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2013 TV New Year’s Resolutions

Ten suggestions that the TV industry should adopt as we head into 2013.

A new year is almost upon us which means it's time to lose weight, pay off that credit card, and stop watching those "Law and Order: SVU" marathons.

And while we were cleaning out the fridge, cutting up plastic and swearing off Ice-T and Mariska Hargitay, we came up from a few resolutions we'd like television networks to stick to in 2013 to make the world, or at least our living rooms, a better place. After all, we've got to having something to look forward to when our plans to compete in a triathlon and take up ballroom dancing somehow fall through.

 


No More "Mad Men" Wannabes

Many men want to be him but there's only one Don Draper. Unfortunately, no one told this to NBC when they greenlit "Mad Men" knock off, "The Playboy Club." While viewers and critics were charmed by the AMC hit's portrayal of dapper '60s era ad execs, they were quick to see through NBC's schmaltzy tale of the tall, dark and handsome patrons of Hugh Hefner's famous Chicago nightclub.

ABC's also counted on viewers to be mesmerized by the mid-century nostalgia of airline drama, "Pan Am," but all the cocktails and free peanuts in the world couldn't make this show a hit. Since then, a few period dramas like Starz' "Magic City" and CBS' "Vegas" have bucked the trend but we're hoping networks head into the new year by leaving the past in the past.


More Dark Comic Book Adaptations

Superheroes like Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman have been small screen stars for decades, but AMC proved viewers won't shy away from dark, grittier comic book fare with "The Walking Dead." In fact, fans can't get enough undead guts and gore, making "The Walking Dead" one of the most highly rating shows in basic cable history.

And it looks like other networks are paying attention, especially Showtime. The network is reportedly bringing DC/Vertigo's noir thriller "100 Bullets," Image's black comedy "Chew" and Oni Press' supernatural crime drama, "The Damned" to TV. With AMC and Showtime leading the way, we're hoping more networks realize comic books aren't just for kids.


Hug It Out

If there's one thing we tired of reading about this year it was behind-the-scenes drama on our favorite TV shows. It's hard enough to keep a show on the air without divaesque walkouts, histrionic meltdowns and vicious in-fighting going on with the cast and crew.

If only the ridiculously high paid stars and producers of these shows remembered what their true purpose is: distracting us from our own miserable existences, they'd be a little less miserable themselves. Here's hoping for fewer voicemail tirades, religious rants and racist outbursts in 2013.


Give Reboots the Boot

Like last night's leftover pizza, reboots have that cheesy, rubbery taste that's familiar but not especially enjoyable. Some things just aren't as good the second time around, like campy crime dramas from the seventies, if they were ever good at all.

While we welcome inventive modernizations of old childhood favorites like Bryan Fuller's "Munsters" remake, "Mockingbird Lane," for every "Battlestar Galactica" there's a "V and for every "Hawaii Five-0," a "Charlie's Angels." Let's hope this year, TV execs remember it's 2013 not 1976.


Better Reality TV

More "Amish Mafia," less "Honey Boo Boo Child." Reality TV has come a long way since Mark Burnett figured out that leaving sixteen crazy people on a remote island in Borneo makes for great television. Nowadays, if it exists, there's a reality TV show about it.

This is both a good ("Deadliest Catch") and bad (Any show with the word "Housewives" in the title) thing. We're all for shows about Amish dudes named Levi who ride around like Vito Corelone on a horse and buggy but flatulent white trash pageant queens? Not so much.


No More Half-Seasons

There's nothing wrong with spreading the love, but when you've got a show as good as "Breaking Bad," splitting the final season up and making us wait a year is worse than a bad case of meth withdrawal. Other notorious offenders include USA hits, "White Collar", "Royal Pains" and "Suits."

While it's great when these shows return, it's easy to forget where things left off mid-season, especially with a year in between. And in this case, diehard fans tend to see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full.


Stop the Showrunner Shuffle

If it ain't broken, don't fix it. Or rather, don't fire it. AMC's monstrous hit, "The Walking Dead," is just three seasons old and already it's had the kind of behind-the-scenes shake-ups you'd expect from a show heading into its twilight years.

First, Hollywood auteur, Frank Darabont left the "Dead" over alleged budget issues and now current showrunner, Glen Mazzara is stepping down due to differences of opinion on the show's direction. Hopefully, 2013 will bring "The Walking Dead" a showrunner who sticks around for more than two seasons.


More Big Screen Stars on the Small Screen

With so much great storytelling on TV these days, more and more Hollywood stars are making the move to the smallscreen. After Kiefer Sutherland made good with his career-defining role as "Jack Bauer" on "24" and Alec Baldwin revitalized his career with "30 Rock,"

Dennis Quaid and Kevin Bacon are following suit. Quaid currently stars on CBS' modest hit, "Vegas" and Bacon has his turn with FOX's much-buzzed about upcoming drama, "The Following." Some may say TV is a step down, but these Hollywood vets know it's better to be on a good TV show than in a bad movie. Let's hope more follow their lead in 2013.


More Serialized Shows

"Lost" and "Fringe" proved that viewers will watch a heavily serialized show with a vast, mind-boggling mythology. Unfortunately, wannabes "FlashForward" and "The Event" proved they won't watch a shoddy imitation of such.

The past few years have seen networks move away from the format, instead stacking their programming slates with procedurals and sitcoms. Now that "Fringe" is coming to an end, fans will be jonesing for a new genre fix. It doesn't have to involve alternate realities and time traveling, but we're hoping for more serialized television in 2013.


More Big Reveals

We love nothing more than big jaw-dropping reveals and Showtime's "Dexter" delivered yet again, this season. WIth a number of shows wrapping up soon, including "Fringe" and "Breaking Bad," we're hoping for more big surprises and shockers this year. Let's hope 2013 is the year our favorite shows finally "went there."

We're looking at you, "How I Met Your Mother!"