The Telefile

TWoP 10: Best Network Decisions of the Fall

by Angel Cohn October 14, 2011 9:39 am
TWoP 10: Best Network Decisions of the Fall

Most of the time, we're up in arms about decisions that TV networks make (particularly when they cancel shows that we love) but this fall, there have been a surprising number good moves on their part -- not including the full-season pickup for the increasingly awful Whitney, of course. Here are the ones we respect the most:

10. Moving The Good Wife to Sunday Night
We were initially upset about the show getting shuttled off to Sundays, especially since it meant we'd have to set our DVRs for CSI: Miami (something we thought we'd never do in this lifetime) because of NFL-induced overruns. But even though it's taxed our DVRs, the move seems to have worked ratings-wise, not despite but because of football and the huge audience it pushes to CBS' primetime lineup. Anything that gets more people watching Good Wife is fine by us, even if that includes House fans jonesing for Cuddy.

9. Making The Sing-Off a Fall Show
This really wonderful reality singing competition is usually given a few short weeks in the doldrums of December, but now it's a real show with a lot of amazing talent. We're thrilled that we get to see these groups performing their well-rehearsed, technically challenging numbers on a weekly basis for the entire fall season.

8. Giving 2 Broke Girls a Full Season
The show has some issues (mainly the supporting cast of stereotypical characters and the incredibly intrusive laugh track) but if you can get past those, there's some sharp dialogue and good chemistry between the two stars. We're glad that the network is giving this show time to grow (and hopefully evolve away from its weak elements) for the rest of the TV year.

7. Saving Some of the Best for Midseason
It used to be that midseason was a dumping ground for some of the programs that were subpar alternates for fall shows that didn't make it. But now the winter and spring is practically its own TV season, and we're looking forward to new series like Smash, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 and Alcatraz.

6. Taking Glee and New Girl Out of the Starting Rotation for Baseball
As demonstrated by X-Factor getting bumped at the last minute this Wednesday night at the last minute and Terra Nova and House being pushed back on Monday because of MLB playoff delays and extra innings, airing new episodes during baseball's postseason is a dicey proposition. Better to take them off the air for a month and bring them back when people can actually watch them during their regularly scheduled timeslots.

5. Quickly Cancelling Free Agents
We felt sorry for everyone involved in this show, particularly Anthony Head. Really, they all deserved better than this rehashed material. At least Hank Azaria has years of huge Simpsons paydays to look forward to... oh, wait.

4. Hart of Dixie Getting a Full Season
This show is ridiculous, implausible and not even very well acted. Yet, we're sort of happy it got a full season so we can continue laughing at it each week. For us, it's this year's Hellcats, but instead of an unbelievable law student in half-shirts, we've got a unbelievable doctor in short-shorts.

3. No Network "Saving" The Playboy Club
We'd always preferred the light and inconsequential Pan Am to this fall's other period drama, and while The Playboy Club had a bit of a mystery, we really felt no curiosity about how it got resolved. So we're glad that there wasn't a stampede by other networks to "save" this show that really shouldn't have aired in the first place.

2. Holding Once Upon a Time Until Later
This fairytale show (and the more procedural Grimm) aren't debuting until the end of October, which gives them a better shot at survival. Not that either are mind-blowingly amazing, but one, or both of these supernatural dramas would likely have gotten lost in the shuffle of new debuts before viewers had a chance to decide if they really like them or not. Based on the pilots we saw, that would've been a shame.

1. Cancelling How to Be a Gentleman
This was one of the most appalling shows of the fall, so we're glad that it was quickly removed from the schedule. May the same fate befall Last Man Standing as soon as possible.

Watch TWoP's editors discuss the best decisions made by networks this fall in this video from the New York Nonstop news channel:

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