The One Where I’m Not Sad Friends is Over

Casting calls and news items in the TV community come in each day here to Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve. Today, read news on a buttload of  new pilots and put up with my bitching about the state of TV.

So, I was going to do a big old, sentimental write-up on all the shows that were cancelled and ending their runs and tell you all about how sad I am, but I can’t lie, I’m not really sad at all. I dropped Friends and Fraser from the roster several seasons ago. I stuck with Angel, but haven’t liked it at all this season. Sex and the City will be missed, but I respect that it had reached it’s time to go. The only cancelled show I have any emotion about at all is Wonderfalls. I’m actually so disappointed in the current state of television the only emotion I can rustle up is disgruntled.

I keep reading articles on “how to save the sitcom”, and “how to save the networks,” but the networks never seem to listen. How many times do we have to tell the them– promote your shows and give them time to build an audience, don’t monkey around with the timeslots so that people can find them, and, give new shows a decent lead in. The whole idea that these shows can get thrown away after three or four episodes is just ludicrous to me. Especially shows that win an Emmy *after* their cancellations (yeah Miss Match, I’m talking about you). Even shows that completely suck (now American Coupling, I’m talking about you) deserve at least half a season to try and find their feet, and their viewers.

I’m also tired of people bitching about reality shows. Bitch all you want, but they are getting the ratings. They aren’t going to go away until we stop watching them. I’ll bet a huge percentage of the reality show naysayers could discuss in detail the scheming of “Romber” on Survivor, because they watched it each week. Oh yes, fast forwarding your recording through until tribal council just so you’ll know who got voted off so you’re not left out at the water cooler counts as “watching”.

And why should reality shows go away? The best of them are some of the finest television around, and I can’t see that changing. It’s too late to go back, now. No, I don’t want to watch the people who never recovered from being unpopular in high school get cut up on The Swan, but I’ll watch Amazing Race for as long as they will air it. A good show is a good show, be it reality tv, drama, sitcom or whatever.

Anyway, I can’t say I have too much hope for next season, but I’ll be here when I can, keeping you all posted on all the new shows. First up is the Mark Wahlberg-produced Entourage for HBO, about a film star (Adrian Grenier) and his close circle of friends as they traipse around Los Angeles being cool and stuff. Yawn.

MTV is filming a pilot called UR Here ; – ) about a romance between public school Angie and private school Greg. It takes place at the mall where they both work and hang out. It’s gonna be, like, you know, totally awesome.

From one of the producers of Tru Calling comes the FOX surfing drama North Shore, whose only pluses so far is that it is filming in Hawaii, and stars James Remar.

Nickelodeon is gearing up a new show, Unfabulous, about two less than cool high school freshman.

New pilot Dante’s Cove will film in the Caribbean. A gay couple manage a hotel, and inadvertently free from bondage the demon Ambrosious. Hey, at least it’s original.

Let’s focus on CBS for bit. The cast for The Amazing Westerbergs gets more amazing. Chris O’Donnell, Monica Potter, Kathleen Rose Perkins and George Segal all star in this family comedy made by the folks who gave us Spin City.

Jason Alexander will by joined by Malcom Jamal Warner in Tony Cornhusker’s Shut Up and Listen. That’s an unholy alliance!

Dean Cain will be back in my living room, thanks to passionate producer Mel Gibson in the baseball themed The Clubhouse, along with Mare Winningham and Christopher Lloyd.

Kim Delaney and Jeri Ryan will be witches in the show Cauldron, produced by Sandra Bullock and based on the book and movie “Practical Magic”. Man, Sandy must really love this book.

Finally, we have Stanley Tucci and Ben Gazzara starring in the police procedural The Webster Report.