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Burn Notice, Royal Pains, NCIS and...Chuck!

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May 27th, 2009

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If the post title above was framed as a Jeopardy answer, the proper response might be "What are four shows I'd like to see on USA Network?"   In that case, three out of four ain't bad, really.  But, it's not a Jeopardy thing, just some quick and somewhat random thoughts.

Burn Notice is set to return on June 4.  I am trying to see if I can get some Burn Notice schwag and if I can, I'll post some type of "guess the ratings for the season three premiere of Burn Notice and win!" post in the next day or so.  I just watched a screener of the season premiere and am excited about its return.

Given the 3-5 episodes USA Network typically airs of NCIS every Monday through Friday coupled with marathons where they air many more episodes, I will be caught up on NCIS in no time at all.   It is the adult version of SpongeBob when it comes to weekly cable ratings domination.  I understand the appeal of this procedural.  Quirky but likable characters.  It's typically extremely formulaic, but it works well and it's not the first time the show's creator Donald Bellisario has had success with such a formulaic approach.  Long ago, I was also a huge fan of one of his earlier creations, Magnum P.I. I was also a fan of Bellisario's Quantum Leap, but stylistically NCIS smacks more of Magnum)

I watched the screener of the pilot for Royal Pains which bows on June 4 at 10pm after Burn Notice.   In general, I liked it and it looks to skew a bit younger than Burn Notice (and certainly NCIS!) which is probably a good move for USA.  My only complaint was that having seen like 100 NCIS episodes in the last nine days (see above), even though I always skip commercials during DVR viewing, I've still probably seen the promos for Royal Pains 200 times already.  As a result, the first 12 minutes or so of the screener I saw seemed unneccessary and handled well by about 15 seconds worth of the promos.

I'm not sure most of those minutes I found worthless didn't get cut from the version that will air on USA next week though.  The pilot was around 65 minutes without commercials, but is only scheduled to last 75 minutes when it airs on USA.  So either they are running it with seriously limited commercial interruptions, or a lot was cut out of the version I saw, and I'm guessing for the better if that's the case.

Outside of the first 10 minutes or so, I did enjoy the episode, and it will be interesting to see if they can make the premise work as a weekly procedural.  I'll definitely be giving it another look.

Chuck!  I hear Chuck begins filming in late July and that most of the budget cuts were the kinds of behind the cameras cuts you'll never notice.  So, you'll still likely see all your favorite characters on the show next year.  If Emmett Milbarge is one of your favorite characters, you might be disappointed,  but that seems more like to involve Tony Hale's starring in FOX's Sons of Tuscon than budget cuts.  Will Sarah be working at Subway next season?  That seems to still be up in the air.  I think that is a function of how much Subway is willing to pay for that kind of product placement.   That's not anything I'm all that interested in, but if you are, you'll catch wind of it well before the next new episode of Chuck airs.

 
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