Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Case' Going Cold?

Kathryn Morris of 'Cold Case'
By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer


Die-hard Cold Case viewers should prepare themselves: there is a very real possibility the show will not be renewed for a seventh season.

And really, I can't say I'm all that surprised.

I have long lamented here at PTR the show is not what it once was, has slipped into predictable procedural mediocrity and is showing its age. Given the new, fresh and far more intriguing dramas that are abundantly popping up on cable these days, Cold Case seems like a relic. Even editor-in-chief TVFan is watching and/or reviewing out of loyalty these days, NOT because the show is doing anything spectacular.

And while the show does seem somewhat reinvigorated this season, and thus, may still be pulling in respectable ratings, the show costs a freakin' fortune to produce. Not to mention series lead Kathryn Morris pulls down almost $200k an episode nowadays (a raise she got last year in the strike-shortened fifth season).

Deserving? Yes.

In times like these, not good thing.

Let me put it this way: if Mark Burnett can give Les Moonves another Survivor, or something that is faster-cheaper-more-popular, he'll take it over trying to justify keeping a costly procedural that isn't doing anything for anyone outside of their die-hard audience. Les has a history of not being afraid to cancel shows. That is a hard pill to swallow, but that is the reality of NETWORK television these days.

Thank goodness for cable.

So, in reading this article by the scooper of the century Micahel Ausiello, I can't say I'm all that surprised that Cold Case is potentially - emphasizing potentially - facing cancellation.

The good news is this frees Morris to go on to bigger and better things that utilize her talent far more extensively than what has been on display in these last few seasons.

THAT, as far as we're concerned, is not a bad thing.

Cold Case airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS.

14 comments:

RichE said...

I can understand that the networks are looking to cut costs, and these procedurals can be expensive, however the likes of CC have a consistent large, loyal audience. Throwing that away, especially in these difficult times, strikes me as risky. What if the replacement shows tank? No matter how cheap they are, having no audience is going to kill the network.

Plus, there are the international markets. These shows get good rating all over the world which must be worth a bit.

Of course CC is slightly hamstrung in that it doesn't have DVD sales to help it. Though that may help increase the worth of TV repeat showings.

It would be a shame to lose my regular dose of KM but, as LK says, it would be nice to see her in other roles.


RichE.

Anonymous said...

Why are so negetive about the show LillyKat, it deserves one more season at least.

I think they are just rumors, since CBS hasn't confirmed it at all.

I don't believe anything Ausiello says, anyways.


LII2

Kale said...

CBS had 12 of the top 20 shows in the March 2-8 Nielsens! You'd think they'd be happy with that.
But I got a feeling that Moonves is eyeballing that Sunday night lineup. Right now he knows that American Idol is going to destroy anything he puts up on Tuesday/Wednesday, so those shows get a pass. Thursday is CSI night & Friday is easily won by Ghost Whisper & the rest.
With the surprise success of "Mentalist", and the continued ratings success of NCIS, he has a Tuesday night that's topheavy with 2 winners.
So looking towards the Fall, Sunday Night will be dominated by NBC Sunday night football. So what does he do? He's gonna put "Mentalist" on Sundays, followed by another "male lead" show -- probably W/o a Trace, in order to steal female fans from DH (who might think Simon Baker is cute), and Male fans from football, who would be attracted to shows with male leads. And he's gonna pray the existing Mentalist fans migrate to the new time slot.
On Tuesday night, then he'll stick some other new show & hope it has the same "new gets good ratings" trick that "Mentalist" achieved.
Probably another crappy procedural show.
If CBS cancels CC, I will boycot CBS for at least a year. Probably all TV for awhile.

Naj said...

Oh LillyKat,

You sound almost like a disgruntled fan. I say this with a smile and a chuckle. CC is bringing in about the same numbers (well, it is dipping, dipping, dipping this season below 12 million) it brought in it's first season and had CBS kept this show in the 8 pm Sunday night slot I believe it would have consistently found a 15 million or so audience. But no, they moved it. *insert disgruntled fan sound here* I don't know what the Amazang Race is bringing in for viewership. I'll have to look today.

I agree the show has attempted to reinvigorate itself this season. But, so far {except for last night's "Officer Down"), gone are the great case episodes that made me love this show even with all the detective comradery they have added this season. If all they can do is one best episode this year or one or two best eps every season since season two - the series isn't worth making, in my opinion. But there are other fans out there that enjoy the series for different reasons, I guess.


Naj

Anonymous said...

Cold Case is still in the top 20, it's never left that mark at all. I think it should be renewed even if it's just for a half of season.

Lii2

LillyKat said...

Interesting comments, Kale. I can completely see this scenario happening given Moonves' reputation for shaking things up - for better or worse.

As an additional FYI ... this story was not just covered by Michael Ausiello. If you want a non-Ausiello version:

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Television_44/On_the_fence_CBS_s_Case_and_Trace.asp

The fact that producers of both Cold Case and Without a Trace have been notified by the network the show faces potential - emphasizing potential - cancellation is NOT a rumor. That is like some teachers here in California being notified last week they could - could - lose their jobs at the end of this school year. CBS is not going to comment on it (they never do until AFTER they officially cancel a show).

At the end of the day, this is a fundamental question of economics. Since I'm not emotionally connected to the show anymore, I don't have a problem seeing it that way, or calling a spade a spade. If that makes me seem like a disgruntled fan or down on the show ... well, to each their own.

My own prediction of the show potentially having the rug pulled out from underneath them seems to be coming true, and the whole "We're in the Top 20" argument they have thrown out to everyone to justify their mediocrity of the last three seasons finally seems to be catching up with them.

That is, ratings are NOT enough anymore - particularly in this economy.

So, does it remain cost-effective for the network to continue to produce a lukewarm procedural if they can find something faster-cheaper-better OR something more popular?

No.

The show is not doing what it was supposed to do when it was moved to the 9 p.m. timeslot - anchor Sunday nights, make it a powerhouse, must-watch "Crime Block" Sunday.

That bombed considerably. WAT got yanked after only one season following CC given it suffered its worse ratings WHILST being paired on the now defunct crime block Sunday. Yet, CC was left to die on the vine on Sundays.

The network never promotes the show anymore. It's like a forgotten pastime, but they've kept it because they haven't figured out what else to do.

Well, now maybe they have.

Or the economy is forcing them to do so.

I can't see the network renewing it except for sentimental reasons. Why would they spend the money if they are desperately looking to cut costs?

This is the economic reality these days.

Like it or not.

Naj said...

I suspect KM's appearance on the talk circuit (Regis and any other that come) will be to bear the news of the series' cancellation. Actually I hope to hear of projects she has coming down the pike. Isn't Veena a part of kmffilms? I was trying to locate a web site for this but doesn't seems to be anything in existence.

Naj

Anonymous said...

She just might be on Regis for yet another reason, promoting the show. Kathryn's production company is " Hot Plate productions", she's got several shows lined up to produce none of it she's acually acting in.


If Cold Case ends, which I hope doesn't; Kathryn should get herself into another tv series, she's better off in TV than in Movies.

LII2

TVFan said...

This is very unfortunate, but it is a reality in this economy. Like it or not, television is a business first. CC is expensive to produce and advertising dollars are way down. My husband works in TV and he can tell you without a doubt -- when the economy takes a tumble, the first thing companies do away with is advertising. It's expensive and expendable (especially in this day and age when there are so many mediums on which to advertise). Honestly, I can't imagine CBS keeping both CC and WaT, but I could (hopefully) be wrong.

Don't expect CBS to confirm any of this for some time. We'll be left in a state of limbo probably until the Upfronts presentation in May. The best thing to do right now is to write CBS and let them know how much you care for the show. I can't promise it will save the show, but it certainly can't hurt.

RichE said...

I would guess that KM is doing a chat show to promote the end of the season. It is highly unlikely she would be there to announce the show's cancellation. If it happens the crew probably won't know about it until after this season ends. Have they finished filming this one yet?

The rumours may well come up though.

Hopefully Kathryn will talk about other things, and they'll be plenty of smiling :-)

If Assassination Of A Highschool President was coming out as planned (the later, delayed plan that is) she could be have talking about that. No new news on the release yet though. The distributor going broke doesn't mean it won't make it. You'd think that the presence of Mischa Barton and Bruce Willis would guarantee it an audience.


RichE.

Anonymous said...

I doubt her movie will ever come out, The production company broke up last december.

LII2

RichE said...

My understanding is that it was the distributor (Yari Film Group Releasing) that went into bankruptcy. The production company is a separate part of the group.

AOAHSP could still get a theatrical release if another company took it up. Lots of people seem to think it is good and deserves a cinema outing. Sony has the DVD rights and could release it that way.


RichE.

Anonymous said...

it might go straight to DVD, but who knows with the economy right now?

LII2

Jose Eduardo said...

eduardodelroice:

I still don't get the classic "Cold case is not the same issue"... I have watched every single episode and I don't find all those cases better than last seasons' cases. There were lots of wrong made cases and stuff so I don't think the quality has gone. And we don't even have the same people working on the show.