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Television: NBC Thursday
Saturday, 2004 October 23 - 12:52 pm
With the loss of its blockbuster Thursday sitcoms, NBC is struggling to keep pace with CBS on Thursday nights.

The CBS combination of "Survivor" and "CSI" is proving to be a tough challenge for NBC. With no big sitcom hits on the order of "Friends", "Seinfeld", or "Cheers", NBC is relying on its surprisingly-popular "The Apprentice" to anchor its Thursday lineup.

The new sitcom "Joey" is proving to be pretty flat; while the cast members seem enthusiastic, the writing is simply not up to snuff. There just isn't enough interesting stuff about the characters; I find myself not really caring what happens to them.

"Will and Grace", while always funny, doesn't have enough continuity to bring me back week after week. When it dives too far into silliness, it loses me.

"ER" is getting pretty long in the tooth. I was pleased, though, to see Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston) leave the show this week, as her story lines were by far the least interesting of anyone's. I still like the depth of the characters Abby Lockhart (Maura Tierney) and Neela (Parminder Nagra); I wish the writers could instill some more dimension in the leading male characters, John Carter (Noah Wyle) and Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic); there's too much brooding and not enough passion. Of course, the big problem is that there just aren't enough new ways to tell the same stories: kids who lose parents in car accidents, shootings and stabbings, construction accidents... what haven't we seen already?

So it's up to Donald Trump and "The Apprentice". I'm not sure why people watch this show; perhaps it's the satisfaction of seeing people with gigantic egos getting fired by someone with an even bigger ego. I suppose a reality TV show about competent, caring, honest people wouldn't get very far.
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Posted by Ken in: reviewstelevision

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