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Do No Harm


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24 replies to this topic

#1 ONLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:16 PM

I was expecting that I wouldn't like the show, but the pilot was very good.

It has joined my Series Manager.

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#2 OFFLINE   David Ortiz

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

I was expecting that I wouldn't like the show, but the pilot was very good.

It has joined my Series Manager.


Unfortunately, with its poor ratings, it doesn't seem long for this world.

#3 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

As I noted in the ratings thread, both "Awake" and "Prime Suspect", shows my wife and I liked, were premiered by NBC in this time slot then dumped. I may record what they put here, but will watch recordings only after its clearly going to be a keeper. "Do No Harm" premiered to ratings 55% lower than the "Awake" premier. Don't get invested in this one.

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#4 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

I'll wait to check it out. I had to download the VOD version because it was snowing, and interrupted by the weather guy.

#5 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:28 PM

I kind of enjoyed the pilot, but then I realized that the writers were using the long con of slowly revealing what was going on to a viewer that parachuted in to the middle of this situation. That continuously fulfils the "wtf is going on here?" question, but I don't think that makes it really all that compelling. That's low-hanging fruit that will not be available to the lazy untalented writing staff after about ep 3 (assuming it makes it that far).

Steven Pasquale showed amazing comedy chops on Rescue Me; he was one of my favorites on that show because his character made me laugh more than any other. Maybe this is the wrong fit for him; he's better than this. But pulling it off fairly well. Kind of a tall order to ask the lead actor to try to make chicken salad out of chicken @#$%, I guess. He's still going to need all the help he can get, and he seems to be getting very little from the writers.

I guess it would not be going out on a limb to say that the poor sampling portends a early exit for the show, but I predict ratings will only get worse, mostly because it is impossible to suspend disbelief as much as is being asked in order to buy the concept. A buddy genius alchemist who cooks up new drugs for him to try that works at the same hospital? Let's hope there are no folks like him out there for real. The 1-dimensional guy we are all supposed to hate? Mission accomplished, but barely. Go to Suits and check out "Louis" for a nemesis character done right with many levels and shades of grey; the nemesis character on DNH is just a full black hat, and therefore boring.

And as Robert Bianco of USA Today says, "when does this guy ever sleep?" (Robert gave it one star, which is unusually low even for him). Sorry, the whole mess is just too fantastical to accept, and it is not done very well. The closest comparison is Christian Slater's My Own Worst Enemy from a few years ago, which was much better, had Christian Slater as the lead ferchrissake, and only made it to 9 eps. Of course they did engineer an entire scene that made no sense in one of the eps that was there specifically for CS to drive a car that was being product-placed, so they deserved a quick exit for that, just on general principles.

I'm a little prejudiced because I hate medical dramas in the first place, they are rife with easy-pickins drama and just disturb me, so you better do it well if it's a medical drama and you want me to watch. Certainly nothing more than mundane arcs so far for the medical side of DNH.

But as harsh as I've been on DNH, I will try to get through a second ep, just because it has that train-wreck appeal. Pilots are sometimes nowhere as good as the series they launch. No bets as to whether I make it all the way through ep 2, tho, as I think in this case the pilot seems like it might have been the high point.
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#6 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:34 PM

So... I guess DNH, in your learned opinion, is DNR.

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#7 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:25 AM

Yes, it is indeed DNR. According to AdWeek NBC series is lowest-rated debut in Big Four history which points out:

While NBC has ordered 12 episodes of Do No Harm, it’s difficult to imagine how the network will see its way clear to keep the show on the air. Even the ratings-challenged time slot predecessor Rock Center with Brian Williams managed to scare up the occasional 1.1 in its second season.

Do No Harm’s performance was so poor that it practically made at least two of last season’s Thursday night anchors seem like huge hits by comparison. On Sept. 22, 2011, the Maria Bello procedural Prime Suspect bowed to 6.05 million viewers and a 1.8 in the demo, while the fantasy drama Awake bowed to 6.24 million viewers and a 2.0 in March 2012.

IMHO had NBC stuck with either show they might have had a following against the other two networks.

There's a certain irony in the fact that Aidan Quinn had a part as NYPD Lieutenant Kevin Sweeney in the "Prime Suspect" ensemble cast and is now NYPD Captain Toby Gregson in "Elementary", the CBS so-far successful entry into the time slot. He seems to have gotten a promotion and a fortuitous transfer.

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#8 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

So... I guess DNH, in your learned opinion, is DNR.

Ouch! Good one.
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#9 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

...There's a certain irony in the fact that Aidan Quinn had a part as NYPD Lieutenant Kevin Sweeney in the "Prime Suspect" ensemble cast and is now NYPD Captain Toby Gregson in "Elementary"...

No, that is not irony, that is coincidence.

Irony refers to something happening that would not be predicted to happen, even the opposite of what would be predicted to happen. It would be ironic for an actor as good as Quinn to do so well in Prime Suspect and then not be the top choice or at least on a short list for a similar part later on. That's irony. It's not what we would expect to happen.

Coincidence is the likelihood or occurence of two similar things happening, or happening maybe even at the same time. No worries...a common error. If you and I independently chose to wear red socks to work on Monday, or if you wore them on Monday and I wore them on Tuesday, that is not irony, that is coincidence. If I dropped a hint that I owned no socks without holes in them and everyone I know gifted me red socks on xmas, that is coincidence. If I show up at work then wearing green socks on December 26th, to everyone who gifted me red socks and who knows that everyone else did the same thing, that's ironic.

Quinn was so good in one, that he scored a similar job basically doing the same thing in another, probably exactly because of how good he was in the first one. Coincidence. We might have even predicted that. Now if both roles had used the same name for the characters, that would really be coincidental, if not done on purpose.

Edited by TomCat, 02 February 2013 - 08:26 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:54 AM

No, that is not irony, that is coincidence.

Irony refers to something happening that would not be predicted to happen, even the opposite of what would be predicted to happen. It would be ironic for an actor as good as Quinn to do so well in Prime Suspect and then not be the top choice or at least on a short list for a similar part later on. That's irony. It's not what we would expect to happen.

Coincidence is the likelihood or occurence of two similar things happening, or happening maybe even at the same time. No worries...a common error. If you and I independently chose to wear red socks to work on Monday, or if you wore them on Monday and I wore them on Tuesday, that is not irony, that is coincidence. If I dropped a hint that I owned no socks without holes in them and everyone I know gifted me red socks on xmas, that is coincidence. If I show up at work then wearing green socks on December 26th, to everyone who gifted me red socks and who knows that everyone else did the same thing, that's ironic.

Quinn was so good in one, that he scored a similar job basically doing the same thing in another, probably exactly because of how good he was in the first one. Coincidence. We might have even predicted that. Now if both roles had used the same name for the characters, that would really be coincidental, if not done on purpose.

When you state it that way, I must humbly accept the correction.

Usually I would not predict someone in an ITV/Universal Studios show on NBC in the 2011-2012 season as an NYPD detective would be cast in another show on CBS from CBS Television Studios in the 2012-2013 season as an NYPD detective. But he was that good in both.

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#11 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

So... I guess DNH, in your learned opinion, is DNR.


And now pronounced:

http://www.latimes.c...0,1802459.story
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#12 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:11 PM

It was a dead heat as to whether they would cancel it before I would. I was still hanging in. The largest problem with the show was that it is so preposterous, which makes it a very hard sell, and the ratings probably bore that out. But I discovered much to my amazement that if you tune that factor out, the show is still pretty entertaining. Sure, it's a crazy ride, but I was not bored for a second, even if there were way too many "wtf?" moments where I was shaking my head with my hands in the air.

That said, I saw ep 2 as a significant step up from the pilot, even though still doomed to inevitable failure. The show was really skillfully, even cleverly done and acted; it just had too much baggage from such an off-the-wall unsustainable basic concept.

While none of this should be interpreted as an endorsement of the show (no, it really did need to be cancelled), there were 2 bright spots, IMHO; the "Real Doll" ersatz companion showed that the writers at least had a healthy sense of humor, and the attempt at a relationship with his son was interesting.

If they burn it off this summer, I might even watch it, although I have watched it so far with one finger on my remote's exit key.
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#13 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

...Usually I would not predict someone in an ITV/Universal Studios show on NBC in the 2011-2012 season as an NYPD detective would be cast in another show on CBS from CBS Television Studios in the 2012-2013 season as an NYPD detective. But he was that good in both.

Agreed, but casting agencies are for the most part network-agnostic; they don't care where the place of business is or what it is, just that they can place candidates in roles regardless of who it might be for.

There is precedence, of a sort; Natalie Martinez played a detective in Detroit 1-8-7 a couple years ago, and now plays, guess what, a detective in CSI:NY. ABC, CBS. But if she had a role in every show on TV, I probably would not complain.

There are a lot of SAG card holders in LA, and odds are not good that this (Aidan Quinn in two similar roles)would have happened, which in that way may even qualify this for irony. There may have even been a school of thought along the lines of "we don't want to cast this guy exactly because he played a very similar role recently, and in a show that tanked; we want to be innovative rather than derivative.", or maybe avoidance of typecasting is a viable strategy for the actor himself.

But if you look at it another way, who else would you cast, other than the guy with the best resume? That sort of puts him on the inside track. He probably didn't even have to audition. If you use "Rocky" as an example, who would be the obvious choice to be cast in "Rocky II"? Or "III"? Or "IV" through "Balboa"? Hardly an ironic outcome there. Coincidental, and predictably so. My best guess is that when a B-level actor such as an Aidan Quinn, who has worked steadily but never hit it big, is offered a continuing supporting role in a show this good and a big show at the biggest network, he takes it, no questions asked; he wants that work and the paycheck that comes with it (he's probably pulling in $50 K or better per ep, which translates to more that a mil per season), and unless your quote if a lot higher than that, who wouldn't? He probably works 2 days a week for 22 weeks, with no heavy lifting.

Edited by TomCat, 09 February 2013 - 10:22 PM.

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#14 ONLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

I need all the series manager space I can use

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#15 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

I feel sorry for Steven Pasquale. The premise of the show seemed ok.

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#16 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

I feel sorry for Steven Pasquale...

As much as I like him and consider him a credible lead for a network-level drama or comedy, I can't feel sorry for him. The best thing, career-wise, for a TV actor is to have a successful show; the very next best thing is to have an unsuccessful show, which gives you a great platform to show everybody who might consider hiring you what you've got.

As bad as DNH might have been, the stink is not on him as much as it is on the producers and NBC. Were I a casting agent, DNH would have only placed him higher on my list of potentials.

Maybe he's a couple years too old, but this might have been the guy they should have cast in Arrow. That sense of humor would have solidified the character, and the series.
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#17 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

Why both producing a show if you're just going to cancel it after two episodes? If it was such a stinker, they should have pulled the plug in the development stage. If it was worth making it to air, it was worth giving it more of a chance.
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#18 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:36 PM

If you see a show that employs three actors you've never seen and looks like it was filmed by two guys with home video cameras, they might give it a chance even if it premiered to the lowest ratings ever because you can always find an advertiser somewhere who'll pay the local affiliate $150 for a 30 second commercial placement.

But filming and airing more episodes of this show is throwing away hundreds of thousands dollars an episode. You cut your losses, give the committed advertisers immediate relief, and try to regain some credibility in advertising circles.

After all, the end target audience of broadcast and non-premium cable TV networks is advertisers.

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#19 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:47 PM

Why both producing a show if you're just going to cancel it after two episodes? If it was such a stinker, they should have pulled the plug in the development stage. If it was worth making it to air, it was worth giving it more of a chance.

I think this is revealing about how human nature works. Even when there are millions at stake, people have their own agendas, and struggle with others in power just for the sake of being most powerful. That can spawn a lot of bad television that one would not expect to get picked up.

Any program is a roll of the dice. And with what clicks being very hard to predict, even bad ideas seem good to some people. If they are in a position of power, a bad idea can live for some time, sometimes all the way through 6 or 7 eps being produced, and then 3 or 4 of them never see the light of day.

There used to be a series on called Brilliant But Cancelled, which sort of went the other direction. showcasing good programs that somehow got cancelled. It was on a forgettable network that itself got cancelled. But it had a cult following, and was a fascinating look at TV.

There are hundreds of pilots out there each year that we never get a look at. If it were not for all of the various rights issues I think it would be great fun to have a network destination like TruTV or some other low-rated outlet that filled a Friday or Saturday night with failed pilots that never got picked up, or movie screen tests or pilots with actors that were later replaced with other actors.

The promotion almost writes itself; "See Happy Days' Tom Bosley as Archie Bunker" (yes, he was the original choice for that role). "See Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones". Yep, he was almost Indy.

One of my favorite movies is Mulholland Drive. It was originally a TV pilot that did not get picked up. David Lynch reshot some scenes and repurposed it as a feature film, with great success. It made Naomi Watts a star (she was amazing in it). You can find the original pilot on the internet, but I would rather be able to surf to a channel that would regularly air these sorts of gems.
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#20 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:58 AM

But filming and airing more episodes of this show is throwing away hundreds of thousands dollars an episode. You cut your losses, give the committed advertisers immediate relief, and try to regain some credibility in advertising circles.


I agree, if the show is a disaster, they were right to pull it, and having the worst ratings in recorded history pretty much answers that question. However, it begs the question, how did this stinker get made in the first place?

NBC has a long history of throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks. (Actually, that's the premise of Guy Fieri's next NBC game show...) They need to repair their reputation and put some better shows on the air.
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