Fox bet big on Steven Spielberg's dinosaur drama with its two-hour premiere costing between $10-20 million, building elaborate sets in Australia that it argued would be amoritized over the course of the entire season. After numerous scheduling delays and a behind-the-scenes shake-up, the Jason O'Mara and Stephen Lang starrer didn't bow with the big bang the studio and networked had hoped. Its Dec. 19 two-hour finale matched a series low in the key 18-49 demo. Meanwhile, EPs Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria remain "guardedly optimistic" that the drama will earn a second-season pickup.
Comedian Whitney Cummings was the “It Girl” of the fall season. She had two series on the schedule, 2 Broke Girls at CBS and her star turn in Whitney at NBC. Yet, while the CBS comedy fares well among critics, the NBC series tanked. THR’s chief TV critic dumped his DVR season pass on the show, saying, “Two people living together but not married – and plenty fine with it. How is that a premise? How is that even interesting?”
A day after the Maria Bello drama was left off NBC's midseason schedule, the network shut down production on the procedural after production on its its intial 13-episode run was completed. Despite positive reviews, the reboot of the BBC franchise that starred Helen Mirren had consistently regiestered a last-place finish in its prime Thursday at 10 p.m. slot against CBS' The Mentalist and ABC's Private Practice. A brief experiment in subbing Suspect in different nights on the schedule after Playboy Club's abrupt cancellation also failed to find an audience for the New York-set cop show.
Built-in brand recognition failed to do much for the reboot of the beloved 1970s/'80s franchise, with critics and viewers alike blasting the show. Despite a name cast with Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly and a creative team that included Smallville's Miles Millar andAl Gough -- and executive producer Drew Barrymore -- the series plummeted 29 percent in its second episode, attracting only a 1.5 in the key demo. ABC pulled the plug on the series following its fourth episode, which had seen viewership drop from 8.7 million to less than 6 million.
ABC grounded the 1960s-set airline drama in November. While the Sony Pictures Television soap will continue airing new episodes in Jan., only one of the five additional scripts the network ordered will be produced. The series, which also marked Christina Ricci's series TV debut, launched to promising numbers but couldn't keep viewers buckled into their seats, shedding more than 3 million in its second airing and beyond. The Jack Orman series also added Steven Maeda as showrunner in Oct. to work out creative differences going on behind the scenes. In a last-ditch effort to push the series, Sony is offering episodes for free on iTunes.
TV REVIEW: 'Pan Am'
Photo by: Ray Mickshaw / FOX
'The X Factor,' Fox
Simon Cowell has already regretted saying that anything less than 20 million viewers for The X Factor would be considered a failure. He cleary overshot and then some. The series premiered to 12.5 million viewers and has basically hovered in the 12-million viewer range since then. Cowell says he had to adjust his expectations. “I'm kind of back in the real world and I'm seeing this grow naturally. I'm as happy as I've ever been."
Excitement around Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar’s return to series TV on The CW’s Ringer was very high. And the premiere reflected that with 2.8 million viewers – a good showing for the youth-steering network. But, then it lost almost a million viewers on its second episode. The last new episode brought in 1.6 million viewers and a .06 in the ad-coveted 18-49 demo. Ringer wasn’t a hit among critics either. THR’s Tim Goodman, among others, found SMG lacked the gravitas (Read: acting chops) to carry on the dual role of the troubled twins.
Developed by TV newcomer Farhad Safinia, the series was to mark the arrival of premium cable network Starz. The Kelsey Grammer political drama received an early vote of confidence from the network with a second season renewal ahead of its premiere, a move rare in the industry. Despite glowing reviews and praise for Grammer, the series launched to only 1.72 million total viewers. Efforts to expose the series to more viewers with an online preview of the pilot and marathon viewings did little to boost viewership. Whether the series' pair of Golden Globe noms as they arrived after the show's season finale.
NBC’s Community and ABC’s Cougar Town both have small, but extremely loyal fan bases that couldn’t wait for them to return. But, they’ve never been able to get the ratings numbers they needed. To make room for new shows, they’ve both been pushed off their respective networks’ midseason schedule with no air date to speak of. That’s show business, sure, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
After ABC canceledAll My Children and One Life to Live in April, production company Prospect Park finalized a deal with the studio to take over production on the soap operas in September, announcing plans to launch The Online Network and deals with cast and creatives. However, funding and guild demands forced the company -- which is in development on a number of comedy and drama projects for both broadcast and cable networks -- to pull the plug on the soaps, leaving fans to digest news that the soaps will not continue on after all.
Since launching in January 2011, the Queen of Daytime hasn't made her mark on the cable world the way she'd have liked. In the past year, OWN's Christina Norman was ousted as CEO with Oprah Winfrey taking her place in July. After spending millions on the network -- about $254 million as of September -- the network's big-budget shows including Oprah's Next Chapter and Rosie O'Donnell's return to the couch in The Rosie Show haven't caught on.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway Fail The 83rd Academy Awards
The Academy’s experiment with teaming up actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco to host The 83rd Annual Academy Awards seemed a sure way to shake up the sometimes-stodgy and long TV event and give it a youthful pick-me-up. But in the end, critics felt Franco seemed disinterested and at times bewildered by the gig. Meanwhile, Hathaway worked hard to show off her many show biz talents of singing, comedy, and improvisation, but couldn’t overcome the gap Franco’s abilities didn’t (or couldn’t) fill.