November 21, 2008

tragic news

It's a sad day for TV, kids. I'm temporarily interrupting my regularly scheduled Friday top 10 list to report some really unfortunate news from stupid ABC. The network has opted not to order additional episodes of Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, or Dirty Sexy Money for this season effectively cancelling all three series. Good TV just took a serious hit, and it's a damn shame. The three shows will complete their 13 episode orders, but that does not necessarily mean the remaining episodes will air. The networks usually try to sell the package of 13 to international networks. My guess, we won't see any further episodes after the holiday hiatus.

I'm stepping up on my soapbox for this one. Whether you watched them (or enjoyed them), these shows presented a creativity in scripted television that we haven't seen in quite some time. ABC made the bold step of straying from the norm with Pushing Daisies set in a semi-fantasy world and tackling major current issues with Eli Stone in a way that didn't hit you over the head with a moral imperative. There was enough of hope and humanity mixed into both shows to make you realize that television doesn't always have to be about a twisted murder mystery and winning a million dollars. Without getting into a deeper sociological analysis, which I am certainly not qualified to do, I'm left wondering: what does this say about the audience?

(Dirty Sexy Money was basically a soapy updated version of Dallas, but I loved it just as well because the writing was strong and the acting was genuine.)

As much as I'd like to, I really can't blame ABC. Television is a business, and these three shows just weren't bringing home the bacon. They took at chance on some offbeat pilots, and they just didn't deliver an audience. I only hope this doesn't discourage them from trying again in the future.

Does this mean we're relegated to 100 more incarnations of crappy CSI and Deal or No Deal? Is creative scripted television a dying business? Disappointing.


Post a Comment