An attempt to parse network scheduling

So Life On Mars returned to the schedule in its new slot last week with an episode that was... not very Life On Mars-ish. Kind of more Grey's Anatomy-ish what with all the cute cops and workplace sex with oops-inappropriate people. I assumed this was a case of script jetlag -- that this episode had been part of a new direction for the series intended to make it gel better with Grey's and implemented before the move to the post-Lost slot was finalized. It seemed an odd choice to kick off the much-touted new pairing: a cop show with a heady, deep mystery joining the most mysterious show on television and premiering with a burn-off episode utterly lacking in mystery. But such can be the way of script jetlag. I assumed things would return to spooky-wonderful in future episodes.

After last night's showing, I'm confused. Clearly, last night's episode was meant to run BEFORE the episode that ran last week. It picked up the strings of mystery and show mythology left hanging in the fall and ran with them. WHY DIDN'T THEY SHOW THIS EPISODE LAST WEEK?

I think I know. And it worries me.

I sense network nervousness about the failure of the mythology-heavy Invasion that once followed Lost. I sense that -- though the whole point of pairing Lost and LOM is that both are mystery-heavy shows -- the network is trying to step way back on the mystery. That first-week-back show might not have been a burn-off of a now-jettisoned "new direction," it might BE the new direction this show is going to take.

I love Grey's. I really do. But I don't want LOM to turn into cops-lite with cute sex and bad polyester suits. If anyone out there is reading -- keep the mystery, guys! We love the mystery. We watch for the mystery.

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