"By my count, of the 15 new broadcast shows that premiered since the Emmys, five gain heat from the funeral pyre for a dead female character never actually introduced as 'living' within the show," says Daniel Fienberg. "With The CW, it's a solid 100 percent: Both Nancy Drew and Kate 'Batwoman' Kane are still grieving their mothers as the shows begin. It also takes a dead mother to motivate a legal reunion between father and daughter in NBC's Bluff City Law. The protagonists of NBC's Perfect Harmony and CBS' The Unicorn are defined first and foremost by the recent deaths of their wives. None of these wives and mothers are seen living before their demise. Through the episodes I've watched, none is even vaguely defined as a character. The wife in Perfect Harmony was apparently Southern and religious. The wife in The Unicorn agreed to a division of parental responsibilities that left her basically raising their two daughters. The mother in Bluff City Law was a repository of boring platitudes and didn't much care that her hubby was a noxious philanderer. In all five cases, the mothers are plot mechanisms, not characters. Unless I'm forgetting something, Stumptown is the only new show driven by a dead man and only very barely."