by Ron Wynn
One of NBC's few recent triumphs has been Grimm, a combination of crime and fantasy that features 21st century Brothers Grimm descendant Nick Grimm (David Guintoli) battling a host of contemporary monsters, demons and witches. He's also upholding the law as a cop on Portland's police force, a situation beyond even Portlandia's imagining.
But despite the show getting above-average ratings on Friday nights, the network opted to remove it from the schedule for a four-month break, just as a major storyline involving Nick, his former girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) and his commanding officer Renard (Sasha Roiz) had begun generating heat.
When Grimm returns 8 p.m. Friday (WSMV-Channel 4), the plot escalates into genuine rancor and conflict between Renard and Nick, with both Juliette and Renard the victims of a witch's spell. The situation disintegrates into crime, and the lives of all three will be forever changed.
NBC hopes fans haven't forgotten the program exists and will return to it. It's one of three shows (the others being The Voice and Revolution) the network has gambled on giving extended breaks while using the time to try and develop additional hits.
That strategy has mostly failed, with NBC last week finishing in an epically awful fifth place among prime-time networks in the 18-49 demographic. The Peacock was beaten not only by its network rivals, but by Spanish-language outlet Univision.
The network desperately needs Grimm and the other returning shows to surpass, or at least renew, the popularity they had prior to their hiatuses, or things will be even bleaker for former ratings champion NBC than they currently are.
Larry Hagman's finale
TNT's Dallas has been among the more successful reboots of a classic TV show, in large part due to the balance between fresh faces and familiar veterans. But the program suffered a huge loss with the death of Larry Hagman, whose emblematic J.R. Ewing character ranked among the great soap opera villains of all time.
The show says goodbye to Hagman over the next two weeks, beginning with Monday's episode at 8 p.m. Another name from the past — Gary Ewing (Ted Shackleford) — revisits Dallas to help his brother Bobby (Patrick Duffy). But along the way there will be some shocking news announced regarding J.R.'s fate.
That sets the stage for the March 11 episode in which the program formally says goodbye to J.R. Ewing. A TV Guide story reported there was a chance Victoria Principal (who left the show back in 1987) could possibly return, but no one has confirmed or denied that rumor so far.
White Collar finale
USA's White Collar concludes its fourth season 9 p.m. Tuesday with a transitional show certain to have major impact on its direction. Without revealing too many details, both key characters and the audience discover some things they had long assumed to be true are not.
These revelations lead to decisions that will have long-term impact, continuing over into the next season. They will also force a major figure to decide once and for all what path he's going to take.
White Collar has not only proven among USA's most popular shows, it's doing well in syndication. Though not on as long as Psych (now back at 9 p.m. Wednesdays), the show ranks alongside it and Suits as the best of USA's buddy shows, though it's played somewhere between the former's broad humor and the latter's penchant for dark, brooding themes.