Brian Cochrane

Joined Variety in 1998; Currently oversees the Smoke & Mirrors section of Weekly and production of Daily Variety a couple days of the week.  Studied film and TV production as well as journalism at USC. TV favorites range from the original Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart shows to “Hill Street Blues,” “thirtysomething,” “Seinfeld” and “Cheers.” Still a PBS junkie for “Nova” and “Frontline.”

Friday Night Lights – NBC (The best drama on TV last season, hands-down. Emmy voters: What happened?)
Lost ABC (After stumbling with that six-episode mini-season, producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff confidently put loyal viewers back on solid ground with an amazing end-of-season run.)
Heroes – NBC (First season smartly grew and coalesced around its core characters and the discovery of their abilities. Hoping the second season has more to say and that a spinoff series won’t dilute the original’s strengths.)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – CBS (Original-recipe “CSI” remains essential viewing thanks to William Peterson’s enigmatic Grissom.)
Battlestar Galactica – Sci Fi (Earth looms! The season-ender with four humans discovering they may be Cylon sleepers and the reappearance of Starbuck was top-tier drama and propelled the series toward its finale.)
How I Met Your Mother – CBS (A romantic comedy that isn’t afraid to be sweet, smart and dorky. Pitch-perfect cast, with Neal Patrick Harris elevating his game to new levels last season. A premise that once seemed unsustainable now offers seasons of potential turns in the hands of the show’s sharp writing team.)
Doctor Who – Sci Fi (Forget the low-budget gadgetry and CGI aliens, the revived Doctor Who found its heart in David Tennant and Billy Piper last season.) 
The Office – NBC (A big fan of the original British series, I was late to the game on NBC’s adaptation but got hooked on the show’s expanded antics and the ongoing dance between Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski’s Pam and Jim.)
Entourage – HBO (Sure, it’s not much like actually working in Hollywood, but there’s something oddly compelling about those weird intersections of real Hollywood and Vincent Chase Hollywood.)


Hanging on by a thread:
Jericho – CBS (Nuts! I wanted it to go on, but producers have got to give us some answers and cut back on all the folksy hometown moralizing.)
Grey’s Anatomy – ABC (What started as a fresh blend of character, comedy and drama devolved last season into needlessly convoluted soap opera. And spinning Kate Walsh off to her own series seems less inspired and more about the writers’ inability to figure out what to do with her character on “Grey’s.”)   
Men in Trees – ABC  (I didn’t embrace this one initially, but ABC’s repeats on Friday evenings gave me a chance to discover the comedic charms of Anne Heche and reconnect with my fondness for old fave “Northern Exposure.” “Men” still has to prove it’s got more than Alaska vs. New York contrasts at its core.)

-Hopes for a “Deadwood” final episode or telepic on HBO.

Hoping to get back into:
Nothing – I tried it with “Prison Break” last season, but even the addition of William Fichtner couldn’t provide any narrative drive beyond the show’s (once)-compelling premise.

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