As we reported here, FOX canceled the remainder of its scripted programming from the 2010 – 2011 season that wasn’t already canceled or renewed as of May 11th, including the Cristian Slater comedy, Breaking In. Well, apparently FOX is reconsidering that decision. According to Nellie Andreeva over at Deadline:
Fox is in discussions with Breaking In producer Sony Pictures TV about possible ways to bring the show back next season, though no decision is expected to be made until after the upfronts next week.
As we noted, out of all the shows to be canceled after the House pick-up, we were most surprised that BI was cancelled because it has been pretty successful for FOX with its American Idol lead-in. If FOX does change their mind, it would please us to no end because as great as both Human Target and The Chicago Code were (Lie To Me was a pretty mediocre and vanilla procedural), BI is not only a great show, but its numbers actually should qualify for it for renewal. To us, that’s equity.
In related news, FOX has also moved BI‘s season finale from its Wednesday night AI lead-out position on the schedule, to Tuesday night at 9:30, following Raising Hope. The naysayers will say that BI wasn’t doomed before the move, it certainly will be by losing its powerhouse, lead-in. We disagree for two reasons. The first being that BI is much more appropriately scheduled after a another comedy than it is post-Idol. The fact is that audiences are more likely to just leave a channel on after a thirty minute show that begins at the top of the hour and watch the lead-out if for no other reason than it’s easier to do and chances are the other networks are running one-hour shows opposite them. Changing channels at the bottom of the hour would more than likely cause the viewer to go into a show that’s already 30 minutes into it on another network.
More importantly, regardless of how BI performs during its season finale, the show is canceled at this point anyway so you can’t get any worse than canceled and taking that a step further any negotiations that FOX is engaged that may possibly change that status will not hinge on one episode and it’s kind of silly to think that it will.
For what it’s worth, though, this may all just be a bunch of smoke and mirrors so don’t get too excited if it turns out that the unconfirmed reports regarding the aforementioned negotiations are nothing more than wishful thinking. Still, though, this does give us hope and it would seem to make more sense that it was true than not.
Folks, don’t forget that the major network up-front media events are next week beginning on Monday, May 16th. This is the day that we will find out the fates of all this season’s shows that haven’t already been decided and we’ll also find out what new shows will be on the schedules for the 2011 – 2012 season. You can find out the schedules for all of the events, here.
The New York Daily News has reported that Universal Media Studios the has come to terms with FOX Broadcasting over the price for the show and cast salaries. Well, to be more accurate NYD reported that NBCUniversal had come to terms with FOX Broadcasting, which is completely inaccurate. Look, Mainstream Lazy-Press, stop calling it NBCUniversal because it sounds cool. It’s NOT NBCUniversal. It used to be NBCUniversal Television Studios and NBCUniversal Television Group is the parent company but that’s not who makes the decisions for UMS. This is the equivalent of calling 20th Century Fox Television Studios, FOX Entertainment Group.
Rant over… moving along.
With the deal finally getting sealed for House, we’re not surprised about the cancellations. We predicted that House wasn’t going to be picked up because of all the deadlines that had gone by, the fact that Universal Media Studios (fka NBCUniversal Television Studio) and FOX could not come to terms on licensing fees and actors salaries and the fact that UMS really wanted this money and would have been glad to take it from NBC who is not only desperate for a scripted drama hit, but it also just had $200 million more dumped into its budget for programming by Comcast. So based on this and the fact that FOX has a lot of question marks this Fall for scripted-drama, we speculated that the loss of House would set off a tidal wave of changes in FOX’s programming decisions, including the ones we mentioned in the beginning of this piece.
So, yes, we failed, but consider the fact that all of those predictions were predicated on House going to NBC. Regardless of the outcome, there’s certainly no denying the fact that the fate of House on FOX was the key factor in their recent programming decisions so the importance of House for FOX cannot be overstated. It’s no coincidence that the day the announcement is made about House that FOX also announces that they are canceling five scripted shows (not surprisingly, Traffic Light was also canceled) and picking up a whole bunch of new pilots (story, here).
That being said, we were very surprised about the cancellation of Breaking In for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a great show, and it has a strong cast (with the Christian Slater as the lead), put up decent numbers, had great exposure as the lead-out for American Idol and had a lot of potential. We don’t understand their logic of not giving it a chance to run a complete season next Fall. The show couldn’t have been particularly expensive to produce and it certainly wasn’t losing money. Was the problem really that it wasn’t retaining enough of AI‘s audience as the lead-out? How much were they expecting, really? It’s not entirely the same audience.
Folks, don’t forget that the major network up-front media events are on Monday, May 16th. This is the day that we will find out the fates of all this season’s shows that haven’t already been decided and we’ll also find out what new shows will be on the schedules for the 2011 – 2012 season. You can find out the schedules for all of the events, here.
BREAKING IN is an offbeat half-hour workplace comedy about a high-tech security firm that takes extreme – and often questionable – measures to sell their protection services. Created by Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon, the series centers on a team of uniquely skilled oddball geniuses hand-picked to work for a manipulative mastermind.
Contra Security, corporate America’s answer to “The A-Team,” gives clients a sense of security by first ripping it away. The firm is led by OZ (Christian Slater), a larger-than-life head honcho who is a man of mystery and master of manipulation. The members of the odd squad include alluring bad girl MELANIE (Odette Annable), who is in charge of lock-picking, safe-cracking and heart-breaking; and CASH (Alphonso McAuley), a fanboy who specializes in strategy, logistics and office pranks.
Oz’s newest recruit, plucked right out of college, is lovable and charming computer hacker CAMERON PRICE (Bret Harrison). Unfortunately for Cameron, cracking into state-of-the-art security systems is a lot easier than dealing with his co-workers. Between Melanie’s sex appeal and Cash’s hazing, Cameron has more than a few obstacles to overcome if he wants to cement his status as part of the team and become Oz’s go-to guy.
BREAKING IN is produced by Happy Madison Productions, Adam F. Goldberg Productions and Sethsquatch, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Goldberg, Gordon and Doug Robinson (“Rules of Engagement”) serve as executive producers, while Goldberg serves as writer. The pilot was directed by Gordon. – FOX
8 out of 10
OK… let’s start out by addressing the elephant in the room: Christian Slater needs work and he needs it badly. What we mean by this is that he needs a steady job because this is a bunch of absolute crap that since 2008 the shows he’s the lead on keep getting cancelled. Yes, NBC’s My Own Worst Enemy was horrible and we had to stop watching because the characters were so damned unlikable (and we don’t care that the overall Metacritic score was a 61, it was still horrible) but he didn’t make it horrible and The Forgotten was actually a pretty damned good show that unfortunately nobody watched. That being said, we like Slater and we always have going back to Heathers (full film on YouTube, here… how cool is that?), Pump Up the Volume, True Romance (perhaps his best work), Hell… we even liked the skateboard flick, Gleaming the Cube (again… another complete film on YouTube!). He’s a good actor and he’s very charming and charismatic and is perfect for lead roles in television.
This all having been said, we sincerely hope that FOX didn’t jump the gun by premiering Breaking In in April instead of in their Fall 2011 lineup because we (surprisingly) really like it a lot and the professional critics at Metacritic can once again, be damned, for the 54 overall rating this time. Now, we do have to admit that the relatively low “Mixed Overall” score was only based on 18 reviews and it’s usually about double that on Metacritic, so that number is kind of skewed and obviously (at least in our opinion) unreliable, but at least we can say that the Metacritic users got it right, averaging an 8 out of 10, which is exactly where we have it.
And why do we like it so much? Simple: it made us laugh throughout the entire episode and it’s unique. That’s all we ask for from our 22 minutes of situation comedy and that is what we rarely ever get. Here’s our opinion of sitcoms in general as posted in our Fall 2010 Preview of Monday’s Programming focusing on the crapfest that is Mike & Molly.
As a rule, I’m skeptical of sitcoms to begin with because for the most part they are unoriginal and they all recycle the same stupid jokes decade after decade… Seriously who does this simple-minded crap appeal to?
Bur we can’t help ourselves with Breaking In… we kind of like everything about this show. The characters are unique and well-developed and the actors playing them do not fall into the stereotypical typecast of what you would expect. Honestly, every character in the ensemble could have been cast for one of the other parts and it would have made complete sense on paper so it’s very refreshing that the producers chose to mix it up and not go the easy route casting the actors in the roles you would expect them to play.
Yeah, we can pretty much guarantee that this isnt the only time Slater has worn a Starfleet uniform.
The only character that couldn’t be recast would be Slater’s Oz because it’s honestly like this role was written for him. He’s hyper and eccentric and Slater plays that very well. Not to mention what a huge Star Trek fan that Slater is (he even lobbied his own mother, Mary Jo Slater, who was the casting director for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to get him a cameo role in that film) and there were numerous Star Trek references in the pilot. Slater even actually had them put his own personal Enterprise Captain’s chair into Oz’s office and they worked it into the dialogue.
As far as the premise of the series is concerned, this is very unique as well and of course, a goldmine for potential slapstick comedy. The one ting that isn’t unique is the style. It’s similar in style to Rasing Hope, Community, The Middle, and Scrubs. Now, even though we only like two of those shows (Rasing Hope and Community), we certainly appreciate that style of quick cut-scenes and rapid fire jokes. We took two points off for the actual plot of the pilot episode itself being a little clichéd but overall this is a very good show.
As far as FOX’s decision to air in it April, we are going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one considering how pleased we’ve been with them lately and the fact that even though it premiered in April, it is the lead-out for American Idol, which is exactly what we have suggested that FOX should do to help new shows build audiences.