The Deggy Awards: Who's winning and losing in the fall TV season so far?
Previously reserved as my small protest against the boneheaded choices made by the Emmy academy, I'm dusting off the Deggy Awards this week to honor standout shows and trends in the current fall TV season. Of course, some of those honored, might prefer to be ignored:
AND THE DEGGY GOES TO . . .
Worst desecration of a once-cool TV show: NBC’s Heroes
Okay, maybe this was only once cool to comic book geeks like me. But this season’s story line, with Prison Break’s Robert Knepper as an earth-moving dude flitting around the action, just persuaded this fanboy to give up the ghost; our super-dudes jumped the shark about a season ago.
Quickest cancellation: NBC’s Southland
This prize was supposed to go to the CW’s The Beautiful Life, canceled after just two episodes. But then NBC put the kibosh on its new-school police drama two weeks before the second season was to start Oct. 23. How awful could they have been to get canceled before airtime?
Worst pilot to become a good series: CBS’s The Good Wife
ER alum Juliana Margulies is overcoming predictable scripts to create an empowered answer to all those cuckolded political wives in the real news. Who knew there would be so much drama in the days after the philandering comes to light?
Best late-night patsy: NBC’s Conan O’Brien
First Jay Leno steals his thunder by moving the Tonight Show to 10 p.m., then CBS rival David Letterman gets a ratings boost by admitting sex with female staffers. Is there anyone who has had a worse run of luck in late-night TV?
Best pilot to become a mediocre series: ABC’s FlashForward
The first episode’s setup, putting the world to sleep for two minutes, was daring and spectacular. But the characters’ tendency to overexplain every plot point is making subsequent episodes feel like Lost for dummies.
Worst abuse of contestants: NBC’s Biggest Loser
For plunging their most obese contestant pool ever straight into a mile-long run, putting two in the hospital, I think trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels should be sentenced to a stint on Dancing With the Stars with no warning or training. Ask Tom “Stress Fracture” DeLay how that turned out.
Best self-destruction of a TV network: NBC
Installing Leno at 10 p.m. has pulled down ratings at that time period and pushed past performers such as Law & Order: SVU closer to cancellationville. The numbers may yet work for the company -- because Leno costs so much less, the network can still make money on low ratings -- but the show seems to be helping to turn NBC into a sinkhole for quality TV.