AMC announced this week that it would not renew "Rubicon" for a second season.
The thriller, starring James Badge Dale as an intelligence analyst who uncovers a terrorist conspiracy, never quite picked up the ratings it needed to survive.
It's one of the few misfires from the network that has given us "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad" and the current hit "The Walking Dead," which got renewed for a second season after its second episode, setting some of the highest ratings mark in AMC's history.
At the end of the day, "Rubicon" moved too slowly for many of its viewers, with a dense plot that was often pretty confusing. Had "Rubicon" made it to a second season, my guess is that the writers would have gotten to the meat of the story a lot earlier in the season.
That's what has made "The Walking Dead" (Sunday, AMC, 10 p.m.) so successful. Barely 15 minutes into the first episode, the writers hit us with shock of the zombies walking the Earth. We learn of the situation through the eyes of the lead character, and see how much the world has changed in the days he was unconscious in the hospital.
At the end of the day, "Rubicon" didn't give us a clear-cut basic story to follow, and in this day and age, viewers rarely have the patience to watch a story unfold.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: One of the great traditions of every "Superman"-related movie or TV show is the tips of the cap it gives to previous incarnations. Tonight's "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m.) is no exception, bringing in Teri Hatcher, the Lois Lane of "Lois & Clark," in as the mother of the current Lois Lane (Erica Durance). It's followed by a new "Supernatural" at 9 p.m.
CBS presents new episodes of "Medium," "CSI: NY" and "Blue Bloods," while Fox has a new "Good Guys" at 9 p.m.
On cable, "Law & Order: UK" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is new, as is "Sanctuary" (SyFy, 10 p.m.)
On Saturday, Georgia faces Auburn (CBS, 3:30 p.m.) in a game with national title implications. Unfortunately, it's not for the Dogs.
On Sunday, maybe the runners of "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) will follow my No. 1 rule of winning the race -- actually READING the clue. (It's right up there with knowing how to swim and being able to drive stick). To have not one, but three, teams almost lose because they goofed up the challenge at this stage of the race is ridiculous. It's followed by "Undercover Boss" and "CSI: Miami."
Fox's animation block is new, as are "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" on ABC from 9-11 p.m.
Tina Fey accepts the "Mark Twain Prize" (PBS, 9 p.m.), presented each year to the nation's top humorist.
On cable, "Luther" (BBC America, 10 p.m.) remains one of the most compelling hours on TV.
Ditto the case for "Boardwalk Empire," (HBO, 9 p.m.), interweaving real life with its main plot. It's followed by the season finale of "Bored To Death."
Showtime has a new "Dexter" (Showtime, 9 p.m.)
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