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Monday, October 17, 2005

The big ten with the back nine

A full season for a network TV series is 22 episodes (cable much less, more like six or seven to 13). So when a "Law & Order: Whatever", "CSI: Wherever", "Alias", "Cold Case", "Without a Trace", etc. comes back for a new season, the order is for 22-episodes. Enjoy. However, when a show is ordered to series from pilot (that's season 1 to you) what happens is that the network weasels, in kinda pre-damage-control mode (not wanting to give the impression that they may not really believe in their new shows but not wanting to personally hang themselves out to dry either) only officially order 13 episodes, which is still a magnanimous big deal when you think about it, shows getting cancelled after 1-1/2 airings and all. So being ordered to series doesn't actually mean a full season order. Which means that what you're really hoping for is an order for "the back 9". The order from the network for the additional nine episodes that, plus the initial 13 equals a full season. Which means that they're keeping your sorry ass around a bit longer, at full salary and benefits. Since I've spent much valuable time calling the cancellation derby (come on, "Night Stalker"!!! I still believe in you!!!), I thought I'd give some equal time and well-earned props to those who have earned their back 9...the few, the proud...and until tomorrow at least, the ten. In no particular order, you can at least count on these for a full first season: "Everybody Hates Chris" "My Name is Earl" "Prison Break" "Commander in Chief" (its well-publicized personal issues notwithstanding) "Ghost Whisperer" "Supernatural" "Surface" "How I Met Your Mother" "Bones" "Criminal Minds" Congrats to the survivors of the 2005-2006 fall season. And many more.

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