Sticking with straight links today:
If you hear Queen playing the background, it’s because another one is about to bite the dust. NBC’s attempt at getting Jimmy Smits back on the air, the Rockford Files ripoff Outlaw, has shut down production with eight episodes in the can. That means it’s not being pulled from the schedule, but after those eight episodes run out, you’re probably not seeing anymore. NBC said it will access the situation when it sees the ratings over the next couple weeks, but who is the network kidding? ABC shut down production on FlashForward last year, but went out of its way to say it was just for retooling and that the show would finish out the season. The implication there is that “everyone knows when you shut down production on a show, it means it’s over, we better make sure everyone knows it’s coming back.” NBC only said it will judge the future of Outlaw on the next couple weeks’ ratings. Seeing as the ratings have been abysmal — and the show is just about as bad as the ratings — there’s a better chance of Mark Zuckerberg throwing a Social Network DVD party than Outlaw seeing that ninth episode. That’s two straight TV launches that turned out to be failures for Smits on the heels of the promising but boring Cane in 2007. Maybe he should stick to coming in to established TV shows like he’s done in LA Law, NYPD Blue, West Wing and Dexter.
Another spot of bad news if you’ve kept up with Caprica on SyFy. Personally, I checked out after about four weeks for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the lies the producers told to start the show, saying that you didn’t need to watch Battlestar Galactica to understand and enjoy Caprica. Lies, lies, lies. LIES!!! Anyway, it looks like the show is in major trouble since star Alessandra Torresani said unless the show gets better ratings than it did for its winter finale — and it did not — the show is going to get canceled. She said that on Tuesday and amazingly, hasn’t forcibly retracted that statement yet. So I’m thinking it’s true.
Not like this was much of a shock, but Sons of Anarchy will be back on FX for another year in 2011. It’s the network’s biggest show right now so it’s not like it was going away. But with its high-performing veteran shows — and SoA is now a veteran show in its third season — FX has been pretty generous in the season orders. Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, Always Sunny, The Shield, when those shows got later into their run FX usually would order a couple seasons at a time. So why didn’t SoA get a fourth and fifth season pick-up? Maybe it’s too expensive, and FX wants to go on a year-by-year basis. Maybe the stars and show producers are bulls at the negotiating table and don’t want to commit to more than a year at a time. It’s probably just me over-analyzing, but if the show ends abruptly after a fourth season while it’s still the network’s most popular show, remember this theory.
What is a surprise is that the new Fox comedy Raising Hope got a full-season order. It’s a decent enough show, so it deserves a full season. What makes it surprising is that Running Wilde, which follows it on Tuesdays at 9:30, in underperforming and is in danger of being yanked, especially since it’s committing the major TV ratings crime — it’s not holding on to its lead-in’s audience. That puts Fox in a tough situation, where it really likes its 9 p.m. sitcom, but doesn’t feel as good about its 9:30 sitcom. So if it cancels Running Wilde, what will it put in its spot? A repeat episode of Raising Hope? ABC had the same kind of problem last year when it did its Wednesday night comedy thing. Three of the shows — The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town — ended up being keepers, but the fourth show, the grossly pathetic Hank, got axed around Halloween, about six weeks too late. ABC just showed a mix of Modern Family and Middle reruns, but Fox doesn’t have that luxury of having multiple shows they could plug in there. Raising Hope and Running Wildes are the only half-hour shows on its schedule until midseason. This is good news for those of us who think Running Wilde has potential to be a really funny show, the network is more likely to stick with it for a while because it just doesn’t have any other options (see “Guys, The Good”). If Running Wilde does get pulled, then its rating must be horrible and therefore doesn’t deserve to be kept around. I’m not going to bandwagon campaign for Running Wilde viewers like I do with Friday Night Lights, but it’s certainly worth giving it a try for a couple weeks. And if you’re watching Raising Hope, there’s certainly no reason to leave without watching Running Wilde.
Slice it anyway you want to, but an NC-17 movie has never made money. Blue Valentine — the movie starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and filmed in Wayne County and Scranton — has gotten shackled with just that, an NC-17 rating. When mainstream movies get slapped with NC-17, they’ll go back and cut stuff so that it can make money. But Blue Valentine was never supposed to be a mainstream hit. So it might not even bother going back and cutting anything, it might just stick with the NC-17 and see what happens. For a movie like this that would have trouble drawing attention as it is, this actually might be good publicity.
There aren’t many ways we can stop the spread of Katherine Heigl, but there’s a big opportunity right here — don’t go to see this Life As We Know it thing this weekend. Stay away. If you already made a date with friends to go, cancel. Make up an excuse. We did our part staying away from The Killers, but America, you let me down in your questionable and mind-boggling support of 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. If we don’t stop this now, the Katherine Heigl plague is going to spread like the clap.
Good news for everyone! Step Brothers is making its way into the cult canon of comedies slowly but surely, meaning you’re going to be able to see it every weekend on TBS in about two years. It’s going to be extremely watered down by the time it makes it to broadcast TV, so it’s most advisable to get the DVD or watch it on Encore (it’s in this month’s rotation). Not sure why it hasn’t caught on with the masses the way Ricky Bobby or Anchorman did since it’s approximately 50 trillion times funnier than both of those put together. After I caught it on DVD, I all but forced three different people to watch it. All three balked at first because of the way they perceived Will Ferrell. That’s a legitimate excuse since it’s why I ignored it in the theaters, but all three came back with the “Holy s— I can’t believe how funny that was!” response. I’ve been really, really trying to work “Stay golden, Pony Boy” into my everyday vocabulary after the bathroom sex scene, but failed miserably so far. Really, how many situations come up in real life where you can use that phrase? I’ve come up with one where you wouldn’t sound like a complete jackass — a bathroom sex jaunt. I’d love to hear suggestions on where else I can use it. I really tried to find a funny clip that I could embed to show how funny it is, but there is nothing appropriate that won’t get me fired. That doesn’t bode well for its days on USA. Maybe it only belongs on Comedy Central’s Secret Stash.
Now to the bad news for Wolverine fans. Darren Aronofsky might be making a non-Wolverine movie, which means one of three things, all of which are bad news for Wolverine fans since Hugh Jackman said he was hoping to get into Wolverine 2 shooting by March. The first could be that Aronofsky has decided against Wolverine entirely and the movie is searching for a new director. The second could be that he was never involved at all, a bad sign that one of the best indie directors in Hollywood decided against taking a movie that would have put him on the permanent A-list. Doesn’t matter what the reasons are — he just found the working environment a bad career move. Third and probably most distressing is that he’s still taking the job but is making this Tiger thing first, pushing the production of Wolverine back at least a couple months. You would imagine the soonest it could get into production is the winter, which would push it off a target release date of summer 2012 and make it likely summer 2013 — four years after Jackman looked a little long in the tooth to be playing Wolverine.
Poor Larry Wilcox. He hasn’t been seen or heard from in decades since CHiPs ended — he played Jon of Ponch and Jon — but he finally was brought back as Liz Lemon’s fantasy lover in 30 Rock. Just when we get to know him again, so does the government. 7-Mary-3 could be going down.