Thursday night network TV has few bright spots
There was a time when Thursdays were the night for comedies like “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “Cheers,” then it expanded to be the night for drama, when “ER” made its debut. We were fortunate when “The Big Bang Theory” recently settled on Mondays AND reruns on Thursdays, after the CBS shuffling that moved them back and forth.
The bad thing now is, even The Big Bang Theory is at a point where there’s not much happening to draw in an audience. There’s less of the geeky fun and more of the typical sitcom relationship status that wears thin after a couple of seasons.
After a third episode of “The Good Place” on NBC, I’ve lost most of my interest. It started off with a fresh take on the comedic idea — “What happens when we die?” — then sort of forgot the comedy part. I like having Ted Danson back on television and his character, Michael is likable and unrestrained, perhaps even the redeeming quality of the show, but our main character, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) is becoming less relatable as the show progresses. I’m not sure where it started falling flat, but when we’d go an entire episode without a single laugh, I became disengaged. I’m sad about this, because I truly had the highest of expectations for it after the pilot and what we heard from the cast early on.
“Kevin Can Wait” is another CBS comedy that just hasn’t sparked an interest, yet the Thursday competition on network television is so weak, it may actually win its spot. ABC’s hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy” has its fan base set in stone and will maintain that base for as long as ABC wants to run with it, but drawing new fans to the series isn’t something that will happen.
Thankfully, “The Flash” is back October 4 at 8/7c on CW. With the introduction of new villains and heroes, there’s a chance that they’ve got a show that will compete with the big networks for Thursdays.
I’ve not watched “Pitch” yet, so tonight will probably be the night I try this FOX series out. I’ve not heard much from other fans about the series, so I’m hoping it’s a feel-good series that doesn’t go overboard on being preachy. I just want to watch a show without being told how to react.
“The Blacklist,” for me, is consistently one of NBC’s most watchable shows. Liz is back and tracing Alexander Kirk’s next move is going to make this season a good one. “Bull” is just a rehash of most CBS dramas, with an incredibly intelligent guy working to help clients in need against society’s worst. It will draw viewers, but it will be the same viewers they’ve already drawn in with their other dramas, like “Hawaii Five-O” and “NCIS.”
Some of Thursday’s shows will see mid-season replacements, as they always do. Let’s hope a little more thought goes into what fans want to see next time around.