Television: Viva la Fall Schedule!


Once upon a yesterday, the fall schedule was something special. Mid-season replacements were unheard of and shows never went on “hiatus”, so all the new shows debuted on the fall schedule and viewers could be relatively certain that any show premiering in September and October would last at least one season.

In today’s television world, shows like Manimal and Hard Time on Planet Earth would likely have been cancelled after two episodes—with A Different World and Three’s A Crowd appearing in their timeslots—rather than running until spring. Likewise, The Facts of Life might have gone on hiatus in April and returned in July with “Season 2.5”. In the meantime, fans hungry for the ongoing adventures of Mrs. Garrett, Blair, Tootie, Natalie and Jo (who may or may not have been a cylon) would have had to suffer through reruns of One Day at a Time. Oh, the humanity.

When the fall schedule was announced in 2005, I picked several new shows and watched them faithfully. Four of the five shows had science-fiction or supernatural themes and the fifth was a half-hour sitcom. One by one the hour-long sci-fi/supernatural shows were cancelled: first Threshold and Night Stalker fell off the schedule, each after only a handful of episodes had aired. Surface lasted an “entire” (if short) season, but NBC has reportedly not renewed the show despite a letter-writing campaign among fans. Similarly, ABC’s Invasion lasted a full season but has not been renewed. Of the five shows I latched onto last year, only My Name is Earl has returned on the 2006 fall schedule.

This year, I’m taking a more conservative approach to the fall season. That may be due to a less-than-spectacular offering by the networks (ABC, for example, has nothing in their lineup that interests me), but I’m probably just trying to avoid the inevitable letdown that occurs when shows I enjoy are canceled.

Whatever the reason, I’m only going to watch one show from the new fall schedule: Heroes on NBC, which tells the story of people throughout the world who suddenly develop superpowers. Anyone who’s read more than two posts in this blog knows that I’m a sucker for superheroes, so it should come as no surprise that I’m going to pass on the post-nuclear drama Jericho (CBS) and whatever brilliant, imaginative new show Fox is planning to cancel by mid-November and go with the network that pulled the rug out from beneath Surface.

If that doesn’t work out… well, I suppose I could go outside for a while.

9 responses to “Television: Viva la Fall Schedule!”

  1. Rae Avatar

    Well they say it is better to have loved and lost…

    Actually, I think it is better to have loved and been allowed to watch a full seven seasons of Firefly.

  2. KJToo Avatar

    [Comment ID #3653 Will Be Quoted Here]

    In the case of Surface, Invasion and Night Stalker, ’tis apparently better to have loved and been stuck with an unresolved cliffhanger…

  3. Thagg Avatar

    If that doesn’t work out… well, I suppose I could go outside for a while.


    Spending time in the big room with the green carpet?


  4. gator Avatar

    I believe Invasion is coming out (or out) on DVD and I think it has some extras also. I haven’t picked it up yet, but maybe it will wrap up the series a bit better than the TV show.

  5. Greg Avatar

    Call me a masochist, but I’m renting Surface from Netflix – we’re up to episode 6 right now.

    Heroes looks promising, and I am watching Jericho, which looks… okay. Can’t wait for Lost and Battlestar Galactica next week. Daybreak also looks promising.

  6. KJToo Avatar

    [Comment ID #3665 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Greg, you’re a masochist. On the other hand, I thought Surface was worth watching. As with most series, there were a few things about it (mostly about how the characters acted) that bothered me, but never enough to the point where the show was no longer enjoyable.

    Lost and Battlestar Galactica are among the returning series that I plan to continue watching.

  7. gator Avatar

    I watched all the episodes of Surface and I thought it was pretty decent. The ending left it VERY wide open……but I won’t spoil it 🙂

    I think Threshold at the first had the most promise, but it fell flat quickly.

    I just watched the first episode of Jericho last night and it is eh…….I will probably watch Heros tonight and give judgement on that soon…

  8. P.G. Holyfield Avatar

    My Monday nights are set now (until NBC f**** with my life) with Heroes and Studio 60.

    And now I’ve finally caught up on BSG and my Friday opening has been filled. Ah, I love the Fall.

  9. KJToo Avatar

    [Comment ID #3728 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Kinda looks like I’m watching Studio 60, too. So much for the whole notion of only watching one new show.

    Oh, and then there’s the new Fantastic Four cartoon…

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