ABC Reshuffles Schedule at Expense of Quality
When the writer’s strike crippled audiences getting to know and love many freshman series last season, NBC and ABC decided that five would be held back for reintroduction this fall. The shows — Chuck, Life, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money. On Friday, the verdict came down that the plan didn’t work as anticipated.
ABC has chosen not to renew Pushing and Dirty Sexy Money beyond their first thirteen episodes for the season. Private Practice will be slotted behind Grey’s Anatomy to try and salvage the creatively disjointed series. Life and Chuck seem to be faring better and the network is supporting them.
Also being canceled is Eli Stone which was a midseason replacement last spring.
"It’s all true," Daisies creator Bryan Fuller told Entertainment Weekly. "I’m so very proud of this show and grateful for everyone’s hard work in bringing it to life.
Replacing the shows will be the eighth and possibly final season of Scrubs, which moves to ABC after seven years on NBC. It debuts on January 6 at 9 p.m. with two weeks of a full hour of new episodes followed by the series settling in on January 20 at 9:30.
Looking at the shows being axed, it appears that audiences aren’t as interested in original notions or fanciful tales. There’s also been increasing resistance to serialized dramas since their continuities may be tough to follow nor do they rerun well making them expensive propositions for the networks.
The shame of it is that these shows are creatively strong with top-notch writing and engaging casts. That fresh voices like Bryan Fuller’s Daisies and Marc Guggenheim’s Eli Stone can’t find audiences may mean the creative balance has entirely shifted from network to cable fare. After all, True Blood, Dexter, Damages, and Monk have been creatively satisfying and fresher concepts than what passes muster on the networks.
While interesting and quality programming is departing the airways it does bode well for comic book fans.
"We would love to continue telling this season’s arcs in a comic book format, just to tie up all the loose strings — and believe me, there are plenty," Fuller said of his brainchild. "That way we can tell a stand alone movie story that doesn’t have all the baggage from the second season stories — and those bags are packed!"
Additionally, this should free Guggenheim and co-producer Greg Berlanti to write more comic book material until they land new show assignments. And if Fuller returns to Heroes, as expected, then everyone benefits.