Upfronts 2015: All the Renewals and Cancellations

Ahh Upfronts. We’re not even done with the current TV season and yet here we are already discussing next season. I was going to just include these renewals and cancellations with the pilot pick-ups for each network, but I have thoughts and just felt it best to separate them like I did last year. So without further ado, a complete rundown of what shows from the 2014-2015 TV season the major broadcast networks have renewed or cancelled.

ABC

  • Renewed: American Crime, Black-ish, Castle, Dancing With the Stars, Fresh Off the Boat, Galavant, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, The Middle, Modern Family, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Secrets & Lies
  • Canceled/Ended: Cristela, Forever, Manhattan Love Story, Resurrection, Revenge, Selfie, The Taste
  • Pending: Last Man Standing

Unlike the other networks, ABC tends to leave renewals until a few days before Upfronts, and this year was no exception. Pretty much everything that was expected to earn a renewal did. I for one, am SO EXCITED that ABC chose to renew Fresh Off the Boat (which was pulling in solid numbers) and Agent Carter (which was doing respectable numbers, but also has so much support from critics and fans alike). It was a welcome surprise to Galavant get renewed as well, because it’s such an oddball show and with the network airing all the episodes within 4 weeks in January, it didn’t seem like it was going to continue on. On the cancellation end, I’m surprised they didn’t give Forever another season. I watched the first few episodes, thought the overarching mystery was intriguing and could definitely see the appeal, even if I didn’t have the time to continue with it.

CBS

  • Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Madam Secretary, Mike & Molly, Mom, NCIS New Orleans, Scorpion, Survivor
  • Cancelled/Ended: Stalker, Battle Creek, The Millers, The McCarthys, Two and a Half Men, The Mentalist
  • Pending: The Amazing Race, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Cyber, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Odd Couple, Person of Interest

CBS typically does a batch renewal early on, so it’s intriguing to see that at this moment, there’s so much pending. Of the shows they did give early renewals to, were 3 of 4 freshman series that premiered in the fall. Suffice to say, that was a big indicator that Stalker wasn’t going to be coming back. By no means did I think Stalker was great, but my admiration/love for Maggie Q kept me watching, and though the show was pretty standard procedural fare, I really enjoyed watching the storyline/character arc of Maggie’s Beth. I hope to see Maggie join another TV show in the near future (maybe a Marvel show, because how awesome would that be?!). We know for certain that The Big Bang Theory is still around for at least two more years, to which I say, maybe it’s time to pack it up. I still enjoy watching it, and maybe it’s just me but it’s starting to show its age and it has to end at some point.

FOX

  • Renewed: Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Family Guy, Gotham, Hell’s Kitchen, The Last Man on Earth, New Girl, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow, Masterchef, Masterchef Junior
  • Cancelled/Ended: The Mindy Project, Glee, Gracepoint, Kitchen Nightmares, Red Band Society, Utopia, Mulaney, Backstrom, The Following
  • Pending: American Idol, Weird Loners

It was a big year for FOX, based on Empire alone, which just kept increasing its audience week after week. The network also had a decent hit with Gotham, though personally I think I’m done with it unless they do something drastically different next season. Then there’s The Last Man on Earth, which turned out to be a rather welcome surprise in terms of how different and funny it was; I know I had my doubts about it, this time last year, so I’m happy to see it turned out well. Sleepy Hollow thankfully got renewed despite its uneven second season, which I think is a matter of the producers figuring out a happy middle ground, between the mythology of it all and the network wanting something accessible to new viewers (a la procedural/case of the week). I still enjoyed season 2 of Sleepy, but it was fairly noticeable when the network meddled with the creativity of the show. We also need to talk for a second how much it sucks that FOX cancelled The Mindy Project. SUCH a fun and funny show, and they let it go? Ridiculous! Hopefully it does find a home somewhere else because I need more Mindy in my life. In terms of the shows awaiting news, I don’t think FOX is going to let go of Idol, even if it is declining. Weird Loners, on the other hand, is as good as cancelled; the writing just wasn’t there and the cast dynamic just didn’t work.

NBC

  • Renewed: The Blacklist, Celebrity Apprentice, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Grimm, Law & Order SVU, The Mysteries of Laura, The Night Shift, Undateable
  • Cancelled/Ended: About a Boy, Allegiance, A to Z, Bad Judge, Constantine, Marry Me, One Big Happy, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, The Slap, State of Affairs
  • Pending: American Odyssey, The Biggest Loser, The Voice

Oh NBC, no idea what to do with you. The network seemingly called it a wash on this past season, cancelling almost everything it picked up last year, with the only freshman drama that survived being The Mysteries of Laura. A to Z was cancelled way back in the fall, but the cancellation of Marry Me and One Big Happy – two shows featuring Happy Endings alums, that weren’t great but still enjoyable – kind of bum me out a bit. That’s also not to mention that Marry Me and About A Boy were pulled from the schedule in February, to make way for The Voice and the other midseason comedies, with no word on when (or if) it was coming back. I’m really hoping the remaining episodes of both shows will air at some point. I’m bummed for the fans of Constantine, because it was a good show, even if I wasn’t that into it; word is, it’s being shopped to other networks/outlets, so here’s hoping it gets another chance to live somewhere else. The sole remaining comedy on the network (before the new pilots obviously) is underdog Undateable, which began as a summer series, survived to season two, and has now been picked up for a third season, which in a change of format, will consist of entirely live shows. Also, The Night Shift continues to surprise in its steadiness for the network, earning a third season pick-up. In terms of shows still awaiting news, I think American Odyssey is a goner; I wanted to watch it for Anna Friel, but it just didn’t appeal to me at all. The Biggest Loser and The Voice are coming back, though I would really like to see them scale back on The Voice and just do one season a year. Even as a fan of the show, I’m getting tired watching this much Voice in a year, and honestly, NBC really needs to put their marketing efforts towards their new shows, or else we’re gonna end up with the same situation next year.

THE CW

  • Renewed: The 100, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Flash, iZombie, Jane the Virgin, Reign, Supernatural, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries
  • Canceled: Hart of Dixie, The Messengers

Surprisingly, CW made almost all of their renewals back in January, with the exceptions being their midseason shows that hadn’t aired yet. Though they didn’t admit at the time, every one (cast included) knew Hart of Dixie was done after this season, and with the finale that it had, I had already accepted it as being the end. iZombie fully deserved its recent second season pick-up. Unfortunately, The Messengers didn’t make an impact and was pretty much doomed from the start, when the network slotted it right into Friday. We all know Friday is a deadzone, even moreso on The CW (will never forgive them for putting Nikita there), so putting a new show there isn’t exactly a vote of confidence.

So there you have it, a complete list of everything that has been renewed or cancelled on the main broadcast networks. Anything you’re bummed about being cancelled? Which renewal got you most excited?

Upfronts 2014: The Crazy Before the Storm – Renewals/Cancellations

I know the saying is actually “The calm before the storm” but when it comes to network upfronts, there’s no such thing as calm. First of all, how has a year passed already that we are once again back at upfronts, the time of year where networks announce their line-ups for the coming year in hopes to attract advertising dollars? The official Upfronts for the broadcast network aren’t until next week; however as is often the case, the networks have already begun announcing what current shows are getting renewed for another season, which are getting cancelled, and which new shows are going to be taking their place on the network schedule.

I’ll save my thoughts on the new shows for later, after the networks make their official announcements next week, along with the schedule reveal. For now, an update on which shows will live on and which got the axe.

ABC

  • Renewed: Once Upon A Time, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Castle, The Middle, Resurrection, Revenge, Dancing With the Stars, Nashville, Last Man Standing
  • Cancelled: Trophy Wife, Suburgatory, Mixology, Super Fun Night, The Neighbors, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, The Assets, Back in the Game, Betrayal, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games

This time last year, we saw that ABC picked up a lot of new shows and it was inevitable that not all was going to see a second season. At the end of the season, ABC ended up only picking up three of its freshmen series: SHIELD, The Goldbergs, and Resurrection. If you think that’s low, well it is one more than they kept from last season, which saw only Nashville and The Neighbors getting a season two. The cancellations that hurt the most have to be Trophy Wife and Suburgatory – two funny, smart, and witty shows with a lot of heart that for reasons unknown, just did not connect. Suburgatory at least got three seasons in its run, doesn’t make the cancellation hurt any less, but at least we did get three seasons. And then there’s Trophy Wife, which for all intents and purposes, should have followed Modern Family in the schedule, even for a little while so it could get an audience.

CBS

  • Renewed: The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, CSI, 2 Broke Girls, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, Person of Interest, Mike and Molly, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Mom, The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Mentalist
  • Cancelled: We Are Men, The Crazy Ones, Bad Teacher, Hostages, Intelligence, Friends With Better Lives

To be fair, I don’t watch a lot of shows that come out of CBS; Big Bang Theory, Amazing Race, and Survivor are my only CBS shows. I was hoping that The Crazy Ones would get another season because the cast work so well together and it’s such a joy to watch how much fun they’re having; unfortunately even the star power of Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar couldn’t get the show to season 2. As much as I enjoyed it, I never saw Hostages getting another season because it felt like it was very much a limited series and to try to expand the show further or replicate the original hook would be ill advised. I’m not too heartbroken over that loss.

FOX

  • Renewed: Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project, Glee, The Following, Family Guy, New Girl, The Simpsons, Bones, Bob’s Burgers, Hell’s Kitchen, American Idol, Masterchef Junior
  • Cancelled: Almost Human, Enlisted, Dads, Surviving Jack, Rake, Raising Hope, The X-Factor

FOX is such an interesting network. Viewers can complain that the network cancels a lot of good shows (true), many of them rooted in sci-fi (also true) but at the same time, I appreciate the fact that FOX does try to give us different programming and when they truly support something they do their best to keep it on the air (thanks again for 5 seasons of Fringe!). Also, the scheduling on any network will never be perfect so no doubt I will complain about that endlessly. Almost Human had so much potential and unfortunately, suffered from the network shuffling the episodes around which caused some confusion to what was going on. You could also tell that the producers/writers were still trying to strike a balance between the procedural and mythological elements of the show, which now with the show being cancelled, has left a lot of questions unanswered. Poor Enlisted never stood a chance; it premiered late in the season (November) on Fridays (rough day/time for any show, let alone a new one), and again the episodes were aired out of order, making some storylines a little awkward. Additionally, Enlisted was a show that would’ve paired well with Brooklyn Nine-Nine had it been given a chance.

NBC

  • Renewed: The Voice, Parks and Recreation, About a Boy, Grimm, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., The Blacklist, Hannibal, Law & Order SVU
  • Cancelled: The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves the World, Welcome to the Family, Ironside, Believe, Community, Crisis, Growing Up Fisher, Revolution, Dracula
  • Status Unknown: Parenthood

I am incredibly happy that Parks and Recreation and About a Boy both got renewed for another season, but of course, I have to comment on the cancellations. Believe had a lot of potential and with the clout that the show had (Alfonso Cuaron AND J.J. Abrams are two of the executive producers), I thought maybe there was some hope; alas it wasn’t the case. Crisis, like its similarly premised Hostages on CBS, didn’t seem like it would be able to sustain itself in the long run so it only lasting one season is okay with me. I’ve enjoyed watching Growing Up Fisher, so it hurts a little to see it get cancelled, but I kind of understand. Then there’s Community: after the dismal 4th season, I’ll admit I was surprised and kind of upset that it did get renewed for a 5th season, if only because I was a pretty big fan of Go On and wanted to see it get a season 2. Having Dan Harmon back for S5 however, rejuvenated the show, so the fact that the show didn’t get the “Six Seasons and a Movie” it was gunning for, left me surprised and upset because it was getting so good again  and it just seems odd for it to get cancelled now.

THE CW

  • Renewed: Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hart of Dixie, The 100, Beauty and the Beast, Reign, The Originals
  • Cancelled: The Tomorrow People, Star-Crossed, The Carrie Diaries, Nikita

Leave it to The CW to get the biggest rise out of me this week when it announced what other shows were getting renewed (Arrow, TVD, SPN, Reign, Originals all received renewals a while back). For years, I gave The CW heck for how it treated Nikita, but with it ending back in December, my efforts were inevitably going to go elsewhere. From the beginning, The Tomorrow People put a lot of work into fleshing out these characters and their world, which actually doesn’t happen a lot THAT early in a series. The back half of the series really got the ball rolling with its twists and truly delivering on the action, raising the stakes for our heroes + the consequences of the decisions they make. Then the season (now series) finale dropped hints as to what season 2 might have looked like and really, what could have been. The cancellation of TTP made me incredibly upset, but I was sent over the edge by what got renewed over it: Beauty and the Beast. I never understood the appeal of BATB and I have no idea who these fans are that somehow got the show renewed for a third season because the ratings and numbers are dismal. When it comes to ratings, The CW is weird, let’s just put it that way, and I know their business model is different than the other networks. It’s why Nikita got 4 seasons – the ratings might not have been the best, but it was well-regarded by critics (the ones who actually did watch the show) and fans, plus it had international appeal; can’t say the same for BATB. So again, HOW DID IT GET A THIRD SEASON? The mysteries of CW continue.

Like I said, the crazy before the storm. I will update once we find out the fate of some of the other shows still on the bubble, but now I turn it over to you. Which shows are you happy to see renewed? Which cancelled shows hurt the most?

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?

Midseason TV Report: What’s Going On With All the Shows?!

On the heels of FOX cancelling freshmen series Ben and Kate, I thought it would be a good time to check-in on the TV season thus far. The 2012-2013 TV season started promising enough, with a batch of new shows vying for our attention and space on our DVRs. But it seems, to this TV fan anyways, that this was a particularly rough year for a lot of shows, not just the new freshmen series.

TOO MANY COMEDIES = FEW LAUGHS

The biggest issue that came about with the new season was that 3 of the major networks decided to schedule a chunk of their comedies on Tuesdays. Sure, it probably seemed like a good idea early on, but it became clear that with 8 comedies vying for similar audiences in a two-hour block, there were casualties to be made. After making their debuts, Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project got more episode pickups beyond the initial 13, despite middling ratings. FOX put faith in the shows growing in viewers, but for some reason, the numbers just weren’t there for Ben and Kate. Critics approved and enjoyed the show, but seemingly out of nowhere, FOX halted production and pulled the show from the schedule. In its place, FOX is doubling up on Raising Hope, currently in its 3rd season, and putting its season finale at March (which could be taken as a bad sign for the critically adored show).

Over on ABC, the story is just as troubling. After cancelling 666 Park Avenue (more on that later), ABC had decided on putting Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 in that timeslot, on top of its current Tuesday timeslot, so that all their episodes would air before DWTS came back and they introduce some celebrity diving show. However, after two weeks of not so great ratings on Sundays, ABC effectively pulled the plug on Apt. 23, while Happy Endings will double up on episodes on Tuesdays. Again, it seems like Happy Endings is getting burned off, which might be a sign of trouble ahead for the show.

NBC is struggling with their own Tuesday comedies, Go On and The New Normal. Go On, the ensemble comedy starring Matthew Perry, has a solid viewership (some say due to its former Voice results lead-in), but not a lot of people talking about it. The New Normal had a lot of people talking early on, with people either loving or hating it, and now has settled in with those who liked it and not much else.

The new season has certainly been rough on a lot of comedies, and not just for the aforementioned Tuesday shows. CBS’ Partners and NBC’s Animal Practice were pretty much D.O.A. NBC cancelled Dane Cook’s Next Caller before a single episode even aired. FOX’s The Goodwin Games saw its episode order cut from 13 to 7, and no sign of when (or even if) those episodes will see the light of day. Second season show Up All Night took a hit creatively upon its return and are currently in the midst of reformatting to a multi-camera show (think more along the lines of Big Bang Theory; filming in front of an audience). Community was supposed to come back for its fourth season in October, but NBC put it on benchwarmer status, before finally giving it a February premiere date. Yet don’t even get me started on the shows that somehow find a way to survive.

RISKS PAYING OFF?

This is not a knock at the general viewing public (or maybe it is?). With cable networks thriving with their original programming (Homeland, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc.), the broadcast networks served up some different offerings for the new season to varying degrees of success. NBC got off easy when it found itself a hit with Revolution, a show that hooked people in with its premise of what happens when all our power/technology goes off?

ABC, on the other hand, continued its rough season when it was 0/2 for new dramas, 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort. 666 Park Avenue struggled to find its footing for the first couple episodes and was quickly deemed as a campy thriller/guilty pleasure. A lot of people shot down Park Ave for its not-so-scary storytelling, to which I can’t help but say that it’s a broadcast network show – American Horror Story, this is not. Alas, some people dropped the show as it was getting good and new viewers were nowhere to be found. When the announcement was made that ABC was cancelling the show, they had initially promised to air all 13 episodes, but then completely pulled the show off the schedule with 4 episodes left (that will supposedly air some time in the summer). Last Resort was an ambitious effort to begin with and paired with its terrible timeslot, it didn’t seem like it was going to last very long. Despite strong writing and a top notch cast, the show seemed to appeal to a more male audience, on a mostly female-oriented network.

Though not as much of a risky show as the other 3, ABC’s Nashville is still quite a wildcard. While it was deemed as another musical series a la Glee, the outcome was a much more drama and character-driven series that happened to be set in the world of country music, thereby allowing music to be organically introduced into the show. The show is certainly not without its flaws, but overall, it is a great show. For some reason however, the ratings are not what was expected of the show, leaving questions as to whether it will be able to earn a second season pickup come Upfronts (or earlier).

WRITING SLUMPS

Not to be rude, but there are some shows that I think have suffered in quality lately. Revenge, coming off of winter break has finally picked up steam and gotten a little bit back to basics. But before break, it was a huge mess with all this Americon Initiative stuff that made absolutely no sense, the stuff with the Ryan brothers and the Stowaway, even the storyline of Emily/Amanda’s mom felt a little underwhelming and unnecessary.

Glee is trying its hardest to balance the McKinley and NYADA storylines, but when I’m not furious with them over musical choices, I can’t quite seem to connect to the new kids. I keep wanting to see Dianna Agron, Naya Rivera, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., and they are nowhere to be found.

What should’ve been a huge creative kick with Elena becoming a vampire on The Vampire Diaries, has instead become an incredible bore with the focus on finding “the cure.” Even the thing of having Damon and Elena finally hooking up got ruined by the idea that Elena was sired to Damon. Now with the writers and the network trying to do an Originals spin-off featuring Klaus and Elijah in New Orleans, I can’t help but not want it to happen.

SHOWS THAT HAVE IMPRESSED

I hate to sound so negative in all these analytical postings, so let me turn around and muse about some shows that have done well so far this season. Who would’ve thought that one of the biggest hits of the fall would end up belonging to The CW? Arrow was far and away one of the biggest winners of the fall TV season, and one of the few new shows this season that seem to be a certainty for renewal.

Scandal premiered late last season with 7 episodes, but came back firing on all cylinders for its second season. Shonda Rhimes created a show that certainly didn’t feel like Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice, in any shape or form. Its steady ratings increase certainly show that more and more viewers are catching on to this seductive series.

Though it only premiered this past week, I am already very impressed with FOX’s The Following. Lots of people tuned into the premiere, despite all the controversy of whether it was too violent, particularly in the wake of such violent tragedies around the U.S. We’ll have to see if those numbers stick for the next few weeks.

Of course, some of the other new shows that I have enjoyed this season so far have received middling ratings including The Mindy Project, Go On, Nashville, and the now-cancelled Ben and Kate. Of the returning favourites, Nikita continues to not disappoint and impress on so many levels, while How I Met Your Mother is finally guiding us towards the pivotal meeting of the mother in question.

So moral of the story is: no matter how good (or bad) the show is, ratings are everything, and dictate whether or not your favourites survive. There are still a bunch of new shows that will premiere in the coming months, heading into the circle of TV life that is Upfronts. In the meantime, sound off on your thoughts of the TV season thus far!

TV Renewals, Cancellations, and Pickups 2012 – In Preparation of the Broadcast Networks Upfronts

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).

THE CW

  • 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.

FOX

  • 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.

CBS

  • 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.

NBC

  • 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…

ABC

  • 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.