Don’t Leave Me Like This…

The networks have once again released their lackluster fall schedules, and absent yet again are shows with imagination and plot. They have been replaced by “faux” reality shows and Law and Order regurgitation number 512. By this I mean formulated cop shows (which I do enjoy), but seriously, how many do we need?

Not to mention, what has turned Tuesday night into a veritable battle ground for cop show ratings? With 24, The Shield, NYPD Blue and now Law and Order SVU all on the same night, what is a viewer without TiVo supposed to do? I am forced to sit through days of endless garbage and then try to get my brain to process all these shows on one night? Help!

Take, for example, Dick Wolf’s version on Dragnet on ABC, I am not a huge fan, but I usually end up watching it because this season it aired after Alias on Sunday nights. What the hell is it doing being moved to Saturday nights following The Wonderful World of Disney? First of all, WWD is a Sunday night tradition, but more importantly, what kind of a lead in to Dragnet is the Disney movie of the week? Especially since NBC already demonstrated how poorly this would turn out by resurrecting Fred Dryer’s now twice debunked series, Hunter. All I can say is at least Alias no longer has the curse of the Disney lead in.

In other stupid ABC blunders, a few years ago, they all but abandoned their T.G.I.F. line-up to go for more adult oriented programming. I thought it was a mistake then, and they have realized now. The question is, is it too late? They had the market share of the captive pre-teen audience (and sadly me), but they threw it all away to be more like the other fledgling networks. Now they want the pre-teen market back, but those kids have moved on. Will today’s kids even notice? I doubt it.

As for the adults, we are stuck with endless mediocrity. When we finally do get a decent series, it is hard to be motivated to invest our viewing hours in it because networks consistently give up on quality shows before they are allowed to play out. Freshman and Sophomore series “on the cusp” as they call it are cast aside to make room for new crap like one of this year’s entries, a drama based on J-Lo’s character in Out of Sight.

The current system stinks, fans and the shows writers deserve better. The networks should decide no later than March which shows are being renewed to allow the writers time to create closure for the fans, leaving no more dangling unanswered cliffhangers. I hate to wait all summer for the resolution of the spring finales, but at least I know I will get the answers in the end.

So many of my favorite shows of the last several seasons have been cut short, abruptly ended with no resolution. Leaving me clinging to the small hope they may one day be wrapped up in an underwhelming, crappy made for tv movie. This situation is completely avoidable; all the networks have to do is make a decision before the finales are taped and aired. I don’t care if they announce their decision to the public, but at least have the courtesy to tell the shows and their producers.

Shows like Felicity, Dawson’s Creek and Providence (although not all time favorites) got forewarning and successfully created closure for their viewers. Friends and Fraiser already have sight of their endings, why can’t this be true for other favorites? Is it really that hard to see which shows are in the crapper? Unfortunately this dream will never come to fruition, and there will always be some viewers somewhere left unnecessarily hanging, but as a disappointed tv addict, I can’t help but wonder why…

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