Saturday, May 10, 2008

Upfront Rumblings; Mini-DVD Review: JAG Season 6 (May 20)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Saturday blog for an update on the network upfronts. This is probably the busiest TV weekend of the year--the weekend before the network upfronts start. Latest buzz on scripted series:

ABC:
Close to Being Picked-Up Dramas: Life on Mars.
Close to Being Picked-Up Sitcoms: Bad Mother's Handbook, The Goode Family.
Still Could Be Picked Up Dramas: Good Behavior, Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas, The Prince of Motor City, Castle, The Unusuals
Still Could Be Picked Up Sitcoms: This Might Hurt, My Brother's Hot (And Other Dilemmas)
No Shot: The More Things Change, Cedric
Possible On the Bubble Current Series Renewals: Eli Stone, Boston Legal, Scrubs (from NBC)
Possible Current Series Canceled That Had a Chance: MEN IN TREES (confirmed), Women's Murder Club, October Road
Comments: ABC will probably add just 1-2 new shows in the fall and load up in mid-season, because of the strike causing pilots not to shoot a pilot. The only pilot to shoot so far was Life on Mars, and word is ABC will re-shoot it but it will be picked-up. They have a lot of buzz on more dramas, but they haven't been shot yet. The scripts sound very good on most of those, like Good Behavior, Extraordinary Atlas and Prince of Motor City. Sitcom wise, ABC is very high on Bad Mother's Handbook, but other than that it is very quiet on what could make it. The Goode Family, an animated comedy, has a 13 episode commitment for 2009, so that will likely air. Mix reviews so far for Alyssa Milano's comedy My Brother's Hot (or is it known as Nuclear Family), but I bet it will be picked-up. No word on Cupid yet, the remake of the short lived comedy...ABC would be wise to pick it up...it could be Love Boat style as it will be an hour this time. Word is ABC has passed on Cedric's comedy, so there goes a chance of multicamera comedies returning to ABC. As for current series, ABC has officially axed MEN IN TREES (remaining episodes will air starting May 28) and the word is Women's Murder Club will also get the ax. Meanwhile Eli Stone fans will be happy that the word is it will indeed return. Boston Legal's chances are better to return than to be axed. No news on October Road, but ABC is shopping it. Maybe MRC can get it for that Sunday block on The CW? Scrubs will likely come to ABC in the fall it seems, and According to Jim is taping at least 6 episodes this month and in June, so maybe that will be available earlier this year than the previous two seasons.

CBS:
Close to Being Picked-Up Dramas: Eleventh Hour, Mentalist.
Close to Being Picked-Up Sitcoms: My Secret Public Journal, My Best Friend's Girl
Still Could Be Picked Up Dramas: Mythological Ex, Exit 19, Tower
Still Could Be Picked Up Sitcoms: Single White Millionaire, Worst Week
No Shot: NY-LON
Possible On the Bubble Current Series Renewals: The Unit, Old Christine, Moonlight, Rules of Engagement
Possible Current Series Canceled That Had a Chance: Jericho, Shark
Comments: CBS is very high on Eleventh Hour and The Mentalist, so expect them to be picked-up for sure. CBS also is eying Mythological Ex, Exit 19, Tower and possibly Harper's Island. Sitcom wise, the picture is not that clear, but CBS seems to have liked quite a few like My Secret Public Journal, My Best Friend's Girl, and Single White Millionaire. Worst Week seems to have picked up steam and is also in the running with another sitcom or two also possible.
Current series wise, The Unit seems to have gained traction and could return now. Moonlight and Rules of Engagement has a better shot to return, while Shark could be on its way out. Old Christine is tough to figure. It'll be back next season...either on CBS or if CBS cancels it, ABC could pick it up. So maybe CBS will pick it up so ABC can't.

FOX:
Close to Being Picked-Up Dramas: Fringe (confirmed), Dollhouse
Close to Being Picked-Up Sitcoms: The Inn (confirmed), Sit Down Shutup (confirmed), Cleveland
Still Could Be Picked Up Dramas: Courtroom K
Still Could Be Picked Up Sitcoms: Spaced, Starting Under, The Pitts
No Shot: The Oaks
On the Bubble Current Series Renewals: 'Til Death (confirmed)
Possible Current Series Canceled That Had a Chance: Back to You (confirmed)
Comments: Fox is very high on Fringe and Dollhouse. Fringe will be their main show to push as it has been picked-up for the fall, while Dollhouse could come mid-season. Courtroom K is another Fox drama that could be picked-up. Fox has passed on drama The Oaks, and they are shopping it to other studios. Sitcom wise, they have officially picked up The Inn, and a mid-season pickup for animated sitcom Cleveland (Family Guy spinoff) is almost certain. Sitdown Shut Up has been picked up for sure for mid-season. So maybe The Pitts will be passed on now. And another sitcom or two like Spaced or Bernie Mac's Starting Under. Boldly Going Nowhere is also picking up steam. Because of the pick-up of The Inn, the sitcom Back to You is canceled! After a bad performance this past week, it really sealed that deal. The cost of the show is also high as it has two sitcom veterans and the producers/director are also costly. Meanwhile, 'Til Death survives once again for the second straight year for a third season. So Back to You is canceled and 'Til Death is renewed. No word when or if the four unaired episodes of Back to You will air or not. Series finale is this coming week.

The CW:
Close to Being Picked-Up Dramas: 90210, Filthy Rich Girls
Close to Being Picked-Up Sitcoms: None
Still Could Be Picked Up Dramas: Austin Golden Hour
Still Could Be Picked Up Sitcoms: None.
No Shot: N/A
On the Bubble Current Series Renewals: Reaper, The Game
Possible Current Series Canceled That Had a Chance: Aliens in America, Girlfriends (both confirmed)
Comments: 90210 is almost certain to be picked up now that Jennie Garth will indeed reprise her role as a recurring character. Filthy Rich Girls is another drama that will be picked-up for the fall, while Austin Golden Hour could be for mid-season. No new sitcoms at all, but they have canned Aliens in America and we already knew Girlfriends was ending. So it looks like Chris and The Game will be the only sitcoms on The CW, possibly Fridays 8-9pm. The CW has given up on Sundays, and will let MRC program from 7-11pm: The CW is aligning with Media Rights Capital to program its Sunday night primetime programming block for the 2008-09 broadcast television season. The strategic alliance between the two companies will take effect in Fall 2008 and feature four new programs--two comedies and two dramas--from top producers and creative talent.
As for returning shows, Reaper will be back most likely. Gossip Girl could be paired with 90210.

Check back periodically as we get more updates all-weekend long! I don't sleep during upfronts week!

Join us all next week (May 12-15) bright and early for the fall schedules. I assure you we will be among the first ones to post the fall line-ups for each network. NBC will be first on Monday, but they have already announced their schedule...so nothing new. No changes are expected either on Monday for NBC's schedule.


And now back to our regularly scheduled blog programming:

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews! Today we have we take a look at CBS DVD's 6th Season of JAG. JAG was a huge hit for CBS. If you are a fan of Navy NCIS, you know that NCIS is a spin-off of JAG. See Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of JAG - The Complete 6th Season:

JAG - The Complete 6th Season (CBS, $55.98) is coming to DVD for the first time on May 20! Enjoy this long running Donald Bellisario classic on DVD -- and I've got great news. If you didn't notice already, the MSRP for this season set has dropped by $9, from $65 to $56. In addition, the SRP for seasons one through four (as of this writing) have dropped significantly. Seasons 1 and 2 are now $30, Seasons 3 and 4 are now $39. Those of you who've read these reviews know that the SRP was EASILY my biggest gripe against the JAG sets, and now the first four sets are available for under $40 -- the first two for just under $30, with the price of the sixth season starting at a lower base. This is great for fans of the show who might have hesitated at the price point.
I'll be completely honest here -- this is around the point in the original run of the show that I lost interest -- about 2/3 of the way through the season to be specific. It wasn't the show itself so much as I just found other things to watch, and sort of drifted away. I didn't begin watching again until the final season. So this IS the first time I've seen a good third of the season. The season starts off with the great two-parter, "Legacy," which once again involves Harm's family life -- this time taking place in Russia. The fifth episode of the season, "JAG TV," is an interesting one. The JAG office has its first televised court martial -- resulting in a circus, not surprisingly. The episode features Lawyer Celebrities Gloria Allred and Johnnie Cochran, plus Mary Hart and then-host of the Late Late Show, Craig Kilborn. The season finale is, of course, a cliffhanger. The episode is titled "Adrift," and I won't reveal much of the plot...but it's a surprisingly good episode. Can't believe I missed it first time through.
Moving to the technical side, packaging is, thankfully, a mere outer box plus slim cases. Many CBS DVD titles are moving to those horrible translucent plastic cases with the fragile disc holders in the center. The number of discs involved with a drama such as JAG makes this a bit prohibitive, a fact of which I'm thankful. Video is presented nice and clear in anamorphic widescreen. The video, being shot in HD, has no defects that I can detect. Audio is great, and I once again have to just say I LOVE the show's theme and how good it sounds here. . The “disclaimer of doom” does appear on the back of the box, indicating possible edits, but honestly I think this is standard operating procedure for CBS DVD. There weren't any glaring edits that I could find, but I don't have original broadcast OR syndication copies to compare to -- and like I said, I stopped watching midseason. The episodes generally run 43:30-44:30, probably on par with the normal 2000-01 shows. There are, unfortunately, no special features that I could find.
I wish I’d kept on watching back then, as there's still quality story for the series left to tell -- the episodes I missed, and the season as a whole, is quite good, and I wholeheartedly recommend the set -- and go back and pick up the earlier seasons now that the prices have gone down.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
JAG TV.com Page

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