the writers had a thought that the show wouldn’t be picked up so it cleaned up most of the loose ends that were introduced in seasons 1 and 2 quite nicely, and yet added new ones in the hope of a third season.  This was a hawesome game changer.  It keeps Chuck fresh and not bogged down by loose ends.  And with that hawesome ender with the Intersect 2.0 now knowing Kung-Fu and what I predict many other hidden features we have yet to see is going to make for a great third season!

Dollhouse (FOX) – The surprise move by FOX was picking up Dollhouse for a second season.  This is fantastic for us Whedon fans and honestly the first season had a great storyline.  I enjoyed most of it pretty much from episode 5 on.  Admittedly it had a slow start, but it really ramped up on episode 5 and for me it kept up that consistency for the rest of the season.  Why FOX picked up Dollhouse?  Well from what I have read, they believe in the story and the capabilities of Joss.  This is a different FOX than we’ve seen before when Firefly was on the air.  Granted, Dollhouse did poorly in the ratings, I think though the show has promise and just has a different audience than everyone expected.  It has an on-demand audience than just a live audience.

Glee(FOX) – This was a show I wasn’t expecting, but knew was inevitable.  With the huge success of Disney’s High School Musical franchise and American Idol.  The concept of Glee as a comedy set in a High School Glee Club on the surface seems like just a cop-out of an idea.  However, after seeing the pilot (which had a special viewing after the American Idol finale) I enjoyed it.  The show has potential.  It’s again quirky, fun, and entertaining.  It’s not a musical, it’s not a contest, it’s a teen dramedy that has some really rocking tunes in it!  I have listened to the Glee Club versions of “Rehab” and “Don’t Stop Believing” quite a few times now, and it hits that button of being entertaining and dare I say it, makes me GLEEfully happy.  It’s coming out in the Fall and I can’t wait to see if the show can keep it’s charm.

Negatives:

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX) – Of course one of the saddest news from the upfronts was Terminator: SCC was canceled.  I think it came down to both Dollhouse and Terminator, and Dollhouse won of course.  Honestly, I like the show.  It had it’s ups and downs, but the second season really ramped up near the end and with the season/series finale we were introduced to something hawesome that we will never see resolved.  Granted though this show definitely had budget issues.  There is a lot of special effects when making those Terminators and it showed, and that costs a lot of money.  So fiscally Terminator had to go.  Storywise, Terminator should have stayed.  The one thing I would’ve loved to see was a better tie in between the show and Terminator Salvation.  This was the perfect marketing opportunity for both show and movie and they didn’t for whatever reason.  I’m sad to see it go, but I understand FOX’s reasoning behind not picking it up.

Chuck (NBC) – The reason why I’m giving a negative stance on Chuck is due to the budget cuts that the producers had to make to allow NBC to pickup another season.  Chuck is only getting a 13 episode season and no idea if NBC will give it a back nine.  This also sucks because we may not see some of the cool effects that we’ve seen on Chuck, and will have to be scaled back now.  I think this could be good in that it can really force the creative team to come up with a great storyline that relies on characters and not on effects.  I think it can be done, but I am worried that with these budget cuts we may see a character go so the actor’s salary can give the producers money to keep the quality of the show up.  I hope it doesn’t come down to that, but you never know.

Reaper (CW) – Another one of those shows that I am sad to see go without getting real resolution.  The season finale was great, but it didn’t feel like a series finale which I’m really sad to see.  That’s one thing I’m not happy about with networks in that they make their decisions on shows so last minute that writers never get the chance to properly end a story and give it’s audience closure.  There was hope that Reaper would be picked up by another network, possibly SyFy, but according to a SyFy exec on Twitter, they are not picking up the show.  So long Reaper, we hardly knew ye.

So that’s it.  I don’t want to really mention any of the new shows being picked up(other than Glee of course), because I haven’t seen any of them yet.  I would expect more thoughts from me when the new shows air, so stay tuned in the fall for that.  For now though, I would like to hear your comments on the upfronts now that we’ve had time to digest them.  So give your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading this far, and as always I remain obediently yours.

Steve

About Steve Snowball Saylor

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