The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

The Weekly TV Round-Up: 5-12-08

Written by: Ron Bricker

Image As the current low-rated TV season slowly and painfully trickles away into the abyss, decisions are being made as we speak about the fate of the Fall 2008 season.  Fox just announced a handful of official pickups, including J.J. Abrams's Fringe and Mitch Hurwitz's Sit Down, Shut Up, while in what may or may not be a sign of impending doom, Comedy Central announced that they're remaking The Gong Show. Meanwhile, TV execs are praying seven times a day to Xenu that the strike-caused ratings slump every show is currently experiencing will disappear by then – that is, if the actors don't end up going on strike this summer.  Then everybody's just screwed.

In news that might bode well for the future, rumor has it that the McG-directed pilot adaptation of the British comedy Spaced wasn't picked up.  That's good news according to the creators of the original Spaced – Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg – who've been bitching about not getting consulted about the American version for a few months now.  Not that you can really blame them; a new version of Spaced would have to suck if only because McG (who directed the Charlie's Angels movies) has a really stupid name.  Why do One-Namers do it to themselves?

Oh, and Allison Mack (Chloe) might leave Smallville because she wants a raise.  Chloe's a fan favorite, but even when I actually bothered to watch the show I had no idea why.  She's basically a less hot and less intelligent version of Veronica Mars.  But hey, after seven years of playing a fan favorite, you probably deserve a raise.  Next season – which will also be Lex Luther-less after Michael Rosenbaum departs at the end of this season – will be the show's last, and it's time.  Fun fact: Tom Welling – a.k.a. "Young Superman" is actually older than Brandon Routh – a.k.a. "Normal-Aged Superman."

Let's see, what else…AMC will renew Breaking Bad.  Fox is keeping 'Til Death for what feels like the eighteenth season (it'll actually be the third) but is reportedly dropping Back to You.  Sorry, Patricia Heaton.  And Ugly Betty might start shooting in New York, since that's where it takes place.  In the words of Seth Meyers on the most recent SNL: "What?  I thought it took place on a gay spaceship."


THE RUNDOWN: Virtually every new episode of scripted TV this week

Monday 5/12:


You could watch the one-two punch of Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill on CW.  But if you're thinking, "eh, I want teen dramas, just not ones quite so sleazy," check out Greek and Wildfire on ABC Family.  The formula is very simple: one's about guys and frats.  The other's about girls and horses.  Then for a nightcap jump over to MTV's The Paper at 10:30 (make sure you go poop or something at 10:00 to miss The Hills).  It's just like those teen dramas except the kids occasionally have acne.


Bones, 8:00, Fox

Gossip Girl, 8:00, CW

Greek, 8:00, ABC Family

The Big Bang Theory, 8:00, CBS

How I Met Your Mother, 8:30, CBS

House, 9:00, Fox

Two and a Half Men, 9:00, CBS

One Tree Hill, 9:00, CW

Wildfire, 9:00, ABC Family

Rules of Engagement, 9:30, CBS

Samantha Who, 9:30, ABC

CSI: Miami, 10:00, CBS

Medium, 10:00, NBC


Tuesday 5/13:


As you can see, not much is going on.  NBC seems particularly desperate – they're airing one of those Most Outrageous Moments clip shows at 8, followed by an SVU rerun, followed by the real SVU.  Then again, ABC is giving us two back-to-back According to Jims, a show which, no, I will never stop mocking.  You could catch one of the last episodes of Reaper on the CW, or you could just give up on civilization and watch Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.  Listen to me very closely: she's not even that attractive.


Oh hey, I just found something that looks cool – The Alaska Experiment at 10:00 on the Discovery Channel.  Maybe it's my lingering obsession with Into the Wild, but lately anything with "Alaska" in the title immediately perks my interest.


According to Jim, 8:00, ABC

NCIS, 8:00, CBS

Shark, 9:00, CBS

Reaper, 9:00, CW

Law & Order: SVU, 10:00, NBC

Women's Murder Club, 10:00, ABC


Wednesday 5/14:


Wow.  And I thought Tuesday looked slow.  I will say that Law & Order seems to have finally found its footing with a solid cast and no more lame-Os like Milena Govich.  Linus Roache is a terrific assistant D.A., and the Jeremy Sisto/Anthony Anderson team has a lot of promise.  And there's no such thing as too much Sam Waterston.


'Til Death, 8:00, Fox

Back to You, 8:30, Fox

Criminal Minds, 9:00, CBS

Boston Legal, 10:00, ABC

CSI: New York, 10:00, CBS

Law & Order, 10:00, NBC


Thursday 5/15:


Now we're talking – Lost begins its season finale with part one of "There's No Place Like Home."  Next week it has to take the week off thanks to the Grey's Anatomy two-hour finale, but on May 29th I'll be sitting with a friend, watching the last two hours of Lost's fourth season, and trying very hard not to ejaculate.


Back to the 15th, though: with 30 Rock and Scrubs over, My Name is Earl and The Office both get one-hour season finales.  Oh, and apparently I'm not the only one with the Alaska fixation because here's another Alaska show: "Tougher in Alaska," on the History Channel at 10.  Throw in Survivorman and other shows I don't even know about, and you could probably set your DVR to have a very snowy lineup.


Ugly Betty, 8:00, ABC

Smallville, 8:00, CW

My Name is Earl, 8:00, NBC

The Office, 9:00, NBC

Supernatural, 9:00, CW

Grey's Anatomy, 9:00, ABC

CSI, 9:00, CBS

Lost, 10:00, ABC

ER, 10:00, NBC

Without a Trace, 10:00, CBS

Lil' Bush, 10:00, Comedy Central


Friday 5/16:


Can we just call it "Numbers" now that we know a show about math can be successful and we don't have to trick viewers into thinking it's cool by having a weird-looking title?


Ghost Whisperer, 8:00, CBS

Moonlight, 9:00, CBS

Numb3rs, 10:00, CBS

The Sarah Jane Adventures, 8:00, Sci-Fi

Doctor Who, 9:00, Sci-Fi

Battlestar Galactica, 10:00, Sci-Fi


Saturday 5/17:


There's technically nothing new on tonight; even the reliable BBC Robin Hood is a rerun.  So just sweat it out until 11:29, when you can catch the season finale of SNL with host Steve Carell, who's plugging Get Smart.  Or, you know, get a life, unlike me.


Sunday 5/18:


I didn't leave Family Guy out by accident – Fox's other sitcoms are still new but I guess the Griffins ran out of random flashback "jokes."  ("You think thaaats bad…")  So you could catch Carlos Mencia's new comedy special on Comedy Central at 9 instead…heh heh, I'm just kidding you.  Mencia sucks.  And I'm not saying that in a Dane Cook, "we hate him because he's popular" kind of way.  I'm saying he's atrocious and his continued popularity baffles me because he doesn't actually seem to have any fans.  Sorry for the tangent, but if I didn't get that off my chest I'd have to make something up about the two-hour Desperate Housewives finale.


Everybody Hates Chris, 8:00, CW

Aliens in America, 8:30, CW

The Simpsons, 8:00, Fox

King of the Hill, 8:30, Fox

The Game, 9:00, CW

Desperate Housewives, 9:00, ABC

American Dad, 9:30, Fox