The Ex List could get dumped early

It’s never a good thing when the show runner ditches a series before it even hits the air.
That’s exactly what happened on Sept. 12 when Diane Ruggiero ( Veronica Mars ) took a flyer on The Ex List , a series she adapted from the Israeli TV show Mythological X

Both shows center on a woman in her early 30s yearning for a committed relationship. She’s told by a psychic that she has already met and dated her soul mate – and if she doesn’t hook up with him within the year, she’ll never marry anyone.

It’s enough to make Carrie Bradshaw weep. After all, Sex and the City was nothing if not about a fashion crazed Cinderella looking for her Big prince. In the American version, Grey’s Anatomy recurring guest star Elisabeth Reaser plays Bella Bloom, a serial dater. Bella goes through men like they were stacked in box of unmarked chocolates, sampling each one, usually finding them lacking and then going on to the next.

But after her most recent break-up with Elliott (Mark Deklin), a man uninterested in marriage, has Bella thinking about her long-term relationship goals.

Reaser proves she can carry a show, but this one might prove to be too much for even her skill set.
Bella owns a flower shop in San Diego, spends her spare time surfing with her roommates Cyrus (Amir Tali) and Augie (Adam Rothenberg). In fact, it’s a little like Friends, with Bella hanging out with her sister Daphne (Rachel Boston), and her roommates, which also include Augie’s girlfriend Vivian (Alexandra Breckenridge).

Ruggiero opted to make the caustic psychic Marina (Anne Bedian), who only appeared in the first episode of Mythology X , a recurring character. She also created a sister for Bella to help plump out the story possibilities.

These changes didn’t endear her to CBS.

Ruggiero told reporters she was being pressured by CBS to make it more like the Israeli version. She bolted after CBS brought Segahl Avin, producer of the Israeli series, on board.

But what can you expect from a network that doesn’t know what to do with a series that doesn’t include a dead body every week?

Still, all the blame can’t be placed entirely on CBS. Ruggiero started out as a slightly hostile employee. Her personal project, about friends who turn into Superheroes, was shelved after the writers strike and she was offered The Ex List as an alternative to unemployment.

While Ruggiero’s delightfully funny in real life, she didn’t exactly hit the pilot out of the ball park. The first episode has some memorable moments, especially when Bella hooks up with her teary young ex Johnny. She dumped the overly emotional singer seven years ago on his birthday. Now he’s a tatted out hard rocker who whisks Bella off her feet with his hard-driving style.

Eric Balfour gets a little over melodramatic at Johnny past, but once we get into Johnny present he oozes sensuality and, ultimately, deadly humor. The B story, about Bella’s roommate Vivian getting her lady parts shaved, turns off the viewer as much as it disgusts boyfriend Augie.

Yeah, this actually goes on for most of the episode. We would much rather spend that time with Daphne, Bella’s soon-to-be-married mischievous sister played by the always interesting Boston (American Dreams).

It’s never easy handicapping new series, but while The Ex List starts out rocky with a hint of promise, the exit of Ruggiero after completion of less than a half-dozen episodes could spell a short run for this CBS show.

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