T Dog’s Grab Bag: CW showing signs of life, while Fox ebbs


Also: MST3K, Wild Chicago holding fan events in Chicago this weekend 

The latest items in the Grab Bag:

– Once left for dead, it looks like there is signs of life at The CW: Three of their freshman dramas – Vampire Diaries‘ spinoff The Originals, The Tomorrow People, and Reign have all been picked up for the full season. The renewals come as CW’s ratings have gone upward, with a 9 percent increase in total viewers and a 10 percent increase in adults 18-49. Originals is CW’s highest-rated freshman show, clocking in at 1.0 in the adult demo.

Numbers are also stable for Diaries, Supernatural, and Arrow.

– On the other side of the ratings ledger… what did the Fox say? According to these numbers, not a whole lot. Fox averaged only 3.8 million viewers last week and is a distant fourth in adults 18-49, thanks to the disastrous performance of The X Factor and the lackluster Sunday night animation block. Its highest rated show was Sleepy Hollow – and it finished thirty-eighth. Fox has all but conceded the demo race,

Still, Fox does have a couple aces up its sleeve: the premiere of Almost Human after football on November 17 (which settles into its regular Monday time slot the following night) and of course, Hollow.

But at this rate, Fox’s low prime-time numbers is bad news for its stations’ news lead-in – especially in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Tales From The Darkside, a first-run syndicated anthology series which ran mostly in late-night time periods from 1984-88, is being considered for a reboot by CW. If given a firm go, the show could air next summer.

The new Darkside is being scripted by comic book writer Joe Hill (whose father is Stephen King), with Sleepy Hollow’s Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci named as executive producers, along with Mitch Galin, Heather Kadin, and Jerry Golod.

Created by George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead), Darkside was originally co-produced by Tribune Entertainment (whose parent company owns Chicago’s WGN-TV, who aired the show) and syndicated by the former LBS Communications. In the 1990’s, Worldvision acquired the rights to the show, and through a bunch of mergers and acquisitions over the years, is now owned by CBS Television Distribution. (CBS Television Studios is producing the new show.)

A feature film based on the series was released in 1990.

The original version of Tales From The Darkside can still be seen in syndication; reruns of the show air sporadically on weekends over The U Too (WCIU, 26.2.)

– Good news for fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Wild Chicago – there are events taking place this weekend you can attend. On Saturday, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is hosting a 25th anniversary reunion featuring a few cast members of MST3K at its facility on 360 North State St. in downtown Chicago at 12:00 p.m. MST3K began as a local movie-mocking show at Minneapolis’ KTMA in 1988 (now WUCW), moved to the Comedy Channel in 1989 (which later became Comedy Central), and gained a huge cult following, which exists to this day. Scheduled to attend are Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Coniff, and Joel Weinstein are expected to attend. Admission is twelve dollars.

On Sunday, fans of Wild Chicago will gather for a DVD release party of The Golden Age Of Wild Chicago at the Patio Theater on 6008 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the DVD set features the “very best” segments of the first two seasons. Admission is only five bucks (plus a 1.75 service fee) and DVDs will be available for purchase at the event. The show begins at 3 p.m., followed by a Q & A session with Ben Hollis and John Davies. If you can’t make the event, the Wild Chicago DVD should drop Tuesday at your local retailer, or you can order online. 

To order tickets to the MST3K event, click here. To order tickets for the Wild Chicago event, click here. Have fun!