Monthly Archives: March 2013

Is Sunday Night the New “Must See TV” Night?

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Ok, did I miss something? …When did Sunday Night become the new “Must See TV” night? Do you remember when that was Thursday night?

Yep!….The terminology was coined by NBC in the 1990s when their Thursday night line-up was doing gang-busters in the ratings. Actually they were scoring high since the 1980s. The line-up goes like this; The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court, A Different World, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Wings, Frasier, Friends, and Will & Grace, as well as such drama series as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and, I mostly definitely remember, ER. These shows dominated prime time for the network.

Unfortunately for NBC, their track record at the moment is quite the contrary. Even when their Thursday night ratings began to wane a bit, in the mid-to-late 2000s, and the theme was replaced with Comedy Night Done Right, I am confident they didn’t anticipate the low numbers they’re experiencing these days.

The other networks clued in, and followed the patterned where they too scheduled their best performing programs on Thursday night, thus making the days of the week a marker for what is working in the television business and what is not.

From all observations it appears that Sunday night is now the night when many just must watch television. Whether its ABC’s Once Upon A Time then Revenge or CBS’ The Good Wife, Downton Abbey on PBS, and now NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. The Cable Stations are in on it as well. When in season that’s the night fans are sure to catch Homeland on Showtime, Game of Thrones on HBO, Army Wives on Lifetime, The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo (the network’s highest rated of the series), The Walking Dead on AMC…and the list goes on and on, and on – particularly depending on the season.

I am reminded of a story. On one such Sunday night I was enjoying some of my Sunday night Favs when my phone buzzed with a text message from a friend inquiring whether I was checking out another popular Sunday night show. To their dismay, I was unable to engage about their program but it got me to thinking how difficult it was for me to keep up with all that was airing that night. Anyway later on, I texted another friend to learn what they were taking in and to my surprise they were watching yet another program that I totally forgot was on. If it seems all too confusing, believe me it is. These days to keep track of all the shows I enjoy on Sundays, it requires a schedule and relying on recordings for future viewing.

Now some may argue that Thursday night is still a pretty good night for television – especially the plethora of Scandal fans who epitomize the definition of appointment TV watching. Still, Thursday does not compare to Sunday with the quantity of eligible programming available currently. Of course it’s not brain surgery, it’s only TV but it is comforting to know, in the words of a Discovery Communications professional; “TV has made a come-back”. …Now excuse me as I get my Sunday night line-up together.

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The Wonder Of Touch

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To begin with, I am terribly attracted to any storyline that has to do with Super Intelligence.

To add to that, Keifer Sutherland acts exquisitely as the caring and sensitive, yet intelligent single Father of an extremely autistic and mute 10-year-old whose capabilities make him a rare but valued entity, to a very powerful group of individuals. To sum up the story’s premise: “Touch is a preternatural drama in which science and spirituality intersect with the hopeful premise that we are all interconnected, tied in invisible ways to those whose lives we are destined to alter and impact.”

The program provides action and suspense, with a healthy balance of family drama. Keifer Sutherland, who is also an Executive Producer on the show, brings the same though somewhat softened intensity to the character of Martin Bohm, as he did to his previous character on the successful “24” – also on the same Fox Network. Sutherland is truly a joy to watch each Friday (or On Demand when it is missed). Like any other single Father – following the death of his wife who was a victim of the 9/11 tragedy – Sutherland’s character does everything within his power to not be separated from his son who is wanted by sketchy authorities for his Super Intelligent gifts. His demeanor and approach throughout each challenge is endearing.

Currently in season 2 the series’ storyline has not lacked energy, in my opinion. There is sufficient intrigue which often makes me wish that someone would simply develop and release Touch the movie already. It is unfortunate however, that the show has been moved to Friday nights. This is the day where most programs go to fizz-out when they don’t pull in strong TV ratings. Tsk, tsk, tsk….It is truly a shame that the larger television audience could not appreciate the sensitivity yet strength of the series when it aired earlier in the week.

I intend to remain faithful to Touch, to the very end. Both Keifer Sutherland and David Mazoz, the young lad who plays Sutherland’s son Jake, keep me coming back for more.

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Filed under Film and Television Commentary