Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Committed Not Gone After All?

So perhaps I have burried one of my favorite new shows, "Committed", a little too prematurely. According to USA Today, it is certainly on the bubble, but at least one NBC executive believes that the show could thrive if given a better time on the network's schedule.

A show is helped if it fits a network's "brand" or reflects a new direction. Among questions asked by NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly: "Does it pull the right audience? Does it have critical support or buzz? Where's the show in its life cycle: Does it have years of growth ahead of it, or is it waning?"... Reilly is a fan of Committed, a romantic comedy that he thinks could flourish given the right time slot.

I am not sure why coming after "Scrubs" was such a bad time slot considering how the two shows target a similar demographic, but perhaps a better-rated lead in might help the show grow from its niche. Not to say that this flawed show equals Seinfeld in quality, but remember that it took a couple of years before Seinfeld secured a full season on NBC. The ratings for the show were initially atrocious: people did not know what to make of the show. However, once the show got long-term exposure and good word-of-mouth, it thrived and became one of the most popular shows ever.

Committed's replacement, "The Office", seems rather disappointing to me. It is good enough for me to sit through it while I do other things, but it is not a show that I make a point of seeing. The show is rather depressing and the boss, played by Steve Carrell, is a little too over-the-top. He lacks the limited hyperbole of Gary Cole's character in Office Space. It is much easier to see one's boss in Lumbergh than it is to see him in The Office's Michael Scott. I understand that the original British version has a cult following, but I have not seen more the glimpse of that show so I cannot speak to its quality.

UPDATE: USA Today has opened up their annual "Save Our Shows" Survey if you want to put in a vote to save Committed or any other show that is at risk at being cancelled.

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