Posted on: April 14th, 2009 The Great Unkown – TV that you should know

There are a lot of really good television shows running right now.  It’s a great day to be a fan of quality tv programming.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of series’ that are spectacular, but they just aren’t getting the viewership they deserve.  The system is flawed, we all know that.  Until we get a system that accounts for Tivo’s and online viewing, the nielsen ratings system will continue to screw our favorite shows.  A show could conceivably be very popular with lots of viewers, but unless they fit into the little box of the current system, it won’t appear to have much of a following.  We all know what happens to shows that don’t get enough viewers, and I can’t let that happen to some of my favorite shows.  The different web communities have proven that they will stand up for programming that they love.  For example:  Jericho.  A show with poor ratings, but a large fan following.  Fans organized a “different” form of protest over the cancellation of their favorite show; they sent more than $40,000 worth of peanuts (if you watch the show, you get it) to CBS in an attempt to persuade them to bring Jericho back.   They made their point.  So, if I can just get everyone interested in some of these great shows, maybe we can team up to prevent them from being cancelled!  So I have decided to offer you 2 currently running programs that are simply fantastic, but are in danger of being cancelled.  Let us begin…



Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW Television Network

“Sam Oliver lives at home with his parents in the Seattle area.  Sam dropped out of college and takes a dead-end job at the Work Bench, a home-repair superstore.  He spends the rest of his time hanging out, playing video games, and pining for his co-worker, Andi.  On Sam’s 21st birthday, his life turned upside down.  His father explains that he and Sam’s mother had sold his soul to the Devil before he was even born.  The Devil comes for Sam and, after informing him of his fate, the Devil explains to Sam that he must serve as his bounty hunter (or “Reaper”), tracking down souls that have escaped from Hell and sending them back using vessels, varied objects said to have been hand-made in the bowels of perdition by the iniquitous and the vile.”

Reaper is a hilarious 1 hour comedy/drama (or dramady, as the kids call it).  It comes to us from the brilliant mind of fellow geek and my personal hero, Kevin Smith.  The show started off slow, and that might turn out to be it’s ultimate downfall, but it has still been enjoyable since the first episode.  Once the show discovered what would be it’s “identity” it hit the ground running, and rapidly became one of the best shows on tv.  Season one ended and there was talk that the show had already run it’s course, and that the network had seen enough.  But at the last minute, it was picked up for another season, which is currently airing on TheCW network Tuesdays at 8/7c.  The show is extremely well written, and boasts serious drama and various styles of comedy, from the subtle to the obvious sight gags.  It stays fresh and interesting because each week, Sam has a new soul to return to hell, and a wacky new “vessel” to send the soul back with.  The casting choices couldn’t be any better.  The actor they got to play the Devil, Ray Wise, gives a dark, creepy and funny performance.  As far as characters go, the “rag-tag” group of “heroes” in the show are a bizarre group of friends that have undeniable on-screen chemistry.  The show is very charming.  There are some really good sub-plots developing, and the show has endless amounts of potential, if we can just get the viewers in!  With a mix of sci-fi, drama, and comedy, this is a can’t miss for geeks and Kevin Smith fans everywhere!


Better off Ted

Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC

“Need cow-less meat grown in a test tube? Done. Need pumpkins that also double as weapons of mass destruction? No problem!  Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy about successful good guy, Ted, who runs research and development at the morally questionable Veridian Dynamics. No achievement is too far-fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Ted’s a single dad to a seven-year-old girl, and he loves his job, but he’s starting to take a closer look at the company’s extremely dubious practices. Do you manufacture the best teeth whitener ever if it could also kill off all of the planet’s fish? Probably not, but… “

Better off Ted is a traditional half hour comedy series based on very non-traditional subject matter.  The show is laugh out loud hilarious, and over the top bizarre.  The stories are narrated by the show’s star Ted, and they usually entail his day to day duties on the job at Veridian Dynamics, a classic “heartless, cut throat” company that deals in everything from child labor (don’t worry, it’s done tastefully) to weapons manufacturing, and everything in between.  The company may work in all fields, but it appears to specialize in no field, and that is where a good portion of the humor comes from.  Star Jay Harrington is a charismatic leader who stands in stark contrast to his boss, the emotion-less Veronica, played masterfully by Portia de Rossi.  The characters are where Better off Ted shines.  The chemistry between all the Veridian employees is great and all the actors/actresses play off each other well.  It’s one of those shows that seems to be another comedy that follows the same mold that so many others have followed before, yet once you watch it you notice it is unlike any comedy series that’s aired in a long time.  It’s a brand new series for ABC, airing Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c, so it’s gonna need to gain a solid fan base fast, or it will be undeservingly axed.  Fans of off the wall, sometimes over the top, and definitely silly humor will love Better off Ted.  With smart writing and the best cast on any comedy series currently running, Better off Ted is a show that could thrive if we could just convince people to take a look!

I sincerely hope that all you tv fans take a moment to check these shows out.  They are simply fantastic, and both could develop into long-running, fan favorite series’ if they could only get a little more support.  I know there are a lot of people out there who have heard of these shows, and maybe even set their Tivo’s for them, and to them I say thank you.  But we need to watch these shows live whenever possible if we want our favorite programming to stay on the air.  Let’s be honest for a moment, the nielsen system SUCKS!!!  There have been press releases stating that changes to the system are imminent, but I don’t see anything changing anytime soon.  So it’s up to us!  Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your co-workers.  Reaper and Better off Ted are two of the strongest shows running right now, but they’ll be cancelled prematurely if things don’t change.  Don’t just do this for my favorite shows either.  There are a lot of shows out there that are great, yet still in danger of being cancelled. I could’ve gone in any number of different directions with this.  What it all boils down to is that we have three choices:  come together to petition for major changes in the nielsen system, watch our favorite programming live (no matter how inconvenient it may be) or watch our favorite shows disappear all too soon.

Filed under: Television

2 Responses to “The Great Unkown – TV that you should know”

  1. cathy Says:
    April 14th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I like both of these, so thanks for trying to save them. We’re trying a few different Save Reaper strategies, but here’s a whole collection of them here! Join us at if you want to talk with other Reaper fans. Love your site, by the way. Heh killer squid.

    Please help us save Reaper. It is in serious danger of cancellation.


    ADDRESSES (this works best, remember Jericho):



  2. Amanda Says:
    April 15th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I LOVE the reaper, I’m so sad it might be canceled. The thing is I couldn’t be bothered to get satellite or cable when I’m really not home enough to watch the tv – so I’ve got my nifty computer! It’s lame that they don’t count online views and Tivo’s in the ratings, a lot of good shows would definitely be supported since people WILL watch them anyway they can.

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