Question: Why is it that TV producers think that we as fans need/want to see cast shake-ups in our shows? After watching the pretty much unbelievable (and not in a good way) finale of Bones, I have to ask: Do the writers/producers understand that most people watch these shows because of the characters and how they interact with each other? Changing characters may work on shows like Law & Order where is it a lot more story-driven, but on shows like Bones, the stories are character-driven. Removing a key person from the dynamics doesn't make me enjoy the show more — it's quite the opposite, actually. To me it seems like getting rid of a major character would drive down viewership, not increase it. I don't know many people who think, "Oh, they killed a character in the season finale, I'll have to start watching that show now." Killing people on Lost or The Unit I understand, but having an extremely smart lab rat get seduced into being a serial killer? Not so much. Jon S.

Matt Roush: Generally, I defend the right of a show and its producers to shake things up from time to time. Without question, many of these shows are watched for the comfort level of following characters we like as they solve crimes or save lives, etc. That's why formulas exist and why they're successful, especially in the weekly grind of series TV. But formulas also grow stale, and shows occasionally want to make noise — alas, too many choose this time of year to do it, so it seems like contrived overload, as it does this spring. And one of the best ways to make noise is to put members of an ensemble in peril, and to bring just a bit of realism into the world of a show that typically allows its regulars to survive close shaves with death each week and walk away unscathed. Sacrificing a character for the greater good of the show is a concept I can embrace as long as the twist has dramatic impact and makes sense. Bones failed that test this week big time. Whereas the House episode that directly followed had one of its best episodes ever, as Amber died of her injuries. Her agonizingly emotional final scene with Wilson is something no one is likely ever to forget. And I'd just as soon forget that Bones episode ever happened.


It really doesn't bother me as much as it bothers him but as Hart Hanson said - just as long as people are talking then he's happy. It's the silence that scares him.