Thursday, June 30, 2005

No ''Neighborhood''

A week ago I wrote here about ''Welcome to the Neighborhood,'' the ABC reality series that was coming under fire -- sight unseen -- because it dealt with families getting to choose their newest neighbor. The heat apparently became too much for ABC, which has decided to shelve the series.
In a statement, ABC said, ''Our intention with Welcome to the Neighborhood was to show the transformative process that takes place when people are forced to confront preconceived notions of what makes a good neighbor, and we believe the series delivers exactly that. However, the fact that true change only happens over time made the episodic nature of this series challenging, and given the sensitivity of the subject matter in early episodes we have decided not to air the series at this time.''
This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons, one involving the newspaper, one involving the show.
At the Beacon Journal, we had planned to put the show on the cover of the weekly Channels supplement and now will have to scramble to get a replacement topic. As for the show itself, after seeing a couple of episodes, I thought it was compelling -- and certainly better than the advance criticism suggested.
I wasn't the only one to think so, either. In my e-mail late yesterday was this note: ''The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today expressed mixed emotions about ABC's decision to shelve indefinitely its six-part reality series 'Welcome to the Neighborhood,' noting that behind the problematic concept lay an admirable intention to promote diversity, understanding and acceptance.''
Sadly, most people won't get to decide if the show was good or not.

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