In the wake of largely negative reviews and anemic ratings, TheCW is rushing Hidden Palms
off its summer schedule. Originally the show was scheduled to run for six more weeks, returning for a second run on Sunday nights. The plan presently is to run double blocks for three weeks, and the Sunday slot will be given to 7th Heaven. Should we expect to see more sun soaked blond angst next year? Don't bet on it. As for what will be taking its prematurely vacated slot, no announcement has yet been made.
Initial hype for Hidden Palms was huge considering the pedigree of creator Kevin Williams ("Dawson's Creek") and the stunningly attractive cast. The central hook was a suicide obsessed mystery with overtones of the old "who killed Laura Palmer" shtick. The problem is, crafting a serial drama in this day and age has become risky business.
The big networks schedules for fall prove that the big guys are losing their taste for serialized drama and are shifting back towards more episodic brands. The trend began with LOST's initial success, but the problem seems to lay in how you hit the ground on opening day. LOST had one of the most watched pilots in history, so it's serialized story was well seeded.
Other serials have failed merely because they do not allow for viewers to enter the story in media res and have a clue as to what is going on. The longer a serial runs, the harder it is it get new viewers to join in knowing they have a lot of 'catching up' to do. Casual TV watchers are likely being turned off to the commitment serials demand, not to mention the wasteland of incomplete stories that has formed over that last couple of television seasons.
- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image © 2007 TheCW)