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JPTV: Summer TV Burns Its Corpses

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Last hurrah for the Knights. ABC/PATRICK HARBRON

It’s summer and that means the whiff of smoke in the air… charcoal, roasting marshmallows and–sniff? what’s that?–the acrid smell of the networks burning off their failed shows from the previous season. NBC has already torched Studio 60 over the summer and ABC did Traveler. Tonight, the alphabet network stokes the burnoff bonfire with two deserving shows that were promising in their own way and failed in their own way.

The Knights of Prosperity, which airs two episodes tonight, was a picaresque Robin Hood story about a gang of losers and dreamers plotting to rob Mick Jagger. Though the Rolling Stone basically disappeared from the show after the pilot, it remained a hilarious caper that was maybe a little too quirky and unpretty to catch on. As for bank-robbery drama The Nine, I thought it never quite lived up to the promise of the pilot (the series told both the story of a hostage taking and the story of what happened to the captives afterward). For all its meandering, it was ambitious and well-acted and left me wanting to know more. And now you can learn more–just not that much.

Anyway, if you want closure–or can watch them without getting too involved–there are worse ways to spend an August evening. Just don’t stand too close to the flames.