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Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010
Critics hailed it as one of the best new shows on television, but FOX’s Lone Star has been canceled due to poor ratings.

Before the premiere episode debuted, the network pushed a massive publicity campaign, which included heavy advertising and special preview opportunities. This summer, select subscribers of Entertainment Weekly magazine in which DVDs of the pilot were sent along with branded merchandise in order to get positive word-of-mouth going for the series.


Despite all that, Lone Star’s first two episodes only averaged at about four million viewers, thus leading FOX to replace the show with new episodes of Lie To Me. (Human Target will then be moved to Wednesday nights.)


A network spokesman confirmed that no more episodes will be filmed, but there are four more unseen episodes left. It’s likely that these episodes will be shown during either the mid-season (around December or January) or next summer, if at all.


Lone Star was the first cancellation of the Fall 2010 season. In what also seems like bad news for FOX, their ratings powerhouse House has seen a significant drop in viewers and another one of their new series, Running Wilde, is another candidate for cancellation.


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Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010
Can Quantum Leap return without a massive overhaul? Would such an overhaul destroy the original concept? In many ways the original was a groundbreaking series about civil rights, gender equality, animal rights, and the belief than anyone can make a positive difference in the world.

Sam Beckett may never have returned home, but Comic-Con fans welcomed news that he may yet leap into the future again. Scott Bakula, who played the earnest do-gooder on Quantum Leap, announced yet another proposed movie based on the once-popular series. Leapers (QL fans) briefly rejoiced, although this is not the first time series’ creator Donald Bellisario (also well known for NCIS, JAG, and Magnum, P.I.) has tried to launch a QL movie. This time, however, Bakula sounded confident that a movie will be made, even if the deal has not yet been finalized.


What made the highly publicized announcement bittersweet for long-time fans, many who faithfully watched episodes from 1989 to 1993, is the proposed casting. Bakula gamely noted that his leaping days are over. Although he and co-star Dean Stockwell (Al Calavicci) most likely would have roles, they would not star in the movie. In fact, the Comic-Con crowd was left wondering whether someone else might play Sam or if the character, too, might be retired.


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Friday, Aug 27, 2010

This is the time of year when all the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW) put out those cheap, cheesy “preview” specials. They often broadcast them at odd times, and mostly focus on what seems to be the worst of what they have to offer. Consider what’s broadcast here as an improved version of what you’ll get on the tube. Following are previews of the new shows that will be airing during the weekends, along with a little background information and some speculation on how long they might last.


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Monday, Aug 23, 2010
Just as LOST established a new baseline for television creativity and found new ways equally to mesmerize and frustrate viewers, so did the LOST auction set a new standard for television-based consumerism.

As the hours of the LOST scrolled by, so did the list of auction items and the constant stream of ever-higher bids. If nothing else, this final official LOST event makes a statement about fans as consumers of popular culture, even in a sluggish economy.


Like many long-time LOST fans, I followed the official memorabilia auction online on August 21, the first day of the two-day, multi-hour sale. The view from the auction floor must have been much more invigorating and illuminating. After all, the auction site encouraged ticket buyers, whether they registered as bidders or simply wanted to browse, to come early to peruse the merchandise. Visitors could have their photo taken with wreckage from Oceanic 815, and Kate or Hurley impersonators could participate in costume contests. The on-site activities offered much more than an auction, although that itself was entertainment. The auction “show” featured fast and furious bidding, a bid war or two, and the adrenaline-fueled anticipation of exactly how high those bids would go.


Much of that excitement was necessarily lost in the shift from in person to online, but the view from the screen became riveting in its own way and provided a very different interpretation of the auction’s cultural significance. Images of upcoming items slowly queued up the left side of the screen, with the memorabilia currently up for bid taking center stage one final time. A rapidly changing list of bids scrolled along the right side of the screen. When the bids—marked Floor or Internet to indicate the source of competing offers—slowed for a few seconds, yellow warning signs reminded prospective buyers to hurry. Another prompt indicated that the current lot was about to be closed.


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Friday, Aug 20, 2010
The LOST auction, August 21-22, may be the ultimate TV auction, and participating fans get a chance to make TV history as well as take a piece of it home.

On August 21-22, LOST fans around the world have one final chance to take ownership of their favorite TV series. During an official auction held in California (but set up for online viewing in real time), six years’ of costumes, props, and even pieces of sets will hit the block. Die-hard LOST fans who carefully analyzed Ben Linus’ mind games should do well in the bidding war over the most highly coveted items, but those with limited funds might find their hopes to take home something held or worn by their favorite actor as thwarted as Skate shippers’ dream for the finale.


Movie or TV auctions aren’t new, and LOST’s highly publicized garage sale is just the latest auction playing off popular interest in celebrity, Internet-fueled binge buying, and the need for status gained through personal connection with icons of popular entertainment. In February, an auction of Doctor Who and Torchwood memorabilia raised more money than expected and generated plenty of fan interest on the Internet. More than ever, fans who love a TV series or movie, follow an actor’s career, and e-network with other viewers internationally feel compelled to “own” a piece of their favorite entertainment (or entertainer’s career).


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