TvShowsOnDvd.com posted today that the entire Kidnapped series is coming to DVD on April 24th. As you know if you’re a regular reader, I really liked this show and thought it was cancelled way too early. What is different about this DVD set from sets released of other cancelled series is that this one actually has an ending. Take shows like Surface or Threshold – why would anyone buy these on DVD knowing that they aren’t going to get any closure. Kidnapped is different. NBC actually gave the creators enough episodes to wrap up the storyline, a move that I hope pays off for NBC in DVD sales.
This category is to honour shows that the networks didn’t give a fair shake to find an audience and was cancelled in advance of completing a full season.
The nominees are:
- Day Break
- The Nine
The season started so promising with all sorts of new serialized dramas, a welcome change from the glut of procedurals, reality shows and game shows that have invaded the airways. Now here we are part way through the new season and there have been lots of casualties.
I only watched the first few episodes of Day Break but I liked the premise, I liked Taye Diggs and even more important I liked that the show was finite – 13 episodes and it was going to be over. The perfect way to fill in the time until Lost returns. Still ABC couldn’t even commit to running the show for that time frame and ABC has no plans to air the remaining episodes. It will air much better on DVD.
Kidnapped was also a great show with a finite premise. I give credit to NBC for committing to finishing the show even after it was cancelled to provide its audience with closure. After being exiled from Wednesday to Saturday night the show was taken off the air. The remaining episodes are airing on NBC.com.
The Nine was selected by many critics as the best show of the year. I liked the concept of a bank robbery which bound hostages together after the crisis was over and a mystery as to what really happened in the bank. The show was supported by a great cast of TV actors including Scott Wolf, Chi McBride and Tim Daly. It was also given the perfect timeslot after Lost. The problem I had was in the execution of the premise which was frankly kind of boring. Still, I would have liked to see how the show resolved itself.
Smith was a great show on the wrong network. CBS doesn’t have patience for non-procedurals (the relatively mediocre Jericho being the exception) and this show was as far as possible from the standard fare that fits the CBS demographic. With name actors, amoral characters and slick filming this show had great potential. Unfortunately it got pulled after 3 episodes. CBS put the unaired episodes on its web site and published the synopsis of the next dozen or so episodes but seeing what could have been only made the disappointment worse.
Vanished had some of the worst dialogue on TV, and acting by its lead that could at best be called wooden. Still there was something that made me watch this conspiracy show week after week. Just as they killed off the main character and replaced him with Eddie Cibrian who I like, the show got pulled. The remaining episodes are airing on MySpace.
The winner is: Kidnapped (NBC).
Here’s some TV News from around the Web:
- Kidnapped to be released on DVD – If NBC isn’t going to show the rest of the episodes on the air and I don’t want to watch in a little window on my computer then DVDs is a great option. When you look at shows from last season like Surface or Invasion which got released on DVD despite not bringing their stories to conclusion, than Kidnapped which has an ending should be a no brainer.
- The Office Producer’s Cut on NBC.com – NBC is releasing a producer’s cut of this week’s episode with extended scenes. I’m a die hard fan and will definitely be watching online.
- Heroes in Entertainment Weekly – EW, which I subscribe to, did a feature on Heroes and its breakout success. As a fan of the show and a regular reader of the magazine it’s worth a read.
Here are some interesting TV stories from the Web:
- Dexter has been renewed – As I’ve mentioned before, I liked the book it’s based on and even though I still haven’t watched it yet it’s recorded and in my viewing queue.
- Rob Lowe joins Brothers & Sisters – This show is growing on me and it could be the perfect fit for Rob Lowe who hasn’t been able to take on a leading role since leaving the West Wing. He was great in that strong ensemble cast and he should be again.
- Kidnapped is now Cancelled – After reducing the order and moving it to Saturdays this great show is going to be burned off on the Web. To add insult to injury NBC’s going to stick the worst of the Law & Orders, CI in its place.
In September I launched this blog looking ahead to a season that was ripe with promise. Lots of new, interesting and diverse shows that catered to the TV snob in me who hates procedurals with their “fill in the blank” of the week premises and favours complex serial shows that require a weekly committment.
So here we are 6 weeks into the new season and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag using this moment as a checkpoint.
Let’s start with the Good. Two of my favourite shows on the air right now started this season – Heroes and Friday Night Lights. Unfortunately at this time only Heroes has been given a full season while Friday Night Lights struggles. Hopefully the order for extra scripts means NBC is going to give it a chance to grow. Brothers & Sisters is also starting to grow on me after a pretty rocky start. If you are not watching any of these shows, please start now, especially Friday Night Lights.
I’m going to give honorable mention to Jericho and The Nine, the first of which has been given a full season and the latter which also has a script order. I like both shows but there’s something about each that keeps them off my “must see” list. For Jericho, I love the premise and the mysteries beneath the show but dislike Skeet in the lead and the “crisis of the week that only Skeet can fix” is wearing thin. The Nine is kind of the opposite. It has an excellent cast but the premise and mysteries don’t seem like enough to sustain an entire season let alone a long running show.
Now the Bad which I’m going to split into 2 categories, shows that I hoped would be good and aren’t living up to my expectations and shows that were good but got cancelled early.
For shows I hoped for better from, there is no better example than Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which I picked as my best of the year after seeing the pilot. It turns out that it’s all been downhill from there. Check some of my other posts to see why this is my biggest disappointment of the year. I’m still watching but this one is on life support with me. I also hoped Vanished and Six Degrees would have been better shows than they turned out to be. I’m still giving Vanished another chance after the World Series but Six Degrees got dropped long ago.
As for shows that I liked but got cancelled before getting a real chance to succeed, Smith and Kidnapped were both in my Good list. Smith got unjustly cancelled after 3 airings (check out this posting for comments from lots of angry viewers) and Kidnapped got sent to Saturday night to finish off its 13 episode run. Thinking about it a bit more, I’m going to move Kidnapped to the Good category and look at the show as a mini-series since it will actually have an ending and it’s a great show. Pick it up on DVD next year, you won’t be sorry.
Now for the Really Bad. In this category is Ugly Betty and The Class. Ugly Betty lasted 1 episode with me and I have no idea what the critics who love this show saw in it that I didn’t. The Class lasted two episodes but I knew after the first that it was off my list. Neither of these shows have anything redeeming about them. Check out some of my earlier posts on these shows to see what I disliked.
So where does this leave me 6 weeks into the new season – with 3 shows that I love, 3 I like a lot, a couple I hope will get better before December and some that were either awful from the get go or just didn’t appeal to me at all.
All in all a season that started with lots of promise but turned out to be the same as all the others. Bring on the mid-season replacements.
I mentioned Kidnapped being cancelled in an earlier posting but in the wake of Smith being cancelled after 3 episodes I wanted to again give my kudos to NBC for handling this cancellation with the respect a show of Kidnapped’s caliber and its audience deserves. I will be following this program to Saturdays for the remainder of the show’s 13 episode run and I have no doubt that it will wrap up as brilliantly as this show started.
Also, bravo to NBC for giving a full season to Heroes. This show may not have the audience of its obvious inspiration, Lost, but it definitely has a talented large cast, an intriguing mystery and lots of superheroes. On the strength of the first few episodes, I can definitely say I look forward to watching it for many years.
Here’s the link to the bad news. Very unfortunate. This is a great show and it’s too bad. Still, way to go NBC for recognizing that it’s better to give an audience closure than to leave them hanging. See Reunion and Fox for how not to play out this same scenario. I look forward to continuing to watch this show for the next 10 weeks and know that it will make a great DVD sometime next summer.