By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Oct 06, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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We're only in the third week of the new TV season and two network shows --  Fox's "Lone Star" and ABC's "My Generation" -- have already been axed.

There are more shows in danger of an early demise, and the list is led by a rather surprising one, NBC's much-hyped "The Event."

Remember, the success or failure of a TV show doesn't have much to do with its quality. It's the numbers that drive commercial television.

Sold as a blend of the politics of "24" and the weirdness of "Lost," "The Event" was the subject of a summer of promos. And it premiered big.

But it's been off substantially in each of its next two episodes, losing almost a third of that initial audience. With a trend line headed downward, it's increasingly likely that "The Event" will disappear soon.

On the other hand, NBC is stuck in fourth place. That may allow the network to stick with a loser until it turns around -- if it does.

But "The Event" is part of a weak Monday night for NBC. Also doing poorly is "Chuck," which has a small, but enthusiastic audience. "Chuck" is in serious trouble and is unlikely to last the full season.

Less likely to get any extra time from NBC is Jimmy Smits' "Outlaw." It premiered poorly and hasn't improved. In fact, the 9 p.m. Friday slot makes it seem to have been doomed from the start.

Over on ABC, it looks like a second cancellation may be imminent. "The Whole Truth" is another show that hasn't caught an audience. Maura Tierney's return to TV after a bout with cancer may be done this week, depending how it does tonight at 9 on Channel 12.

Fox's critically acclaimed "Lone Star" may soon be followed by "Running Wilde," the comedy from Mitchell Hurwitz, the guy behind the cult favorite "Arrested Development." It hasn't pulled in my attention from viewers, despite Keri Russell and Will Arnett as the leads. Fox's Friday night "Good Guys" is also in trouble.

Also doing poorly is Donald Trump's latest edition of "The Apprentice." It's more likely to be moved out of the 9 p.m. Thursday slot because Trump apparently has incriminating photos of NBC execs.

If that wasn't the case, this show, and Trump, would've disappeared from the network long ago.

Finally, there's the CW's "Life Unexpected," another low-rated show that was given another chance. So far, it's not improving on its lackluster audience for the network targeting younger viewers.

In the news: Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz is leaving the newspaper world to become Washington bureau chief for Tina Brown's Daily Beast. He'll continue to do his 10 a.m. Sunday media show on CNN.

  • In a local print-to-Internet move, Mark Maley, the editor of Journal Communications' eight local weekly newspapers, is leaving to become a regional editor with AOL's, a network of hyper-local news sites that is expanding to the Milwaukee area.
  • Two veterans of WTMJ-AM (620) were reunited Tuesday when Phil Cianciola had Mark Reardon -- now on St. Louis' KMOX-AM -- as a guest on his podcast, which is hosted right here on
  • Today's "Judge Joe Brown" features a Milwaukee interior designer who "sees red when her ex steps out with another woman" at 3 p.m. on Channel 6.
  • There are plenty of choices to watch the U.S. Senate debate at 8 p.m. Friday. It's live on Channel 4 and Channel 10, Channel 30 and over-the-air digital Channel 6.2
  • Syfy has picked up "Warehouse 13" for a third season.

Offering their stories: Last month's suicide of a Rutgers University student whose sexual encounter with another man was posted on the Internet has led to an explosion of anti-suicide messages from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Kathy Griffin. There's talk of a "Glee" episode on the topic.

The latest celeb to take on the issue of gay teen suicide is Tim Gunn of "Project Runway," who recorded this public service announcement to talk about his own youth:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.