By Lori Acken
We hate to say we told you so. But we told you so. And to be fair, so did pretty much every other TV critic out there, pro or otherwise.
As news of Fall Premiere re-ups builds from a trickle to a stream, ABC has officially pulled the plug on its two weakest offerings, Kelsey Grammer’s sitcom Hank and the Rebecca Romijn/Lindsay Price dramedy Eastwick — shows whose admittedly appealing cast members still couldn’t save them.
How gone are they?
So gone that the remaining episodes of the season won’t air for either show — though there’s been enough of an Eastwick fan dustup that we wouldn’t be terrifically surprised to see the remainder of the tale told at some point before midseason replacements take over.
And I personally wouldn’t hate for that to happen.
Though Eastwick seemed from the get-go a little too sexed-up for what could have been some whimsical, family-with-teens-friendly success — and a little too whimsical for audiences who could a) get their supernatural on in much more grandscale offerings and/or b) get their sexy on in pretty much every other show in the 9pm timeslot — when I did manage to stay aboard after my beloved Modern Family and God-I-hate-to-admit-I-like-this-but-I-do Cougar Town, I wasn’t mad that I did.
I just didn’t very often.
As for you, the talented Mr. Grammer, my advice is this: call up Ray Romano — he of Everybody Loves Raymond — who told me in a recent interview that he refused to try to follow his own sitcom success, and sat the small screen out for four full years before coming back in next month’s TNT drama, Men of a Certain Age.
Will audiences buy the lifelong funny man as a down-on-his-luck divorcé? Who knows? But they’re also less likely to expect Ray Barone to show up in an hourlong drama the way audiences want Frasier Crane to show up every time Grammer appears for one half hour, asking for a laugh.
Eastwick photo: © 2009 ABC/Kevin Foley
Hank photo: © 2009 ABC/Richard Foreman