Good-bye Denny Crane

December 10, 2008
By

I am nothing but a nut for Christmas and the holiday season. It therefore takes something pretty drastic to depress me at this time of year, but ABC managed to do just that when it prematurely pulled the plug on Boston Legal. I knew this was the show’s last season and I had resigned myself to life without the antics of Denny and Alan but I was at the beginning of that end. Like a terminal patient, I had heard the prognosis but it hadn’t fully sunk in. I found solace in the fact that I would have a few months to prepare. That at least one night each week during the winter doldrums I would have the joy of but one more David E. Kelley take on the state of this country’s social state of affairs.

So imagine my “what the…..?” when I read Monday that the two hour series finale was not sometime in May 2009 but THAT night. What had happened? Why cut off mid-season? I found the answer in Lisa DeMoreas “The TV Colum” in the Washington Post. It seems that “Legal” had lost half of its under-50 audience compared to it’s first season. And in this age of network mindsets of “must chase the young crowd” that statistic was the death knell for one of television’s best written and certainly most quirkily delivered shows.

David E. Kelley, the show’s creator doesn’t think much of the decision either. In the interview by DeMoreas he explains: “The guardians of this industry are no longer good parents, and it’s become more about the selling. Content is just too irrelevant too often.”

Irrelevant indeed Mr. Kelley. For what are the wizards at ABC giving us to replace wit, wisdom, and biting social commentary? Surprise, surprise it’s ANOTHER reality show! But THIS one is different. THIS one comes from intellectual giants Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher. The premise of the show “True Beauty” has celebrity judges determining which contestent has the most “inner beauty”.

The only “beauty” in the above scenario will be if it’s cancelled first season. But I wouldn’t hold your breath. Given the current state of network television, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the under 35 crowd make this farce a top ten show. And why not? After all it fits the demographic perfectly……absolutely no requirement to think and the entire plot can be condensed to the average five minute attention span.

The official name for ABC may be the American Broadcasting Company, but in the “reality” they have made for themselves the more fitting would be: Anything But Class.

For Lisa DeMoreas column and more Mr. Kelley:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/07/AR2008120702552.html?hpid=news-col-blog

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