Friday, March 16, 2007

R.I.P. Veronica Mars?

Because the movies all look so bad this weekend, it's all about TV here today, and at the outset at least, the news is grim.

In its ongoing battle to offer no watchable programs at all, the CW may be about to cancel "Veronica Mars," one of only three shows I ever watch on the network. Apparently the burden of offering smart, funny TV week after week is just too much for them to bear.

The word has come from multiple sources. First, without disclosing her sources, Kristin Veitch, in her E! Online blog, revealed that the show had gotten the axe, quoting show creater Rob Thomas: “I’ve never been less certain of our fate. I’m afraid I’ve gone from cautiously optimistic to something less than that.”

Unfortunately, confirmation then quickly came from Moviehole in the form of word from Tina Majorino, aka Mac, whose representatives said the network had let them know. However, things are never quite as clear as they seem ...

In a later post, Veitch clarified (or rather, muddied) the situation up a bit. "... inside sources at the CW have explained to me a more detailed version of the situation: According to network insiders, the CW has not officially canceled Veronica Mars. However, they are currently considering a different format for the fourth season. That format would leap four years into the future and focus on Veronica Mars as an FBI agent. The rest of the cast, aside from Kristen Bell, is yet to be determined. So bottom line: Veronica Mars could be: 1) spinning off into a new format, 2) returning in her college years or 3) getting canceled."

If option No. 1, with Kristen Bell doing a time warp, is the only way to save this great show, then bring it on. Please. The Hollywood Reporter says Thomas has already filmed a trailer for this scenario, and is now pitching that to CW executives in a last-ditch effort to save the show.

How do you save a great TV show? I have no idea, but it's been done before. Be warned, if we let this one go, the CW will begin showing "America's Next Top Model" five nights a week, and we'll all be to blame.

"Gilmore Girls" season (series?) finale

The second CW show I tune in for every week, "Gilmore Girls," is also definitely on life support. If it continues, it will most likely be without Alexis Bledel, aka our Rory, so why bother?

This season got off to a really rocky start, but delivered a string of top-notch episodes for February sweeps. Apparently it took Richard Gilmore's heart attack to get them back on track.

Now comes word from TV addict Michael Ausiello with one tidbit about the season (series?) finale. It seems they've finally, after several failed attempts, landed Rory's idol, Christiane Amanpour, for this year's last episode. She will meet Rory, though under what circumstances I don't know.

That should be fun, but when the Gilmores make their final exit in May or June, what will be left on the CW? For me, at least, only "Everybody Hates Chris," unless they've gone and cancelled that already too.

"Sopranos" details

Like a Sunday protestant, I'm a "Sopranos" HBO person at best (I watch "The Wire" on DVD though), so it's just about time for me pick it up again for a few months.

Here, straight from HBO, are brief loglines for the first four episodes of the series' final arc:

April 8: "Soprano Home Movies"
After a close call at home, Tony and Carmela head to the Adirondacks for a weekend with Bobby and Janice. Written by Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider and David Chase & Matthew Weiner; directed by Tim Van Patten.

April 15: "Stage 5"
Tony finds art imitating life at the "Cleaver" premiere; in prison, Johnny Sack copes with more bad news. Written by Terence Winter; directed by Alan Taylor.

April 22: "Remember When"
With the heat turned up in Jersey, Tony and Paulie head south to cool off. Meanwhile, Junior rekindles some of his old fire in a poker game. Written by Terence Winter; directed by Phil Abraham.

April 29: "Chasing It"
Tony hits an unlucky stretch; AJ makes a life-changing decision; Vito's widow Marie (Elizabeth Bracco) turns to Tony for help with her troubled son. Written by Matthew Weiner; directed by Tim Van Patten.

Not much to go on there, I know, but at least it's news about a show that's going out on top this time. As for me this weekend, it's all about basketball. Duke's out, Maryland's still in and there's tons of games to come, so for now at least, just about all's right with the world.


Terence Towles Canote said...

I think it is safe to say that if Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls go, then the CW will have nothing. I hate saying it, but I wonder if they would have been better off if the WB and UPN had never merged....

Reel Fanatic said...

You're probably right, Mercurie .. the real problem is that they've developed absolutely nothing of any kind of quality at all since the merger went through

Matt said...

Damn you Reel Fanatic... (said with all good humor)

I only recently started watching VM because I read on your site that it was one of your favorite shows. We quickly caught up on seasons 1 and 2 and the first part of 3 and were just starting to watch them "live" as they aired. Despite the fact that the overall story has gone downhill a bit from the first season, it's still one of our favorites. Would hate to see it canceled.

jeremy said...

Last night when I got into work, Kristin from EOnline had just posted her article on VM. There were 2 comments. This morning I'm about to head home and there are over 200 comments.
It makes me sad to think these last 6 eps. could be all she wrote. I hope Piz dies.
Anyway, what'd ya think of the Buffy comic? I thought the art was a little rough in patches, but overall good. I also thought that Buffy's inner-monologue didn't seem quite Buffy-ish, but Xander's was great. Its nice to be able to read Buffy's thoughts, though, and no one knows what they would be better than Joss.
And Amy's back for vengeance. That should be fun.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm glad I was able to convince you watch it, Mr. Lizard, even if it's only for a short time ... It's definitely worth going back and renting the first two seasons on DVD, because that's when the show was at its strongest, particularly in season one.

I just finished reading the Buffy comic, Jeremy, and I pretty much agree with your assessment .. the artwork is pretty good, and I think Amy coming back is gonna turn into a great storyline

Anonymous said...

fear the turtle

Anonymous said...

I can only hope that the second part of the Sopranos season is better than the first half which was a bit of a snoozer.

Anonymous said...

A story on AICN has just recently came out and basically says don't count out Veronica Mars quite yet.

I'm not a huge VM fan, though I've watched a few episodes and thought they were pretty good. I'm more of a Smallivlle guy, though I haven't even watched that for the last couple of seasons. I am a Superman geek after all.

Rebecca said...

It would be awful if VM got cancelled, but I wouldn't call Kristin from EOnline a reliable source. I know for a fact she once quoted Jamie Denton from Desperate Housewives using an interview he had given months earlier and barely remembered, and applied it to her article on a then-current storyline that he had no knowledge of at the time. For all we know, Rob Thomas' quote could have been from last year.

Reel Fanatic said...

Ah ... thanks for the head's up, Rebecca ... I just went back to AICN and read the update that Philip mentioned, which featured info from both of her posts ... What seems to be clear is that Thomas is indeed making the pitch to the FBI Academy ... I'm skeptical that would work, because I can only assume you'd have to lose almost all the supporting players I've grown to love

And, as my brother properly pointed, it is indeed the season to fear the mighty turtle

Beth said...

I never got into "Veronica Mars" this season. A friend who's a fan of the show said that this season ain't up to snuff with the past two and encouraged me to watch those.

Glad I didn't make the effort.

As for "Gilmore girls," I've been watching this season assuming it's the last. And that's fine. Despite Amy leaving the helm of the show, I think it's managed to retain its identity. Still, let it go out while it's still close to the top of its game.

Reel Fanatic said...

I thought the first half of this season really showed she was missed, but like I said, the February sweeps eps have all been great ... If it ends in May and goes out on top, I'll be happy too

Jason Adams said...

The first part of this 3rd VM season was weak, but yeah, since sweeps every episode just got better and better til it was S1 quality again. Kristen Bell is a superstar; I couldn't adore her more. At least, if the show does get axed, I seriously doubt she'll be vanishing; she's got serious chops, and is hot enough to make this gay dude a little less gay with every viewing.

Reel Fanatic said...

You're definitely right about Ms. Bell, Ja .. I only hope that, if Veronica Mars gets canceled, she finds another good TV show, because her movies thus far have just been awful

Anonymous said...

Go here to download a "there's life on Mars" postcard to send to Dawn Ostroff at the CW.

Reel Fanatic said...

I certainly will, anonymous one .. Every little bit will definitely help in this fight!

Fated said...

The IMDB message boards for Veronica Mars have been going nuts on this subject for a while now.

I just want to kick CW in the shin. Not only do I not get their stupid station, but they're considering cancelling one of the few TV shows I like.

I sincerely hope that someone else will pick up Veronica Mars if CW gives it the axe.