Monday, May 08, 2006

The Ends Are Near

With both their long running formerly hit TV series airing their final episodes this coming Sunday, it looks as if married actors Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm In The Middle) will have a lot of quality time to spend together now. That kind of thing can just kill a perfectly good marriage. I give it a year unless one of them lands a new series.
West Wing and Malcolm are just two of the network verterans taking their final bows during this May Sweeps period. Groundbreaking sitcom Will & Grace, nostalgic comedy That 70's Show, cheesy supernatural thriller Charmed, and espionage potboiler Alias all check out in the next week or two.
Most of these series are well past their peak creatively and have seen their ratings drop. In the case of That 70's Show, I'd say it's probably about time to pull the plug on it, since, in the show's timeline, it was 1976 when the series started, so after an eight year run, this show about the 1970's should be well into the mid-80's. the appeal of Charmed, meanwhile, has always been a complete mystery to me, and I'm surprised a show that goofy lasted more than 13 weeks. Alias, for most of run, aired on Sunday nights opposite Law & Order: Criminal Intent, my favorite of the L&O series, so I never got hooked on it like many of my friends did.
Tonight is the end after ten seasons for the WB's heartwarming family saga 7th Heaven. The finale airs at 8 p.m. nationally, but 11 p.m. here in Columbus, OH on Channel 53. I've never been a fan of 7th Heaven, not because it's a bad show, but because I've just never been a devotee of the whole family drama genre. I will admit, though, that 7th Heaven was one of the better entries in that category.
It's sort of fitting that one of WB's earliest hits bows out just when the network itself will soon cease to exist as an independent entity after merging with UPN to form the CW Network beginning this fall. I suspect we'll see quite a few more series on both networks being canned as they attempt to merge their existing slates of programming while making way for the inevitable autumnal onslaught of new series.

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