Question: Will some forward-thinking Hollywood executive reboot the George Peppard vehicle Banacek? —Steve O.
Matt Roush: Would a reboot of a 1970s private-eye series really be forward-thinking? I loved the randomness of this suggestion, because there were so many higher-profile spokes of NBC’s “Mystery Movie” wheel: McCloud, McMillan and Wife, and, of course, Columbo. Seriously, though, because Banacek is lesser known, reviving a show and a hero that had a sense of humor about itself wouldn’t be the worst idea. In the bigger picture, I’d like to see a network try the “mystery wheel” format again, rotating its series on a weekly or monthly basis. Something like that could air year-round with fewer episodes per series, and that might be refreshing.
Question: Can you tell me why Celebrity Dating Game gets a prime-time slot when the great shows All Rise and Rebel are canceled? —Jean
Matt Roush: Silly and inexpensive summer filler like this has nothing to do with network decisions but is about more costly scripted programming that is underperforming. This was a very tough season for shows on the bubble, and as the networks continue to struggle with declining real-time viewership and ad revenue, we’re likely to see more corny and cheap TV.
To submit questions to TV Critic Matt Roush, go to: tvinsider.com