Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is the 2007-08 TV season dead? Probably. Do you care?

Not to break up the all-"Wire" all the time nature of TGTV - and to answer someone's question in the great comments string, yes I do read all the comments and check back regularly - I just thought I would informally toss up this post because it's really the Question of the Moment. Are you missing your favorite shows? I have mixed feelings on this. I don't miss any of the weak freshman crop, and I don't even miss the one rookie series I really like - "Pushing Daisies." I definitely miss "30 Rock" and "The Office." Part of me is upset that there are only, currently, seven filmed episodes of "The Riches" and "Dirt" coming up on FX, but you're not going to unearth a lot passionate rage in me. I've got "The Wire." I'm good. Late night is back in place, wobbly, but there. Perhaps my favorite network drama - "Lost" - returns at the end of this month (albeit for a brief 8-episode stay - maybe I'll get pissed off and frustrated when it leaves) but, otherwise, I can find other TV diversions.

I want the strike to end with a victory for the writers. But right now, it's not like I'm having withdrawals.

Where do you stand?

46 comments:

ME said...

I'm with you. I miss The Office, but The Wire is all I really need.

Anonymous said...

Well, I miss Pushing Daisies, but not much else. I'm just glad that I got to see all of Dexter, Saving Grace, and Californication.

suzyq2 said...

I'm with you too. I still have enough odds and ends tinoed to last for a while. I've discovered Keith Obermann (sigh) (where's that podcast Timo)? And I've been watching more movies which is a plus.

The Wire fills a mighty big hole. It's intensely satisfying drama --I have never felt more like a fly on the wall than when I watch this show. And it's more than an hours worth because you really have to watch it more than once to get everything. So not so sure how much of a happy camper I'd be without it right now.

I want the writers strike to end successfully for the writers so I'm willing to suffer a little too.

Natasha said...

I'm surprisingly zen about the whole thing. I really miss The Office and 30 Rock, too, but that's kind of it. I think what hasn't hit yet are shows that would be coming back later, like Dexter and Mad Men, that really won't be back for a long time.

I'm amused, too, that there won't be a pilot season. Doesn't seem like a big loss, which is sad, since new shows have to start somewhere. For now, I'm catching up on series I never saw, watching *gasp* movies, and thinking of buying a piece of exercise equipment instead of a flat-screen tv, like I had been planning. Bright side?

sueinsf said...

Yeah, can't say I'm missing it much. I've got the Wire (no doubt) and Idol (kidding!). Catching up with Craig Ferguson - best of the late nite crew to me. Other than that, my guitar teacher's pretty happy with all the practice I'm putting in these days...

industriousboy said...

Tim, not missing some TV?! Seems strange to hear that. Anyways, I am a little sad and here's why; this has been the golden age of television. A truly unique time when so many great scripted shows, with superb acting and production, have come about because of some really unique circumstances. Not to get all culturally anthropological on y'all, but too much is changing from the economy to the political state and a host of other factors that may bring about the end of this period. And most importantly, you, the viewers are already starting to turn off the TV (Amer. Idol viewership is down 11% fer christ's sake) and that can not bode well, on the demand side, for the previous quality we have gotten used to and the supply side will see TV writers heading into other areas tout suite to write that novel or some copy for that box of Coco Puffs or whatever it takes to feed their families. Mainly the spell might be broken and we might just get a whole lot more crap like the Pre-Sopranos era offered up so freely.

On a total side note, how will 30 Rock treat the strike in their first episode back? What will Jack Donaghy do to the talent?!

ppage said...

I miss 30 Rock & that's it.

I'm looking forward to the return of The Riches (love Minnie Driver). But the Wire, of course, is filling the void. I watched episode 3 last night On Demand & am happy with the plot twists.

I'm glad Bill Maher is back even though he can be an ass. He often has great guests.

Are Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart making it up as they go along? They're doing a pretty good job. Stewart still has his great interviews. And Colbert is so funny; he could making reading the phone book hilarious. Loved it when he said he thought the tele prompter was just reading his mind. And when he pretended to be Ellen Degeneres while dancing amongst the audience.

Conan & Max Weinberg need to do more music segments. And I'm watching Letterman again after a 2 year hiatus. He's like a fine wine.

Project Runway is also entertaining.

They're advertising a new shrink show on HBO with Gabriel Byrne. Would you recommend that show, Tim?

Other than that, I'm reading more (gasp!), going to the gym, & going out with friends. I ate at a great restaurant last week called NoPa in SF on the corner of Hayes & Divisadero. All you Bay Area bloggers should check it out for dinner.

And I agree, suzyq2. Where's the Obermann podcast?

lieber said...

I'm watching PBS. Just finished a scary episode of Frontline on Dick Cheney. I think I might have nightmares. I'm feeling surprisingly conflicted. I can understand Cheney wanting to keep our country safe, but what's the point if we become the bad guys?

I'm watching more movies. SPOILER ALERT. Just watched Eastern Promises. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the producers were pitching the film to Viggo. "Okay, we want you to do a fight-to-the-death scene butt nec-ked."

SoCal Bastard said...

only new show i miss is Dirty Sexy Money. really enjoy the show and Krause and Sutherland are very good.

Other shows i miss are 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother.

Kinda glad to be taking a break from Heroes as they need a break it seems. And I'm with everyone else in regards to the wire...it's all i really need

suzyq2 said...

Well of course I miss 30 Rock, forgot to say that. I love that show. I also miss Men in Trees a little--but it took me all this time between my last post and this one to think of it.

I agree that delaying the really great shows like Dexter, Californication, etc. will be a giant pain. It will be a complete wasteland down the road if the strike continues for a long time. And if the networks are all excited about reality shows, well they can think again. I don't watch reality shows per se, but I will watch a good idea (i.e Project Runway) however. Those are scarce as Cheney's ethics. Or hen's teeth, take your pick. I think people are and will find other ways to entertain themselves rather than watch crap. Industriousboy made some good points about the golden age of television.

Tim Goodman said...

Great comments per usual, folks. It's interesting, because I tossed up this post to see where people were in regard to the Big Picture, and just in the first 10 comments or whatever, it seems to match most of my beliefs. I want full seasons of "Lost" and "The Riches" but the real damage would be to any show that made my year end list. Disrupt them? Now I'm agitated. We're not at that level yet. It's hard to quantify the strange math in the industry as it relates to both restarting a lost season (doubtful but not impossible) and what the cut-off point for serious damage NEXT season really is. We're not there yet. And my feeling is, motivation and a breaking of old rules may/could speed the process when it all shakes out. Did that make sense? Meaning, networks are going to say, "Any longer and it kills next season" when that's probably math that has a two-month cushion.

As for the golden age - agreed. I've said and written that many times. But I remain confident that there's no going back. Great work will continue.

martinesque said...

I miss 30 Rock. And I might start to miss Gossip Girl because it's the only (new) show I've been watching since everything else ran out of episodes.

But really I just miss TV in general. Short time investment, long-term evolving plot-lines, etc. I agree that TV's in a golden age, but I've been watching a lot of movies in order to avoid the barrage of American Nanny Scale Wife Quiz crap, and you know what? Movies aren't in a golden age. They're kinda weak right now. I hope writers of all types will have lots of good stuff saved up for us after they "win".

Jason Pettus said...

The funny thing for me, I've found, is that the more my favorite shows are off the air, the less overall television I'm watching in the first place -- I find myself reading more novels instead than ever before, watching and listening to more podcasts, visiting with friends more frequently and the like, for which I guess I should be grateful to all those feuding industry people. The whole thing has ended up making me very aware of just how little television out there is stuff I actively like and would go out of my way to watch; of just how much of my TV viewing habits over the years have been based on pure passive laziness, of keeping the TV on for hours after a show I like, or hours beforehand. With the rise of such things as shows on DVD and BitTorrent, it makes me wonder if I will ultimately keep up this new awareness even after the strike is over; if these recent events are destined to forever change the way I interact with television as a medium, in a way that's good for me but disastrous for the actual industry.

Jason Pettus said...

(Sorry if this accidentally got posted twice!)

The funny thing for me, I've found, is that the more my favorite shows are off the air, the less overall television I'm watching in the first place -- I find myself reading more novels instead than ever before, watching and listening to more podcasts, visiting with friends more frequently and the like, for which I guess I should be grateful to all those feuding industry people. The whole thing has ended up making me very aware of just how little television out there is stuff I actively like and would go out of my way to watch; of just how much of my TV viewing habits over the years have been based on pure passive laziness, of keeping the TV on for hours after a show I like, or hours beforehand. With the rise of such things as shows on DVD and BitTorrent, it makes me wonder if I will ultimately keep up this new awareness even after the strike is over; if these recent events are destined to forever change the way I interact with television as a medium, in a way that's good for me but disastrous for the actual industry.

gatz said...

I miss 30 Rock, The Office and Dirty Sexy Money. But I don't miss them nearly as much as I thought I would.

I find that I've been reading more than I have in a long time. I'm finally clearing out the DVR of old stuff and watching favorites on DVD (mostly Arrested Development & West Wing). I'm sure I'll be expanding my Netflix membership soon.

Tom said...

I miss the same shows that socal bastard and gatz are missing. But I do have "The Wire" to tide me over. Ask me how I feel when the NFL is done.

I was just getting into "Pushing Daisies," so that's a bummer. But I have DVDs to keep me company, and "The Riches" and "Battlestar Galactica" are on the horizon.

At least in part ... Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol) popped up on a fan site last week to say that "Battlestar Galactica" has only shot 13 episodes of Season 4, and if the strike isn't resolved in a timely fashion they might not ever make the final seven episodes. Now THAT would piss me off. None of my other favorites are definitely in their final seasons ... except for "Scrubs," and while I love it, I don't have to have a resolution there.

(Hi Gatz!)

ferrethead said...

I saw the other day that some of the studios have cancelled contracts with some writers. I guess they're trying to break the union...I sure hope that doesn't happen. Unlike the people we hear about the most, the majority of writers are paid a pittance (proportionately), and generally abused and undervalued. One of the the shows I *still* miss is "Action" from f/x and they really showed how writers are treated - in hilarious fashion!

Pizzadrone said...

I'm also missing way fewer shows than I thought I would. I had a pretty full schedule pre-strike, but am only really feeling the absence of a few: Pushing Dasies (I felt like it was really hitting it's stride the last few episodes) The Office and How I Met Your Mother. (That last one surprises me--pre-strike I wouldn't have listed it in my top three at all.) I'm of course, thrilled that I have The Wire, and I've started getting into a bunch of unscripted stuff I always meant to watch but never got around to before: Colbert, Stewart, Bourdain, etc. It'll be interesting to see what I pick back up when the strike is over.

Pizzadrone said...

Actually I really shouldn't call Colbert and Stewart unscripted. They're unscripted now, of course, but I meant to watch them back when they had writers.

TiVo Queen said...

The Thursday night comedy lineup is definitely a miss because that was some good quality couch time with friends. Nothing beats my continued mourning for Veronica Mars.

Becky said...

I miss some of "my" shows (The Office, 30 Rock, Bros & Sisters). I am enjoying some original "unscripted" fare thanks to Project Runway.
I miss The Daily Show and The Col-bear Re-poor. A Daily Show and The Col-bert Re-port aren't meeting my needs there. I only watched the first couple episodes without writers and decided I'll wait for the writers.

My husband and I don't have any premium cable channels, so we are watching some of those now on DVD. Just finished Dexter Season One. Looking forward to Weeds and Oz. Other recommendations?

mcnater said...

Tim,

Since you mention LOST, I'm just wondering if we are going to see the return of LOST Deconstructions this season? With only 8 to air, I'm thinking you have it in you. Come on, don't let us down.

BobMac said...

My wife and I aren't watching as much TV as we used to, but we still have enough to fill our downtime. With podcasts and Netflix, the strike hasn't really affected us. However, I do miss my favorite shows.

ljlkc said...

Not yet. I've only started making a dent in the TiNo--haven't even watched the first episode of Pushing Daisies, yet. So ask me again in March, when my Tivo is bare and there's no football.

Laura's Husband said...

The best reality TV going is, as always in the winter, college basketball.
And didn't God invent DVDs and Playstation for just such an occassion as the writers strike?

rushfan said...

My household is missing My Name is Earl, Pushing Daisies, and Reaper. I'm looking forward to the return of Lost, but I really hope that the last episode shot doesn't leave me hanging. I really appreciate that Heroes ended a story arc instead of having some intermediate episode.

We fill in with stuff from the Travel Channel (Bourdain & Bizarre Foods), English league soccer, and tennis. Plus, I've been working two jobs the last few months (gotta love real estate!), so the strike's timing has been less irritating than it could have been.

eastcoastKaren said...

I am missing or will miss a few things already mentioned. Hoping for more Journeyman if there are no new shows coming for fall. No Wire for us as we swapped HBO for Netflix, which is more than filling the time.

I recently completed season 1 of The Tudors, which I enjoyed immensely. PBS is running some kind of Jane Austenathon, and I happen to be working my way through her novels, so that is a timely happenstance for me.

But most of all I'm ramping up my BBC America viewing. Life on Mars, and waiting for more MI-5. I have become such a Doctor Who geek it's embarrassing. It stared by getting sucked into Torchwood, which we had no idea was a spinoff. When we discovered that, we decided to track down the "Captain Jack" Doctor Who episodes - the gateway drug. Since then I've caught up on season 1 through Netflix, watched all of season 2 on BBCA, and am greatly anticipating season 2 of Torchwood and season 3 of Doctor Who both starting 1/26.

My husband laughs at me, because he's the card-carrying sci-fi geek. The "in" for me I think is that they're English. I'll watch anything with a British accent!

Anonymous said...

I miss 30 rock and I will miss Friday Night Lights when it runs out of new episodes. It is sooo good

annnna said...

I miss The Office terribly.
The other stuff I miss somewhat, but I've found other things to watch like old episodes of My So Called Life that ABC put on their website, and I watched the first two seasons of Dexter.
And Psych just came back. I love that show.
@ Lieber - I saw that Frontline and had the same reaction. It was scary like a horror movie.

George D from the 415 said...

Bring me the head of the head of the amptp! I have so little to talk about I get harassed on my favorite podcast for my lack of questions. The wire is an hour of the week which i love, plus my daily and colbert, but dammit, I want my favorite stuff back now! Admittedly, it is probably better for me academically

Trixie said...

I'm sideways over the impending effect this will have on Lost. I'm missing some shows, but none of them are in the middle of twisting plot developments. Also, maybe my TV rhythms are changing from watching 13-episode cable fare that doesn't come back for close to a year. My "miss you much" list is Pushing Daisies, Aliens in America, The Office and SNL. I would add 30 Rock, but I was slow to listen, so the re-runs are mostly new episodes for me (yay, me!).

Times are so different from the last writer's strike. Now we have dozens of cable stations to find something semi-interesting to watch. I've seen so many houses flipped, wardrobes made over, dirty things cleaned up, Scott Baio being life-coached and so on. I think tonight I'll have a glass of wine while watching celebrities in rehab (I have a thing for Dr. Drew).

Tunnza said...

My TV biorhythms aren't rebelling yet. After all, new stuff usually goes away over the holidays, so it kind of seems like a long holiday. What I miss most is "Life," which surprises me, since it's not a fabulous show. But I keep wondering what's going on there.

Dave & Craig are welcome returnees.

I've been reading, watching DVD's I own and getting DVD's out of the library -- love Berkeley Public Library!

verite said...

oh, come, on, Cheney wanting to keep our country safe?? Give me a big fat break. If that's what Frontline was dishing up, I'm glad I missed it.

Since the strike, I've been watching Keith and just started watching Bill Maher again. I guess both could be considered asses at times, but I think they also do a lot of public service.

maxpower said...

I miss 30 Rock, The Office, Reaper and Pushing Daisies, in that order. The Reaper pilot was on the other night and I laughed more than the first time I saw it. I'm looking forward to Lost and In Treatment (the HBO shrink show that will air 5 nights a week), but it's too bad the strike shut down True Blood, Alan Ball's vampire series. I've been watching Rome, The Sopranos and Flight of the Conchords On Demand, and of course The Wire twice every week. Definitely getting my money's worth from HBO. And I got the Freaks and Geeks DVD set from -- get this -- the library. They have all kinds of great stuff you can take home as long as you promise to bring it back. And if you don't, the late fees are like a nickel a day. Sure beats Blockbuster and Netflix, especially if you're poor like me.

Brian said...

I kind of miss Pushing Daisies, but after the first episode I had resigned myself to the fact that it would be cancelled so I was already prepared for the truncated season.

The only show I truly miss is 30 Rock. A week without Liz Lemon is a sad week indeed.

DirecTV was kind enough to switch out my dish and dvr this week for the new versions so I can catch all the new HD goodness they're slangin'. Other than Conan, nothing but Discovery, Food, and TLC shows in HD have graced my TV since. Giada De Laurentiis' food porn and the Mythbusters blowing things up are far more interesting than anything the networks have going on.

Tweedy said...

I haven't been missing anything too much, other than 30 Rock, catching up on TiNo'd material and watching the first season of Weeds on NetFlix, plus The Wire and Conan (who has been terrific unscripted, for the most part) have gotten me by so far. I'll add my voice to the chorus of folks saying that what I'm really concerned with is next season.

JulieM said...

With the exception of Heroes, I'm missing my shows much less than I expected. I really need a Hiro fix. Definitely looking forward to the return of Lost. But in the meantime, I'm working my way through season 3 of The Wire, watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, various PBS shows, and reading way more than normal. Hate to say it, but I wouldn't be sad if the strike continued for a few more months.

BTW, thanks for putting up a non-Wire-related post! I've stopped checking the site, since I'm 1.5 seasons behind. Lovin' Omar.

Megan Rawlins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ms nilwar said...

The only time I miss TV is when I am done watching Countdown and look to see what else is on. Every time is a let down...there's NOTHING...then I remember I have Fry and Laurie DVDs and I smile.

Voguette said...

I miss Rome and Deadwood.
-
Honestly, I don't miss anything due to the strike; just don't watch network tv.
-
I read a lot, listen to music, participate in conversations.

onellestarfish said...

There was a good bunch of new shows that weren't awful this fall, plus my returning favorites -I was almost glad when the strike mandated that I take a break. And with my tivo backlog (just finished up Lost from 2007) and life & sports & select reality shows to catch up on, I'm good.

Also - there didn't seem to be as many re-runs this fall, and so I got a good run of the shows I love, which then ended with episodes suitible for season finales. I feel perfectly satisfied waiting till whenever they come back...which makes me feel a twinge of guilt for the writers...

girlina said...

i do enjoy Pushing Daisies, but the rest? Meh. We, as viewers should strike the writers, because there's so much drek on TV, it's hard to illict sympathy anymore. How many people have jobs doing something they love?

verite said...

Tim, as a public service, I really wish you would do a podcast with a TV writer and let them describe what their work life is like. I imagine that they do love what they do -- who would write if you didn't -- but I would also imagine that it's very tough works in terms of the hours, the political situation with the networks, and just the idea of being that creatively productive on their schedule. Instead of wanting to deprive people of basic work rights just because you imagine they have dream jobs, you might want to find out more what their situation really is. Or start taking the steps and getting your own dream job.

procrastinator said...

So many new cable offerings, I've always got a lot of catch up to do, I haven't even started The Wire yet... Tons of tv and of course movies to catch up on dvd. So while I actually enjoy a little break, I won't last forever without the regular season shows and a few new 2007 favorites that got the short straw, DSM, PDaisies, Chuck... and yes I do feel for the writers...

Steve T. said...

Tim, What's with Dexter coming to CBS? I saw an ad for it last night. Did Showtime get rid of it?

labczar said...

I don't miss too much with the ongoing strike. "Pushing Daises" is fun, and "Reaper" had it's moments, but neither seemed to end abruptly.

I am hoping the networks learn something from the strike, and the success of the cable shows -- short season runs (less than 10 episodes per season) are a great way to tell a compelling story arc without all the drawn out fluff required to fill 22 episodes. And don't be afraid to mix up the schedule -- everything doesn't have to start in September. This would also allow good freshman shows a chance to get viewers without needing to compete with all the other shows starting at the same time.

With On-demand and DVD sales a great way to make money in the future for the TV networks, perhaps the need to stockpile episode numbers for syndication will cease to be? Give me quality, not just quantity.