Lowry’s latest – CBS, Part I

At first glance, CBS has come to a rather stark conclusion: You can only go so far with a lineup that relies almost entirely on chalk outlines.

After becoming known as the home of dead bodies — devoting half its primetime hours to crime shows, anchored by three “CSIs” and “NCIS,” which is really just “CSI” with the letters jumbled around — the Eye network has realized that they have to take some bigger, bolder bets. As a huge fan of the original BBC version of “Viva Blackpool,” the U.S. version “Viva Laughlin” is precisely that — and a conceptual gamble, if you’ll pardon the expression, with very long odds.

Still, it beats the hell out of sitting back and waiting for the audience to realize that there are only so many ways to dismember a human body, right before zooming through the puncture wound to watch the little neurons stop firing. While CBS has had a great run with that approach, it’s clearly yielding diminishing returns.

On the down side, those in the press who questioned whether last year’s serialized dramas might leave viewers high and dry have a prime example with “Jericho,” which ended on a cliffhanger and now risks leaving its little Kansas town in limbo for all eternity. There’s no evidence that disappointed fans hold extended grudges, but this is one of those instances where some kind of closure — a blog posting, online outline, whatever, assuming a two-hour movie isn’t feasible — would seem to be good customer service. Barring that, this might be the worst endless cliffhanger since CBS’ sci-fi series “Now and Again” a few years ago.

The network also merits a share of blame, too, for “Jericho’s” demise, having benched the show for an extended stretch after its promising debut. The ratings never rebounded when it returned (Fox helped kill it off with expanded “Amercian Idol” rounds) and what initially looked like a keeper for CBS soon went Ka-boom.

On the plus side, maybe this means Ashley Scott will be available to do “Into the Blue 2: Even Less Plot, But More Bikinis.”

— Brian Lowry

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  1. First, the artist acts as god by concocting a world, or a system for generating beauty.

  2. Chuck Adams says:

    May 20, 2007
    Dear Cynthia and Readers:
    I have a dream and I need your help !
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    It is set largely on the East End of Long Island and in Manhattan.
    They say most first novels are somewhat autobiographical and there are, indeed, connecting points to my life in this story.
    Bobby Sanders, like myself, uses a wheelchair. He knows it’s okay to different, it’s okay to dream, it’s okay to want something more in life.
    This is a story that is a cross between ‘Ironside’ and ‘Friday Night Lights’…with a romantic twist. Bobby Sanders is an investigative jouranlist…he solves mysteries…finds the truth…sometimes, it takes time to find the truth, the mysteries, the secrets in our own hearts.
    ‘Something More’ was inspired by a relationship I had in college. I wrote the first three chapters in the summer of 1979.
    Then, I never wrote another word about this story for the next 25 years.
    I got married…twice….had two wonderful daughters….built a business career on the East End.
    But when I went through a divorce in the summer of 2003, I returned home to my parent’s house in Mattituck. I found the original hand-written chapters of ‘Something More’ in my old bedroom closet. As I re-read the story, I remembered almost every word I had written 25 years before verbatim. Six months later, I helped Bobby Sanders and Kimberly Wells finish their romantic journey.
    Since this story is so different, perhaps the way I will find my ultimate champion who will make this dream come true, might need to be different as well.
    I have done all the traditional ways of submitting my manuscript and screenplay.
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    So many of you started out the very same way…with a dream.
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    I am searching for my big break.
    It may well come from one of you.
    I hope you will consider this project.
    I look forward to talking with you.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Chuck Adams

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