If they had any guts at all, it should've said, "The end. They're dead!" Then you have a reason to tune in next season to see, more than anything else, how they can continue a show without its two main stars. Instead, we'll wait to see the extent of their injuries, which still won't be critical enough for one of them to die because, again, it would have to be called Just Dharma or Just Greg. Not likely.
Finally, I checked out NYPD Blue, which has turned into NYPD Boo Hoo. The season finale had Danny Sorenson (Rick Schroder) missing and Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) weeping. This is the same guy who proudly portrayed himself as a semi-recovering alcoholic and a racist. He also referred to just about everyone as a "miserable hump." Confrontation was what he ate for breakfast. No more, though. Now he's concerned with people's feelings. He has become The Weakest Link.
They've lost a slew of cast members. Andrea Thompson (aka Jill Kirkendall) decided to become a news anchor and bailed at the end of last season. Kim Delaney (Diane Russell) ditched to star in her own show and Lt. Fancy fancied another job. Charlotte Ross and Esai Morales are hot additions to the dwindling cast, but this is another show that has lost its oomph. Will Danny return? Will Sipowicz stop crying? Will I be watching next season? Doubtful.
As a sidebar, I considered commenting on the Star Trek: Voyager series finale, but decided against it. I'm not a Trekker, and I understand it's a whole different universe if you are one. I'll be sad to see Kate Mulgrew leave series TV as she is one of those "great actress, doesn't get enough recognition," cases. Other than saying that, I will simply readjust my aluminum foil antennae and move on.
I have decided to use my summer wisely ? devoting it to television prayer. In case you want to join in, it will go something like this:
"Dear (Fill in your deity here):
"Please let the next television season be better than this television season. Let The Sopranos stay bloody and violent and conclude some story lines. Let Ally McBeal finally meet someone who sticks around for more than a season so we can enjoy the OTHER characters on the show. Bless Dharma and Greg or Just Dharma or Just Greg and please, oh please, let Andy Sipowicz fall off the wagon and turn nasty again. Amen."
Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.