May. It’s the month that TV fans love to hate. We love our TV shows for the amazing work that they give us, ramping up the action and drama. We love hearing about our shows getting renewed for another season. We love getting excited about the possibility of new favourite shows from a batch of pilots getting picked up. On the other hand, we hate knowing that with all this great writing, cliffhangers abound, leaving us with an agonizingly long wait until our show comes back. We hate waiting for word on the fate of our other favourite shows and we hate it even more when our favourite shows get cancelled to make room for undeserving pilots. It truly is a love/hate relationship. With that being said, upfronts are just around the corner, and over the past week, the networks have slowly begun to announce which current shows are getting renewed, which pilots are getting picked up and which shows are getting cancelled. Below is a rundown of what’s been renewed and what’s been picked up (as usual, my thoughts on the pilot pickups will be reserved for the Upfronts blog postings next week).
- Renewed: NIKITA!, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, 90210, Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl
- Pilots Picked-Up: Cult, First Cut, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Carrie Diaries
- Cancelled: The Secret Circle, Ringer
Most people leave CW for last but for my own personal and selfish reasons, I’d like to highlight the network first. And why exactly? Because I had 2 shows that I absolutely love (for different reasons) that are on the bubble, Nikita and Hart of Dixie. It certainly didn’t help matters that the network had already decided to renew arguably one of its weakest shows creatively, 90210. I mean I know, it gets pretty decent ratings compared to most other shows on the network, but how do the CW expect to get taken seriously, when they renew shows like this? Turns out all my worrying was all for naught, as both Nikita and Dixie got renewed. Gossip Girl got renewed as well for a sixth and final season, with a shortened episode order.
Ringer was an obvious choice to get cut, despite the fact that it was Sarah Michelle Gellar’s return to TV. Unfortunately, what started out as a film noir-type thriller, turned into a campy, ridiculous mess. As for The Secret Circle? Personally, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It seemed like a great idea this time last year, when it was announced that TSC would follow The Vampire Diaries on the schedule, but now I feel as though that became a detriment to the show. TVD has done such a great job with their storytelling that for TSC and the similar supernatural element that it has, it became too easy to compare the two shows. Not for a lack of trying, but TSC just missed some sort of spark that TVD has.
Now, rumours are swirling that CW might be considering cable-style (re: shortened) seasons for some of its shows (for the record, Nikita is renewed for a full 22-episode season). If this is the case, then I don’t see how this is anything but a win-win situation. The network gets to try out new shows, while at the same time keep a good chunk of their current slate on the air, even if it is for a shorter episode count. With the pick-up of 5 new shows, one thing is for sure: less reruns.
- Renewed: FRINGE!, Glee, American Dad, Bones, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Simpsons, X-Factor, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Kitchen Nightmares, Touch
- Pilots Picked-Up: The Mindy Project, Goodwin Games, The Following, Ben & Kate, Mob Doctor
- Cancelled: Alcatraz, The Finder
I had already made a post when Fringe got renewed, so clearly I was excited about it. I didn’t watch The Finder, but did watch Alcatraz, and despite the fact that it was a J.J. Abrams show, I couldn’t really get invested in it. They had a pretty cool premise to start with, but they never seemed to use the premise to its full potential (the show instead decided to do typical case-of-the-week cop procedural stuff, which I find incredibly boring). Of the 5 pilots picked-up, I can say I’m legitimately interested in 3 of them, mainly based on cast alone.
- Renewed: The Amazing Race, Survivor, 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, Mike & Molly, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Person of Interest, Undercover Boss, Two and a Half Men
- Pilots Picked-Up: ???
- Cancelled: ???
CBS had actually done a mass renewal spree back in March, not that there was much surprise in which shows did get renewed. Actually, HIMYM and TBBT, when they were renewed last season, got a 2 season pickup – so we knew those two for some time. At the time of this posting, there was no word yet on what new shows were getting picked-up and which shows on their current slate was getting cancelled.
- Renewed: Community, Parenthood, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Up All Night, Grimm, Law & Order SVU, Smash, Fashion Star, Whitney
- Pilots Picked-Up: Chicago Fire, Revolution, Go On, Save Me, 1600 Penn, Animal Practice, The New Normal, Guys With Kids, Do Not Harm, Infamous, Next Caller
- Cancelled: Awake, Harry’s Law, Are You There Chelsea, Bent, Best Friends Forever
Though I didn’t get a chance to do a write-up for it, I was really hoping for NBC to renew Community because it is one of the smartest and creative comedies on television. Critically acclaimed Parenthood got a renewal (thank goodness), despite lackluster ratings, but it has such an incredibly talented cast and the writing is just perfection. The network also renewed 30 Rock for a 13-episode final season, while freshmen series’ Smash and Grimm were both renewed earlier last month. For me the most surprising renewal has to be Whitney – critics don’t like it, its got a very limited audience…so what justified the renewal?
As for the shows cancelled, Bent never stood a chance (the network burned off its 6 episode season over 3 weeks with little to no promotion) and I never really cared for to watch the other 2 comedies. I certainly feel bad for Awake; it was one of the shows I was really excited about when I heard about it last year, and then once it started airing mid-season, something just didn’t click with me (not for a lack of trying though).
Once again, we see NBC continuing its hardest to get themselves back up the ranks with this coming season’s string of pilot pick-ups. With almost all of its current comedy slate renewed (deals are still being made for The Office), I’m quite surprised by the number of comedies the network picked-up. Will any of these pilots (comedy and drama) help save NBC? We’ll see…
- Renewed: Once Upon A Time, Revenge, Happy Endings, Modern Family, The Middle, Suburgatory, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Scandal, Dancing With the Stars, Shark Tank, The Bachelor, Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, Private Practice, Body of Proof, Last Man Standing
- Pilots Picked-Up: 666 Park Ave., Last Resort, How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life, Nashville, The Neighbors, Malibu Country, Family Tools, Red Widow, Zero Hour
- Cancelled: GCB, Missing, The River, Pan Am
Like CBS, most of the shows renewed were kind of no-brainers. Low rated Private Practice and Body of Proof managed to score themselves a renewal. When it was picked-up last year, I said that there’s no way Missing can possibly sustain itself for a full season, let alone multiple seasons, so I was not surprised at all that it got cancelled. I’m a little sad but not entirely surprised that GCB didn’t get a second season – it was by no means a great show, but it was a guilty pleasure. I obviously won’t go into details about the pilots just yet, however I have to say I am really happy/excited about 666 Park Avenue getting picked up and am quite interested in where it’s going to fit into the schedule.
Upfront announcements begin tomorrow (Sunday, May 13th) with NBC, followed by FOX, ABC, CBS, and ending with The CW.