Deadline

Saturday, January 04, 2003

He should've seen it coming
Tribune axes "Beyond with James Van Fraud"


Before the Christmas break, everyone from the Tribune talk show "Beyond with James Van Fraud" thought they were coming back to finish the season.

The day after New Year's, the staff gets a call that the show is canned and they have like two weeks left to go.

I'm saying they should've guessed that they weren't going to finish out the season.
Not because James Van Fraud has psychic powers, but because Tribune has a history of dumping out on shows. They should've kept the show in production until the end of the season, making a gamble that the ratings will go up. They could've at least waited until February sweeps to see what's up. Now they have to spend lots of money to sell and launch a new show.

Tribune has bailed out of other TV shows. "Dream Maker" and "Talk or Walk" both lasted about 6 months each.

Fox, Paramount, and Telepictures all try and retool and fix up their shows to save it or at least buy some time.
Fox gave "Forgive or Forget" a new host and a Ricki! Lake feel. That gave everyone jobs for another three months. But as I said before, this isn't Socialism, it's TV.

Next year, Tribune is going to launch a talk show with the very funny Ellen Degeneres. Let's see what they do when she doesn't come out a ratings powerhouse. They should really spend the money and keep her on for at least two years before making a decision. But who knows? Maybe the audience will be there for the funniest comic next to Chris Rock and come back every day.

James, what do you think?

A Note to Tribune:

Now, Ellen might take time to take off. Don't waste her talent and name.
Don't throw her back in the pond and fish around for another host. You need to play hardball, not join a softball team.
You need to be butch.
If the ratings are dipping, you need to put your finger in the dyke and stop the leaking.
You need to... I'm out of steam. Anyone want to pick up the softball?

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