slot would be devoted to family-friendly programming. shows such as "The Drew Carey Show", "My Wife & Kids", and "America's Funniest Home Videos" were joined by two newcomers: sitcom "8 Simple Rules" and the reality show "Extreme Makeover." The "Happy Hour" concept did not last long, as the following season saw gritty anti-terrorist drama "Threat Matrix" and newsmagazine "Primetime" claiming the first hour of certain nights.
But "8 Simple Rules" had some staying power, and would remain on ABC's schedule for three seasons.
Based on last week's efforts, however, I'm curious to tune in for a few more episodes.
This season has proven that there's little rhyme or reason to why a show makes it or doesn't.
Conveyed through a series of glimpses, the episode's deft writing showed how death swoops in and weighs down the simplest of conversations. He would say anything, he didn't care how silly he was. Tonight at 8 on KOMO/4, the series takes the Hennessys back to their half-hour time slot, while the specter of Dad's death remains present.
Their final moments with their dad were typical gaffes and random moments -- Cate (Katey Sagal) laughing at her husband's lost socks, Rory (Martin Spanjers) tripping over Paul's shoes left on the stair, Bridget (Kaley Cuoco) and Kerry (Amy Davidson) lamenting their meaningless insults as he left -- all imbued with terrible importance after his death. The laugh track is supposed to return, although to maintain the series' feeling, the formula's going to need some tinkering.
The writers could have fallen back on maudlin sap and fancy speeches, but commendably, they didn't.
I have the distinct feeling you don't care in either of these cases, but The WB's cut "Tarzan's" vines. Back on the subject of "8 Simple Rules" and its challenges, CBS is airing "The Andy Griffith Reunion: Back to Mayberry" tonight at 8 and, yes, it is as warm as Aunt Bee's pie.
At Paul's side is his wife Cate (Katey Sagal), who is returning to work after years as a housewife and mother.
She doesn't always agree with some of his more outlandish ideas in getting to better know their children, but she shares his lamentations at the generation gap between parent and child.
Though producers attempted to replace him with a younger star, the show died only a season later.
The same fate befell "News Radio" when Phil Hartman was shot dead by his wife, who then turned the gun on herself, in 1998. Television's even less forgiving now than it was then, which means that the revamped "8 Simple Rules" has a mountain climb ahead of it.