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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

For fans, there is a special Christmas episode of Smallville, "Lexmas", which airs Thursday, Dec. 8th. Otherwise...

What to watch in December: nothing at all. There's nothing on but reruns.

I'm watching the complete Buffy, the Vampire Slayer on DVD, and I have to admit that I'm coming around in favor of Buffy. Despite the sometimes cheesy special effects, the characters and dialogue have me hooked. I'm looking forward to the Buffy comic books from Dark Horse. At least the first four issues will be written by Joss Whedon, picking up where the Angel TV series left off.

Of the new Fall TV shows, the runaway hit is Commander-in-Chief. As far as the science fiction and fantasy shows, The Ghost Whisperer has captured the most viewers -- I can't watch it because of my chick flick phobia. Just a little behind Whisperer is Invasion. As for the others, don't ask. They are down around the four million viewers that led to the cancellation of Star Trek Enterprise.

Smallville I'm happy to report that my favorite network show, Smallville, has risen slightly in the ratings. My hunch is that the reason more people are watching is in anticipation of Superman Returns. The most watched episode of the season so far was the Aquaman episode, which has led the network to order a pilot of an Aquaman spin-off series. Bad idea. Viewers tune in based on how good they hope an idea will be, not on how good it is, and the Aquaman episode was the worst of the season. On the other hand, the new Aquaman show will not be called Aquaman and the actor who played Arthur Curry on Smallville will not play Arthur Curry. The creators of Smallville, Alfred Gough and Miles Miller, are executive producers of the Aquaman show, so look for a crossover visit from Clark, or maybe Lois, who had the hots for Aquaman on Smallville. However Gough and Miller will probably be too busy with the Iron Man movie to write any scripts.

Battlestar Galactica has been renewed for a third season. Season 2.0 is out on DVD December 20. Season 2.1 begins January 6.

Copyright © 2005 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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