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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

What happened to the six new SF and fantasy shows that premiered in Fall 2005? (You may recall that I thought they all sucked.)

In order of increasing success:
Supernatural Threshold
Threshold Ghost Whisperer
Ghost Whisperer Night Stalker
Night Slaker
The Night Stalker filmed 10 episodes but was cancelled after only 6 of the episodes aired. All ten episodes are available on DVD. X-Files alumnus, Frank Spotnitz, was producer.

Threshold filmed 13 episodes and was cancelled. A 14th episode was written but never filmed. Only 9 of the episodes were aired in the US. A DVD will be out in August.

Surface lasted 15 episodes and was cancelled. The final episode was a cliffhanger. A DVD will be out in August.

Invasion lasted a full 22 episodes, ended with a cliffhanger, was not renewed. A DVD will be out in August.

Ghost Whisperer lasted a full 22 episodes, ended with a cliffhanger, was not renewed. No DVD announced as yet.

Supernatural has been renewed for a second season. The first season will be out on DVD in September.

And how about The 4400? It has an odd history. It began as a summer show in 2004, and only lasted six episodes. It certainly looked dead in the water. Then, in Summer 2005, it came back for thirteen more episodes. And this Summer, it is back again, for what looks like another short season. This may be a new kind of series, or at least a kind of series not seen since the 50s; the Summer series. The first and second seasons are out on DVD.

It is a strange universe in which even bad TV shows come out on DVD. Then, take a look at the top DVD sales on, and you'll find that bad TV shows sell better than great movies. A hell of a lot more people watch TV than go to theaters.

Still no DVD of Jeremiah Season Two.

Copyright © 2006 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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