Wednesday, October 14, 2009
NBC renews its commitment to killing television.
I've wanted to blog about Southland's cancellation for days, but it's been a busy week. In the meantime, NPR's Monkey See blog already captured my complete sentiments better than I ever could: "With 'Southland' Axed, NBC's Depressing Surrender Is Almost Complete."
Easily one of the best mid-season replacements of the spring, Southland was the first primetime drama on NBC since West Wing worth more than a passing glance (I count the promising-but-flawed first season of Heroes as just such a "glance") and almost made up for the Boomtown fiasco. I was wary to commit to Southland at first, but when NBC announced that it was picking up the show for the fall, I breathed a sigh of relief.
The problem, however, is that NBC simultaneously gave up on the 10pm time-slot by programming five hours of Leno per week. After producing just six episodes of the new season, NBC decided the show was too gritty for 9pm and summarily canceled the show before those six episodes even had an opportunity to air.
This all boils down to a fact most of us have known for some time: Jay Leno is bad for the production industry. Bad for writers, bad for crews, and bad for creatives across the board. Meanwhile, Leno continues to laugh his way to the bottom of the ratings.