Tag Archives: cancelled

FX ends ‘Tyrant’, an important show of our times

After three and two seasons, respectively, FX axed Middle Eastern drama Tyrant and musical dramedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. My thoughts on the former below; spoilers ahead.

I stuck with Tyrant from its humble beginnings, when it was a show about a pediatrician from Pasadena who was quickly thrusted into a heated political landscape in the fictional Middle Eastern country Abuddin. During the show’s initial run, Barry had to acclimate to his estranged family consisting of his despot father and hot-headed brother. In its second going, Barry–now called by his birth name Bassam–worked alongside his brother when their father passed away. Bassam’s brother Jamal had a trigger-finger and was quick to violence, and the show hit its stride when Bassam was able to unlock Jamal’s compassion and dig up long-buried truths between the brothers. In the most recent run, Bassam takes over Abuddin and the show transitions from its familial roots to a hardcore look at the political climate there. It’s about power, and the fallout of gaining too much of it too fast–Barry becomes Bassam the Tyrant, a role he rallied against until he was sitting on the throne. It’s about revenge and sacrifice and forgiveness. That’s what you get when you look at it season by season. As a whole, Tyrant told ripped-from-the-headlines stories about the turbulence in the Middle East, and it gave a voice to those who maybe aren’t so vocal in the news today, supporters of Peace in Islam. It did so with unrelenting realism–death and sacrifice were no strangers to Bassam Al-Fayeed and his family. Far from perfect, Tyrant was a uniquely ambitious TV series in that it told important stories with emotional heft and ramifications that mirror our modern society, and it’s one that I will certainly miss.

Will Tyrant live on? Jump after the break. READ MORE FX ends ‘Tyrant’, an important show of our times

Status update #10 on your favorite new and returning shows

Here’s the tenth and final status update on the fates of your favorite shows across the major broadcast networks. This week brings the Upfronts presentations where the nets unveil their new programming for the upcoming 2016-17 TV season. Before we get to that, read on to find out which shows will be returning for more, and which ones are biting the dust. Fair warning, the networks committed deep spring cleaning, so brace yourselves.

CBS is forging forward with one long-running franchise and saying goodbye to another. Criminal Minds has been renewed for a 12th season, and according to Deadline, its spinoff Beyond Borders is expected to return for a second run. CSI: Cyber, on the other hand, has been cancelled after two seasons. The axing of the spinoff marks the end of an era for The Eye; next season will mark the first time the network isn’t airing a CSI show in 16 years. For those keeping count, the original CSI ran for 15 seasons, and its other spinoffs CSI: Miami and CSI: NY ran for 10 and 9 seasons, respectively. After some negotiation between CBS and studio Warner Bros. TV, Supergirl will produce a second season, but it will do so on sister network The CW. The superhero show, created by prolific producer Greg Berlani, will join Berlanti’s other crop of DC Comics-based series at The CW including ArrowFlash, and Legends of Tomorrow. Elsewhere, ensemble sitcom Life in Pieces was renewed for a sophomore run. We’re still waiting on the fates of hospital drama Code Black and sitcom The Odd Couple, but Deadline predicts imminent renewals on both fronts. Update (5/16): Criminal Minds: Beyond BordersCode BlackThe Odd Couple, and Undercover Boss have all been renewed. Freshman drama Rush Hour has been cancelled.

Jump after the break for more from NBC, FOX, and ABC. READ MORE Status update #10 on your favorite new and returning shows

Status update #6 on your favorite new and returning shows

It’s time for the sixth status update in regards to the fate of your favorite new and returning series of the 2015-16 TV season. It’s renewals all around, that is, if you’re not including the swift removal of a low-rated CBS sitcom and the formal announcement of the end of a long-running CBS drama. More, below.

After airing only five episodes, CBS pulled the Jane Lynch (Glee) and Maggie Lawson (Back in the Game) sitcom Angel from Hell from its primetime schedule. Replacing the single-cam comedy on Thursday nights at 9:30pm is multi-cam comedy 2 Broke Girls which is currently airing its fifth season. Elsewhere, in addition to letting go of veteran sitcom Mike & Molly, the Eye is also saying goodbye to its critically acclaimed drama The Good Wife. During the Super Bowl, CBS aired a commercial formally announcing that the Julianna Margulies political drama’s current seventh season will be its last.

NBC is staying in business with Dick Wolf, the creator of the Law & Order and Chicago franchises. Law & Order: SVU and Chicago Med have been renewed for 18th and 2nd seasons, respectively. Previously, the Peacock had upped SVU‘s current season episode count from 22 to 23 and gave ChiMed a five-episode back orderChicago Fire and Chicago P.D. have already been renewed for fifth and fourth seasons, respectively. Elsewhere, Jennifer Lopez crime drama Shades of Blue will return for a second season.

Showtime was quick to renew its sizzling Wall Street drama Billions; the season 2 announcement was made after only two episodes had aired. Starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, Billions is off to a creatively strong start with slick dramatic turns and smartly utilized humor.

Last let’s turn to the streaming services. House of Cards will continue on to see a fifth season set to bow in 2017 on Netflix without its creator and showrunner, Beau Willimon. He’s amicably parting ways with the show, and Netflix hasn’t announced who’ll take over his position yet. HoC‘s fourth season debuts next month. Netflix has also renewed Orange is the New Black for three more seasons. Season 4 streams this summer, with seasons 5, 6, and 7 in the wings to be spearheaded by series creator and showrunner Jenji Kohan. Over on Amazon, Golden Globe winner Mozart in the Jungle (whose second season hasn’t even aired yet) has been renewed for a third run.

Status update #4 on your favorite new and returning shows

Before we close out the year, let’s take one more look at the survival status of your favorite shows.

CBS is a fan of the high-flying Supergirl so much so that it’s granted the Greg Berlanti-produced superhero series a full season order. The DC Comics-based drama will run for 20 episodes in its debut season.

NBC can’t get enough of Raymond Reddington. The network has renewed the James Spader vehicle The Blacklist for a fourth season ensuring its comeback next fall. The high-octane drama took a daring turn into more serialized storytelling this year and it’s reaping the rewards in the creative department. Also on the Peacock’s nice list is Dick Wolf’s latest spinoff Chicago Med; the medical procedural has been given a five-episode back order bringing its first season tally to 18 hours. Remember, ChiMed debuted late in November, so this can be considered a full season order. On its naughty list is Neil Patrick Harris’ primetime variety show Best Time Ever; it won’t be coming back for more.

Fox‘s summer breakout Wayward Pines will in fact return for a 10-episode second season. The M. Night Shyamalan-produced mystery drama based on author Blake Crouch’s novels hooked viewers with its jaw-dropping twists, fun action sequences, and most of all, its homages to The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks. Shyamalan will return to EP, but showrunner Chad Hodge is handing off the reigns to Mark Friedman (Believe).

For more, jump after the break. READ MORE Status update #4 on your favorite new and returning shows

Status update #2 on your favorite new and returning shows

The TV landscape is a fickle thing as viewers decide whether or not to tune into new and returning series. With that being said, it is prime time to check back into the status of programs spanning the big networks, cable, and premium cable. Shall we?

CBS is a fan of Limitless, the new fall drama that’s based on the 2011 Bradley Cooper film; it has received the Back 9 order that lifts its episode count to a full-season 22. The same can be said for ensemble sitcom Life in Pieces.

NBC is injecting even more life into its solid performers BlindspotChicago FireChicago P.D., and Law & Order: SVU. All four dramas–including Blindspot, which was previously granted a full season order–have been allotted one extra episode, upping their respective seasons from 22 to 23 episodes. Elsewhere on the Peacock network, underperformers The Player and Truth Be Told are getting episodes taken away from them. The Wesley Snipes casino drama is seeing its episode count reduced from 13 to 9, and the barely-on-the-radar sitcom is shedding three episodes seeing its total drop from 13 to 10.

Over on FOX, Tuesday night sitcoms Grandfathered and The Grinder led by John Stamos and Rob Lowe, respectively, have both received Back 9 orders, thus sealing their fates to last at least until May of next year.

More updates from ABC, FX, AMC, Starz, and HBO after the break. READ MORE Status update #2 on your favorite new and returning shows

AMC wants more Synth action, renews ‘Humans’; FX cans Billy Crystal’s ‘The Comedians’

A satisfying renewal and a sour cancellation have taken place this summer. Good news first. AMC, and its international production partners Channel 4 and Kudos, has greenlit a second season of Humans. The show about people cohabitating with androids (or Synths) will return for an eight-episode second season next year.

“We’re so pleased to announce a second season of Humans,” AMC & Sundance TV original programming president Joel Stillerman said in a statement. “As one of the year’s top new cable series, Humans has been embraced by fans and critics across the U.S. and UK. We’re looking forward to continuing this very captivating story and further exploring the show’s parallel, Synth-filled world that hits so disturbingly close to home.”

It didn’t take long for Humans to strike a chord with viewers, myself included. The series takes place in a future that doesn’t seem like it’s that far away from now. How would your family react to an extremely life-like robot taking up space in your home? Humans works because it tells a tantalizingly grounded story that is inherently complex as it is relatable. It asks lofty questions about what it means to be alive and conscious, and it does with with a lineup of unabashedly good-looking Synths. Leading the pack is family servant Anita, played to perfection by Gemma Chan. Her robotic nature in tandem with her spurts of humanity lend to a captivating performance.

AMC airs the Humans first season finale this Sunday, Aug. 2 at 9pm.

Getting the axe is FX freshman comedy The Comedians starring veteran Billy Crystal and the rising Josh Gad. EP Ben Wexler made the news official in a tweet: “#TheComedians is cancelled at FX. I could not be more proud of the work we all did.”

I happened to enjoy watching Crystal and Gad play TV versions of themselves. Also, having worked in TV production, pretty much all of the scenes that took place in the production offices (including the writers’ room, the break room, etc.) were flat-out riots. In addition to being funny, The Comedians eventually slid into a particular groove of matching the laughs with heart. Crystal turned out to be a solid mentor for Gad, the young and in comparison inexperienced comic. If there’s anything to take away from the first and only season of this series, though, it’s that Stephanie Weir is a comedic force to be reckoned with, and she deserves more time in the spotlight. The Mad TV alum was featured in some outrageously funny sequences here, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

An ode to ‘Hannibal’ as TV’s boldest experiment gets the axe

This one’s tough. As I sit here nearly on the verge of sad, frustrated tears, this is something that fans have been dreading for some time now. NBC has pulled the plug on one of television’s most daring series, Hannibal.

The procedural-turned-serialized niche drama about the famed cannibal straight out of Thomas Harris’ novels and influenced by Anthony Hopkins’ stirring take on the iconic character is one for the ages. Specifically, the Golden Age of TV we currently reside in. Though it never gained in mass-popularly due to its intrinsically violent nature, Hannibal quickly proved its worth beyond the traditional scales of storytelling. Creator Bryan Fuller imagined and exquisitely executed a masterpiece program compelling its viewers with fine acting, engaging and wickedly smart dialogue, an eclectic, trancing score, and most all, with a uniquely bold direction, cinematography, and color palette that consistently evoked out-of-this-world dreamlike states of being. And yet, Hannibal always felt grounded in reality due much in part to its all-star leads. Mads Mikkelsen, who we all thought in the beginning would simply step into Hopkins’ shadow to replicate Dr. Lecter, did oh-so-much more than that with the character; with his diabolical flair for high society, Mikkelsen made Hannibal his own and swiftly managed to twist the serial killer into a deceptively compassionate–and at times–likable pro/antagonist. His match? Hugh Dancy, who effortlessly played crazy and controlled the dreamscapes that endlessly torment Will Graham throughout the series. Watching these actors revel in the cat-and-mouse game they love to play is as entertaining as it is addicting. Fuller wove a beautiful tapestry (not unlike Hannibal’s corpse-infused designs), and Mikkelsen and Dancy danced in it marvelously with grace and undeniable conviction.

As hard as it is to see the show go, the writing has been on the wall for awhile. Hannibal was never able to climb out of its low ratings hole, and so NBC had no choice but to mark season 3 as the end. It’s sad to leave these characters behind and even more frustrating to do so before their stories reach their natural conclusions. That being said, it’s hard to hate on the network that had the guts to give birth to such a peculiar kind of series. On top of the obvious violence, gore, and other “viewer discretion is advised” material that makes Hannibal what it is, Fuller wasn’t afraid to drizzle his show in copious amounts of philosophical and metaphysical exchanges you normally wouldn’t find on broadcast television. In fact, the same can be said for pretty much everything else this bizarre show set out to do. Oft-featured directors David Slade, Michael Rymer, and this season’s Vincenzo Natali wield the camera in ways that make our window into the world of Hannibal a character unto itself. Incessant close-ups of liquids like water and blood–in addition to most bizarre angles and dizzying mental lapses–successfully aided in driving viewers into the emotionally fractured abyss that Hannibal called home. You can literally pause the show at any moment and like magic you’re presented with a wonderfully construed canvas of artwork, every frame a unique painting, breathtaking to behold. Hannibal was never afraid to commit the unexpected, to look and sound and feel and taste, well, different from everything else. Now take all of these things into consideration; the network bet big on Fuller’s cinematic adaptation of this classic tale and fans should consider themselves lucky to have made it this far into the journey.

A most delicious experience it was (and continues to be) for Fannibals worldwide. As season 3 resumes, be sure to consume and enjoy every ticking second that goes by. Now that it’s grown out of its procedural roots, Hannibal has fully embraced its true design: Will hunting down his friend, his enemy, his equal in the show’s most beautiful scenery yet: Florence, Italy. And when it’s all over, an everlasting fact will remain: Hannibal, for all of its elegant flourishes and suspenseful, high-class drama, is the best premium cable show that aired on a broadcast network.

Jump after the break to see Fuller and NBC’s reactionary quotes to today’s news. READ MORE An ode to ‘Hannibal’ as TV’s boldest experiment gets the axe

A&E renews ‘Bates Motel’ for two more seasons

Carlton Cuse’s vision for a five-season tale of watching Norman Bates become Psycho is right on track. Today A&E officially renewed its creeptastic drama Bates Motel for two more seasons. Upcoming seasons 4 and 5 will each consist of 10 episodes, no change there. Cuse, along with co-showrunner Kerry Ehrin, have shared with critics and fans that they’d hope to tell this finite story across (at least) five seasons, and now that the network is fully on board with that plan, viewers don’t have to worry one bit about full resolution (er, evolution) come the series finale.

“The vision of our incredible creative team has exposed the steady breakdown of the relationship between Norman and Norma Bates,” said Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager of A&E, in a statement. “We are thrilled to bring fans two more seasons to witness the next stages of Norman’s transformation into the most notorious psychopath in cinematic history.”

Elsewhere at A&E, Cuse’s other drama The Returned has been cancelled and will not be coming back for a second season. Though the premise intrigued in its dealings with loved ones returning from the dead, it did so without the finesse and grace of ABC’s ill-fated Resurrection; that show went on to see a second season and then fizzled out.

Disney unplugs from The Grid, scraps ‘Tron 3’

Sour news for Tron: Legacy fans: The Hollywood Reporter says that Disney is opting not to move forward with a threequel. In April 2009Legacy directer Joseph Kosinski shared his enthusiasm for making another Tron: “For us, the storytelling will be easier because we won’t be saddled with 28 years of backstory. From a technical standpoint, in order for it to be a Tron movie, we’re going to have to push the envelope.” Unfortunately, none of this will come to fruition.

Though Disney never technically greenlit a third Tron movie in the franchise that started in 1982, Kosinski had already broken a story and Legacy stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde were set to reprise their roles. Additionally, THR reports that Disney was interested in bringing Jared Leto aboard for the new film, the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman-turned-actor who’s starring in Warner Bros.’s Suicide Squad as The Joker. It even had a name, Tron: Ascension. But again, these dreams have sadly turned to dust.

So why did this project suddenly go dark? Disney has yet to comment on the matter, but sources speculate that it has to do with the company’s underperforming Tomorrowland. The live-action futuristic action-adventure flick, which reportedly cost $180 million to make, grossed a low $33 million at the US box office.

As a vocal fan of the polarizing Legacy, I am saddened to hear that Disney is no longer interested in the flashy franchise. The original Tron pushed the envelope beyond its technological limits in terms of special effects, and its 2010 sequel upped the ante with incredibly slick visuals and a memorable score produced by Daft Punk. There’s certainly more tales from The Grid to tell, and I’ll sit here patiently as Disney receives fan backlash and petitions to #SaveTron.

Bidding ‘Revenge’ farewell as showrunner confirms fourth season is ABC drama’s last

Emily Thorne’s “Revengenda” is coming to an end. On Wednesday, showrunner and executive producer Sunil Nayar confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming fourth season finale of ABC’s Revenge will effectively serve as the series finale.

“We can officially tell our fans that this will be the end of the story,” Nayar told EW. “We’ve been talking to the network and we all just wanted to make sure that we felt very confident. Now that everybody has seen the finale—which is fabulous—everybody understands that as much as we all adore the show, it has hit exactly the mark it needed to to end. This is the series finale of Revenge that will be airing in a couple weeks.”

Though technically speaking this is a series cancellation on the network’s part (Nayer has previously publicly stated that he had ideas to keep the show going for additional seasons), it surely doesn’t feel like one. In fact, this axing (or dare I say, red sharpie takedown) is very much in the same vein as what Fox did with Prison Break in 2009. Revenge has simply reached its conclusion, properly exhausting itself creatively over a solid amount of time. Though four seasons doesn’t sound very long (Lost, for example, bowed out after six seasons), Revenge set out to tell a tale that naturally could only sustain itself for a limited run.

–Spoilers start here–

From the start, it was protagonist Emily Thorne’s hell-bent mission to make the Grayson family pay for wrongfully accusing her father of being a terrorist. Today, three of the four Graysons are dead (most recently co-star Madeline Stowe–Victoria, Queen of the Hamptons–offed herself) and Emily’s father David Clarke (surprise!) is alive and his name has been cleared. Though the showrunner had plans to keep things chugging along, it’s simply hard to imagine Emily’s scheming to continue without Victoria, the proverbial thorn in her side. And on top of all this, Emily is no longer Emily; this season she formally came out as Amanda Clarke.

So what’s on the water-logged horizon for our favorite Hamptonites? The series is coming full circle now that Emily has been framed for a murder she did not commit (carried out from the grave by Victoria, no less!). Other dangling threads: David Clarke is undergoing cancer treatment, and then, of course, there’s Jack. Will the two lovebirds finally connect romantically and make it last? This is something I’ve been waiting for ever since that incredibly emotional and memorable scene between Emily and Jack on the pier in season one, where Jack proclaimed his feelings for her: “I feel like this feeling comes along once or twice in a lifetime, if we’re very lucky…” That one. If you take the final episode’s title into consideration, your inner-shipper might start to falter.

–Spoilers end here–

The series finale is titled “Two Graves” (airing May 10), and if can harken back to the pilot for a minute, you’ll remember that it opened with this Confucius quote: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” After everything that she’s accomplished, will Emily meet her maker in the end?

“There are epic emotional moments in the finale,” says Nayar. “There are really shocking things that happen in the finale. It’s a tricky thing because the fans are such passionate lovers of the show and we really want to give them what they want, but the hard part about a finale in a show like this is you want to give them some of what they want, some of what they don’t know they want yet and some of what they never expected, and it needs to be a perfect mix of all those things. I truly believe our finale is the perfect mix of all those three things. I think they’re going to be extremely satisfied.”

Fans should know that Nayer and his creative team put the season four closer together not being fully aware that it would eventually serve as the series ender. And so a cliffhanger remains, despite promised closure. Nayer elaborates: “There’s a tiny little cliffhanger in the series finale. We don’t want people to get weary of the stories we’re telling, so we felt like they deserve an ending to this novel that Mike Kelley started four years ago. I really feel like the last couple chapters are worthy of the first many.”

So we bid farewell to the conniving Graysons, the two-faced Emily Thorne, her soul mate Jack Porter, and let’s not forget the one and only Nolan Ross. Over the course of four seasons, Revenge took its loyal fanbase on a thrilling, emotionally charged ride. After an audacious start, the show rode creative highs (red sharpie take down episodes!) and lows (read: The Convoluted Initiative). In the end, though, there’s no denying all of that addicting dialogue and its soapy, twisty, sexy, flair for the dramatic.

Full season orders handed out to 5 network series; 4 others get axed [Updated 11/7]

Good news for fans of The Eye’s older-skewing programming: four freshman series will live on to see their first season of television all the way through and they are: hacker drama Scorpion, spinoff NCIS: New Orleans, Kevin Williamson’s thriller Stalker, and Téa Leoni top-lined Madam Secretary.

“These four shows have had an immediate impact on our schedule by improving nights, winning time periods and adding more hours of success across our primetime lineup,” said Nina Tassler, CBS’ Entertainment Chairman, in a statement.

Elsewhere, The Peacock picked up The Mysterious of Laura for a full 22-episode first season.

Debra has effortlessly infused Laura with a relatability that is captivating audiences,” said Jennifer Salke, NBC’s President of Entertainment. “We can’t wait to see how Laura will continue to evolve throughout the entire season.”

And now, the sour news. Low ratings are forcing out rom-coms Manhattan Love Story (ABC) and A to Z (NBC), as well as Kate Walsh sitcom Bad Judge (NBC) and FOX’s “social experiment” reality show Utopia. MLS and Utopia were pulled from their network schedules on the dates of their cancellation (10/24 and 11/2, respectively), but in a surprise move NBC is allowing A to Z and Bad Judge finish out their original 13-episode orders. The former comedy has shot 11 of 13 episodes and the latter has produced 10. What this means is that the creatives behind them will be able to scramble together plotline bookends since they’re aware the end is in sight. A silver lining: at least these shows will air final episodes that will indeed serve as series finales with at least some closure before audiences are forced to say goodbye.

If you’re keeping count, these full season orders join previously announced pickups of ABC’s Black-ish and How to Get Away with Murder, FOX’s Gotham, and The CW’s The Flash and Jane the Virgin.

Update (11/7): ABC has cancelled rom-com Selfie and has given a full season order to the Ioan Gruffudd-led drama Forever.

Cancellation report: The Big Networks prepare for Upfronts

The Upfronts are coming, and you know what means: the big networks have carved their axes and they’re ready to chop away at their underperforming programs to make way for new series to be introduced in the fall and midseason of next year. To keep it as short and sweet as possible, jump after the break for a full listing of every 2013-14 cancelled show categorized by network. Later this week, with news from the Upfronts, you will learn which shows will be returning to their respective schedules at the networks. For now, the slaughtering is after the jump.

READ MORE Cancellation report: The Big Networks prepare for Upfronts