EW’s 26 Great TV Shows That Got a Quick Hook

Entertainment Weekly‘s website has compiled a list of “26 Great TV Shows That Got a Quick Hook.” The vast majority of the shows listed premiered after 2000 and one is actually still on the air; ABC’s Life on Mars ends its short run next week (on Wednesday, April 1st). Only one of the shows, CBS’s Frank’s Place, is from the 1980s while nine debuted during the 1990s.

It’s understandable that EW.com would focus on so many recent television shows given pop culture’s obsession with the fresh and new and the speed with which it forgets the past. And some of the shows on the list — notably NBC’s Journeyman and CBS’s Swingtown — are recent shows I watched, enjoyed and would have liked to have seen more of.


5 Comments

  • It’s understandable that EW.com would focus on so many recent television shows given pop culture’s obsession with the fresh and new and the speed with which it forgets the past.

    Which is why the magazine is known on my blog as Entertainment Weakly.

  • RGJ says:

    To be fair to EW, if there was a significant market for an entertainment magazine focusing on “classic television” (or even television from the 1990s), I’m sure there would be a section in EW covering it.

    Recall that TV Land has become a shell of its former self, devoting more and more of its schedule to “boomer” reality shows and sitcoms from the past two decades.

  • Recall that TV Land has become a shell of its former self, devoting more and more of its schedule to “boomer” reality shows and sitcoms from the past two decades.

    I recall this all too well. That doesn’t mean I have to give them a pass, nor do I in the case of EW.

    Which is why I enjoy your blog so much, RGJ–keep up the fine work.

  • Cee Jay says:

    Three of the shows on the list I watched all the time; FREEKS AND GEEKS reminded me of my high school days…my family and I loved FRANKS PLACE and MOONLIGHT was a great lead in for GHOST WHISPERER (Medium will be just as good).

    NOW AND AGAIN and NOWHERE MAN were great too maybe SyFy can pick them up and play them during their daily marathons or even get the old scripts and do the shows with new casts.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    The lesson here is simply this- IF you want to create a successful “offbeat series”, one must stop thinking in terms of trying to please a “cult audience (and every “yuppie” critic in print and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY). You MUST wrap it in “familiar surroundings” so that a mass audience will accept it without tuning out in droves…”DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES” is an excellent example. “LOST” is a better one. “GHOST WHISPERER” and “MEDIUM” are good examples of how to develop a “supernatural series” for a “mass audience” without “scaring” them away.

    Example- “BEWITCHED” succeeded in its offbeat premise because it wasn’t about the magic (at first)- it was initially about two people who try to share a normal life despite one of them having magical abilities, yet they love each other so much, that love virtually overcomes all “obstacles” they face every week. Pure and simple. If the series had focused on the “special effects”, it would have been cancelled within a season or so. “I DREAM OF JEANNIE”, the same reason- it wasn’t really about “genie” and “master”, it was (originally) about two people who met under unusual circumstances, and despite the proverbial “battle of the sexes”, they loved each other…the magic {and Barbara Eden & Larry Hagman) was the “icing on the cake”. If the premise is TOO weird- as in “PUSHING DAISIES” [cease and desist already, Barry Sonnenfeld!!], viewers just won’t tune in.

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