TV Rants & Raves: Is “ER” running out of ideas?

The good, bad and the ugly on the tube this past week:


“ER”‘s familiar farewell

I don’t usually criticize ER. Usually, I don’t have to. But Thursday night’s episode, in which Eriq La Salle said goodbye to the show, was just a bit too similar to another classic ER farewell, which cheapened La Salle‘s closing moments.

In 1999, when George Clooney parted ways, his character, Dr. Doug Ross, was speaking with Anthony Edwards‘ Dr. Mark Greene alongside the Chicago River. A few words were said and Clooney was history.

This past Thursday, just before the screen faded to black, La Salle‘s Dr. Peter Benton said some words to his former apprentice, Noah Wyle‘s Dr. John Carter, alongside…the Chicago River. Then Benton was history.

It beats riding off into the sunset, but….


WB going to the “Dogs”

What? WB cancelled Men, Women & Dogs? How could they?

Well, they did. And no, I’m none too disappointed. After all, it did come in at #111 a couple times in the Nielsens. Actually, it wouldn’t hurt the Frog Network to clear out some more of its Sunday lineup.


Late night fight persists

Well, we’re through with week five of the Oprah/Letterman dispute. She simply won’t let him on her show. He’s more than willing to have her as a guest on The Late Show, but she’s resolute. It’s quite amusing watching Dave adding page after page in his nightly “Oprah Log” segment–in which he jots down his thoughts on the situation–but come on already, Oprah: just for five minutes, let the man have a seat next to you.

Ironically, it would probably be Oprah‘s highest-rated show in months.


Terrific TOON

Compared to 2000, what ad-supported cable network posted the highest gains in viewership in both kids and adults this year? Disney? Nickelodeon? Animal Planet?

Nope: it’s Cartoon Network, which masterfully altered its programming this year to cater to all demographics. If you haven’t caught their Adult Swim block of mature programming on both Sunday and Thursday nights, give it a look. Very good stuff.


Low “X”pectations

She’s just telling it like it is.

Gillian Anderson spoke publicly this past week about her thoughts on this season of The X-Files, addressing the show’s plummeting ratings. Did she defend the series that made her a star? Not a bit. Instead, she said she wants the show–not extra-terrestrials–to disappear at the end of the spring season.