ABC Cancels Three Bad Shows

Apparently ABC subscribes to the theory that it’s best to deliver bad news at the end of the workday. Last night, after everyone had gone home, the network announced they would not be picking up full seasons of Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money. While ABC bizarrely refused to use the word “canceled”, this effectively does just that. No new episodes will be ordered for the three sophomore series beyond the initial commitment of thirteen. There is no word yet on whether or not all of the episodes will eventually air. We can’t say this news is at all surprising. Rumors began circling last week that Pushing Daisies was on life support, while Eli Stone was lucky to even get a second season. (Did anyone watch that show? If a tree falls in the forest…)

The cancelation of Dirty Sexy Money however, is disappointing. Let’s get this out there immediately: Dirty Sexy Money was not good. It was supposed to be a smart and wry mix of Arrested Development and Dynasty, but it ended up feeling like a slightly better Central Park West. Confusing plots, stuffed with lame melodramatic dialogue and shot on distractingly poor soundstages–no matter how many aerial shots you show of Manhattan, if you then cut to a soundstage in Hollywood, it won’t feel right–Dirty Sexy Money was never dirty enough, funny enough or interesting enough to sustain our love. However! Where else could we sit and watch actors like Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, Blair Underwood and Billy Baldwin chew scenery with such gusto? While we have no doubt that Messrs. Krause, Sutherland and Underwood will land on their feet (doesn’t Mr. Underwood have a lifetime contract with ABC?), we do feel quite bad for Mr. Baldwin. Forever in the shadow of the talented Alec, not a screw-up like Daniel, nor crazy like Stephen, Billy has always been the “other Baldwin”. But on Dirty Sexy Money he possessed his own special brand of vulnerability. Put it this way: we’d never buy Alec Baldwin shacking up with a transsexual, but Billy made us believe and, more importantly, care. Here’s hoping someone finds another show for him in the near future.

There wasn’t only bad news filtering out of ABC; they also set up their winter schedule! Life on Mars, which had four more episodes ordered to push its first season total to seventeen, will move to Wednesdays at 10 p.m., following Lost. Private Practice, as had been previously rumored, will shift to Thursdays, post Grey’s. And for those of you who still want to see Zach Braff on a weekly basis, Scrubs will premiere on Tuesday, January 6th at 9 p.m.