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Fall 2006 TV Review, Part Two (“Smith”)

Before we begin with part two (here is part one for those who missed it) of my look at this Fall’s new series’, lets have a quick rundown on the ratings of last night’s premieres:

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Averaged a 8.7/14 HH Rating with a 5.0 A18-49 rating (13.39M viewers) Overall, thats a strong start and enough for a solid second place in the timeslot (behind the power-house CSI: Miami). It’s not all peachy for the critically acclaimed series though, as audience dipped roughly 2.4M viewers in the second half hour in total viewers (from 14.57M to 12.20M) and in A18-49 (going from a 5.4 to a 4.6). It could be cause for concern, or it could be nothing. Something to watch for no doubt.

(NOTE: I made a mistake and posted the viewers for “Deal or No Deal” instead of those for “Studio 60”. Apologies for the mistake, it’s been edited out. I’ve also added additional data on the 2nd half decline.)

The Class

Averaged a 6.9/11 HH Rating with a 3.7 A18-49 Rating (10.74M viewers). That’s a good start to the show (second place in the time-slot behind “Deal or No Deal”), improving on last year’s time-slot occupant (“The King of Queens”) by almost 9% in A18-49. It’ll be interesting to see where the show goes from here.

Alright, now that we got that out of the way, lets continue on towards tonight’s new premieres, correction, new premiere. That’s right, while there are a few season premieres this evening, there is only one series premiere; “Smith”, the thief focused series led by the very powerful on-screen presence of Ray Liota.

Click the link to continue reading.


  • When and Where does it air?
    • Tuesday’s at 10:00 PM on CBS

I liked this episode a lot, and as a bonus to those who watch the pilot tonight, it will be presented commerical free courtesy of the movie The Departed. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Anyways, there are sure to be a few people questioning the reasoning behind creating this type of a show, you know, where the main characters are of the bad variety. It’s been tried before in the past with series such as “Thief” which didn’t go over so well over on FX, and there are a few other shows this TV season, like The Black Donnelly’s which doesn’t appear until this winter (more on that in a later post). But regardless, if you make a good show, people will watch right?

In the case of “Smith”, they did it right. While “Thief” had a decent at best pilot (I’m told it improved as the series progressed, so perhaps I’ll give it another shot when it’s release on DVD), “Smith” gets off the ground much smoother. It’s dark in some cases no doubt, but its also very well put together. The draw of the episode to me was Ray Liota as the main character. If there ever was a case where the main character is the show, this is certainly a good case for that.

Ray Liota carries his role with a swagger that only he can pull off. In one scene particular, we get a good feel for just what he is about when he lays a verbal and somewhat physical lashing on one of his partners. It works so well, and I was completely hooked on him and the surrounding heist story that was slowly being pulled off in the background.

Another positive, though it seems to becoming more of a trend these days, was the very film-like feel and look of the pilot. It plays as if you are watching a movie, and that look and feel allows you to get more immersed in the action.

It’s not a perfect pilot, there are certain places where the episode drags as its trying to advance the storyline, but I feel that the characters, especially Ray Liota’s (Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Simon Baker, Amy Smart, Franky G and Shoreh Aghdashloo also make up the cast), make this series a worthwhile watch, and the idea behind the series should be interesting. Let’s see if viewers agree.

4/5 stars.

On the Web

Check back tomorrow for my review on “Jericho”.