The Week In TV: Time Runs Out for 24
• As I wrote last week in my post about The Office, it's possible for a show to overstay its welcome and outlive its creative potential. Even 30 Rock, whose first seasons brimmed with the kinetic energy of Arrested Development, has gone sour. Last week's "Floyd" brough back Liz's ex for the second time and kept making him worse and worse. The heartbreak of their original ending has been subsequently ruined over the revelation that he's not a good guy that got away but a relentlessly cruel guy with no sense of the pain he's inflicting. I'm being worn down by these series' relentless self-destruction and their lack of any other ambition than to burn what came before. But while they're old and busted, Community and Parks and Recreation are the new hotness: fresh, smart, strong, and still getting used to hitting their groove. Parks is doing wonderful things with its characters, especially the working relationship between Leslie and Ron, while Commumity is similarly enjoying a chance to mix up standard character couples like the buddy-cop comedy with Annie and Shirley. Those are the comedies I look forward to each week.
• Speaking of shows running out of steam: Fox's 24 is ending in May, thanks to falling ratings and ballooning budgets. The show will be remembered for giving us heavily serialized network dramas, Elisha Cuthbert, and a surprisingly helpful push for nets to air new seasons with no reruns or interruptions. When reached for comment, star Keifer Sutherland tried to cut off my thumb.
• Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post has a story about the economic fallout of the berserk force of nature that is Glenn Beck. Specifically, he's reporting that more than 200 companies are boycotting the program and refusing to run ads during the space, forcing Fox News to turn to brands like Kaopectate and Goldline International. And while you might think that people looking to buy gold and get rid of diarrhea would be the kind of erratic wingnuts Beck aims at anyway, the network is still having a tough time selling ad space. Some companies, like Apple, have apparently bailed on the entire network. Maybe someone at Fox News will start to realize the downsides -- if not the moral ones, at least the financial ones -- of letting a man with no obligation to the truth spout things he claims to be true.
• Related: Glenn Beck and James Cameron have been fighting in the press. It started with Cameron firing shots at a press conference Tuesday (presumably about the numerous special features he's prepping for the Avatar DVD which no one will care about). Cameron called Beck "a fucking asshole" with "poisonous" ideas, but he should've known better than to pick a fight with a nutbar with a TV show. Beck responded that Cameron should take the money he made from his "Smurf-murdering movie" and move on. I was going to link to a video clip of Beck, but then I realized that that would just be mean to do to you on a Monday morning. Really, though: Could there be a better match-up of outrageous egos? Here's hoping they announce a date for a formal duel.
• Here's a hilarious infographic about the truth in advertising between Discovery Channel, History Channel, and TLC. TLC long stopped resembling anything like "The Learning Channel," but it's not like History's Pawn Stars is anything to be proud of, either. Plus there's the fact that Discovery/TLC are making a reality show starring Sarah Palin. It's a grim time for educational TV. Take a look.
• The long-running movie review series At the Movies -- formerly Siskel & Ebert and then Ebert & Roeper -- has been cancelled. Roger Ebert's exit as he lost his voice to cancer meant the show had to change, but it was revamped with co-hosts Ben Mankiewicz and Ben Lyons, the latter of whom is a tabloid reporter masquerading as a critic who can't even bother to crib the press notes from someone else. Lyons' hackiness is what killed the show, and what made the second revamp, this time with the more talented A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips, almost guaranteed to fail. But really, with the ease and abundance of reading established and younger, talented critics online, what's the point in watching a half-hour show on Sunday afternoons?
• MTV canceled The Hills this week. I dare you to find a reason to care.
• I'll leave you this week with some Lost news and a video. The producers revealed last week that the series finale will be titled "The End," which seems safe enough. Meanwhile, an enterprising Vimeo user has done an awesome job re-envisioning the show's opening credits with a Saul Bass feel. Enjoy: