'Monday Mornings' Has Been Canceled by TNT.... *sadfaces* - Jamie Bamber News
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'Monday Mornings' Has Been Canceled by TNT.... *sadfaces*

"It's bad news this time, Ty…" :(

So long, Chelsea General… we hardly knew ye. Though I think we all can agree that it's not a complete surprise given all the circumstances, obviously it's still a bummer to report: Today, we received official confirmation that TNT are canceling Monday Mornings after one season. Jennifer Finnigan was the first to break the news on Twitter.

While it feels little like we've been building up to this discussion for a while, there's still plenty to be said on this. (Yours truly is at work so I can't chat about it at the moment myself.) But the comments are now open for reaction and discussion. Have at it, folks…

Oh, Dr. Wilson... *sniffle* (WARNING: GIFspam Incoming!)


51 comments or Leave a comment
anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: May 10th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well hell, that's a damned shame. I'm inclined to say that TNT only have themselves to blame.

Never mind, he's on the way to the bar and the Scots are waiting ;)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 11th, 2013 12:14 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm inclined to say that TNT only have themselves to blame.

*sigh* I was critical of a lot of things in the show, and it was never entirely the show I wanted it to be. (Though there were lots of things I did like and felt it improved over the course of the season.) At the same time, I think MM was but one of the victims of an all-around botched winter launch from the network. The two are not mutually exclusive!

For probably obvious reasons, Southland's cancellation today got more press; TV Without Pity tweeted this:

IMO, you could slot "Monday Mornings" in there instead and the sentiment still applies.

Edited at 2013-05-11 12:41 am (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 11th, 2013 06:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Forgot to add earlier...
Never mind, he's on the way to the bar and the Scots are waiting ;)

*chortle* Oh you. Already, eyes on the weekend prize. ;)
jatgdiamondgirl From: jatgdiamondgirl Date: May 10th, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well...I learned the news from my TV Guide news feed, and I was simply glad to have the inevitable confirmed. I'm disappointed insomuch as MM won't be given opportunity to fulfill its potential, not to mention that Jamie will be absent from American television for at least another year but...relatively speaking, I was far more disappointed when 17th Precinct wasn't picked up by NBC, so I'm not going to throw darts at TNT. This is a business, it happens more often than not, nobody died. Time to move on.

Jamie's a smart guy who's been around the business long enough to read the handwriting on the wall, which is probably one reason he jumped at the chance to do another series in the UK for Kudos. So, I'm going to concentrate on the future, invest in a multi-region DVD player, and wait for The Smoke to be released.

And, now he can do more guest spots on American TV. Nobody asked me, but I'd love to see Jamie on the quirky and smart NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation...or on the AMC American period drama Mad Men...or maybe he'll have time to film that western he's always wanted to do (and that, as a fan of the classic American westerns of the '50s and '60s, I would really love to see).

zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 11th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I was far more disappointed when 17th Precinct wasn't picked up by NBC, so I'm not going to throw darts at TNT.

That's okay, some of the rest of us will take your share of the darts off your hands. And hey, I agree with you about 17P because I REALLY enjoyed that pilot! And part of me will always be pissed off about that. But part of me has also totally, as you say, moved on. See my comment above about things that aren't mutually exclusive. ;)

Here's the thing: At the end of the day, it's hard not to feel for the cast and crew. So much work goes into a show on the part of a LOT of people, so in a sense regardless of one's personal feelings about the end result, you want to feel as though the show got its fair chance to find an audience. IMO, there's just too much evidence out there, though, that the network might have made many, many different and better choices that would have given MM (and other shows) a stronger shot at survival. (And let's be honest, garnered better numbers for the shows they *did* renew, too.)

Yes, later this year might turn up opportunities for Jamie to do some more guest work; I'd have my wishlist for that scenario, too. (I always do, although a few of the shows on that list are no longer options. ;) ) He could squeeze a few in before next year's pilot season, sure.

Edited at 2013-05-11 12:37 am (UTC)
jatgdiamondgirl From: jatgdiamondgirl Date: May 11th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It's hard to figure why TNT poured so much effort and expenditure into promoting Dallas, a show whose name sells itself, at the expense of its other programming. (I've never watched an episode of Southland but I've heard/read so much positive buzz about it over the years, I've added it to my Netflix queue.)

I remember my excitement over 17th Precinct, but I also remember being surprised that financially-strapped NBC had ordered a pilot from big spender Ron Moore. When they didn't pick it up after having spent $9 million, I wondered, what was the point? (And I was doubly ticked because 17P was the main reason Jamie had left LOUK.)

I'm disappointed for MM's cast and crew, but they're probably more accepting than the fans. Most are TV vets, and they understand that this is the nature of the business, that there are no guarantees, that it is not an exact science, and that all jobs will end, some sooner than expected or deserved, fair or unfair, and that this kind of uncertainty has been part of the job since the beginning of commercial television. All actors experience it at some point in their careers, usually more than once. In the bigger picture, Jamie's career has been blessed--playing an important role in two high-profile franchise-type series, back to back, is very rare (and, if you include Hornblower, Jamie's enjoyed three major commercial television successes). From that perspective, letting MM go is easy (although, having said that, I wouldn't blame Jamie if he thought twice about signing on for a TNT production again).
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 12th, 2013 11:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm seeing more and more actors pull double duty with TV series. Whether it's a British actor working on both sides of the pond or American actors doing a cable and a network show (which generally having different shooting schedules). While it's not always the case, many times it seems like actors hedging their bets, not sure if one of the shows will survive or if their character will be around in the next season. So, yeah, very smart move o Jamie's part to take on The Smoke, especially since the role was just offered to him without weeks of auditioning.

I have no doubt we will be seeing Jamie in guest starring roles next season. Parks and Rec is a great suggestion! And Community could use a new professor and they seem to like hiring Brits for those roles. :) And Ron Moore has TWO shows in pre-production that will need to hire actors eventually. ;)
jatgdiamondgirl From: jatgdiamondgirl Date: May 13th, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
For the Parks and Rec role, I had in mind a frienemy for Rob Lowe's character, another Chris Traeger type only moreso, if that's possible, a character Chris would both admire and resent (or resent as much as Chris is capable of resenting anyone). All that pretty in a single camera shot is bonus.

I didn't follow Community this past season, but I would certainly pop back in for Jamie's sake. Playing an overly erudite professor on a show that tries (sometimes too hard) to be simultaneously clever and cerebral could be fun, not to mention a valuable training ground in comedy.

He could play himself on Big Bang Theory, a la Will Wheaton, considering what fans the geek squad is of Battlestar Gallactica. He could ham it up for laughs, as Wheaton did in a caricatured version of himself.

While I would prefer Jamie to do more comedy, because he lacks that experience, I wouldn't mind seeing him on my favorite dramas either. It would be a kick to watch him play a political chum of Chris Noth's character on The Good Wife (Noth played Det. Mike Logan on Law & Order, sort of the prototype character for LOUK's Matt Devlin)...or a potential partner in Alicia and Cary's newly formed law firm...

...or as yet another love interest for Lauren Graham's character on Parenthood...

...I haven't figured out how to work him into Justified, but it would be fun to hear Jamie attempt an eastern Kentucky accent...

...and there's always room for another Mad Men ad man...

...and Jamie could always return to his parochial drama acting roots by doing a spot on Downton Abbey--he could play the son of Dame Harriet Walter's character! (In case you didn't know, Dame Harriet will be playing a friend of Dame Maggie Smith's character in DA's upcoming season.)

So much TV, so little time.
(Deleted comment)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 12th, 2013 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It was definitely finding it's footing as the season progressed and I really wonder what might have been with a second season. It's possible the show never would have been a huge hit (medical based shows haven't been doing well, in general, recently), but had TNT properly marketed and advertised it, it at least would have had a chance to show what it could do.
bethpowell63 From: bethpowell63 Date: May 11th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I love Jamie, but he was hardly ever on. Of all of the episodes they aired he was really only the main focus in 3 of them. I want to see him in a show like Grey's Anatomy where he is in every scene in every episode.
jatgdiamondgirl From: jatgdiamondgirl Date: May 11th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Even McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, isn't in every scene of every episode of GA, which is very much an ensemble show.

Television shows rarely revolve around one lead actor anymore--I can't think of a single American series, off the top of my head, that focuses on one character to the exclusion of all others...and, judging by his professional history, I wonder if Jamie would even be interested in doing a TV series in which his character is the one and only focus. I can see that possibility in theater or a full-length feature film, but not in television.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 12th, 2013 11:45 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
House would be a good example of a show revolving around one actor and Hugh Laurie often talked about how exhausting it was.

Like you, I doubt very much that Jamie would ever want to be THE star of a show. At least an hour long dramatic series. That takes up so much of your life (I think of the long hours he worked on BSG where he was part of an ensemble) and he has three young children and a golf game to work on. ;)
jatgdiamondgirl From: jatgdiamondgirl Date: May 13th, 2013 03:30 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Ten self-inflicted lashes with a wet noodle for not remembering House, especially since I watched the first four seasons religiously (after that, well...let's just say all's well that ends well...).

Not only was Hugh Laurie working an inhuman schedule, but the storytelling suffered because so much time and energy focused on House. Another example might be Keifer Sutherland and 24, although I was only an intermittent viewer and can't say for sure whether the focus ever shifted from Sutherland's Jack Ryan character.

No, I don't want Jamie to burn himself out. Besides, ensemble shows offer more storytelling opportunities and more complex character dynamics, which is why, I suppose, there are so many.
bethpowell63 From: bethpowell63 Date: May 14th, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
He said his biggest issue with BSG was that it was filmed in Vancouver. If he could find another show that is taped in LA he could go home every night to his girls and work on his golf game!! :-D
Vancouver - (Anonymous) - Expand
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: May 13th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I really think there was supposed to be more of Ty and they cut it out somewhere along the line (whether cut it from the script before it was filmed or cut the scenes I'm not sure). I think they had romance story lines for him and then they decided not to do the "who is sleeping with whom" and cut that all out but were left with not a whole lot for Dr. Wilson to do. I know before the series started airing Tara Summers said in an interview that she was dating one of the doctors and we never saw that on screen so *something* got cut. And if a bunch of early Tina/Ty scenes were cut it'd help make sense of that often nonsensical relationship.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 14th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm so glad you brought this up because it was on my mind when the cancellation news hit and I made a mental note to mention it... which I promptly forgot. (Crazy week. :P)

asta77 and I were actually discussing this very recently; here is the Tara Summers interview:

And the pertinent quote:

Summers plays a character who brings her son in for an operation in the pilot and it goes very wrong. “He dies. It’s awful,” she previews. “But she’s very unique and extraordinary,” Summers says of her character. “She’s very generous when it happens with the doctor who made the mess up in the first place. She says to him, ‘this must be so hard on you. I know you did all you could, this must be awful for you’ and she tries to comfort him.”

“Then he sets about finding her and tracking her down and taking her out,” Summers continues. “In a way, [he’s doing it] to kind of understand how she can be so generous and so kind since he’s killed her son.”

So firstly, WTF happened to this storyline and how much of it did they actually shoot? This interview ran in November, and it could have taken place much earlier but by that point they should have been about 2/3 of the way through shooting the season, I think. Did they decide to just junk the entire subplot around Ty/Alison?! Or did they actually decide to drop it much earlier and Tara Summers was let go; when they announced her as "recurring" it seemed pretty certain she'd be on at least a few few episodes, not just the few fleeting moments she appeared in episode 2. If they decided that the awkwardness of that potential relationship was something they didn't have a strong gameplan for writing and making it work (as we discussed here during our book club posts, I think we all foresaw it as a potentially difficult thing to address) then that's fine... but to drop it SO late in the game? And as it turns out, what made it to screen DID feel like the entire Quinn/Ty's recovery storyline was something they just completely dropped as we never got confirmation that Ty decided not to pursue meeting Alison after all, it just *never came up again* Sigh.

Of course, the larger question that this opens up is how many other storylines were planned that were of a more personal nature for the principals that the writers decided to can? And is that as a result of the strict A-B-C plot structure that they chose to maintain every week, where they just didn't have time for it? Because, kinda bummed if that's the case. What didn't we get to see that we would have seen, ideally?

Man, I want to ask Jamie about this so badly. ;) I have LOTS of MM related things I want to ask him, but about this in particular. I may tweet him about it at some point and see if he bites, but not yet; cancellation wounds might still be a little too fresh.

Edited at 2013-05-14 02:43 am (UTC)
bethpowell63 From: bethpowell63 Date: May 14th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
That storyline is actually closer to the book.
bethpowell63 From: bethpowell63 Date: May 14th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
What you are saying makes sense. Before the show aired, when they were doing publicity interviews, he did most of the interviews and was with Dr. Gupta a lot. I personally think it would have been a much better show had he and "Tina" were part of an ongoing storyline thread every episode. Buck especially needed to be a sideline and not a focus of an entire episode.
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: May 13th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm sad not to have the potential of this show around anymore. I'm sad not to have JB regularly on my TV. I'm sad that a project that people enjoyed working on isn't going to be around anymore. But I'm not totally sad this wasn't renewed. It had a lot of problems and worst of all I think those in control didn't see the problems as problems so I wasn't terribly hopeful that there would be any attempt to become better.

There were certainly some great moments and even a few episodes that I really enjoyed. I don't mean to be negative it's just that there was a small part of me that was somewhat relieved not to go through disappointment and difficulty with the show for another season. HH's characterization in the MM meetings was unpleasant to watch. There was a yucky thread of misogyny in a lot of the show. JB was criminally under-used. There were really odd and frustrating camera choices. It tended to shoot too hard for the drama and because of that fell short. There were amazing actors on this show. I don't think I could possibly have any complaint about the main actors. They were all practically flawless - but the show itself often got in their way.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 14th, 2013 02:53 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Definitely appreciate you pointing out that you don't wish to be negative, but IMO you're only being honest. It's one thing to bitch and moan and say "this is bullshit!" or complain that the show isn't something radically different than what it is. (MM wasn't what I hoped it would be on a structural level, but I also tried to understand the intent behind its tone and such.) You're attempting to give it the benefit of the doubt and merely explaining why it didn't always work for you; I try to do the same. I always try to be as kind about it as possible, but I can't just blindly pledge fealty without any objectivity. :)

In retrospect, my lingering sadness about the show is this, and forgive me for prefacing it with a very TV-nerdy analogy: There's an episode of I Love Lucy called "Lucy's Schedule," in which, because she's perpetually late for everything, Ricky decides to put Lucy on a schedule to "fix" things. He's also trying to impress his boss who is coming over for dinner; meanwhile, Lucy and Ethel and the boss's wife scheme to throw the schedule off to demonstrate what a load of bullcrap the whole thing is. So during dinner, they bring each course and then take it away within seconds because there's only so much time for soup, honey.. have to stick to the schedule. Oh, the steak's frozen? Sorry, there was no time in the schedule for defrosting. I'm really stretching on this analogy, I know ;) - but the point I'm making is that because MM tried to get SO much done in each episode rather than narrowing the focus and delving deeper into each storyline, I felt like that while watching it an awful lot. Hang on... bring the soup back, I barely got to taste it! So many interesting moral dilemmas were introduced that ultimately, most of the time I felt could have been examined with more complexity, and as we've discussed a lot the resonance for the characters' personal storylines could have felt so much stronger... there simply was *never* enough time. :(
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 14th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Me again - I actually wanted to address this part separately, but I needed to go back and check on what happened in which episode for reference. ;) (And a link or two)

Having seen the entire season now and attempting to give it some context, I actually find it pretty difficult to say that there's a rampant running thread of misogyny in it; in fact, I think misogynistic is probably too harsh a criticism. I really don't think that there was any underlying hatefulness or spitefulness in any of the moments we discussed during the episode comments, even the "You come off better when you're quiet" Gato line to Sydney that rankled many of us in Episode 5; it doesn't ping as misogynistic to me in the same way as, for example, a lot of Steven Moffat's DW episodes do. (That line, for example, I think was meant as a somewhat flippant sassy Gato-ism that for whatever reason, the writers were a bit tin-eared on how it might sound to some.)

That said - yes, there are certain things that came off as a bit sexist although it's very hard to point fingers about it, particularly given the fact that other than DEK and Gupta, the only other writers on the show were two women. When that interview with Johns and Struck got posted (very near the end of the season), I had noted that they didn't really address what I would have most liked to hear which is a breakdown of they approached the characters and in particular, Tina and Sydney - both of whom I think got to demonstrate great strengths but who also were stymied several times by a fairly conventional approach to female characters that I found a little bit disheartening. If anything, I think the stuff that can be perceived as sexism is symptomatic of playing it fairly safe with the character's personal stories, and came down to choices in the writing that didn't actively strive to break typical series tropes for female leads; I would love to know what the writers' thoughts were on, for example, the implication in both characters' story lines that sooner or later, they're going to want to settle down and have kids. (This wasn't an issue for Tina in the book since she already had kids, and I talked about this before but it had so been my hope that the show might take a risk and explore the potential of a female career woman whose wants and needs on a personal level might skew toward what we traditionally perceive as male.) Part of what I loved about the baby case initially in "One Fine Day" was that we got to see more of Syd and Tina interacting in ways that passed the Bechdel test, which a lot of their earlier interactions didn't quite manage; I wanted to remain optimistic that as the show improved, we'd see more of that. (Of course, that same episode did end with the Tina-holding-the-baby moment. Hrm.)

Edited at 2013-05-14 09:09 pm (UTC)
jatgdiamondgirl From: jatgdiamondgirl Date: May 15th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I've started watching DEK's first medical drama, Chicago Hope on Hulu, and I've noticed that several of the criticisms we've discussed of MM were more properly handled in early episodes of CH--in fact, if I didn't know better, I'd say MM almost could have been an early discarded draft of CH, that's how similar the basic characterizations are between the two shows. But, somehow, CH managed to show us so much more complex character development/interaction within the same basic case(s)-of-the-week formula than did MM, and that makes me wonder just how much how much of the original concept of MM fell apart as the series developed.

And never, ever apologize for invoking I Love Lucy into any TV-related discussion. Because anyone who knows anything at all about TV knows it all goes back to that.

Edited at 2013-05-15 03:40 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 10th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: real pity

Hey there - yeah, there's really no chance Monday Mornings would be revived; it's been over a year and all the actors have moved on to other projects. (Jennifer Finnigan is starring on another show on FX, for example.) As we discussed in the thread, there are a lot of reasons why we suspect it struggled. Many of us had our own criticisms of the show, but overhwhelmingly we all agreed that TNT didn't exactly do the best job of selling the show for what it was; reaching an audience on social media and *aggressively* getting the word out in advance of its debut; and building on the audience they had so that it had a fighting chance.

Jamie will turn up somewhere else soon I'm sure, but in the meantime do seek out The Smoke if you want more to watch! And welcome to the comm, nice to see new faces always ;)
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