Friday, October 1, 2010

They Canceled My Soap Again

Rant time. Why do they always have to cancel the shows that I watch? "Damn cheeks," as the Honorable Teddy (and just about anybody else) on "You Rang M'Lord?" (my beloved sitcom) would say.

Earlier this week FOX confirmed it was ditching its freshman Texas-based drama "Lone Star" after only two episodes.

No surprise there. The show performed catastrophically in the Nielsen ratings last week and failed to improve this week.

Allegedly, Americans don't want to watch a man scamming people out of money or living a double life with two women.

That is of course one of the theories, since noone will ever know for sure why the show failed so miserably (ultra-comptetitive timeslot and misdirected marketing being cited as additional culprits).

I myself would prefer the latter explanation along with the fact that trigger-happy TV executives these days simply don't have the patience that serialized dramas normally require to establish their audience. 

Anything but the idea that we have become too self-righteous of a society to be able to relax and enjoy watching a critically-acclaimed drama about a morally-bankrupt man, albeit one trying to change.

That however leaves very little prospect for someone like myself who despises crime procedurals and reality shows and prefers a little more escapist fantasy on their daily TV menu.

Sure, "Desperate Housewives" is still on the air, in fact it's entered its 7th season as the second highest rated scripted drama (or dramedy if you will) on its network ABC.

But most prime time soaps (such as the creepy "Pasadena" or the wicked "Dirty Sexy Money") seem to fizzle out quickly these days, so I guess I'll be giving future projects along those sudsy lines a pass. I'll be safer with my "Dynasty" reruns.

Or maybe, just maybe, I'll dare to hope that the next time I see a new soapfest (that TNT "Dallas" redux comes to mind), it develops into at least a marginal hit, so I can actually get to enjoy more than a couple of episodes.

I can hardly help myself. I'm a sucker for soaps.


  1. So am I! Did you check out "Brothers and Sisters" also on ABC! That is a show that made cry almost immediately after the first episodes of the first season! Now they are on the fifth and I still loved it! I love Sally Field as Norma Walker and Calista Flockhart as Kitty Walker! They even have a gay couple happily married, sigh, so it does quite good as a family show. I hope it does it seven season run and even more! BTW I also like "Desperate Housewives" although the lately it is starting to show it "formula" quite heavy so there are not that many surpises anymore but in the beginning it was very original!

  2. Oh, of course. I adore Sally Field. But I don't love the show as much as I love "Desperate Housewives." I always do enjoy watching it, though. I'm a little afraid this might be their last season. The episode order for this season was cut to 18 episodes (it will be gone by midseason to make way for another show). They'll also save money by not having as many family scenes. Plus in production they switched from film to tape. Not to mention Rob Lowe and Emily VanCamp leaving. But no decision has been made yet - the show continues to be a solid performer for ABC. Perhaps its fate will depend on whether the new show does well or how many good pilots they have in the spring.

  3. I love both those shows, it's sad to hear that Brothers & Sisters has a shorter episode order this season. I hope it does well and is renewed. After a long time, time, I've liked a drama as much as the soaps from the 80's.

    For some reason, I couldn't copy paste the excerpt about Lone Star's cancellation in Ed Martin's column on Huffington Post, it also references, Dynasty, Dallas, Knots and Melrose amongst others.