Gearing Up for TV Upfronts 2013

It’s been some time since I have posted on the blog, but after  a relaxing vacation, I am back and ready for everything that May has to offer. TV shows on the broadcast networks are readying their finales, whether for the season or series ending. Some shows have been lucky enough to receive pickups for next season, while many others (and their fans) have been anxiously waiting to hear the fate of their favourite shows. In preparation for next week’s network Upfronts, what follows is a listing of all the shows that have already been renewed, cancelled, and still on the bubble (does not include reality shows because I feel like they run on a whole different business model). Although the networks have begun to announce pilot pick-ups, I’ll be reserving my opinions on these new shows for next week’s individual blog postings, once the networks announce their full line-ups at their respective Upfront presentations.

THE CW

  • Renewed: Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hart of Dixie, Beauty and the Beast, The Carrie Diaries, NIKITA!!
  • Cancelled: Emily Owens M.D., Cult, 90210, Gossip Girl

Back in February, the network announced early renewals for Arrow (arguably the biggest hit of all the new shows, on any network), The Vampire Diaries (The CW’s biggest hit), and Supernatural (strong following that grew stronger with its move out of Fridays and paired up with Arrow). The only surprise that came out of these renewals was how early the announcement was made; otherwise it was a no-brainer. Then a few weeks ago, the network made another announcement, calling for the renewals of Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast. Dixie hasn’t been a ratings success but fans love the charming show, and I would presume that the fact that it shoots on the WB lot in L.A. makes it a cheap show to produce. Beauty and the Beast was given the post-TVD timeslot, and while there’s quite a drop-off from its lead-in, the show has developed a loyal following in its freshman season.

Gossip Girl was given a short, final season this time last year and ended its 6 year run in December. 90210, somewhat of a staple of the network for the past 5 years, saw its ratings continue to decline to laughable numbers (500k audience?!), and was told to wrap it up, as it was not going to be returning next season. Newbie Emily Owens was cancelled after a handful of episodes, but was allowed the opportunity to play out all 13 episodes. The same could not be said for Cult, which after abysmal premiere numbers, quickly got moved to Fridays, and then pulled off the schedule completely.

Which left 2 bubble shows awaiting their fate. High hopes were made for the Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries, but the brand name recognition could have also been its downfall. While ratings were average for the network (definitely more than its lead-out 90210, but still less than previous bubble show Hart of Dixie), there’s no denying that they were really banking on the show to work. And then there’s Nikita. As a HUGE fan of the show, it worried me that I had to once again wait it out to hear of word of a renewal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nikita is one of the best shows The CW has and it has been given a huge disservice by having to air on Fridays. And once again, my worrying was for naught as the network did renew this FANTASTIC show for a fourth season. Rumour has it now though that Nikita’s renewal will be for a shortened final season (network has not yet disclosed details of the renewal, just that it has been renewed, while Craig Silverstein tweeted that it won’t be a full season), to which I am simultaneously happy and mad about. Any show that gets to have a proper send-off is a great thing, but knowing that it is so close to that magic 88 (number of episodes that allow for better syndication) if given a full 4th season, it will make me a little mad if that happens.

ABC

  • Renewed: Modern Family, Once Upon A Time, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Scandal, The Middle, Nashville, Last Man Standing, Suburgatory, The Neighbors
  • Cancelled: 666 Park Avenue, Last Resort, Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23, Private Practice, Zero Hour, Red Widow, Body of Proof, How to Live With Your Parents…, Malibu Country, Family Tools, Happy Endings

For a while, ABC had been the lone hold-out in announcing renewals for its current slate of TV shows. But that all changed late Friday night. Most of the shows renewed were for the network’s staples (Modern Family, Grey’s, OUAT, Castle) and includes Scandal, which has become such a huge success in its second season and Nashville, the network’s lone freshman drama to make it through to another season. Most surprising is the renewal of The Neighbors, the comedy that features a family who move into a neighborhood of aliens (I’m sure there’s more to it, but that is the original hook).

Despite being one of the funniest shows on television, Happy Endings is lucky to have seen the end of its third season and not unceremoniously pulled from the schedule. Unfortunately, it has now been cancelled, with only hope that cable network USA (or some another network) might pick it up, giving the show a 4th season. Another notable cancellation is that of Malibu Country starring country superstar Reba McEntire.

As far as the drama pickups from last season, I really do have to commend ABC for at least trying something different with their shows. It’s a shame that none of them (save for Nashville) lived long enough to see a second season – or even the end of their initial series orders.

CBS

  • Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Elementary, CSI, Blue Bloods, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Person of Interest, Criminal Minds
  • Cancelled: Made in Jersey, Partners, CSI:NY, Vegas, Golden Boy, Rules of Engagement

As tends to happen, CBS had done a massive renewal back in March for most of their line-up and they were pretty much no-brainers. Even Two and a Half Men got renewed, but that was only after some contract negotiations with the former “half man” of the show Angus T. Jones now reduced to recurring status. How I Met Your Mother‘s renewal was also under tight negotiations, and while I do love the show, I feel like they probably could have ended it after this year. That being said, if the rumours are true and “the Mother” reveal does actually happen in this season’s finale, I can’t be too mad that they are giving the show a final season to let us get to know who “the Mother” is.

Of the shows cancelled, either early on in the season or recently, none of them did good enough numbers for the network. Even perennial benchwarmer Rules of Engagement, the show that apparently never died, finally got cancelled.

FOX

  • Renewed: American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Family Guy, The Following, Glee, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Simpsons
  • Cancelled: Ben and Kate, Fringe, The Mob Doctor, Touch
  • On the Bubble: The Cleveland Show

I can’t say much about Fox’s animated shows, mainly because I don’t watch them. With that out of the way, the network’s renewals of its other shows pretty much made sense. I don’t watch New Girl but apparently a lot of people love it, and it’s become a great hit for Fox for the past 2 seasons. The Following was undoubtedly the biggest hit for the network this season, and even moreso when DVR numbers got added to live viewing. Raising Hope and The Mindy Project don’t have spectacular ratings, but they have been solid performers.

As for Glee, its renewal came a little later than the others only due to contract negotiations. After those negotiations were finalized, the network renewed the show for not only one, but two more seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a fan of Glee. The last time the network gave a 2-season renewal to the show was during S1 for obviously S2+3, and at the time, that made sense – Glee was a massive hit. Now, I can’t really say that the fandom for Glee is as big as it was, so I don’t see the justification for the guaranteed two seasons.

For the record, I’m still mad they cancelled Ben and Kate. And while I’m happy Fringe got its proper finale, I’m still sad that the show’s not still around.

NBC

  • Renewed: Parks and Recreation, Chicago Fire, Grimm, Revolution, Law & Order: SVU, Parenthood, Community
  • Cancelled: 30 Rock, Go On, Animal Practice, Deception, Do No Harm, SMASH, The Office, Up All Night, 1600 Penn, Guys With Kids, Whitney, The New Normal
  • On the Bubble: Hannibal

Oh NBC, what are we going to do with you? With all of NBC’s ratings woes in its second half of the season, I sometimes find myself making the joke that they are the Jerry Gergich (a character on Parks and Rec, for the unfamiliar) of the networks – can’t seem to do anything right and is the butt of the jokes. Yes, The Voice has pretty much been the saviour of NBC. Grimm recently got the chance to get out of its Friday slot to Tuesdays. Chicago Fire has somehow beat the odds and received not only a renewal, but a spin-off as well (say what now?!) And solid Law & Order SVU is still around (sorry, I’ve never watched the show). Parenthood and Parks & Recreation have been doing quite well for the network, with the former even beating its timeslot competition in the demo ratings on several occasions and the latter just being one of the best comedies on TV.

But what about everything else on the network? Sure, Revolution has been touted as the best new drama of the 2011-2012 season, but there was an outcry when NBC decided to give the show a 3 month break (not really the best idea for a new show…or any show). With 30 Rock and The Office in their final seasons, the network needed their new comedies to work and while Go On was a really good show that was unfortunate to have too much comedy competition in its timeslot, it ended up getting cancelled. Lest we not forget, NBC also brought us Animal Practice and 2 seasons of Whitney, so judge away.

But it’s not all bad as underdog Community got renewed for a 5th season. I had my conspiracy theories early on in the season that NBC not-so-secretly had it out against Community, but obviously there is a show of faith in the show. To be honest, I’m with a lot of other fans in saying that the show hasn’t been the same this season without the presence of show creator Dan Harmon, so I do have mixed feelings about the renewal. I feel like the fact that it got four seasons was great and I would rather have seen a second season of Go On, over a fifth season of Community. I hate to think that it was an either/or decision.

And then there’s SMASH, which I could probably write about in a post of its own. After a promising pilot last season, it was almost all downhill from there. Season 2 was supposed to be a new and better SMASH, with Josh Safran taking over as showrunner for series creator Teresa Rebeck. I’d hate to say that I didn’t have much faith in Safran taking over (his history involves the later seasons of Gossip Girl aka the seasons I watched and then quit completely), but there I was when S2 premiered, trying to see how the show was going to be saved. Unfortunately, it quickly became a huge joke, and it just as quickly got shipped off to Saturdays. Every one thinks Friday is bad for TV shows, but Saturday is where TV shows go to really die, as in, nail in the coffin. I’m actually surprised it took NBC this long to officially cancel the show.

 

At this point, the majority of all shows on the broadcast networks have been announced as either being renewed or cancelled. Now it’s all about getting ready for Upfronts presentations and seeing where all the new shows the networks announced will fall in the schedule with the current shows. Until then, let me know what shows are you most excited about getting renewed? And what shows are you disappointed got the boot?

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