Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blood From A Stone

I believe that all good ideas have a shelf life. After a certain amount of time, they start to get a little gamey. This, I find, is most exceptionally true in the world of television. I am often surprised to discover that certain shows have continued on long past their prime. The easiest connection is "jumping the shark." You know, by the time that the Fonz jumped a tank of man-eating sharks, all the stories of the Cunninghams from Milwaukee and their pals had been told. Most of them more than once.
That's why I continue to maintain that three seasons of any television series is plenty. Which brings me to the case of Charlie Sheen and his misbegotten show. It's called show business for a reason. You can't just pull the plug on something that's making millions of dollars every year. Check that, hundreds of millions of dollars. The more you make, the more you can sell into syndication, and someday Nick at Nite will spend an entire Memorial Day weekend showing episodes back to back to back. That's why it was so important for the Columbia Broadcasting Network to rush Mister Demi Moore into the void that Charlie created in "Two and a Half Men." Confession Time: I have never seen an episode of this show. Not one. I like Jon Cryer just fine, and had no initial concerns about spending a half hour with Mister Sheen. But nothing about it ever clicked with me concept or schedule-wise to bring me in. I was surprised when the on-set feud began and people began describing this ratings juggernaut. "Is that thing still on?" Apparently enough that losing a large portion of the titular cast doesn't affect it. The clever folks at Warner Brothers TV will simply graft Ashton Kutcher onto the stump that was left. No worries. And I know that two groups will tune in: the loyal fans who want to see their favorite half-hour continue endlessly, and those peering in to watch the train wreck. It's guaranteed to last at least one more year. It's surprising that they didn't ask Ted McGinley to fill in.
Me? I'm getting a pitch together for a series about Richie's missing older brother: "Chuck: The Lost Years."

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