It's a weird feeling.  The writers' strike is over and I feel like television is now starting to wind down, when instead I ought to think it is spooling back up.

American Gladiators is done.  Las Vegas is done.  Terminator:  The Sarah Connor Chronicles is winding down.  There's a lot of TV out there that just isn't going to come back until September at best.  I know, there are a bunch of things that are going to be coming back (How I Met Your Mother for one), but it's all left me feeling very empty inside. 

Sure, The Riches (which I complain about but enjoy) is due to start up soon on FX, but the season is only going to be 7 episodes instead of 13.  The same is true of Dirt which starts in about a week and a half. 

There's this notion that the TV season is going be “salvaged,” to some extent anyway, but I just don't see it.  Or, more accurately, I just don't feel it.  A lot of series will, in the end, be able to pull out 19 or 20 episodes from this season, but the stutter-step airing of them leaves it all feeling rather hollow. 

Part of that is the fact that summer series are already arriving.  Big Brother has started airing, Hell's Kitchen will be coming in April instead of June, and after Knight Rider this past Sunday, NBC promoed the return of America's Got Talent (after watching America's Got Talent, I can assure you the title is a blatant lie).

And, did you watch Knight Rider the other day?  NBC is contemplating turning it into a full-time real-deal (or as real as such a thing can be) television series.  They're contemplating giving that an hour of primetime a week.  Watching the show though, it felt as though the writers had gotten about halfway through the story before they went on strike and NBC decided to film it and air it anyway. 

I hope (and pray) that come this fall things will be better, that some sort of creativity can still bloom in the shortened television development season, but I'll be honest, I'm disheartened.  Maybe I shouldn't be, maybe there's still awesome out there, but the notion that Reaper is coming back just doesn't do it for me. 

I long for the dismal Jack Bauer episodes we were treated to in season 3 (trust me, last season was better).  I'm hoping that the super-twins from Heroes come to the rescue.  It's actually crossed my mind to start watching Carpoolers.

At least there's always BBC America.  Seriously, you should watch Last Restaurant Standing.