Ok, all -- I'm back from my journey to the Indianapolis 500 and, aside from camping alongside the racetrack and sharing a set of port-a-potties with a bunch of drunken hooligans, it was pretty good.
But, of course, I missed the blog. And, really, could I have left at a worse possible time? I've barely gotten to write anything about the new fall lineups, about which I have some strong feelings. So, even though all my fellow TV writers have moved on to arguably more important things (like the steaming train wreck that is "Jon & Kate Plus 8), I'm going to write a few quick thoughts on some of the broadcast networks' recent announcements.
* Does anybody else get the idea that Fox was only allowed to renew one of its low-rated, acclaimed cult sci-fi series. How else to explain why the network renewed "Dollhouse" and not the equally worthy "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles?" I really would have liked to see them both come back, especially since "TSCC" was just hitting its stride with a great finale. But I'm glad that at least one of them will return. "Dollhouse" just got better as it went on, and I'm interested to see what Joss Whedon and co. will do with a second season.
* NBC renewed the cult series "Chuck," but canceled "Medium" and "My Name is Earl." CBS has announced it will pick up "Medium" and another network might pick up "Earl," but I'm thinking the latter is unlikely. Where would "Earl" go? The show, which I loved in its first two seasons, is running out of steam. And where would it go? ABC picked up "Scrubs" when NBC dropped it, but that show still had some creative juice left (at least, that's what I've been told. I don't actually watch it.) "Earl's" returns are diminishing, and I'm not sure anyone else wants to jump on board.
* OK, for me, this was the saddest announcement: The CW canceled "Reaper." Well, maybe. ABC studios is still trying to sell the show, and syndication is a real possibility. Check out all the details here at the ReaperDMV fan site. They encourage writing to your local CW affiliate, and I second that.
I know "Reaper" never really lived up to the promise of its pilot, but I was really fond of it. I loved Ray Wise's cheeky performance as the Devil, and Bret Harrison had a nice Everyman charm as reluctant soul-hunter Sam Oliver. I still held out hope that it would gel a little better as it went on, but I always enjoyed it. I'm not surprised it's gone, but I'm still really sad.
In fact, I was so distracted by "Reaper's" cancellation, I barely noticed that The CW didn't pick up the "Gossip Girl" spin-off with Brittany Snow. That was a little surprising, as the show's had a lot of buzz. But, judging from the back door pilot that aired as a "Gossip Girl" episode, I can't say not picking it up was a great loss.
Well, that's it for now. I'll have more on the new shows once I get a chance to see some. I also plan to start watching the summer shows soon, so I'll have reviews on those in the near future as well.