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SpoilerTV`s Weekly Round Table: 42nd Edition

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Hello everyone and welcome to another WRT! Another week behind us and we still got enough juicy stories to discuss with you. This week I`m (MK) joined by SpoilerTV writers: Shal (KG), Beth (BW), Yon (SJ), Milo (MI), Lisa (LM), Jennise (JH), Rachel (RW), Donna (DC), Jamie (JC) & Jessica (JN). As always feel free to join the discussion in the comment section down below

1. Lethal Weapon is on the verge of cancellation, cause one of the leads is behaving "inappropriately" on set. What is the way to go here? Cancellation? Re-cast? Replacing? Or just don`t be whiny FOX?

BW: I love Lethal Weapon and was shocked they were having these BTS issues. Deadline released another article and this seems like it is becoming more of a butting of heads between Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans. Damon was apparently a part of the second infraction and the two are barely speaking. When this news first broke, I was all for Clayne getting fired and still think he is being a bit arrogant with that statement he released, but with more information leaking, I think they should have Damon and Clayne work it out and maybe require Clayne to take some anger management courses regularly. I don't want the show to get canceled because of the cast members who aren't making waves and most importantly, the crew who depend on the show for their financial security.

SJ: This is honestly a really difficult question to answer. As we've seen there are two sides to this story & both telling very different versions of events, but I doubt news of the show being in danger would've leaked if it wasn't serious. Canceling the show I don't think would be the right move. No matter how much I may come to dislike a show and constantly question why on earth it's on air, I would never actively campaign or wish cancellation upon a show (and it seriously annoys me when people do) The actors involved may be lucky enough to easily find work again, but the same cannot always be said for the crew. So for their sake, I do hope that Fox is able to work this issue out, and if need be re-cast or replace Clayne. I think something also needs to be said about how Lethal Weapon is run behind the scenes. The lack of table reads I think is an issue that should be rectified if the show does get a 3rd season, Damon & Clayne both need to get Agencies on board to help govern the situation (they are both currently without representation) and one of the articles also mentioned something about how there isn't a proper producer as such on board to help keep everyone reigned in. Some of the situations that have leaked out, could've easily been nipped in the bud if the show was properly governed.

LM: I'd like a lot more information on exactly what went on. Was he yelling and screaming at people? So far it seems like he said/she said sort of thing. However, the fact that he went for corrective behavior management would suggest that he has a problem. If he's causing problems on set - it's a workplace. If he's been warned, he should be gone. The rest of the show shouldn't have to suffer. Fox is in NO WAY being whiny by demanding professionalism from everyone who works for them.

JH: I find this extremely upsetting. I love the show and the performance of the actor in question but, I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior.

It is a difficult question. The mental state of Marin Riggs is part of the core definition of the show. If this behind the scenes situation were NOT happening then we’d find yourself with a much healthier Martin Riggs. Once that happens then we have a standard cop show. The hook is gone.

If they bring in a new partner for Murtaugh then would, in some ways, I think to be the easier way to go. Then that hook is still there and the crazy loose cannon partner won’t feel forced or artificial because once again, we’re dealing with a character with mental issues.

As for recasting….I’m a long time daytime soap opera viewer. Recasting apart is something I can deal with…easily if the casting is spot on. However, the nighttime audience is NOT as open to that idea. Plus, that leaves us with a healthier Martin Riggs which will be less interesting as we go along.

2. Full season orders! We are at the start of the may sweep and most shows seem like they`ve already peaked and somehow just wait to get over with the season. Is 22 too much or is the writing just too weak?

BW: I think SEVERAL shows could benefit from 13-16 episode season especially the DC universe on the CW. Fillers are frustrating and people lose interest. Shorter seasons lead to tighter storytelling and a more cohesive flow. The 100 does well with this formula. I honestly believe the only shows that do fine with 22 episodes is straight procedurals like Blue Bloods, Law and Order: SVU etc.

SJ: 22 episodes is far too many episodes in this day and age. It leaves us with a blistering start to the season, which is slowed down by a ton of filler in the middle, before picking up the pace again for the ending. No show really needs more than at max 15 episodes a season. Unfortunately, though Networks care less about good storytelling and more about making money, so this is a problem that will probably continue to go on. But May sweeps just isn't that exciting anymore because every show feels like it's been on for absolute ever, and all the twists and turns that are thrown at us are now extremely predictable.

MI: I would much prefer shows to adopt a shorter season - 22 episodes just feels too much for most shows apart from comedies in my opinion. If you are going to keep it at 22 episodes - it might be a good idea to split each season into different arcs, like Agents of SHIELD does. That allows for a more focused approach - as the DC superhero shows, in particular, have suffered from a longer episode number.

LM: Almost nobody can write decent 22 episode seasons. The best I've ever seen it handled is the way Agents of SHIELD did it, by splitting the season into 3, 8-episode sections. That worked brilliantly. But it also proves the point that shorter seasons are better! I think that a maximum of 16 to 20 episodes a season, preferably split into 2, 8-10 episode arcs. So, really, all seasons would be 8 to 10 episodes, but 2 seasons per year - LOL!

JH: I love a 22 episode season. I grew up on them. (Although I should add that, if the story doesn't warrant 22 episodes then don't do 22 episodes.) If this question refers to post season 1 orders then why not make all season go through the old paradigm? Order 9 episodes. If they do well bump the order to 13. If those episodes are successful then go to the 22. It would be an incentive for a showrunner to stay on top of their game and kick episodes S02E01-S02E09 out the park in order to stay on the air.

RW: Honestly, I feel like 22 is a bit too much. I find that if the season is 22 episodes long, they have around 4-5 filler episodes... And people tend to skip or complain about those. So why not just shorten the season, but every episode written, directed & aired is perfect and captivates your audience?

JC: I've come to the realization this year that 22 is too much. At least for me, it is. There are so many shows where I'm counting down until the finale because at least then we'll get some real progress in the stories. I've noticed this with both younger and older shows. An occasional filler is fine, but certain shows have too many of them. I'd be much happier with 13 episode seasons.

JN: Some shows definitely benefit from having shorter seasons, but it seems like broadcast dramas and comedies have been unyielding to make the change, for the most part. Series like This Is Us and The Good Place have taken advantage of their shorter season orders by eliminating needless filler plots and focusing on making every episode count. I get that 22 episodes have been the norm for so longer, but adhering to a strict episode count just dilutes the quality of some series. A prime example is Riverdale. In season 1, the series flourished with 13 episodes, but now in season 2, most of the back nine episodes have been bogged down by incredulous plot lines. While the show is one of the higher rated series on The CW, it has suffered creatively by stretching the primary plotline over 22 episodes. If a series is capable of providing entertaining content for 22 episodes, then I’m all for a full season order, but I think content should outweigh the construct of adhering to a certain number of episodes per season.

MK: And while I agree with my co-workers in the assessment that 22 episode per seasons is too much, there is the other issue that if the hiatus is too big viewers can bail. Especially considering how much programming is thrown at people on a daily basis. But generally, most shows can`t hnlde the 22 epsiode system and need to reduced their orders giving the actors and writers more space to breath and deliver.

3. Arrow makes a complete shift in leadership ahead of its seventh season. How much can this change affect such an "old" show?

SJ: Hopefully a massive one. The whole Arrow-verse in itself suffers from problems, but where other shows are able to cover it up with good acting and storytelling in places, Arrow is very much a sinking ship. For me personally the show has had issues ever since Tommy was killed, Laurel was sidelined and Oliver/Felicity along with the stupid OTA thing took over. Fearsome villains aren't fearsome because we know in the end Oliver will triumph, and in between that they'll be dishing out relationship advice! Katie Cassidy is one of the best actors that the Arrow-verse has, and they need to either get back to using her wisely or just let her go so she can be in better things. Bringing her back as Black Siren was interesting at first but the storyline has just become a rinse & repeat. I also think the change will be good for Legends of Tomorrow. Their use of villains has become a bit stale, as they get so attached to the actors that they don't want to get rid of the villains even when their time is up. The Sara/Alex hook-up in the crossover was extremely problematic, as was Sara/Constantin because contrary to popular belief, just because you have two bisexual characters on a show does not mean they're gonna automatically hook up. The Legends problems aren't anywhere near as bad as Arrow though and with the cast announcements I have faith that the show will continue its progression in s4, but Arrow there is the worry these changes have come far too late.

MI: At this point Arrow should make its seventh season its last one, as far too much damage has been done, but I'm hoping that the new leadership can bring in a shift in change for the better. The whole show has had its ups and downs from start to finish, and it just needs to be consistent and find its feet again. Adopting the multiple story arc approach that SHIELD did would do a great way to help this show.

LM: As the person who's reviewed Arrow for this site since the first episode, I am thrilled beyond measure to see a new showrunner. The show has been in a death spiral for 3 years. I only wish that they had gone further afield for new blood. However, I'm encouraged by Stephen Amell's posting about meeting with Schwartz. He's not a stupid guy. He knows the fans aren't happy, and I'm sure he knows the show's been crap for awhile - though he's too supportive of the entire team to say so.
I think the show has a chance to turn itself around. Supernatural has gone through some really horrible showrunners and while it will never be what it was under Kripke, it has managed to pull off some pretty terrific episodes and even improved the overall arcs. It can be done - and on the CW at that!

Personally, I was ready to quit reviewing the show. The squandering of really terrific guest stars like Michael Emerson and Kirk Acevedo was really the nail in the coffin for me - but I may just stick around for another season to see if Beth Schwarz can save this show after the former showrunners failed it...

JH: This idea fills me with hope and joy. For me, the show lost its way during season three when the flashbacks lost cohesion. But I hung in there. There were some good things still happening. So I hung in there. This past season was the last straw for me. I stopped watching because the Arrow Team’s story had become predictable, uninteresting and frustrating. New creative blood could reinvigorate the canvas and hopefully, bring me back as a viewer. I will definitely check in to see if there's hope.

DC: Having watched Arrow since the beginning I am barely hanging in there at the moment and even fell asleep watching a recent episode as it was so dull. Let’s hope the new leadership will bring a fresh spark to the series but I think it may be its last.

JC: I'm hoping it will bring a good change. I've been pretty disappointed with the current season. This year it became my least favorite show in the Arrowverse. The villain of the season trope has become boring and it takes way to long. This is actually one of those shows I mentioned earlier that could benefit from a shorter season. But perhaps new leadership will bring new ideas.

4. Two weeks ahead of the Upfronts, many cancellations and renewals await us. But what do you think will be the first "real" Pilot to be picked up for 2018/2019 season?

KG: I think Charmed will be the first pilot officially picked up to series, which I'm excited about. I'm looking forward to seeing a new take on the mythology and what these new sisters are like, as much as I love the Halliwells.

BW: I think the first true pick up will be one of the two reboots on the CW.

SJ: I would be extremely surprised if the Charmed reboot isn't the first official pick up. In spite of the backlash, it's been a frontrunner since it was first announced. A girl can dream that ABC will also announce a pickup for Grand Hotel before upfronts, but I think that's very much a dream and I don't expect any network outside of The CW to announce anything early. They have to work through the cancellations first since I'm expecting an absolute bloodbath, and of course the 11th-hour negotiations that go down to the wire before I think pickups even come into play. It's an exciting, nerve-wracking time of the year and I can't wait for it to begin!

MI: Per Deadline, early buzz is that both Roswell and Charmed reboots are feeling positive so I wouldn't be surprised to see them come up. I'm interested to see what shows they cancel and keep, that's for sure, and as much as I hope some of their shows that I'm interested in to get picked up, I hope it doesn't come at the expense as shows that I love like The 100. Hopefully with Jane the Virgin and The Originals wrapping up this season as well as the CW expanding to Sundays that will give them an extra working room. I would have said Dick Wolf's F.B.I. over at CBS would have been a lock for an early pickup, but I don't have to - as that's already been ordered to a series.

JC: I think it'll be a reboot. Those seem the safest options because they already have an audience. Wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the CW's, Charmed or Roswell.

JN: I think the first “real” pilots to be picked up are the Charmed and Roswell reboots. Besides having tested well, according to Deadline, I think the perceived guarantee of having a built in fanbase will push them over the edge. Having been a fan of both of the original series, I reserve judgment, but it’s a pretty safe bet both of these pilots will be picked up.

MK: Chances for a CW show to be picked up first is highly unlikely, CW usually waits and makes a decision closer to the upfronts. NBC is usually the one to deliver first at least the last two years (TIU and TGP two years ago, Brave and Rise last year). This week I would expect for NBC to deliver first again with Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union project LA`s Finest to get an early pick up along The Village probably. If this doesn`t happen first ABC can make a brave move and pick up something early or CBS could announce an early pick up for Magnum PI and Murphy Brown.

Hope you've enjoyed this edition and join the discussion in the comment section. Till next week. . .

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