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FOX adds four new shows, cancels five others

May 12, 2011 - Andrea Johnson
Well, FOX didn't pick up "Locke & Key," which shows exactly how much influence I have with the network executives. That would be zilch.

Instead of heeding my words of wisdom, FOX is picking up JJ Abrams' "Alcatraz," a show about prison escapees from the 1960s who mysteriously appear in the present and stir up all sorts of puzzlement and consternation for law enforcement. As I said earlier, a JJ Abrams show usually involves alternate dimensions, time travel, evil twins, physical fights between good looking women, mysterious boxes and the like. I expect no different from "Alcatraz," but the packaging looks less appealing than in some of his other shows. Is anyone actually interested in a bunch of jailbirds? Oh, well.

Also picked up is "The Finder," a "Bones" spin-off that I liked the looks of when the characters from the pilot appeared in a "Bones" episode last month. The show is about an Iraq war vet who suffered a head trauma that left him with the ability to find absolutely anything.

Two new comedies were also chosen for the schedule, including "I Hate My Teenage Daughter." The show is about two moms who discover their teenagers are just like the mean girls who tormented them in high school. The title makes me wince and I suspect the concept will as well, since I don't find catty teenagers all that funny, but it does have Jaime Pressly as one of the co-stars. She was pretty hilarious on "My Name Is Earl" a few years ago, so it will be interesting to see if she can make people keep tuning in.

The other comedy is "The New Girl," about a woman who ditches her fiancee and moves in with three slacker males. The star is Zooey Deschanel, sister of "Bones" lead Emily Deschanel. I've liked Zooey Deschanel in some of the other things I've seen her in, including the Syfy miniseries "Tin Man," so this could be a pretty funny show.

FOX is also canceling a bunch of current shows, including "The Chicago Code," "Human Target," "Lie to Me," "Traffic Light," and "Breaking In." Of the five, I never even knew that "Traffic Light" and "Breaking In" were on the air, so I don't see that as a great loss. I tried watching "Human Target" but it didn't click with me. "Chicago Code" is a cop show of the sort that CBS does a heck of a lot better. I liked "Lie to Me," but it also is not unlike a number of other shows that are already on the air, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a satisfactory replacement. All in all, FOX probably is doing the right thing by cleaning house. They renewed "Fringe," so the executives are on my good side at the moment, even if they didn't pick up "Locke & Key."

Meanwhile, NBC has decided to renew "Chuck" for another season. "Chuck" is a show a geek like me should have liked, but one I never have. When it started, I found the characters too young and the concept too far fetched. It amazes me that it keeps being renewed season after season. NBC is hurting so badly that I suppose it doesn't care that "Chuck's" ratings are in the basement.

Just call "Chuck" the show with nine lives.

Upcoming "Bones" season finale

Talking about shows with nine lives, the "Bones" season finale on May 19 should be entertaining. I haven't made "Bones" a habit this season, but I tuned in to last night's episode to see which character they were going to kill off. I hoped it would be the annoying Daisy or Hannah, Booth's ex. I expected it to be the young agent/very special guest star played by Tina Majorino, since shows rarely kill off important characters. Instead the sniper took out poor Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright), my favorite of the lab "squints."

The sniper called Booth on his cell phone, Booth (David Boreanaz) handed Vincent his cell and told him to keep the sniper occupied while Booth traced the call, and the sniper ended up shooting through the window and taking out Vincent instead of Booth. Vincent heartbreakingly begged Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) not to make him leave while Booth tried in vain to keep the pressure on his chest wound and blood pooled around his body. Poor, poor "Mr. Nigel-Murray." We hardly knew ye. The show's producers said they decided to kill off poor Vincent because the actor got a new job and would be unavailable next season.

Fans are speculating about whether Booth and Brennan actually slept together after six seasons or merely comforted one another after Mr. Nigel-Murray's sad demise. The show left it pretty ambiguous. I'm betting on "no" since the show has dragged out the "will they or won't they?" tease for the last six seasons and I don't think they're going to put these two together until the very last episode of the series. But at least Booth and Brennan are back to being close friends after the Hannah debacle and their relationship is again at the center of the series.

Later in the episode, Booth caught and arrested the sniper, so that storyline is wrapped up for the season, but there are still unanswered questions for the finale. Will Hodgins and Angela's new baby be born blind? What is Brennan's dad (Ryan O'Neal) up to this time and why are Brennan and Booth going undercover in a bowling alley, wearing bad 1980s hair? It's enough to make me tune in for the finale.

The season finale of "Bones" will air at 8 p.m. May 19 on FOX.


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