2001, Movie, R, 107 mins


The question about Ugly Betty ...

Question: The question about Ugly Betty being sentenced to death on Fridays made me think of the Law & Order time switch. When it was on the same night but one hour earlier, its ratings dropped. Will moving it to the "death slot" kill it, or do you think senior citizen L&O will be able to survive? If/when one of the lesser-quality new shows gets canceled, would NBC move L&O back to the Wednesday time slot, like they did after pulling Heist? Answer: Law & Order will survive, if not thrive, on Fridays, but its numbers will drop there as it faces formidable competition in CBS' Numb3rs. (Pun not intended.) For NBC, having a proven veteran like Law & Order anchoring its Friday schedule (alongside other proven franchises like Crossing Jordan and Las Vegas) will keep the network in business on the night. But if Kidnapped does turn out to be an instant dud like Heist (it deserves a far better fate), NBC won't think twice before moving Law & Order back to its old home against the equally tired read more

A Merry Medium
Psych mixes mystery with mischief

If you're looking for a match made in TV heaven, Monk and the new Psych (Fridays at 10 pm/ET on USA) fit the bill. As a Friday-night double feature of lighthearted mayhem (Psych follows Monk), they prove that few places are more fun than a crime scene, if you're in the right company. "All guaranteed fun" is the operating principle behind Psych, a clever romp about charming slacker Shawn Spencer (James Roday, who should become an overnight star in this role read more

Was This TV Season Harsh to New Shows?

Reunion, Love Monkey and Commander in Chief

Reunion. Threshold. E-Ring. Invasion. Emily's Reasons Why Not. Love Monkey. Commander in Chief. Heist. What do these shows have in common? They all debuted at some point during this soon-to-wrap TV season, yet each saw their run either cut surprisingly short or handicapped by irregular scheduling. Was 2005-06 the worst year ever to sample a new show? Were the networks especially hasty in deciding the fate of freshman series? TVGuide.com consulted a panel of experts with unique points of view to examine this strange little season gone by. Are New Shows Getting Short Shrift?Jeff Bader, executive vice president of ABC entertainment programming and scheduling, dismisses the suggestion that prime time is a crueler-than-ever proving ground for new series. " read more

I have been enjoying the show ...

Question: I have been enjoying the show Hustle on AMC a great deal, and I was wondering what you thought of it. It seems like the show NBC had hoped Heist might be. It is so smart and fun. It also does the "wink and nod" to the audience better than most shows on TV. I was wondering where Hustle is in its run: Is this the first season? Is it successful for AMC? Will there be another season? Is it coming out on DVD? Thanks! Answer: I like Hustle quite a bit, too. (I reviewed it in the magazine's Jan. 30 issue.) Courtesy of AMC, here's the scoop on Hustle, which, being a British series, airs its seasons a little differently than we usually do. AMC has aired 18 episodes to date, which comprises two seasons of the series overseas. A third season is currently airing on BBC1, and these episodes will air on AMC beginning July 1. No word yet on a DVD release, though it seems like a natural. (And for the record, as I've said before, this column is not a good resource regarding DVD releases, o ... read more

Please tell me it's not true ...

Question: Please tell me it's not true that Heist has been canceled. This is the only decent show NBC has except Deal or No Deal. There has got to be some place they can fit it in their schedule to make people watch. Maybe they can put it on in the summer. Also, I've seen reruns on the USA network. Could USA possibly pick up the show? Answer: Well, we couldn't live on two more different planets. I hated Heist and am counting the days until this insipid fad of Deal or No Deal fades. But it's true: Heist is dead, at least where NBC is concerned. I suppose there is a chance that one of NBC's corporate cable cousins (A&E, Bravo, CNBC), which occasionally repurpose NBC programming, could present some of the unaired Heist episodes. But I'm not aware of that happening right now. I know it's particularly annoying when a serialized show is cut off midstream. But Heist struck me as an iffy idea done in by unbearably smug and inept execution ... read more


Re: NBC shelving Heist, Elizabeth writes: "You've got to be kidding me! Is it just me, or are all the good new shows being canceled? It's getting to be not worth it to give new ones a try." We are so on the same page, Elizabeth. It's one messed up TV season when series as fresh as Love Monkey or as fun as Heist aren't given a chance to gain traction.

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Please help! Where has Medium ...

Question: Please help! Where has Medium been the last few weeks? I know it was a top-rated show so I can't believe it was canceled. But other than on cable, I can't find any info on when it will air again. It's my favorite show and the only one I will stay up past 10 to watch. Maybe they're finding an earlier slot for it — could it be? Please, please? Answer: Medium has not been canceled, but to be perfectly honest, I don't know what the heck NBC is doing with the show and its Monday time period. First it was pre-empted so NBC could replay the pilot of the dismal Heist. A big mistake. Then it was pre-empted for The Apprentice, and it's off the schedule again this week. What's happening here is some midseason stunting during a time when Medium would likely be in repeat mode anyway. But this is no way to treat one of the network's few growing assets. I am at a loss to explain it, and I certainly wouldn't try to justify it. But the complaints and questions keep pouring in, so I'm hoping NBC ... read more

On those rare occasions when the...

On those rare occasions when the networks realize they've made a grievous mistake and fix it, it seems only right that we should acknowledge it and say thanks.

So thanks, CBS, for doing the right thing by The Amazing Race, and more important, for the show's family audience, by moving the show back to an earlier time period. As has been much discussed since the show was moved to 10 pm/ET this spring, with a season far superior than last fall's "family" edition, the new time period was simply on too late for many of its fans to watch it live. Starting next Wednesday, April 5, Race will now air Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET for (presumably) the rest of the season. (Crime-drama repeats will take over Race's slot, and struggling freshman sitcoms Out of Practice and Courting Alex will di read more

Hi, Matt. Love your column. I ...

Question: Hi, Matt. Love your column. I am writing because I have to say I am a bit worried about Medium, one of my favorite shows. The rapport of the family is great, and while the mysteries might be a bit pat, the journey is always more important than the destination. Since The Apprentice has become its lead-in, Medium's ratings have suffered, losing about three million viewers. While I can't fault NBC for moving Las Vegas, I have to fault them for not seeing that they are destroying a slowly growing program that people care about (Medium) by paying more attention to a show that many have felt has run its course (Apprentice). Do you think The Apprentice will still be on before Medium next season? Or is there a way to save Medium for another day? Answer: I wouldn't worry about Medium just yet. NBC has done it no favors with its Apprentice lead-in (and, more recently, preempting it this week in a desperate attempt to get sampling for Heist), but I haven't a clue if NBC is going to keep ... read more

Is NBC trying to kill off Law ...

Question: Is NBC trying to kill off Law & Order? How else would you explain them putting it opposite Lost? I think that NBC is content to just have Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (which is clearly the best of the L&O shows) and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (only watchable when Chris Noth is on) in their stable and bid farewell to the original. It's too bad. L&O has been a good show for a long time. Who knew that the death of Jerry Orbach would be so devastating? No offense to Dennis Farina, but he has been unable to generate any interest from this fan. Answer: I agree that classic Law & Order's glory days are behind it, but NBC (which merged a while back with Law & Order's parent company, Universal) isn't about to kill it or let it go just yet, regardless of this latest short-term, boneheaded move. (Second only to CBS continuing to run Amazing Race at the too-late hour of 10 pm/ET on Tuesdays.) If Law & Order were being thrown to the wolves — not just Lost, but the American Idol ... read more

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