Screen Savors: Goodbye Dr. Phil, hello Dr. Quinn

HOT has replaced the Family Channel with CBS Dram

Simon Baker in 'The Mentalist' (photo credit: PR)
Simon Baker in 'The Mentalist'
(photo credit: PR)
Looks like HOT has pulled a fast one on its loyal viewers.
Seemingly without warning, the cable company has dispensed with the Family Channel (HOT 4) and replaced it with CBS Drama.
But note to HOT: The 1990s called and want their programs back.
So far, the channel that aired such entertaining shows as Dr.
Phil , Ellen , The Nanny , The Nate Berkus Show and Life of Riley has been usurped by such dated fare as Matlock with Andy Griffith; Diagnosis: Murder with Dick Van Dyke; Thunder in Paradise with Hulk Hogan; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman with Jane Seymour; Judge Judy with Judge Judith Sheindlin; and Pacific Blue . But it has retained The Bold and the Beautiful .
To add insult to injury, the shows are constantly being interrupted. Not by commercials at least, but by station identification – according to which, some other shows in the offing are Dynasty , Shogun and The 4400 . Really? Dynasty ? The show ran in the 1980s! Been there, done that.
The good news, though, is that HOT has added a few good shows to its other channels – which I hope won’t be ejected as well. On HOT Zone, The Mentalist and The Closer are welcome additions to the roster.
In The Mentalist , Simon Baker plays a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation who uses his keen powers of observation and understanding of the human psyche to help find criminals and solve crimes. Another admirable feat is the actor’s ability to speak “American.” Baker’s accent is so flawless, you’d never know he was Australian.
And speaking of – and in – accents, Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer plays the deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, who is from Atlanta, Georgia. It is a very good show, and Sedgwick has won numerous awards for her performance in it.
But why they have the native New Yorker speaking with a Southern accent eludes me. Not necessary.
Another series I am thoroughly enjoying on HOT Zone is the ninth season of Bones . Starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz as a forensic anthropologist and an FBI special agent, respectively, the show is brilliantly written and superbly acted, with a cast of ancillary characters that are gems in themselves.
And on HOT Channel 3, Grey’s Anatomy is as riveting and compelling a series as they come.
On every weeknight at 8:45, the situations, the characters, the humanity, the dialogue and the drama that play out at Seattle Grace Hospital are what good television is all about.
A new series that began airing this week on Channel 3 is How to Get Away with Murder . Judging by the first episode, this edgy drama about a class of eager law students and their unorthodox professor, played by award-winning actress Viola Davis, looks very promising.
So there certainly are enough dramatic shows to compensate for CBS Drama that HOT has saddled us with on HOT 4. But with so much competition out there and with YES providing such excellent programming, is it a wise decision on the part of HOT to make such a “dramatic” choice?