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Even Sweeps Don't Keep Cable From Demanding Attention
November 24, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 
Last night the broadcast networks presented one of their biggest guns of the November ratings sweep: Fox's two-hour telemovie, 24: Redemption. But over on cable, some of the regular weekly offerings were even more satisfying -- including the season finales of HBO's True Blood and Entourage.

True Blood ended its first season with all cylinders firing: a murderer unmasked, a heroine threatened, and so many juicy cliffhangers introduced that it'll be tough to wait until next summer for season two.

(Between the rebellious teen vamp returned to her "daddy" Bill, and the menacing, mysterious woman played by Michelle Forbes, there are two big new reasons to watch. And what in the world has happened to Lafayette? He vanished in last night's episode after being attacked by... something.)

true-blood-s-finale.jpg

Anna Paquin, as Sookie, has embodied one of this year's most intriguing characters -- and HBO, with True Blood, has presented its first truly buzzworthy series of 2008.

HBO also said goodbye for the season to another series last night: Entourage, which ended strongly with Vince bouncing back from defeat (not being cast in a Gus Van Sant movie) to the promise of his biggest victory yet (being cast as Nick in a remake of The Great Gatsby, directed by Martin Scorsese). If this story line is followed through next year, it ought to make for the show's best season yet.

It was an impressive one-two punch: Two solid series, two satisfying season finales, two shows doing better work, last night, than almost anything the broadcast networks had to offer on a hugely competitive sweeps night.

And don't even get me STARTED about Showtime's Dexter, which still has a few weeks to go before its own season finale. Or Comedy Central's A Colbert Christmas, which was SO much fun.

When broadcast TV's best offering is a 24 movie, that's no cause for shame or concern. But when, that same night, it's only the fifth best thing on TV... that IS something that should strike fear into the hearts of network executives.

But, as proven by last week's treatment of Pushing Daisies, not all of them HAVE hearts.

 

1 Comment

 

Bernie said:

...or brains.

Comment posted on November 24, 2008 10:35 AM
 
 
 
 
 
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