Show Placement A Comedy of Mistakes

New Amsterdam is a show that is simply a series of mistakes by Fox Broadcasting, coupled with horrible luck and tough financial times. Mind you, I'm not talking about the content of the show itself, but rather how Fox treated the show in its lineup and seemingly tried to kill not only the show itself but also the company that produced it, Regency Entertainment.

Originally scheduled for an initial production run of 13 episodes to be broadcast as a part of the regular line-up in the fall of 2007, Fox cut the number of episodes down to 8 (including the already produced "Pilot" episode) and then pushed its premier into the mid-season replacement schedule to take the place of awful reality shows that should never have seen the light of day in the first place. To top it off, the first two episodes, while capturing a sizable audience, were shown on completely different nights and forcing viewers to have to hunt through the schedule to find subsequent episodes... even if they liked the series.

It seems unlikely that Fox really intended this series to be anything more than just a filler, and only on the off chance that it might be successful.

In terms of the content, it is a gritty police drama show with some interesting twists. While the Law and Order franchises seem to be doing good (and coincidentally shares a great many guest and co-stars with the New Amsterdam TV show), perhaps this was one of the things that turned off viewers.... yet another cop show set in New York City. By itself, being another cop show wasn't the only thing that ended up killing this show.

While comparisons to Highlander and other "immortals" dramas may come to mind, I think a better comparison might be to shows like Quantum Leap, where an exploration of the past and how it connects to the present is a much better example. Even better, it really is a sort of unique kind of show on its own terms, and did offer some refreshingly original content at a time when most shows seem to rehash each other.

As for the potential of this series ever coming back, not only was the cancellation something that mostly killed the series, but having Regency Television close its doors is what I believe to be the final nail in the coffin. Having the shows on Hulu has brought about a gentle resurgence of fan interest in the show.... with most of them angry that they have discovered the show only to see it as something in the past with no future. The only glimmer of hope that something may come was hinted on IMdB, where a "New Amsterdam (2009)" series or movie is currently in development. What that might be can only be speculated about. Almost all of the actors and production crew have moved on to other projects, such as the lead actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who has just wrapped up a pilot for a new Fox show called "Virtuality".... strongly hinted as appearing this fall (2009). Recasting John Amsterdam would be a futile move.

This show is such a good idea that some elements of it are eventually going to be recycled into another quality show some time in the future. Stuff like this is genuinely eternal in nature, such as a hope for the "true love" and an exploration of what it means to be mortal. If you haven't seen this series, it certainly is worth a look. Fox passed up a show that certainly could help to support its current line up and keep viewers.


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