Post Mortem – The Flash

Premiering on The CW on October 7, 2014, The Flash ran for nine seasons and, alongside its progenitor Arrow, built what would become known as the Arrowverse, which included at least six different DC-based programs and multiple crossovers, providing at least 36 seasons of programming for the network.  However, with new owners on board looking to make a quick buck, the end of The Flash looks to be the end of the Arrowverse as well.

At this point, I have not seen most of the abbreviated ninth and final season, which ended earlier this week.  Ever since the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, I’ve been catching up once the season hit Netflix, which I’m sure I will do here as well.  Whatever the actors move on to next, I’m sure I will be willing to give it a chance.  Which is more than I can say for what is coming next on The CW.

Post Mortem – Dead To Me

Dead To Me, which debuted in May of 2019, came to a conclusion with its third season, released in November of 2022 on Netflix.  The final season of the show, starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, had contended with COVID delays and Applegate’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis which pushed filming back multiple times.

I started watching the show during the pandemic shutdown of 2020, getting through the first two seasons.  I finished the show up this spring, wrapping up season three a few weeks back.

Post Mortem – Fantasy Island

Recent re-imaginings of Fantasy Island have tended to learn towards the supernatural, if not downright macabre, whether it was the 1998 revival starring Malcolm McDowell or the 2020 horror film starring Michael Peña.  The most recent attempt to revive the brand stayed closer to the original, in both story and theme.  Roselyn Sánchez starred as Elena Roarke, grandniece of Ricardo Montalbán’s character from the original, who oversees the fantasies enjoyed by the visitors to the island.

The show lasted two seasons before being cancelled last month by FOX.

The CW Upfronts

It’s another year of change at The CW, which was sold to Nexstar and is cutting programming costs in a bid for more profitability.  Monday starts off with All American, the only returning scripted show, followed by 61st Street., starring Courtney B. Vance and previously airing on AMC.  Tuesday is all “new” comedy night, with three imported Canadian series, Son of a Critch, Run the Burbs, and Children Ruin Everything, followed by Everyone Else Burns, a British comedy.

Canada provides more content for Wednesday night, with Sullivan’s Crossing, starring Chad Michael Murray, followed by The Spencer Sisters, starring Lea Thompson.  Thursdays goes all-reality, with two episodes of the Nikki Glaser-helmed FBoy Island, recently dumped by HBO Max.  Friday remains the same, with Penn & Teller: Fool Us followed by an hour of Whose Line Is It Anyway?  Saturday goes back-to-back with two episodes each of Masters of Illusion and World’s Funniest Animals.  The Sunday night offering is I Am, a collection of documentary features.

Waiting in the wings for midseason are the fourth season of Walker and FGirl Island, which, ok.  Whatever.

Lost to the sands of time are DC’s StargirlThe FlashKung FuNancy DrewRiverdaleWalker Independence, and The Winchesters.  The fates of Superman & Lois and Gotham Knights are undecided at this point.

ABC Upfronts

ABC is taking a cautious approach to their fall schedule.  With the ongoing writer’s strike putting the availability of scripted shows in doubt, the network has put all of its eggs in the reality basket.  Long-time stalwart Dancing With The Stars, after being shunted off to Disney+ last year, returns to its familiar Monday night perch.  The night ends with the Golden Bachelor, a dating show for AARP-set.  Tuesday night brings another installment of Celebrity Jeopardy! followed by two hours of Bachelor In Paradise.

Wednesday retains a bit of a comedy block, with Judge Steve Harvey, followed by an hour of Abbott Elementary reruns and another installment of What Would You Do?  Game shows take over Thursday night, with Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, Press Your Luck, The $100,000 Pyramid.  Friday remains the same, with Shark Tank followed by two hours of 20/20.  Sunday kicks off with America’s Funniest Home Videos followed by three hours of The Wonderful World of Disney.

On the bench for mid-season are 9-1-1, rescued from FOX, Abbott Elementary, American Idol, The Bachelor, The Conners, The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy, Not Dead Yet, The Rookie, Station 19, Will Trent, and High Potential, the only new show on the docket.

Shows never to be seen again are A Million Little Things, Alaska Daily, Big Sky, The Company You Keep, and The Goldbergs.  The fates of Home Economics and The Rookie: Feds are still up in the air.

FOX Upfronts

For the second year in a row, FOX has decided not to release a fall schedule during their upfront presentation, claiming uncertainty due to the writer’s strike.  The one show on the network I have been watching, the reboot of Fantasy Island, will not be returning.  From what I can see, there will be nothing airing on FOX this fall, save for baseball, that I will be interested in.

CBS Upfronts

Forgoing a traditional upfront presentation with an ongoing writer’s strike threatening the start of the fall season in September, CBS announced what they hope will be airing on their network this fall.  With only two new shows on the schedule, things will look very familiar to viewers.  The week starts with a stable Monday, with the comedy block of The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola followed by two entries in the NCIS franchise: the OG and NCIS: Hawaii.  Tuesday also stays the same, with Dick Wolf’s FBI running all night.

Wednesday goes all reality, with extra-long episodes of Survivor and The Amazing Race taking the entire night.  Thursday has another hour-long comedy block, with Young Sheldon and Ghosts, followed by the returning So Help Me Todd and the new Elsbeth, a spinoff of The Good Wife starring Carrie Preston.  Friday remains the same, starting with the final season of S.W.A.T., followed by Fire Country and Blue Bloods.  Sunday kicks off with 60 Minutes, followed by a new version of Matlock, starring Kathy Bates as the septuagenarian lawyer who rejoins the workforce to win cases and expose corruption from within, The Equalizer, and CSI: Vegas.

On tap for midseason are comedy Poppa’s House, starring Damon Wayans and Damon Wayans Jr., and the Justin Hartley drama Tracker, based on the Jeffery Deaver books and which is slated to debut following the Super Bowl in February.

Gone and never to be seen again are NCIS: Los Angeles, East New York, and True Lies.

Take Care Of Yourself And Each Other

Jerry Springer, the long-time host of the eponymous daytime talk show, died today at 79.  Prior to hosting the show that some claim contributed to a decline in American social values, Springer had served as the mayor of Cincinnati and a television news anchor.  Debuting in 1991 The Jerry Springer Show was based out of NBC Tower in Chicago from 1992-2009 and produced new episodes until 2018.

I made two visits to the audience of The Jerry Springer Show over the years, both while in college.  The first visit was early in the shows run, where it had already started to turn into the show it would eventually become, but there was still the occasional “serious” episode.  We managed to show up on the day of a serious episode.  No strippers, no cheating boyfriends, just parents looking for their missing children, either kidnapped or runaways.  To say it was a disappointment would be something of an understatement.  The second visit came a few years later and, while I don’t remember the exact topic, it was more along the lines of what you would expect.  My friend Mike even managed to ask a question, which probably got our mugs on TV.

After college, I didn’t see much of the show.  Part of that was having a job, but another was having outgrown the format.  Jerry himself always seemed to be above the fray, or at least liked to think he was.  He certainly left a mark on the history of American television.  Or is it a stain.