As viciously as critics and movie audiences rejected Madonna and hubby Guy Ritchie's new film "Swept Away", those big bad networks have begun slashing struggling shows from their schedules as November sweeps approaches. Heavy-handed TV hitmaker David E. Kelley's new show "girls club" got the ax yesterday by Fox. Today, CBS killed off their Sunday night sitcom "Bram and Alice". Neither show was given much of a chance to find an audience, as "girls club" aired twice and "Bram and Alice" ran only four episodes. The cancellation of "Bram and Alice" is more painful on a personal level because a friend of mine got his first staff writing gig on that show and he and his wife just had their first child. I hope the wicked television tide turns in his favor and he surfaces on another show soon.
As far as good television goes, on Tuesday I watched the season two premiere of "24" and an outstanding episode of "The West Wing" last night. The premise for the new season-long day of "24" involving the threat of a rogue terrorist group setting off a nuclear weapon in Los Angeles is instantly riveting. The show has added a couple of new characters and the ensemble acting seems better already now that Jack Bauer's wife has been killed off. I had mixed feelings about watching the special season premiere episode presented without commercial interruption. On one hand, I love good television without commercials because it makes it feel more like a movie, (see The Sopranos and Six Feet Under) and I could easily see enjoying this show even more on a premium cable station. On the other hand, I like the breather that commercials give you while watching such an intense program, and "24" has that great gimmick of the ticking clock counting down the last few seconds to a commercial break.
Boo! Happy Halloween.