Random Thought

28 05 2010

I’ve been assured that Beverly Hills 90210, One Tree Hill and The O.C. will continue to air on SoapNet until the network stops operating circa 2012.

I’ve tried expressing my devastation to people…and it’s been difficult.

Sure, I have all the Beverly Hills 90210 DVDs that have been released (still waiting on season 10) and countless VHS tapes.

But there’s something comforting, not to mention purely amazing, in knowing it has been on television consistently for nearly 20 years.

There’s a thrill I get from knowing my favorite shows, though two of them long ago canceled, still air seven days a week on television.

When I first heard the news, I assumed SoapNet’s demise was imminent–not 18 months or so away. Even still, I feel just as gutted as if it was ending tomorrow.

Less than a year ago I lamented that Dawson’s Creek no longer aired in the United States. I expressed my fear that that would one day be the case with Beverly Hills 90210. I never even thought that we might lose The O.C. or One Tree Hill with it, in one fell swoop.

And it never occurred to me–perhaps foolishly–that SoapNet would simply cease to exist. If the shows went off the air, I assumed it would be due to syndication deals expiring.

But Disney deciding to “cancel” the network?

This is one plot twist I never saw coming.

Random Thought

26 02 2010

As of this post, we still don’t know whether One Tree Hill will be renewed or canceled.

We do seem to know the schedule for the rest of the season:

4/26/10: Episode 7.19

5/3/10: Episode 7.20

5/10/10: Episode 7.21

5/17/10: Episode 7.22

Of course this schedule is subject to change but if it stays and 7.22 is the series finale, One Tree Hill would have the same end date as Beverly Hills 90210.

Things to consider:

  • Beverly Hills 90210 aired its series finale on May 17, 2000. The One Tree Hill series finale would air exactly 10 years later, on a milestone anniversary for BH90210.
  • Beverly Hills 90210 was the first teen drama to air, the first one to finish airing and remains the longest-running teen drama.
  • One Tree Hill was the fourth teen drama to air, would be the fourth one to finish airing and is the second-longest-running teen drama.
  • The common end date (arguably) gives more meaning to a video I posted last April, in which the maker declared BH90210 and OTH to be “the two greatest television shows in history.”

Interesting, no?

Random Thought

13 01 2010

After doing the Random Thought where I speculated on reasons for The CW’s mid-season scheduling, I realized it would probably be helpful to examine each of the current teen dramas and their chances of renewal.

As you’ll see below, there’s pros and cons for each show–ones that I believe are enough to warrant either renewal or cancellation. I honestly believe it could go either way. The bottom line, then, is we really just have to wait til May, when The CW officially announces their 2010-2011 schedule.

ONE TREE HILL (Average number of viewers this season: 2.5 million viewers, rounded up)

For: Of the three teen dramas, One Tree Hill has the highest ratings almost every time there’s new episodes. Cast and crew say they feel reinvigorated and have contracts for an eighth season. The network feels confident enough about it to use it as a launching pad for Life Unexpected.

Against: Fans remain split on the quality of this season. There has been a marginal drop in ratings and the show is going on eight years. At some point, someone’s going to say enough’s enough. The network could say the show has run its course and/or they want new blood. They may be more willing to say that this year, if space on the schedule is limited and an old show needs to go so they can bring in more new shows and/or focus on their younger ones. The cast and crew could say the show has run its course and/or they want to try new things. Creator/executive producer Mark Schwahn is working on a new pilot, Nashville, as well as another project for The CW.

GOSSIP GIRL (2.2 million viewers)

For: Buzz is as high as ever, with countless publications willing and ready to report on the shows and its stars. Cast and crew reportedly have contracts for a fourth season. An additional season increases the likelihood of a syndication deal and, of course, a better deal at that. The show has become a “signature” for The CW, one that they still promote heavily, which is an indication of their investment in it.

Against: Fans and critics alike have complained of a drop in quality this year. Ratings are dropping as well. Several cast members have shown an increasing interest in focusing their careers on film and music.

90210 (2.2 million viewers, rounded up)

For: Critics are responding better to this season than the last one. Critics, cast and network have said having Rebecca Sinclair take over has helped. Matt Lanter (Liam) has said he’s pretty sure they’ll get another season–and more. The cast and crew likely have contracts through a fourth season. Canceling it after two seasons would be the equivalent of The CW admitting they were wrong about the viability of a Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off and/or that they weren’t the ones capable of making the idea work. After they bragged about it so much before and during the initial launch, it would be a big embarrassment. A third season would (arguably) allow them to say they successfully created the next installment in the 90210 franchise, one that lasted for a respectable three years.

Against: The show was among the lowest-rated of 2009 for any broadcast network and critics consider it to be largely unsuccessful compared to the original.

Since this is a teen drama site, you’ll notice I didn’t include Life Unexpected, The Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place, Smallville and Supernatural. But for the sake of completeness, here’s my take on those: for LUX, it all depends on the ratings the first 13 episodes get and whether critics love the later episodes as much as they did the first few. Even if the ratings are low and critics turn negative, however, they may still want to give the show a proper season in hopes people will come around if given more time. The Vampire Diaries is a surefire renewal, as it has ratings, buzz and critical acclaim. Melrose Place is in a similar position to 90210 but with two differences: worse ratings and only 1 season. The CW could say the ratings gave no choice but to cancel but they could also renew, citing strengths (as they usually do) by spinning some of the numbers. And like with 90210, giving up too soon would be a sign of a defeat, that their grand plan–especially after Heather Locklear’s involvement–didn’t work out. Some question whether Smallville and Supernatural will get renewals since they’ve been on for quite some time already, but the network has remained positive about both shows and their futures. In two interviews, both less than a week old, Dawn Ostroff maintains she’s very pleased with Smallville this year but the exact future remains to be seen. She made similar comments about Supernatural.

The network technically has 10 spots to fill: two shows per night, Monday-Friday. Renewing all the shows mentioned above, plus America’s Next Top Model, makes 9. Most networks want to bring in more than one pilot. If The CW feels that way, they’ll either have to give a show–either new or old–a limited season or they’ll have to cancel one (if not more) of their current shows.

Fans, bloggers and critics will spend the next several months speculating on which shows will get renewed. There might be stronger indications as time goes by as well as some early announcements, but sometimes a decision in the bottom of the ninth, so to speak, can change everything (as it did with The CW and 7th Heaven/Everwood in 2006). Nothing is 100 percent official until the upfront in May, when the network presents its new schedule to advertisers.

I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m hedging my bets so I’m not wrong. I truly won’t be surprised if any of the teen dramas are renewed or canceled. I wish I could give you a better indication of what will be. The truth is, if you told me Gossip Girl was canceled for the reasons I listed above, I’d say it makes perfect sense. Likewise, if you told me it was renewed for the reasons I listed above, that would make perfect sense to me, too. The same goes for One Tree Hill and 90210. These are the things countless executives at the network will be going back and forth on for the next few months. They’re also privy to information we’re not–such as the exact costs of making each show, the profits they’re making and the quality of the pilot options as well as the quality of the plans the current crews have pitched to them for next season.

In the meantime, if you want a show to get renewed, I encourage you to watch it when it airs–not online and not via DVR. You can also contact The CW via its Web site to let them know what you want to see next season. Many times a strong fan campaign has made all the difference.

Hang in there. We’ve still got a ways to go.

Random Thought

4 01 2010

When people (clearly not TDW readers!) ask me when Gossip Girl and 90210 are returning with new episodes, they’re shocked to find out it’s March 8th and 9th, respectively.

Still more than 2 months to wait, after already suffering through half of December with repeats.

Why, they ask.

Well, the explanation is really quite simple.

There’s usually only about 22 episodes produced per a season but more than 22 *weeks* in a season. This means there will be a significant off period, a “hiatus,” where we get nothing but repeats or a different show in its place. In the past, they’ve been short and frequent–on for two weeks, off for three; on for four, off for two.

This year, The CW decided to buck tradition and do just one giant hiatus for Gossip Girl and 90210. A long break  for a few months then a long stretch of back-to-back new episodes for a few months.

But they’re not doing this for One Tree Hill. One Tree Hill returns on January 18, after a six-week break, and then goes on another hiatus in early March, when Gossip Girl comes back, and returns again in late April.

According to The CW, they’re doing this to ensure all new episodes on Mondays (with help from Life Unexpected) from January 18th til the season ends.

But I’m not sure I buy it. I’m also not sure I know who the loser is.

Is The CW concerned about the quality of One Tree Hill this season? Are they looking to burn through the episodes sooner? Are they worried fans won’t stick around and tune in after an extra-long break?

Or do they have more confidence in One Tree Hill leading the new episode charge in January? So much confidence that they’re using it to anchor a new show?

Do they see Gossip Girl and 90210 as the shows fans are willing to wait for? Are they saving their best material for a one-two punch later in the season?

Or are they concerned about Gossip Girl and 90210’s dropping ratings?

It could be a combination of the above. They could be having their cake and eating it, too. They could think this is the perfect way to have the second-half of the 2009-2010 season kick ass: a little of this and then a little of that.

But the cynic in me says no. The cynic in me says that’s not the case at all.

Let’s hope I’m wrong and we get three renewals when it comes time to announce next season’s schedule.

Random Thought

30 10 2009

I was watching The O.C. recently when this thought struck me: three of our teen dramas have introduced a night club as a way of gathering the characters and featuring musical guests.

Beverly Hills 90210 started the trend (as they did with almost every teen drama characteristic) in 1994 with the After Dark.

One Tree Hill followed suit with TRIC  in 2004.

The O.C. debuted The Bait Shop a few weeks later.

Dawson’s Creek was an exception, and we’ve yet to see if Gossip Girl and 90210 will do something similarly.

Another common feature: the evil character that, after a health crisis, vows to change his ways.  On The O.C. it was Caleb and on One Tree Hill it’s Dan.

That’s enough randomness for now.  Until next time…

Random Thought

2 10 2009

Of the 3 teen dramas no longer airing new episodes, Dawson’s Creek is the only one not on television at all anymore.

And it frustrates the hell out of me!

The show ended on The WB in spring of 2003 but continued to live on in syndication through TBS and The N.  Each aired them daily for quite some time in either the morning or evening.  Then they slowly disappeared from the airwaves, with TBS first banishing it to 4:30am where it could die a quiet and slow death.

I don’t understand what happened, as no public comment was ever given.  Logic tells me the syndication deals probably expired and the ratings weren’t worth negotiating a new contract.

But why does TBS still have it on their Web site? It doesn’t appear when you just go to the TBS homepage, but doing a search will find a lot of DC content.  You can even access its original page on the site (I have it bookmarked on my Links page), which stills says it airs at 4:30am.  But, of course, clicking upcoming episodes doesn’t yield any results.  (It’s hardly still on the Web site for The N–now called Teen Nick–save for two quizzes.)

Why does Sony still have the official Dawson’s Creek site still up?  Beverly Hills 90210’s home on the web is long gone, as well as The O.C.’s.  If you’re going to keep the site, at least use it.  Most of its features are still functional but the homepage, which features all the DVD releases, hasn’t been updated to advertise the Complete Series set which comes out next month.

Yes, if I long for the show that badly, I can just watch my DVDs.  But there’s a certain satisfaction and pleasure that comes from knowing it’s still on television somewhere and there if I want it. Plus, it not only keeps the show present in pop culture but also deepens its legacy.

I can’t imagine a day when Beverly Hills 90210 isn’t on TV at all.  Hopefully that’s a long way off and keep your fingers crossed that, by some miracle, some channel brings Dawson’s Creek back on again.

Random Thought

19 09 2009

I’ve said in previous posts that James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek; Dixon, One Tree Hill) and Chad Michael Murray (Lucas, One Tree Hill; Charlie, Dawson’s Creek) were the only 2 teen drama stars to have significant roles on two shows.

But there’s a third I usually fail to mention.

Paul Johansson, best known as Dan Scott on One Tree Hill, starred in 13 episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 as John Sears.

While other actors have certainly appeared on more than one teen drama–and sometimes on the same show in more than one role!–these three have had the most significant gigs.

Random Thought 2

10 08 2009

Yes,  it’s two random thoughts in one day.

I really couldn’t wait any longer to post this one because I am…furious.

That’s right, furious.

So what has me so mad?

Twitter fakers. More specifically, teen drama impersonators.

These are people that pretend to be so-and-so from whatever show but really aren’t. All their tweets are made-up lies or the content is stolen from elsewhere. And what makes it worse is that thousands of fans think they are real.

Christy-Anne at OTH Twitter Bugs started her site to stop this very thing. She’s been successful at getting fake accounts shut down but it seems every day, more and more pop up.

This post was inspired by a particularly egregious example that came to a head today. There is one Twitter account that is proclaiming to be Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley, One Tree Hill). This person has stolen TwitPics from the official OTH account and even stolen the design, layout and content from Galeotti’s official site to create their own. Yes, this person created a site that looks just like Galeotti’s–except it isn’t.

Christy-Anne, who has been in touch with Galeotti’s people, has confirmed that this and all Twitter accounts for her are fake. Same goes for Sophia Bush (Brooke), Chad Michael Murray (Lucas), etc.

These fakers are disgusting human beings, and I hope that comes off as harsh as I mean it to. What possesses you to pretend to be someone else? What makes you want to dupe thousands of genuine fans?  If you are such fans of the show and the actors, why would you disrespect them this way?

What these people don’t seem to know is that what they’re doing is illegal. It is a crime in this country to impersonate someone else. And as Christy-Ann has shown, lawyers are willing to get involved.

I also don’t understand the fans that follow these accounts. Most of the time, they are so obviously fake. Every time you follow one, you are giving them undue legitimacy. We as true fans deserve more and I have to question the maturity, intelligence and loyalty of any fan that falls prey to these scams.

So how do you know if an account is real? First, see if it has the Twitter verified seal on it. All celebrities have been encouraged to register with the company in order to show their legitimacy. If they don’t have the seal, check with TruthTweet and Valebrity, two very reputable databases of celebrity accounts. Lastly, check with official sites for the network, show and the celebs themselves. If they are not confirmed in any of those places, odds are they fake.

Remember, anyone can make up a tweet that sounds real, or link to a site that isn’t their’s or even pass off a tabloid photo as their own. There are some accounts right now that I am questioning, ones for Leighton Meester (Blair, Gossip Girl), Taylor Momsen (Jenny, Gossip Girl), Autumn Reeser (Taylor, The O.C.), etc. Until they meet any of the above standards, or until I get conformation from their publicists, I have to assume they are fake. If they turn out to be real, I will make my apologies right here on this site. But you can’t blame me for being careful. Unlike some other people, I do want to look out for fellow fans.

To find out which teen drama stars are or aren’t on Twitter, search “Twitter” in the search bar and all the relevant posts will come up.

Random Thought

10 08 2009

I don’t recall what made me start thinking about this but One Tree Hill’s Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) has had the fewest relationships of any long-time teen drama character.

She has only had sex with one guy, Nathan (James Lafferty)–but to be fair, Donna (Tori Spelling, Beverly Hills 90210) and Joey (Katie Holmes, Dawson’s Creek) are close behind with just 3 sexual partners.

Donna and Joey, however, also had several relationships.  Haley had just one with Nathan and, as far as we know, kissed a bit with Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton).

Other than that, she hasn’t been romantically or sexually linked to anyone else.  Nathan, by contrast, can be linked to–whether he likes it or not– Peyton, Taylor, Brooke  and Nanny Carrie.  The other long-time characters in Tree Hill and on the other shows have had several relationships as well.

Haley is pretty unique, no?  Then again, she did get married and have a baby by the time she graduated high school…

Random Thought

28 07 2009

Look at the recent release dates for the Beverly Hills 90210 DVDs:

Season 4: April 29, 2008

Season 5: July 29, 2008

Season 6: November 25, 32008

Season 7: April 7, 2009

According to the past schedule, then, we’re due for another release but it’s way too late for the summer cycle.  They could be going right to fall, but they usually announce the set a few months before it officially goes on sale.  For instance, the season 7 DVD was announced in January–4 months before it was released.

By that calculation, we should be hearing about season 8 any day now, especially since we haven’t already.  And my anxiousness is getting the best of me.

I keep checking my number one source, TVShowsOnDVD.com, but they’ve been silent.  And if they don’t have anything, then there’s nothing.

Which makes me a) sad and b) nervous.  It took a long time for season 1 to come out–the pilot was released separately a whole 2 years before and a whopping 4 years after the series ended–particularly because of struggles with rights to the show and the music.  I can only fear that the same is what’s holding up the last 3 seasons and I can only hope that it won’t hold them up for good.

Another theory is that they’re planning a package release for the last 3 or working on a complete series collection, a la Dawson’s Creek.  But they’d make a lot more money first releasing them individually and then enticing fans to buy the series (I know I would).

Of course, they could just be taking their sweet time and maybe working on some awesome extras (especially since the last few sets didn’t have any).  They could also be waiting for the 19th or 20th anniversaries of the show’s premiere, coming up in October of this year and next.  It’s also a lot harder when you don’t have a new season to promote, an advantage shared by One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl.

So what’s going on?  I have no idea and it’s killing me!

%d bloggers like this: