October 8, 2006

Around the Dial: CBS Cans Smith

Despite the star power and big stunts, people did not flock to Smith as CBS had hoped. They recently announced that the show was being removed from the schedule, with no word on whether or not it would be returning at any point. The time slot will be filled, at least temporarily, by reruns of CSI and Criminal Minds.

This news comes hot on the heels of NBC's canceling of Kidnapped. Despite being beaten to the punch with the first cancellation of the young season by NBC, CBS is the first to actually go ahead and remove a show from the schedule. You see, NBC is contractually committed to airing the 13 produced episodes of Kidnapped, initially in its Wednesday at 10 slot, but then moving to Saturday nights on October 21st to finish out its run.

I was more than willing to give Smith a chance to succeed. I watched all three of the episodes to air. The funny thing being, after I watched the latest, and last, episode, and before reading this news I had decided to drop it from my viewing list.

You see, I did not find anything to care about. I think the concept of the master criminal having a family and a day job is an interesting one, and one that could lead to great stories. Unfortunately, this spent a lot of time on the setup of the heists, while neglecting any real connective tissue. There was no flow, the characters were flat, and I was left feeling really cold. It is surprising that I made it past the first episode, for that matter.

The show had a pretty good cast, consisting of Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, and Franky G. But having recognizable names does not always transate to on screen chemistry, and this particular assortment had none.

So, while I usually like to see shows given a chance to succeed, I see the need in some cases to cut your losses before you get too deep into a losing battle. This is one one of those times, three episodes in and I did not see it getting any better. Well, here's a show to scratch off the resume.


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