Another Monkey Bites the Dust

In what has to be the most retarded network programming decision so far this year, CBS yanked the excellent new show “Love Monkey” after three episodes. Whereas most shows need a dozen or shows to really find their groove, Monkey head it on episode one, with incredibly witty dialogue, music industry plots, and a charismatic team of characters. When I first heard about the concept — sort of Sex & the City for guys, revolving around an A&R music rep — it sounded unbelievably lame. But when I actually tuned in, the show wasn’t at all smaltzy, plus it had cameos by Ben Folds, James Blunt, and Aimee Mann. How cool is that?

So, if you did see Monkey and want to protest, sign the “Save Love Monkey” petition. Next, if there are any network programmers out there, please explain to me why quality shows keep getting yanked after less than five episodes. I’m not talking about “Emily’s Reasons Why Not.” I’m talking about the herd mentality that killed the promising dramedy “The Book of Daniel,” about Jesus as the buddy of a Vicodin-popping priest, which dropped last month after four promising episodes. And, of course, the “Arrested Development” craziness. These fickle decisions don’t appear to be confined to one network. Right there you’ve got NBC, CBS, and FOX. Thank God HBO is still in the game to rescue truly original programming.

One other thought: If the networks can’t find a way to promote their own shows and ensure their success, could they at least just make them all available on demand? That way, at least viewers could decide the shows’ fate for themselves. I hope that eventually all eight episodes of Monkey, including the five unaired ones, make it onto iTunes.

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