By Alan Pergament
With two local general managers of TV stations retiring in the last three days, I've been a little too busy to deal with the national TV headlines. Until now.
"24" Set to Return: Fox announced Monday that Kiefer Sutherland will stay employed after the cancellation of the low-rated "Touch" because it is bringing back anti-terrorism superagent Jack Bauer for 12 episodes of "24" a year from now.
The new "24", "Live Another Day," starts in May, 2014 and will essentially be a 12-hour summer series unless Fox changes its mind and delays it until the fall of 2014.
The return of "24" comes a few days after my blog about how network TV may be giving up the search for younger viewers. This announcement will undoubtedly make older viewers of "24" happy, but I can't see it drawing many younger viewers.
Of course, terrorism remains a timely topic, as events this spring unfortunately reminded us. So if Bauer's return is a good yarn, it should be welcome summer entertainment.
Monday's announcement made me do a little research to remind me what happened in the 2010 series finale of "24," which at the time was supposed to be turned into a feature film. To be perfectly honest, I forget about how we left Jack. It turns out he was a wanted fugitive after doing some very, un-American and illegal things to save the country.
Seth Meyers to Become The Next Jimmy Fallon: NBC's weekend announcement surprised no one since Meyers was rumored to be in line to replace Fallon on "Late Night" once Fallon replaces Leno on "The Tonight Show" after the 2014 Winter Olympics. Meyers also was a strong candidate to replace Regis Philbin opposite Kelly Ripa on the popular syndicated morning show before former NFL star Michael Strahan was hired and the show was renamed "Live with Kelly & Michael."
My first thought about hearing Meyers was going to get Fallon's old job was "I guess that means I'll no longer have to watch 'Saturday Night Live' anymore." Really. That's because Meyers' Weekend Update was just about the only thing that was guaranteed to be funny. But then NBC announced that Meyers would return to "SNL" in the fall anyway. Nothing is guaranteed but I really, really believe Meyers will be terrific on "Late Night."
"Vegas" Is a Goner: I think I pretty much told you last week that was going to happen because the CBS series gets lousy demographics. CBS has canceled it, along with "Golden Boy" and "CSI: NY." Judging by the poor ratings here for "Golden," not too many WNYers are going to care about its demise. NBC hasn't announced whether it will keep "Hannibal," a decision that few WNYers would seem to care about. For the last two weeks, it hasn't even hit a 2 rating here. The good cancellation news is that NBC hasn't yet renewed Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice." However, Trump seems to have more lives than Jack Bauer so it wouldn't be shocking if it eventually got a reprieve.
Scandalous News for NBC's "Parenthood": NBC is moving the series next fall from Tuesdays to 10 p.m. Thursday, where "Hannibal" is presently dying. Since ABC is keeping its popular "Scandal" at 10 p.m. Thursday next fall that means NBC's family drama will be competing against it. NBC also is moving freshman hit "Chicago Fire" to the 10 p.m Tuesday "Parenthood" slot after "The Voice." And in what may be its riskiest move, it is moving the 10 p.m. Monday hit "Revolution" to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Why would it do that, you might ask? Networks need 8 p.m. hits because they give the shows that follow them strong lead-ins. "Revolution" will be the lead-in for "Law & Order: SVU" and the remake of "Ironside."
Barbara Walters Tests The Levy Principle: It turns out that the ABC legend announced Monday that she is retiring in a year. That will test the famous line from Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills Coach Marv Levy that once you're thinking about retirement you are already retired. Walters is pulling a Mariano Rivera, giving herself time to enjoy her decision for a year and share it with her fans. I wouldn't be shocked if she doesn't pull a Michael Jordan and change her mind in a year.