This year's Ted Marshall Open Television Death Pool, is now accepting entries through Aug. 31. To compete, you must predict 10 comedies, dramas, games shows or news programs on the five major networks -- ABC, CBS, CW, FOX and NBC -- that will be cancelled by Aug. 31, 2009.
After I submitted last year's predictions, my friend Jonathan Bourne sent me a crushing and quite prescient analysis of why my picks were terrible.
He began his email, "You haven't a chance, and I'll tell you why," and it went downhill from there. This year I will have more respect for inertia and syndication profits when I evaluate the survival chances of long-running shows like According to Jim, no matter how much they might deserve to be scrubbed from the airwaves and our collective memories.
The contest was formerly known as the Alison La Placa death pool in honor of her reputation as a sitcom killer. For some reason, her lawyer believed that an association with cancelled TV shows might affect her ability to find work.
Weird - I actually have an eligible program this year! I'm afraid if I bet on it, I'll never get into the Hall Of Fame.