USA Today has the Early Fall Line out for the various major American TV networks and it contains few, if any surprises. Unfortunately, a lot of decision-makers are having a tough time separating the quality from the crap to bring back in September.
My top twenty list for the 2008-2009 season is already shaping up badly. I could lose as many as three shows that still have life in them. NBC's Chuck, CW's Reaper and NBC's Life are worthy of continued life. Yet the USA Today site basically puts Chuck on the bubble and consigns Reaper and Life to the unhappily ever after. I've already gotten used to the idea of losing Stargate: Atlantis, Kyle XY and The Middleman. Adding Reaper and Chuck REALLY adds insult to injury. And Life should be saved somehow, if only to resolve the coming romantic triangle between the three main characters.
But I know it won't happen. Life's Donal Logue is already headed for a biker show. Ty Labine's bouncing from Reaper to another show. That leaves Chuck with some semblance of a chance to come back. Here's hoping.
As for the other bubble shows I'd like to teeter over into the saved column, CBS leads with The Unit and Gary Unmarried (yet another Paula Marshall show. She's the sexiest series-killer on TV. Ever. And the most successful.) And I've grown to appreciate ABC's Castle. I'm all in favour of smart kids and there's at least one on each of the three shows I've just mentioned here. That's rare enough to preserve. These shows aren't in the top twenty for the season, but they ARE consistently entertaining. And more real in their fictionality than all the reality shows, save for the Amazing Race.
Save These Shows. Chuck, The Unit, Gary Unmarried and Castle. (And suggest NBC do the production sharing on Life that worked so well for Friday Night Lights and Law and Order: Criminal Intent). Please!!!!