Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Good Things Come in Small Cities

I don't know if you were one of the five million people who missed ''My Kind of Town'' on Sunday. I wasn't. (ABC pulled the show and showed ''EM: Home Edition'' in its timeslot.) I wonder if the good people of Greenville, Mt. Horeb, Hopedale and Ellenville missed the show. I'm pretty sure Egg Harbor City residents were most disappointed since it was their turn for some tube time.

Actually, I found the whole thing kind of odd. People from small cities took buses to NYC to celebrate small towns. Seems counterintuitive. If you want to celebrate small towns, why not just go there? The upcoming series, ''Three Wishes,'' fixes that problem and actually visits small towns.

Why would ''Three Wishes'' worry about Lamars, IA? Small-city envy? An age of diversity? Reaching out to Middle America? Call it what you want because I sure don't know.

Is it a recent phenomena? Hardly. During the first half of the '90s, TV moved to medium and small cities across America. More than one-third of scripted series were set outside the Big Five Cities.

For much of its history, television made it look like America only had five cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Sure. There were exceptions. "Miami Vice." "Roseanne." And the success of these shows in the '80s probably sparked this trend of the early '90s.

Can you match each show with its city?

1.''The Drew Carey Show''a.Las Vegas, NV
2.''Roc''b.Detroit, MI
3.''Hearts Are Wild''c.Minneapolis, MN
4.''The John Larroquette Show''d.Cleveland, OH
5.''If Not For You''e.Pittsburgh, PA
6.''Frasier''f.Baltimore, MD
7.''Me and the Boys''g.St. Louis, MO
8.''The George Wendt Show''h.Dallas, TX
9.''My So-Called Life''i.Seattle, WA
10.''Home Improvement''j.Madison, WI


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