Monday, May 16, 2005

That's the sound of a thousand terrible things heading this way

The most important season of the year is upon us...

Nope, not spring...not even the transition into summer. Not baseball, football mini camps, none of the above.

It's the month of May, which can only mean Sweeps Month for television. It's that last gasp for the networks to pull out all the stops, air the specials, and show...gasp...could it episodes of shows that were in re-runs for the month of April.

The other thing May Sweeps means is the networks start unveiling their schlock and awe campaign to sell the upcoming fall season. NBC announced theirs today, and the new shit looks worse than the shit they're cancelling...just shinier.

The highlights lowlights of Fall 2005 on NBC:
NBC said Monday that it will introduce six new series in September, including only one comedy: "My Name is Earl," featuring Jason Lee ("Chasing Amy") as a downtrodden lottery winner.

NBC is canceling the fourth installment of the "Law & Order" series, "Trial By Jury," which lost star Jerry Orbach shortly after production began. The Mark Burnett/Sylvester Stallone boxing series "The Contender," "American Dreams" and "Third Watch" are also not returning.

NBC is moving the political drama "The West Wing" to Sunday nights, with the campaign to replace Martin Sheen as the mythical president continuing.

Despite losing ground to CBS on what was once its most popular night, NBC said it is returning its Thursday schedule intact: including the troubled "Friends" spinoff "Joey."

Stewart's starring role in "The Apprentice" will give NBC two versions of the boardroom game running this fall. The home improvement queen's show will air Wednesday night, with Donald Trump keeping his Thursday time slot.

Gospel singer Grant stars in "Three Wishes," a reality show where she travels across the country trying to transform lives by paying medical bills, making dreams come true and the like.

NBC will air three new dramas: "E-Ring," a Jerry Bruckheimer production with Dennis Hopper and Benjamin Bratt, about life in the Pentagon; "Fathom," about a creepy new form of sea life; and "Inconceivable," a medical show set in a fertility clinic.

I think the only good coming out of this "pit of despair" is the West Wing's timeslot shift. Now it doesn't conflict with South Park won't get in the way of studying this fall.