Sabre On TV

My take on TV

Tag Archives: Melrose Place

Melrose Place – international hit?

I have to say that I received a good laugh after reading Thomas Calabro, who plays Dr. Michael Mancini, recent interview on E!’s website.

It wasn’t because he thought Melrose Place was going to return or hint towards more cast from the original making a reappearance. No it was the statement about the show being an international hit. Here’s the quote “Here’s what’s going on with that: We’re coming back,” Calabro tells us. “Right now, we’re airing our first five or six episodes internationally, and I think the show’s a big international hit. That’s enough to bring a show back.”

I didn’t even know that it was airing anywhere else but the US and UK. I can’t speak for how Melrose Place is doing in other countries but it debuted, in the UK, with 113,000 viewers on Five’s digital channel Fiver, with another 7,000 on the catchup service an hour later. At the time, it gave the channel its best ever Wednesday ratings. However the second episode drew 89,000 viewers.

When Archer debuted a couple of weeks later, on a Thursday night, it gave the channel 159,000 viewers for each of its half-hour instalments at 10pm and 10.30pm.

It’s definitely not a hit here where a catchup episode of Desperate Housewives, shown an hour after airing can attract more viewers at 11pm then Melrose Place can at 9pm. I can’t say I know anybody that watches it and the media certainly don’t mention it any more when reporting ratings or anything else.

I have heard many times that US networks don’t look into international ratings. Why would they, if they don’t count online viewing from people in their own country. When does someone viewing in Boston, UK count the same as someone from Boston, US.

If The CW choose to renew Melrose Place, then it will be based on viewer figures in the US, money and whether or not they find something better to air instead.

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Life Unexpected vs One Tree Hill? My choice is…

Early today The CW announced new season pick-ups for Supernatural, Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries and America’s Next Top Model. No news yet on Smallville, Melrose Place, Life Unexpected and One Tree Hill.

According Kristin at E!, only one will return between Life Unexpected and One Tree Hill. If it came down to a vote, my choice would be Life Unexpected. I have watched every episode of One Tree Hill but this season I’ve finally felt like this show has run its course. Story lines are not attention grabbing, things feel repetitive plus seven is a good number to end on. I don’t think the departures of Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray played any part, as in my opinion, it was declining when they were on the show.

Most shows that start in high school, suffer through the transition when they move on to college. One Tree Hill jumped past that and at first it worked. I touched on a few points earlier in the season to why I was finding it hard to like this season.

Regardless of whether its renewed, this shall be the last season that I shall watch the residents of Tree Hill.

The reason why my vote is for Life Unexpected is that it’s fresh, fun and has intriguing dynamics. It’s a show that I’m not complaining about, I’m excited to see a new episode. Even my mother, who isn’t in The CW’s target demographic, likes this show. Yes, it is early days, but this show seems to be hitting the mark with fans and critics. I hope the viewing figures keep up and this show gets another season, maybe even a full season order.

My Hits List of 2009

There have been a lot of best and worst of 2009 lists floating around and I thought I’ll do my own little list. My previous post listed my misses of 2009 and now I give you my hits.

Not sure why I started to watch you but you’re actually quite good – The Good Wife

Breakout star in a bad show – Katie Cassidy, Melrose Place

I can’t believe you’re not watching this – Better Off Ted

You’re a star – TNT for picking up Southland

I can’t stop watching this scene – Kurt and the football team doing Beyonce’s Single Ladies, Glee

Outstanding multi performances – Jane Lynch (Party Down and Glee) and Toni Collette (United States of Tara)

Most improved but I always thought you were good – Parks and Recreation

Your character annoys other people on the show but I think you’re brilliant – Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory

Best network manoeuvre – ABC’s Wednesday night comedy trio

I can’t believe you’ve left me hanging – Lost’s season 5 finale

Best new shows that more people should talk about – Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara

Got cancelled just as the show hit its a storyline high – Dollhouse

Best answer to a question – Quagmire answering Brian’s question ‘why don’t you like me’, Family Guy

My Misses List of 2009

There have been a lot of best and worst of 2009 lists floating around and I thought I’ll do my own little list. I warn you now, that this isn’t your standard best show and worst show list. I’ve been a little inventive with my awards. I start of with the misses list.

What were you thinking? – NBC cancelling Southland before the new series was aired

I can’t believe you’re still on the air – Heroes

Hail Mary attempt at more viewers – Claire’s lesbian kiss, Heroes

It’s not what it says on the packaging – FlashForward. Some billed it as the next Lost, well it’s not.

I should really turn it over – The Cleveland Show

Stop and stare moment – Heather Locklear’s face. There’s something going on that I can’t quite figure out.

Biggest waste of an hour – The Beautiful Life

Biggest waste of half an hour – Hank

I like you but I couldn’t keep watching your show – Alex O’Loughlin and Alfre Woodard, Three Rivers

Is it you or your character that annoys me – Joseph Fiennes, Mark on FlashForward

Are you trying to kill the show on purpose? – Fox moving Fringe from Tuesday to overloaded Thursday

Do you want people to watch you? – NBC’s dwindling primetime scripted shows.

Most obvious outcome in a cliffhanger – Grey’s Anatomy with George and Izzie

The CW’s New Class

The CW has probably seen some of its best and worst ratings from its freshman shows in the fall season. Out of the three shows, one was cancelled after two episodes and another has been struggling from the start. Where did The Beautiful Life and Melrose Place go wrong and why has The Vampire Diaries flourished for the network?

I’ll start with The Beautiful Life, though I won’t go into it too much or I’ll repeat the same things that I mentioned in a post after the show got cancelled. What was meant to get people excited seemed to rest on three things. The fact it was centred on models, was meant to attract viewers of American’s Next Top Model, the television comeback of Mischa Barton and Ashton Kutcher as co producer.

Unfortunately for this show, that’s where it went wrong. Just because ANTM is popular doesn’t mean people want to watch a drama about models. Too much attention was placed on the fact that Barton was back on TV since her character was killed off in The OC. I don’t think people really cared and it might have actually put some off watching. Then comes to my last point, Ashton Kutcher fans might not want to watch a show that doesn’t actually show him. How much creative control did he actually have? It’s not like he’s a top draw producer/show creator where fans will follow every show they do.

If it wasn’t for The Beautiful Life, then Melrose Place would have been the worst performer from the start. MP’s ratings haven’t been great, stumbling behind 90210; both not being able to surpass 2 million viewers this season. The failures of Melrose Place is sort of similar to why 90210 isn’t working. Banking on fans of the original to follow it and forgetting about attracting viewers that weren’t fans and keeping them. It was something I touched upon before about TV remakes.

This brings me to The Vampire Diaries, based on a series of books. I’m not too familiar with the success of the books so I can’t say that was my reason for watching the show. Three things brought it to my attention; Kevin Williamson, Ian Somerhalder and vampires. Now I shall explain. I’m a Dawson’s Creek fan, I’ve watched Ian on Young American’s, Tell Me You Love Me and Lost. I also watched a lot of things involving vampires (Buffy, Angel, Twilight, Moonlight, etc). I think that as characters, vampires are complex and can be a writers dream, if they know what to do with them, other than make them drink blood.

Whether or not it was their complete intention, the timing of TVD was impeccable. With the success of Twilight and books being made into films/TV shows, there was a market to tap into. As we all know, things like this don’t guarantee success but it did get 4.8m viewers for the first episode. What keeps people watching is the cast, including Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder and the excellent writing. The mid-season finale had it all, with an ending that made you want to count down the days until the next episode, to see the conclusion.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not someone who’s only exposure to 90210 and Melrose Place has been in the past year or two. I did watch both shows when they were originally aired, though not in its entirety. There’s just a big difference in quality between Melrose Place and The Vampire Diaries and the ratings paint the picture. MP seems to lack a meaty storyline and real direction. Bringing Heather Locklear isn’t enough, she needs something to work with. There does seem to be a slight improvement and the last episode aired shows it. With the break and Auggie and Violet due to leave the canvas, they have a chance to make creative changes.

A new show will be joining the party in January. Life Unexpected is due to start in January. I’m quietly excited by this and it has the opportunity of being a hit for the network and I hope it is. The older shows like Supernatural, Smallville and One Tree Hill aren’t going to be around forever and The CW needs to find its next batch of hits.

Character Transplants Needed

The other week, I had a conversation about characters that I found either annoying or boring and could do with a personality transplant (a rewrite would do). So I decided to write them down.

Catherine and Orson from Desperate Housewives. I’m struggling to remember why they are even needed anymore. Catherine is so annoying that she’s actually taken over the role of the most annoying character, from Susan. I was actually disappointed that Susan didn’t do a better job of shooting her. What was once a intriguing character, Orson has now turned into a bad side show, like his kleptomaniac storyline from last season. Maybe with the plane crash coming, these two can finally be removed from our screens.

Thirteen and Foreman (Foreteen) from House. To put one annoying character with a boring one really made for one of the least interesting couples. Even the break up was boring and left me saying ‘so what’. For me, they were in competition for the title with Riley and Jonah from Melrose Place.

Speaking of Melrose Place, Violet is next on the list. You can critisize the acting, writing or both. Whichever way, this character is awful and uncomfortable to watch. I, for one, am happy that the end of this character is near. It doesn’t convey crazy very well, just sad and desperate, like Catherine from Desperate Housewives.

Langston from CSI. I’m I in a small minority of people that are not excited by the crossover. I will certainly watch it but if this is the plan to gain back the viewers that have left, then they should have used a different character. Maybe this could be the thing that turns it around for the character and we might get to see more depth. If not, I just feel that Laurence Fishburne should have been given a better character to work with.

Chief Webber from Grey’s Anatomy. You just have to watch it to know why. He’s going round sacking people and like Derek said, he needs to take some blame for the chaos he’s created. I loved Arizona’s scene with him on last week’s episode.

I’m sure there are more but those are my main ones though Ryan from Three Rivers nearly made the list. I thought I should give it a couple of more episodes.

Version 2.0

The popular thing amongst the TV networks seems to be bringing back things to life. Whether it be an old TV show or a film, networks are looking to the past for their future shows.

With CBS resurrecting Hawaii Five O and a number of shows either in the pipeline or already showing, it seems that networks are running out of fresh ideas. Why the case for all the reboots?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dawn Ostroff was quoted as saying “When you do a remake you have built-in fan base and that’s a huge advantage for us.” But as we know in some cases, a fan base for an old show doesn’t guarantee success now. All you have to do is look at the ratings for Melrose Place and 90210. Granted that they are both on The CW but even so, they aren’t the most popular shows. Another case, Knightrider didn’t last too long on the air. I never watched it myself as I couldn’t see myself watching a pale imitation of a show I used to watch as a kid.

You can compare the reboots to a band reforming or giving an old relationship another go. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there, things are forced and you’re going through the motions. With the reboots, they seem to have more to prove than a new show would because everyone is keen to see where things go and what old characters come back. Sometimes when you bring old characters back, it can take things away from the new ones. Then there are some cases where you just don’t care about the new characters. Where do you find the balance?

The latest news this week was that William H Macy was going to be in the US version of the hit UK show Shameless. These kinds of reboots at times fail to do anything. Kath and Kim didn’t work out last year. To me the US version just wasn’t as funny as the Australian version. I won’t even mention Coupling’s demise. There is always an exception to the rule and in these types of reboots; it would be The Office, which is currently in its sixth series. It isn’t as easy to find a TV gem these days.

With a couple of the new shows that are to air, I’ve never had the opportunity to watch their predecessor. I didn’t even realise that V would fall into this category. Even though there might be many reboots, some are just a completely new show to me.