Reaper Needs More Cowbell
The CW released it’s plans for Reaper this week, announcing that it would be airing it’s 13 episodes back to back weeks on Tuesday nights after 90210 starting mid-March. [choose your own source, it's everywhere] It’s a simple statement, how much damage could it do, right? Wrong.
The only words I don’t have a problem with are “back to back” and “starting”. First things first, this show only ran 18 episodes last season which is pretty decent for a show during the writers strike but to get only 13 for their second season is troublesome. Also by setting it up this way they’re pretty much saying right now that there won’t be any extras tacked on to the end of that.
I hear you over there. Reaper sucked. No, part of Reaper sucked. They started off really strong with Kevin Smith directing the pilot, it showed. Then about mid season they tapered off into fail, but managed to pull a reverse Moonlight and came back in the post strike episodes stronger than ever with some strategic changes in the staff. I get why the network has put them on probation but I still have faith.
When it comes to the placement in the lineup I think it says more about Smallville than it does about Reaper. The original plan that they announced to everyone last year was to have Reaper come in as Smallville’s mid-season replacement, to run in the giant gap that Smallville would be taking this year. The CW has taken to this amazing idea of playing the episodes back to back. They tested it out this fall and saw that when people form a pattern of activity to watch the shows their ratings go up! Crazy but it just might work. Replacing Smallville would have set it up perfectly to take over next year when Smallville bit the dust. I never thought Smallville was an 8 o’clock show anyway. What I think they’re telling us here is that Smallville’s not going anywhere. As on the fence as I am about that being a terrible idea, it’s a total possibility. PS3 really like their new seats at Smallville’s helm and I think Welling pending, they’re going to be sticking around. [Side note: Thank God the Greyson's got canned. ]
I won’t even go into my rant about how stupid it is to pair it up with 90210. At least they’ll be able to give The Mentalist some competition. And while shows like Leverage (yes, I’m that confident) and Raising the Bar have had mid or off season success I think it really puts a show at a disadvantage despite the break in competition. People are thinking about TV in the fall, they’re thinking about TV during sweeps and a show like this could really use all the help it can get knowing full well that the CW has no interest in promoting anything that isn’t focused on fashion and or bitches. I should pitch them a show…