Good news today for fans of Manic Pixie Dream Girls and bad news for fans of White Sox-loving cops. With the fall season coming to a close and network upfronts on their way, Fox has picked up four new shows, including The New Girl, a Zooey Deschanel vehicle that features Mrs. Ben Gibbard as a suddenly single teacher who moves in with three guys. Also picked up were J.J. Abrams’ Alcatraz, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and a Bones spin-off, Finder. To make room, the network is dropping poor performers Breaking In, The Human Target, Lie to Me, Traffic Light, and Sean Ryan’s cop drama The Chicago Code. Rumor is the rest of their lineup will be filled with shows with singing and Seth McFarlane. [Ed. Note: That was a startlingly accurate joke]
Category Archives: Bubble Watch
It’s that time of year again when everyone gets nervous that their favorite show that no one watches is going to get cancelled. To help ease (or feed) your fears, we’ve come up with this handy list and scale to help you out. The scale is 0-10, with 0 meaning the show is gone, 5 meaning it’s on the fence, and 10 meaning it’s a sure bet to return. So without further ado, here we go:
What started out as a chaotic, melodramatic show, Parenthood has become one of the best ensemble dramas on TV. It’s no coincidence that its gotten better as executive producer Jason Katims wrapped up Friday Night Lights, and any fan of the football drama that isn’t watching Parenthood needs to do so immediately. That aside, the strong ratings opposite CBS’ popular The Good Wife and the critical acclaim (rare for an NBC drama in recent years) will probably come back for a third season, even though there hasn’t been a renewal yet.
Cancellation Scale: 8
Surprised to see this one on here? The show hasn’t been renewed yet as FOX and the show’s studio, NBC Universal are haggling over contracts, but the long running show has ratings to back it up. Ultimately the biggest issue for TV fans is whether or not House will still be quality entertainment for another season or two. I love the cranky doctor as much as the next guy, but after seven seasons, the jokes are stale and the insane medical crisises aren’t exciting. House will be back, rest assured, but maybe its time to start thinking about pulling the plug.
Cancellation Scale: 10
For a show that most people didn’t like at first, it has steadily improved as its become less and less reliant on Matthew Perry making sour faces and brought the excellent supporting cast into the spotlight a bit more. The show has been ABC’s best new comedy, despite airing opposite American Idol and frequently after low rated Modern Family reruns. This isn’t a perfect show, but there’s potential, especially if its paired with Cougar Town, which shares a similar quirky vibe. If ABC finds something better, it’ll get the axe, but if not, expect to see it on the lineup in the fall.
Cancellation Scale: 5
The Chicago Code
Shawn Ryan had a rough fall with Terriers, and his cop drama on FOX hasn’t exactly done stellar this spring. Still, the show has been slowly getting stronger and has been up against lighter, popular comedies on CBS, and FOX really needs it. The network has had a rough stretch when it comes to new dramas in the past few years, and their two popular franchises in the genre, House and Bones have lost the shine they had a few years ago. It wouldn’t be uncharacteristic of the network to drop The Chicago Code and start fresh in the fall with four new dramas, but the prevailing notion is that unless something better comes along, you’ll hear more ridiculous statements about the White Sox being better than the Cubs.
Cancellation Scale: 6
To be clear, Perfect Couples isn’t a good show, but Outsourced is atrocious. The former should be cancelled because it isn’t fresh or entertaining enough to watch week to week, and the latter has spent an entire television season insulting smart viewers and the entire nation of India with jokes about diarrhea and culture clashes. The two shows are the weak links in NBC’s three hour comedy block, but they aren’t necessarily signs that the experiment failed. 10:00 is a good spot for 30 Rock, and renewals for Community and Parks and Recreation have proven they work in their time slots. This is ultimately an issue of quality instead of quantity, but NBC will probably run for cover and put an hour long show back in at 10. Despite this fact, it’ll be nice to get rid of Outsourced and barely noticeable that we’ll be rid of Perfect Couples.
Cancellation Scale: 1
Poor Mitchell Hurowitz just can’t get a break, now with FOX pulling his latest show Running Wilde from the November sweeps period, instead airing reruns of Raising Hope. This comes hot on the heels of the news that the network in considering replacing the show with a comedy starring Christian Slater, who, as we all know, attracts huge audiences. While Running Wilde started a little slowly, I’ve found its last few episodes to be pretty decent. If nothing else, this is probably a big blow to a potential Arrested Development movie, but given this is Hurowitz’s third project with FOX, I’m probably completely wrong.
The inevitable has happened way too quickly: Fox has canceled the critically acclaimed, barely watched con man drama Lone Star after only two episodes. The show’s much heralded premier tanked in the ratings and was followed by an even worse showing for its second. In all fairness to Fox, they stepped up promotion for the show significantly during House, which aired prior to Lone Star, and with even lower ratings in week two, it had plenty of justification to cancel Lone Star. There are no plans to air the remaining four episodes, and as of this posting, no cable network has been mentioned to be interested in picking up the show. What a bummer.
[Ed. Note: It's a little weird that our last post was a review of Lone Star, with the last line hoping that the show would not get canceled. Odd...]
Didn’t take too long to get some more TV news down the pipeline. Looks like the end for some shows both old and new, and one very annoying countdown clock will be returning:
- After 20 season, Law & Order is ending (the show, not actual law and order). It appears that, despite tepid ratings, NBC was willing to bring the show back for Season 21 because it makes a boatload in syndication, but creator Dick Wolf scoffed at the idea of doing fewer episodes for less money, so the network cut the show. I’m sure that fans are crushed, but don’t worry, there’s still two spin-offs and somewhere in the range of 4000 episodes playing on TNT.
- Chuck will live to fight another day. Fan support has been really strong, as always, and the show will be back for a 13 episode fourth season. That means we can prepare ourselves for another year of wondering whether or not the show will get picked up for a fifth season.
- They’re coming….back. ABC has decided they might as well give V a shot at replacing Lost, renewing the show for a 13 episode second season. Here’s hoping they’ll remind us of that fact by putting a countdown clock to next season in the corner of every show between now and then. (Sidenote: I like that both Chuck and V each got 13 episodes and that that is becoming a trend. Not only is it more cost productive, but it allows the writers to be more focused and have more high quality episodes as opposed to fillers. There’s also the ability of the network to have two different shows in the spring and the fall. This is a good trend.)
- With the renewal of V and ABC’s pick-up of some new shows,* that means they’ve cut a few: Better Off Ted, Scrubs, FlashForward, and Romantically Challenged. The biggest loss there is Better Off Ted, a ridiculously quirky and funny show that oozed with charm. There’s no word yet on whether or not they’ll burn off the few unaired episodes, but here’s hoping they at least make a DVD. As I said before, Scrubs should have ended definitively last season (and probably one or two before that), and FlashForward never lived up to the hype that surrounded it last fall. Romantically Challenged was pretty much doomed to be canceled when they named it Romantically Challenged.
*We haven’t really been reporting on the slew of new shows picked up by networks as we wait for the network upfronts next week. That way, we can get a little more info on some of these shows. Stay tuned until then.
Bad news today for fans of Heroes, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Happy Town, as it appears all three shows are getting cut by their networks. We’ll cover it from least surprising to the most surprising:
- If you liked Happy Town or at least were interested enough to stick around to find out what’s going on, you may want to stop yourself from getting too invested. It seems that after premiering to a tepid 5.2 million viewers, the show dipped to 3.8 million for its second episode. The show will air its final five episodes starting June 2. More Here.
- Vulture is reporting that the once great Heroes will finally (and mercifully) come to some sort of an end. The word from Vulture is that NBC had been leaning towards keeping the show around for another year as a back up plan, but after reviewing the pilots they’ve commissioned, they’ve decided to cut the show. Though the show hasn’t been officially canceled, the word is that NBC will probably give the show a 2-4 hour TV movie to wrap everything up. Like I said, NBC could change their mind before Monday’s upfront, but it doesn’t seem likely.
- The biggest surprise was The Sarah Silverman Program, which netted Silverman an Emmy nomination last year for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Despite a Twitter campaign to save the show, the Comedy Central decided they know best. Don’t forget this is the network responsible for Mind of Mencia, The Jeff Dunham Show, and Halfway Home. More Here.
Time for a quick update on the TV world as we approach May sweeps!
- ABC Picking Up After CBS: It looks like ABC will have two shows in their lineup next season from CBS, though neither are too stellar. The New Adventures of Old Christine will likely be paired with The Middle during ABC’s comedy night, and The Ghost Whisperer, which produced by ABC Studios, will probably pick up the void left by a drama that won’t be back next year (Lost for sure, probably FlashForward, and maybe V). The move of Old Christine is part of a comedy house clearing by CBS, who is only keeping How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men, provided Charlie Sheen signs a contract extension. More Here
- Chuck looks safe: Though not officially renewed, it looks like Chuck will be back for a fourth season. Evidently, the NBC execs have been pleased with the numbers the show has been getting, and though nothing is set in stone yet, it looks like it will return. More Here
- Parenthood renewed: NBC had a lot riding on Parenthood, and so far, it seems to be paying off. The show has done well in the ratings, and really well in the rich demographic ($100,000+ households) and has been #1 in the 18-49 demographic. The show has steadily improved since the pilot, with the cast figuring things out, so I’ll be glad to see it back next year. More Here
- Heroes probably returning?: Michael Ausiello recently was asked about the status of Heroes, and he responded, “The latest is that there’s a 60 percent chance the show will be back for a series-ending 13-episode run.” Sounds like the slide further to the bottom for a once great show will continue.
Though Castle isn’t a show we usually cover here at TUIW, we’re big fans of Nathan Fillion, thus making it great news to hear Michael Ausiello report that ABC has renewed the show for a 22-episode third season. A bubble show not a year ago, Castle found its audience, and last night, grabbed 14.5 million viewers, the highest rating for a scripted ABC show in that timeslot in 14 years. Perhaps it’s time TUIW reconsidered Castle.
Good news sci-fi fans! Mediocre ratings be damned, Fox has renewed Fringe for a third season. I guess Fox figured that it was doing well against its tough Thursday night competition, which includes the NBC comedies and ABC’s Sad Doctor shows. The remaining bubble sci-fi shows, FlashForward and V are both set to return for ABC, and their futures remain uncertain.
Looks like NBC’s Thursday night comedy block is staying the same next season! The official Twitter page for Community is reporting the show is renewed for a second season! Hooray! It’s worth checking out this awesome video that show creator Dan Harmon made that shows him giving the good news to the cast.