TV Grab Bag: What's Happening On The Small Screen

Hey TV gang!  Bruce, your TV network guy here and I've got a boatload of news to spit out after weeks of lurking about the 'net and collecting links all over my desktop.  I gotta clean up my desktop.  So!  Without my further useless attempt at being entertaining, let me get right to it:

knight rider industries

Knight Rider News:Despite NBC originally ordering 4 additional episodes of Knight Rider beyond the original initial season order, they've cut that order as the show is posting "basement-dwelling numbers."  With NBC chopping staff at the top of the personnel ladder, this additional cost cut is no surprise.  (Variety, Dec 5th.)

Tom Welling in Odyssey, Smallville Season 8 Premiere

Smallville News:Despite a ratings growth for the popular CW series Smallville, actor availability may be an issue to the show continuing into season 9.  Or, more to the point, the issue would seem to be whether Tom Welling is willing to return.  Welling's reps haven't answered calls, and show runner Darren Swimmer is ready to create a series finale in the event Welling doesn't return.  It's apparently a complicated situation.

The official stance (elicited by Swimmer) is that we won't see tights in the show because there is a potential conflict with the big screen franchise.  ** crickets echo throughout the room during the ensuing silence of confusion **

What conflict?  Smallville is carrying the franchise.  How can that be an issue NOW, when it was previously recanted over and over as nothing but a rule by the previous show runners?  Eh.  It's "the game"  of the system I guess.

On the bright side of the Superman mythos, the classic foe that I have always hated, The Toyman, is going to be showing up in this season.  I really hated him.  This should be good. (

News about Al Gough and Miles Millar:In the way-off chance that there are fans of Al Gough and Miles Millar out there, they've been busy on their own time these days.

One of their newer projects is a supernatural based spec script called Salisbury that they put together based on a fictional town where supernatural things happen...  Go figure.  It's going to have a youthful cast and smells a little bit like Supernatural (on The CW) meets Twilight.  What do you think?

They're also working on a Disney effort called Jungle Cruise and is based on a theme park ride.  Wow, there's a complete genre jump!

In addition to that they're looking at working on a live action version of Robotech.  Go-llar's (my code name for the two of them since they seem to always be in the same place all the time) latest piece of work was writing The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

So they've moved on and stayed productive.  Good for them.  Robotech?  Cool.  I have to keep my eye out for that one and other news on it.  I loved the idea of Robotech.   (


The return of Reaper:For you fans of the once canceled show, Reaper, it's coming back to The CW for another go at it starting Tuesday, March 17th.  I never caught the show, but some of the gang of the circle I run with say it was pretty funny or good.  I don't remember which.  (

Eleventh Hour From CBS

Eleventh Hour gets more hoursEleventh Hour is going into the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and so on, well, more hours.  CBS has ordered 5 additional episodes over the initial order of the show, making it an 18 episode count for the 1st season run.

The show hasn't really caught my eye.  I checked it out for a few episodes but there was nothing there for me.  It was too sedate.  It acted like a show that's been on the air for a few seasons and I wasn't compelled to watch it, like I am Fringe.  Now Fringe surprised me.  It had a lackluster pre-season response at Comic-Con and I thought that was a death knell sounding event.  I. Was. Wrong.  There, I said it.  (

Some popular, yet short lived shows are returning for rerunsThe Sci-Fi Channel is making some strides, or attempts at it to get more viewers aligned with what we think the network should be airing.

Sci-Fi has Ghost Whisperer lined up to start airing repeats in January of 2009.  For whatever reason, I sometimes find myself watching Ghost Whisperer on CBS, for the story.  Really.  Actually, they've got a doozy of a story line going on right now.

Melinda's husband, Jim got killed but instead of passing on into the light, he's found a stiff to occupy, but with a hitch.  He doesn't remember a dang thing about himself... except for those odd feelings of familiarity or comfort, around Melinda.  (Jennifer Love Hewitt)

The story twist is a nice new approach to the old story outline that kept happening every week.  It's made it interesting.

If you were a Moonlight (Starring Alex Loughlin) fan who got let down when it was set free from the schedule after one season, Sci-Fi will be re-airing the first season starting January 23rd, 2009. (


The CW is taking its shot at grabbing fans of past popular shows.  Effective November 30th, The CW is replaying Jericho on Sunday nights.  I haven't confirmed that, but if you enjoyed the show and have nothing better to do, I guess you can help The CW compete with animation Sunday on Fox and check it out. (ENI)The Beast on A&EI wanted to say something about a new show coming at us called The Beast on A&E.

I'm a fairly healthy guy and there are some days that getting to work is the biggest chore in the world.  Gravity weighs on me, the clock taunts me and leaving the warm comfy environment of my home to walk my dog at 5 am is a challenge to my instincts to stay in bed.

Yet Patrick Swayze, while in the battle of his life fighting pancreatic cancer, goes on and makes a new show called The Beast.

The Beast is about undercover FBI agent Charles Barker, an agent who skirts blurry legal and ethical lines to get the job done.  To do what it takes.  It's filmed in drab, shadowy grays as an overtone to the tale.  (NY Daily News)

To me, The Beast is really about an actor who's putting it out there and doing his job, for us, the audience despite his personal circumstance.

Before The Beast, I last saw Swayze earlier this year in a Sci-Fi Saturday night flick and he looked pretty plump.  In fact he was so plump that I only recognized him after he spoke.  Now, he's a gaunt figure of a man and I can't say how distracting that will be.  I'm used to his past roles of daring physical prowess on the dance floor or bouncing at the door of a bar.

I've enjoyed his career, even if it's not been stellar, but I can say it's been enjoyable and I can only hope this isn't his last project.  Give it a nod.  Give it a chance.  I hope we're surprised by it.

Thanks for putting up with that little reflection.

Jesse Letter in El Camino
El Camino: What Jesse's Letter To [SPOILER] Said

More in TV News