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September 26 2006

Tim Minear joins 'Standoff'. He comes in as a consulting producer and is tapped to run day-to-day operations. He'll be given time to catch up as "the production on the series was suspended this week in order to let the writers "catch up"".

This is interesting.

On one hand I want Tim to be successful here. One the other I want to see his own show. Something has to go to make room for it.


Grrrr.

Well good for Tim. I assume Drive didn't get picked up then.

ETA: I've swapped the headline and subject line around to emphasis his new position.
Maybe.

They still have alot of time to to decide about mid-season replacements.

So this might just be part of his deal with FOX to help out on other shows while waiting to see on his own?
Oh and Tim will be working with Gina again. Very cool.

So this might just be part of his deal with FOX to help out on other shows while waiting to see on his own?


Tim Minear = Fox's silver bullet.
Just to clarify (emphases mine)...

"Minear has been tapped to help with day-to-day operations on the show that will continue to be run by Craig Silverstein."

Though believe me, I wish Tim would take over this well-cast (Gina!) but somewhat brain-damaged Fox show (the pilot was so ridiculously absurd I have yet to tune in since) -- but I concur that I'd much rather see Tim in the driver's seat of his own show, namely Drive. (Maybe/hopefully Fox will owe him one if he can save Standoff for them, and give Drive a sweet mid-season slot with a big promo push.)

Meanwhile, I still miss The Inside (and Rachel Nichols), and dearly wish I could see the rest of the (unaired) episodes.
Here's what it said about this story on the Daily Variety website (the headline is "Fox Gives 'Hour' Time Off"):

Meanwhile, "'Til Death" and another new Fox skein, "Standoff," are taking some unscheduled hiatuses.

"Standoff" will take about 10 days off in order to catch up with the writing of the scripts and to add Tim Minear ("Angel") as a consulting producer. Minear's pilot "Drive" is a midseason contender at Fox.

Craig Silverstein is still exec producing and acting as showrunner for "Standoff," and the studio said the hiatus won't impact the show's ability to deliver episodes on time. After tonight's episode, "Standoff" is set to return Oct. 31, following Fox's coverage of post-season baseball.


YAY for Tim and Gina being back together, and I completely agree that the cast of Standoff deserves better writing, but, I also hope Drive still has a chance. Am I just used to assuming the worst about all things Fox Network?

[ edited by billz on 2006-09-26 10:51 ]
"Standoff" is on the schedule for now, though Fox confirmed that production on the series was suspended this week in order to let the writers "catch up," according to a network spokesman.


What does "catch up" that actually mean? Rewrite the scripts? Or is it a euphemism for the show is nearly on its last legs?

Am I just used to assuming the worst about all things Fox Network?


To play the devil's advocate here, Fox seems to be the only US network that has consistently greenlit innovative and exciting new shows year after year. Admittedly they've then cancelled practically all of them but if the shows aren't getting the ratings, not much they can do. A US network is not a charity for fans.
What does "catch up" that actually mean? Rewrite the scripts? Or is it a euphemism for the show is nearly on its last legs?

A little of both is my guess, Simon! ;-)

[ edited by billz on 2006-09-26 11:12 ]

Meanwhile, I still miss The Inside (and Rachel Nichols), and dearly wish I could see the rest of the (unaired) episodes.

Funny story - Tim bought Craig to the exec producer slot at The Inside for FOX last year, for anybody who remembers. Tim was bought in to remodel The Inside, as originally it was a teen bopper "Alias" rip off. Which was crap.

On Buffistas, Tim described Craig as his find of the season, and the two of them wrote one of The Inside's most compelling episodes (Thief of Hearts - it's like Out of Gas, but with serial killers).

After that, Craig went on to create and show run Standoff with Gina, and now Tim is coming in again to help out FOX. If it's 10 days behind this is the kind of thing Tim can help them with.

As for Drive, according to an IMDB post, they are still test screening it. Somebody saw a test screening and said it's awesome.

Simon : catching up - they're literally behind writing the episodes. To be honest, that's a little bad. It's possible they're getting 'noted' to hell, or they just didn't hire enough writers.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-09-26 10:56 ]
I dunno, 'catch up' sounds like the network vetoed a couple of scripts and left the writers in the shit. And now Tim's onboard ? Adios, 'Standoff' ;).

(hopefully he can get the show to live up to its potential, I think some of the writing and some of the plotting have been pretty good, but this sounds suspiciously like Fox-speak for cancelled to me)
How's Standoff doing? I only watched the first, and although Gina was stunning in it, the just did bring in enough to make want to watch another episode. Felt that the show was sort off silly.

I really wish that both Gina and Tim would get in something really succesful.

It seems, that since Fox was the first network to premiere fall shows, it's also the first one to show which new shows are already failing. As it seems the "Jacks Show"(that's what I call "Justice", the show with Jack Bristow and Jack McPhee) and the awful "Happy Hour", are getting early hiatus.
Standoff ratings:

Ignited by bona fide sensation House, the series-premiere of Fox drama Standoff took the 9 p.m. hour with ease, at a 9.6/14 in the overnights, 13.72 million viewers and a 4.7/12 among adults 18-49. Although retention out of House of just 72 percent in the overnights, 71 percent in total viewers and 66 percent among adults 18-49 (with a loss of audience at 9:30 p.m. of 5 percent in the overnights, 1.08 million viewers and 10 percent among adults 18-49) could be considered concerning, Standoff was still amply sampled. And a network can't ask more than that for the debut of a new series.

Roughly twice that of Firefly's premiere, and 3-4 times that of the episodes. It's not doing badly, but clearly they have production issues.
To play the devil's advocate here, Fox seems to be the only US network that has consistently greenlit innovative and exciting new shows year after year. Admittedly they've then cancelled practically all of them but if the shows aren't getting the ratings, not much they can do. A US network is not a charity for fans.

Good point, Simon. When I said "assume the worst," I meant, assume that Drive has already been turned down. But, getting back to the point you made, I don't if it's worse to see 4 or 10 eps of a show that's great, and then have it cancelled after I've already gotten hooked on it and so I feel angry/awful/disillusioned, or if it's worse for there only to be mediocre crap on the air I don't care about, so if it gets cancelled, no big deal.

Obviously, the best is to fall in love with a show that lasts for years -- but, that doesn't happen every day. Just like in real life. *sighs* ;-)
Okay, somebody with the same initials as T.M. might have shown a chunk of the test screen at some panel at some con and asked us to keep quiet about it and someone with the intials of me might have asked him after the panel if the "keeping quiet about it part" was for real, and someone with the same initials as T.M. might have said yes to keeping quiet about it for now, but winked, thereby confusing the person with the same initials as me, who then wasn't sure if the wink meant "my mouth says keep quiet about it, but my eye says go forth and create buzz" or if the wink meant "Yes, do keep quiet about it for now, but my wink says I have a bit of a way with the ladies and this wink is automatic..."

See, as anyone who knows the person with the same initials as me knows, I suck at any kind of nuanced communication that includes a series of winks-and-nods, so the person with the same initials as me was hushed as honour-bound, even if she was really supposed to go forth and create positive buzz. But that was weeks ago, and I was so good and kept my mouth shut 'til now, even if I wasn't supposed to, and even if it was burning a hole in my brain, but I feel free to say now:

Drive looks to be very good, and what a sweet set-up for a series, and the acting was good and it looked great and the dialogue was crisp and snappy and I'd be very much looking forward to this show, if in fact I'd seen any of it, which I may or may not have, having either been or not been shown some of it by someone with the same initials as T.M.

There, now. And may I just say that the skills of T.M. added to any show can only be a good thing? And that if I'd seen anything of Drive, I'd probably have liked it very much...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-09-26 11:35 ]
Drive looks to be very good, and what a sweet set-up for a series, and the acting was good and it looked great and the dialogue was crisp and snappy and I'd be very much looking forward to this show, if in fact I'd seen any of it, which I may or may not have, having either been or not been shown some of it by someone with the same initials as T.M.

Which is Fox-speak for 'cancel me'. I may do a Fox-English/English-Fox dictionary. Bitter and cynical ? Moi ? ;)

Yeah, gossi but from the article...

"Standoff" has plummeted from a promising 4.7/12 three weeks ago to a 3.2/8, while "Justice" has dropped a full ratings point as well.

Clearly i'm not working it out right because 4.7/12 = 0.39 and 3.2/8 = 0.40 so that's actually a ratings increase. Can someone tell me what incredibly daft newbie-ish mistake i'm making re: the US ratings system ?
Okay, somebody with the same initials as T.M. and someone with the intials of me

Tina Majorino, Mac on Veronica Mars? And Quincy Gunderson, an editor on Felicity and other shows (thank you, IMDB search engine)? Why would they be watching Drive?

Oh. ;-)
Saje, the 4.7 indicates the percentage of people in the whole of the US watching the show. The 12 indicates the percentage of all the people watching TV at that time who are watching the show. It's not a division thing.
Jackal and Saje, actually the 4.7 is the number of people watching (I don't know what each point is multiplied by, but it's a count of how many in the audience, not a percentage). That second number is the percentage of all people watching TV/cable at that time who are watching that show. So, yeah, from week 1 to week 2, not so much goodness.

[ edited by billz on 2006-09-26 11:55 ]
Billz, I was going by the futoncritic, which says this about the first number, aka the household rating (I think):

"household rating: percentage of all households that watched a program (1.0 household rating = 1,102,139 households)"

So we were both right (I think - numbers aren't really my speciality). It's both the number of people watching and the percentage of all US households.

[ edited by Jackal on 2006-09-26 12:06 ]
Ooooooh, OK, I get it, Jackal. I just knew somehow it was the number of viewers, but now I see they figure that out by doing the % of all households in the U.S. So it's like saying "4.7% of all households in the U.S. watched it, and that happened to have been 12% of all people watching TV during that particular hour." Thanks for posting the explanation! :-)

Now, how they figure out the number of all households, and how many people are in each house, and how 1% of that is 1,102,139, is beyond me! I think Homeland Security should hire these guys right away! ;-)

ETA: "I may know where you live" should be the UK Home Office's new tagline.

gossi | June 09, 00:08 CET


[ edited by billz on 2006-09-26 12:16 ]
It'd be a lot simpler for my sanity, if Nielsen just said 5.5 million people watched a particular show and left it at that.
Yeah, but then you or I could figure out ratings, and flowers would grow and children would play happily in a peaceful world. If we leave it to the Nielsen people, then they get paid a lot of money the job gets done better than we ordinary folk could ever do it. ;-)
Ah, cheers guys. So they lost about 1.5 million viewers ? Ouch. A big hit e.g. 'House' draws at least double Standoff's figures (i'm finding out ;) and given that they lose 'House' as a lead in come October, the future looks bleak.

Loathe to say it both for the show itself (bags of potential) and for Tim's involvement but I can't see them coming back from this (though at least he'll be completely free to concentrate on 'Drive'). First casualty I care about this year I reckon.

(agreed Simon, the US way conveys more information and is more meaningful but our way i.e. Buffy had 3.4 million viewers, Doctor Who had 10.1 million etc. is much simpler and it doesn't have the competitive element built into it i.e. Nielsen ratings seem to be all about which shows are doing better than others, not just which shows are doing well)
Oh, yeah, Standoff has certainly had a big drop off, but it's about in line with how House did at first (a little better, possibly).

Also, House is doing really well for itself now. Kudos to the network in that case for understanding and liking the show.
Saje: "Nielsen ratings seem to be all about which shows are doing better than others, not just which shows are doing well)..."

Hollywood thrives on its schadenfreude.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-09-26 12:28 ]
I think they use the Nielsen ratings to figure out how much they can charge for commercial time during a show, but why it's better to say "X% of households" than "X number of viewers" is beyond me. I can see why they do the percentage of all viewers watching TV, because then that gives a shot to shows that are popular but on at a crap time, like "Well, only 4 million households watched, but that was 20% of all people watching TV that night because after all it was Christmas Eve, yo."

ETA: Interestingly, I think Nielsen actually does say "yo" in its reports. ;-)

[ edited by billz on 2006-09-26 12:35 ]

ETA: Interestingly, I think Nielsen actually does say "yo" in its reports.


That's because I write them, yo. The fact they are totally made up using a random Excel formula has nothing to do anything, also.
The great and powerful gossi, he is not to be trifled with! Yo. ;-)
So... Tim is going in to utterly destroy Standoff, thus making room for Drive on the schedule? Of course, having destroyed her show, he'd then owe Gina a role in Drive.

No, please, don't disturb my delusions. They're fun.
I think they use the Nielsen ratings to figure out how much they can charge for commercial time during a show, but why it's better to say "X% of households" than "X number of viewers" is beyond me.


It's still quite confusing.
There's an interesting article on zap2it about the most expensive ad costs.
That's a great link, Numfar. It actually proves a little cheaper than I'd thought.
Does anybody else wonder if the first episode with Tim's prints is called "The Train Job" - about a couple who hijacks a Amtrack train to get the medicine they need. They got the idea from some TV show. :)

Have a line like,
Livingston - "He said he saw something like this on a TV show, once. I think on Fox, except they stole the medicine but when they found out what it was for they gave it back."
Gina - "I think I remember seeing it once."
Livingston - "I think it was, Dragonfly, maybe. They made it into a movie, Serendipity or something."

Or maybe it's just me. :)
"Some science fiction western (yawn)" -- The Inside ;-)
If it's on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., I'm never going to watch it. This week it's opposite Eureka. Next week, it's opposite Veronica Mars. If it comes back to that time slot, it's taken. Nothing is going to make me skip VM.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2006-09-26 15:24 ]
I may also have seen the first five minutes or so of Drive (made also by Loni Peristere) and wanted to see more.

I haven't seen any of Standoff yet, because the promos made it look so bad. Now, if I do watch when it comes back, I won't be able to tell if Tim Minear made it better.
It is hard on Tim to step into a show that is already in trouble, but at least he can punch up Gina's role, because right now she is being badly under used. I'm not sure anyone can save a show that has already had such a bad start (they lost almost half their audience during the premiere, how do you get those people to tune back in a second time?).
Talking about Veronica Mars, we got a preview link for the VM's new opening credits, over at the white.
While Standoff started out with decent ratings (against repeats on other channels) the ratings have been falling pretty consistently since. As the rest of the networks launch their new seasons FOX's new shows have been struggling a little. The last episode managed a household rating of only 5.1.
Yeah, helcat, but by comparison Firefly never got past 4.0 (and hovered about 2.5 as an average) - so it's twice as popular as Firefly, and that lasted 13 episodes. It's a tough one to call, it's doing better an House did at first, however it is leaking it's audience pretty fast. Basically, they need to make the show better.
I dunno embers...I have been watching "Standoff" since the second episode and Gina hasn't really been shortshifted. The episode from last week (Sept 19) was rather Gina-heavy...got her sloshed with her Crisis Negotiation team in the opening teaser and had her really going to town to help out Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt's characters against a slimeball Organized Crime supervisor (plot had Asian Triad boss's little girl kidnapped by disgruntled crisis negotiators who had been metaphorically burned by said Asian crime boss). Hell, she was in on the main take-down in that episode;)

So...while the romantically-linked duo in the main focus, I really can't say anyone's been underused. Except maybe the SWAT guys. Still...if Tim can help find the polish to get what is a good idea really cracking? It's gonna be good times;)
Ok, I panicked when I saw this headline, but after reading the thread I could breathe a sigh of relief. This doesn't mean Drive won't be picked up, this doesn't mean Drive won't be picked up. That's my new mantra.
It sounds a bit that Tim Minear is being brought in to get the show into the "must-see" list...
Hey now! Kali Rocha's on tonight's Standoff episode, "Partners in Crime."

First commercial break included the spot for The Grudge 2.

It's just Joss's world and...
Ouch, I just saw about twenty minutes of Standoff, and turned it off. This is a very bad cop show. I can't imagine what Tim Minear can do to make it good, though I'll certainly admit I don't have his creative mind. If they're making him do this to get Drive on - I just don't know.

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