Q: I was wondering why networks don't show TV shows like "Dynasty," "Dallas," "Knots Landing" and "L.A. Law." They are all great shows.
A: Major networks can't just repeat decades-old shows; that's basically left to retro services and streaming. After all, times and taste change. So, if they go to the old well for an idea, it gets updated. The CW tried a new version of "Dynasty" not long ago and ended it after three unremarkable seasons. A TNT revival of "Dallas" seemed to be getting by until star Larry Hagman died during the second season; the third season proved to be the last. And television does still embrace complicated, serialized family sagas. HBO's "Succession" is a riveting example, and I'm well hooked on the CW's "All American," among others. Workplace successors to "L.A. Law" include the engaging "All Rise" on CBS and USA's "Suits," which wrapped up last year.
Saturday night's not all right — for TV ratings
Q: Since Saturday night TV has little viewing, why don't they have all the awards shows on this night instead of screwing up our shows during the other nights? This way most people can stay up late and sleep in the next morning.
A: You kind of answered your own question. Saturday night is the least-viewed night for TV during the week. It wasn't always like that: CBS once had an all-time great Saturday lineup of "All in the Family," "M*A* S*H," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show." But people's habits changed, and more and more people used Saturdays to go out, or to rent a movie to watch at home, or find other things to do than sit down for a night of network television. Networks then chose, for the most part, not to waste their expensive scripted programs on that night. Sunday, meanwhile, continued to hold a favorite place in folks' viewing habits, so much that broadcasters and non-broadcast outlets alike stack big shows on that night — and arrange to put many of the biggest specials there, as well.
Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfelsgmail.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.