Thursday, November 03, 2005

No More Going 'Over There.' Plus, a Sweeps-Filled Edition of Primetime Pass!

As I told you yesterday, FX announced that it is not renewing the Iraqi War fictional drama Over There. With the end of the show, I thought I'd go ahead and give some final thoughts on its 13-episode run this Summer and Fall. Overall, I found the show ambitious and well done, but I didn't see the need to extend the show further. Sure, the writers could have come up with more storylines to fill another season, but they covered so much in the one season that I was satisfied with just having the 13 excellent episodes. There were some character arcs left unfinished, but overall, the show ended on an upbeat note that led you to believe that these characters were going to work through the personal problems that the distance of war had caused.

The show had the groundbreaking distinction of being the first television program to focus on an ongoing war, but Over There wasn't just about gun battles, roadside bombs, terrorists and surprise attacks. The heart of the show was the characters, both over there and back home, and their daily struggles. There was Dim who dealt with his inner conflict over whether he was doing the right thing by fighting in the war and his outer one with his alcoholic wife who cheated on him back home. Sergeant Scream was ready to return home after serving his time in Iraq until he was sent on a mission to evict a French woman and her orphanage because the new Iraqi government needed the building. He fell in love with the kids and the woman running it, so he traded his trip home for more time in Iraq and a promise that the orphanage was off limits to the new government. Back on the home front, soldier Bo Ryder struggled to regain his former self after losing his leg to a roadside bomb. Determined to return to his unit and help his fellow soldiers, Bo became proficient with his prosthesis and in the finale, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. These were just a few of the well written character stories, but there were also the more tragic and difficult stories. A terrorist organization kidnapped an embedded journalist after one of the soldiers shot and killed a young boy in a village. The boy had pretended to throw an explosive device at the soldiers and they fired back in defense. The terrorist group beheaded the journalist and the show did not shy away from showing the audience exactly what happened. It definitely had its hard-to-watch moments, but they were much farther and few between than I had expected. Overall, a strong character-heavy show with well written, directed and executed episodes. I can understand why FX president John Landgraf said he was proud to have aired the show.

About Last Night... A processing error at Nielsen delayed Tuesday's ratings and it is also delaying Wednesday's ratings. I will bring you last night's ratings in tomorrow's edition. For now, here's Tuesday's overnights. CBS easily won the first hour of the night with NCIS, followed by The Biggest Loser on NBC and ABC's comedy block of According to Jim and Rodney, although Fox's Bones had a slight edge in total viewers for the hour. At 9, ABC's Commander In Chief took the hour, followed by Fox's House and CBS's The Amazing Race. The final hour of the night easily went to NBC's Law & Order: SVU, followed by Boston Legal on ABC and Close to Home on CBS. For more on Tuesday's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~ (Tonight is the first night of sweeps, so it's a jam-packed evening)
@8 p.m. - Chris gets left in charge after a flighty babysitter leaves him with his siblings on UPN's Everybody Hates Chris. Over at Fox, The O.C. is back with a new episode tonight. Ryan makes a life-changing decision, Marissa turns to her public school friends for help and Summer and Seth go on a crusade to uncover Dean Hess's secret. Joey goes on Celebrity Poker after Alex teaches him Texas Hold 'Em on NBC's Joey. Tom Wopat joins his former Dukes of Hazzard co-star John Schneider for a guest spot on WB's Smallville.

@9 p.m. - Nina suggests that Andy and Jake seek counseling, Ephram learns that Amy might be seeing someone new and Harold helps Rose deal with her mayoral race loss on WB's Everwood. The CSIs work to determine whether a young mother's death was suicide or the result of foul play on CSI on CBS. Fox's Reunion returns tonight with the year 1989. A wedding brings out old rivalries as Samantha chooses between Craig and Will.

@10 p.m. - Jack and Danny travel to Mexico to search for a missing American tourist whose wife (guest star Alex Kingston) witnessed the abduction on CBS's Without A Trace. Clemente, Abby and Neela secretly tend to a VIP patient while Dubenko tortures the staff from home with a robotic television camera on NBC's ER.


*Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson is getting back in the TV business after a string of movie projects. UPN has given him a pilot commitment for a new spec script he wrote about a troubled teen who moves to Palm Springs and finds that there are plenty of secrets lurking around. The show will join UPN's critically acclaimed Everybody Hates Chris and Veronica Mars, the latter of which Williamson called his favorite show on the air. He will serve as executive producer on the project.

*CBS is entering the cable sports arena with its purchase of CSTV (College Sports Television). Chairman of CBS and Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Viacom Inc. Leslie Moonves made the announcement about the network's acquisition of the all college athletics cable entity. The acquisition will include a digital cable network featuring 30 men's and women's college sports events, regional college sports networks that will launch in 2006 and online properties featuring 250 official college athletics web sites. The purchase is expected to go through in January of next year.

*And finally, the delayed (on my part, not Nielsen's) weekly ratings are in and it was another win for CBS in total viewers and the 18-49 year old group. The eye network was led by a repeat of CSI (#1), Without A Trace (#2), CSI: Miami (#4), NCIS (#5), Survivor (#6) and Two and a Half Men (#7). Fox's MLB coverage landed two spots in the top 10 (#3, #9). Over at ABC, Grey's Anatomy was the only show to land a top 10 spot (#8). For more on last week's ratings, visit USA Today.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Everwood (how will Ephram take the news about Amy? And how hilarious does that therapy scene with Jake and Andy look?), Everybody Hates Chris (no Alias tonight, so I'll be watching this awesome comedy) and Without A Trace (yeah, I'm choosing to watch this tonight and save CSI for the weekend because this episode sounds Danny-centric and I'm all excited!). Plus, all the latest television news!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I for one, think the show was . incredible. "Over There" will be missed in my home. It showed the real situations that Americans seem to ignore. The heart of the show was the characters. Why do we always cancel the show with any type of realism, and intellect.