And just like that, Zero Hour‘s time is up. The search for the Hank’s wife and the unravelling of the mystery involving the disciples’ secret clocks have come to a screeching halt as ABC decided to cancel the conspiracy thriller on Friday. Cancellation came because the show from Prison Break‘s Paul Scheuring couldn’t manage to find a sizable audience. In its February 14 series premiere, Zero Hour drew 6.3 million total viewers and a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo–ABC’s lowest rated in-season premiere of a scripted program in history. Things went from bad to worse as its third and most recent airing only attracted 5 million total viewers and a low 1.0 demo rating, prompting ABC to release the axe. But is it the show’s fault, really? An entertaining and intriguing thriller, Zero Hour‘s poor performance can certainly be chalked up to its placement on the schedule–you can say the series didn’t stand a chance as a midseason entry tossed in the challenging Thursdays at 8 timeslot. Previous ABC dramas like FlashFoward, Missing, and most recently Last Resort suffered similar fate there.
So what happens to the 10 remaining unaired episodes of Zero Hour? Will viewers ever receive answers to the widespread mysteries the show has laid out thus far? At the TCAs Scheuring assured audiences that every season of the show would wrap up a major thread in the end and “reset” with the introduction of a new overarching mystery. ABC hasn’t confirmed anything, but there are whispers that like with 666 Park Avenue the Alphabet network may allow the series to run its single season course sometime this summer. One can hope.
After the extremely dismal ratings the Do No Harm pilot received, it is no surprise that the Jekyll and Hyde-esque medical drama was canned after its second airing. NBC’s midseason effort debuted to 3.1 million total viewers and a meager 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo, making it the the lowest-rated in-season broadcast scripted series debut on any of the Big Four networks in history. Sealing its fate were its second week numbers: only 2.2 million viewers came back for more and its demo rating dropped 22% to a 0.7. This show had zero chance of survival from the get-go. Since the pilot wasn’t all that stimulating, here’s hoping that those who did tune in didn’t get too attached to this short-lived cast led by Steven Pasquale.
Not too long ago at the TCAs Do No Harm‘s executive producer David Schulner said, “I think ultimately you can only write the show that you want to watch, and this was a show that I wanted to see on TV. I wanted it to be fun. I wanted it to be thrilling. I wanted it to be a roller-coaster ride. And I wanted it to have stakes. I also wanted there to be a love story at the center of it. Hopefully those ingredients will make it different than what has come before.” Fail. And want to know the saddest part of all? All 13 episodes have been produced and the remaining 11 may never see the light of day.
Elsewhere on NBC, 1600 Penn is getting benched this week in favor of a double airing of departing comedy The Office. Now, Deadline reports that the move was made because the upcoming Valentine’s Day themed episode of The Office came in supersized and needed the extra schedule space to fit. However, you cannot shake the fact that the at-times uproariously funny, stuffed-with-heart White House sitcom is performing poorly in the ratings (most recently it scored a low 1.1 in the 18-49 demo); such a sudden pull from the schedule is certainly not a good sign.
Breathe, breathe. It’s tough news, I know. This week FOX and ABC pulled low-rated comedies Ben And Kate and Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23 from their respective schedules. Ben And Kate, a freshman single-cam sitcom, managed to find its comedic groove early on but it never gained a foothold in the ratings. A dynamic cast led by the-one-and-only Nat Faxon delivered an absurd mixture of funny and heart week in and week out. In fact, FOX championed its creativity in October when the network expanded its original 13 episode order to 19. “Ben And Kate [has] everything we want to stand for in comedy: smart writing, hugely appealing casts and comedy that feels contemporary and real–which is why we’re confident [it] will continue to build on what is already an appointment comedy night for young, influential audiences on Tuesdays,” said FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly. Though its numbers hovered in poor territory, FOX gave it time to find an audience and unfortunately it never quite found one broad enough to stay on the air. B&K averaged a 1.5 rating in the all-important 18-49 adult demographic, and that’s with 7-day DVR playback included; in so many words, not good enough. In a statement FOX says they plan to air the remaining six episodes at some point in the future. [Update: FOX has stopped production on the show so only 15 episodes will be produced meaning there are 2 unaired episodes that may or may not screen in the future.] And even though the net isn’t confirming cancellation, a sudden yank from the sked like this pretty much seals the deal.
The same goes for ABC’s wild comedy Apt. 23. But in this case you could really see the axe coming. Though the show certainly managed to grow creatively from its shortened first season, the viewers at large didn’t seem to notice and didn’t latch on. The way in which ABC aired the show was an ominous sign for fans. Many episodes that were originally produced for season one bled into season 2 and made storylines jump all around the place; this would introduce confusion for newcomers. After ABC pulled 666 Park Avenue from its Sunday lineup, the net decided to run Apt. 23 and Happy Endings twice a week, in the Sunday 10PM hour and on their regular Tuesday night. This experiment only lasted so long; Apt. 23 has been abandoned (its most recent ep drew a low 1.1 demo rating) and (thankfully) Happy Endings will continue its run on Tuesdays. No word on whether or not the remaining eight unaired episodes of Apt. 23 will see the light of day. For now, it’s goodbye peachy June, goodbye creepy Eli, goodbye obsessive Robin, goodbye hopeless Mark, goodbye infectious Luther, goodbye James Van Der Beek, and so long Chole. We’ll miss your bitchy ways.
Since we saw it coming, I’ll be brief. Pushing Daisies creator imagined a modernized Munsters reboot starring Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, Mason Cook as their son Eddie, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, and Charity Wakefield as Marilyn. Ultimately network brass decided not to move forward with the making of the series called Mockingbird Lane. But instead of throwing out the expensive pilot directed by Bryan Singer, NBC aired it as a Halloween special in late October. On a Friday night at 9, a respectable 5.4 million viewers tuned in and the episode scored a 1.5/5 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. With decent ratings and additional scripts already written, those who enjoyed the sneak peek at Fuller’s vision for The Munsters hoped that NBC would give it a chance on their schedule. Today Fuller broke the bad news in a single tweet:
“I tweet with a heavy heart. NBC not moving forward with
#MockingbirdLane. From producers and cast, thank you all for enthusiasm and support.”
It wasn’t meant to be. But for Bryan Fuller it’s on to the next one: he’s hard at work producing another NBC drama Hannibal that stars Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lector in the role made famous by Anthony Hopkins in the classic 1991 film Silence of the Lambs.
ABC is teasing its viewers and I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. When the alphabet network cancelled their two new high profile fall dramas 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort in November, they assured fans that their respective 13 episode arcs would be played out. Additionally, the show’s creators came out and said that they’d have time to tweak the endings so that viewers can get proper closure before they bite the dust. After receiving news of cancellation, 666 exec producers David Wilcox and Matt Miller claimed their show “is building to a powerful and surprising series finale, where all your questions will be answered. We hope fans of the show continue watching all the way to the end of Jane and Henry’s incredible journey to the dark side.” Unfortunately we won’t be getting that ending this winter as previously planned. ABC has decided to pull the remaining three episodes of 666 from its schedule. The net plans on airing them in the summer, but it is quite possible that they may never see the light of day. It’s unfortunate for the people who invested their time in the seductively suspenseful thriller, but this is the kind of thing that can happen when ratings are so dreary. Thankfully, however, ABC is still on track to deliver the final episodes of Shawn Ryan’s Last Resort which promises a “no-holds barred kick-ass ending.”
The Sunday night at 10PM slot will be filled with new episodes of ABC comedies Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. Viewers will receive a double dose of these show as the network will also air first-run episodes in their regular Tuesday night time periods.
FOX pushes ‘Touch’, schedules remaining ‘Mob Doctor’ episodes; ABC gives ‘Last Man Standing’ & ‘Malibu Country’ back orders; The CW cancels ‘Emily Owens’
The Tim Kring drama just can’t catch a break! Originally scheduled to premiere this fall on October 26, FOX delayed the second season start to the Kiefer Sutherland vehicle Touch thrice now. It was first bumped to midseason with a vague “January 2013″ timeframe; then it was pushed to February 1; and now it’s confirmed to air a two-hour premiere on Friday, February 8 from 8PM-10PM. The following week it will relax into its regular 9PM timeslot. Good grief Hopefully people will tune in; last year’s ratings were relatively soft and this show about connectedness is worth checking out.
Elsewhere on FOX, the poorly received and rated The Mob Doctor has its days numbered. Though the network is not calling it a cancellation, it has decided not to give the medical drama the back nine. But just like ABC is doing with Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue, it’s allowing the show air all 13 produced episodes being calling time of death. The final four episodes will air on the following dates: Saturday, December 29, Monday, December, Saturday, January 5, and Monday, January 7 all at 9PM. That’s right–some are airing on Saturday nights. Most would call that a loftier death bed than the Friday night graveyard.
Over at ABC, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing and Reba’s Malibu Country are receiving back orders, specifically an additional 5 episodes each. Since the sophomore and freshman series (respectively) got a late start this year, an extra five instead of nine is enough to get them through the season. If you’re a fan of LMS, here’s something to look forward to: TVLine reports that a Home Improvement reunion is being staged when Richard Karn (aka Al Borland) joins Tim Allen in a future episode scheduled to air early next year.
And last, after picking up freshman dramas Arrow and Beauty And The Beast, The CW has axed Emily Owens M.D. This week’s episode attracted a paltry 1 million viewers, scoring a 0.3/1 in the adults 18-49 demo. Though the CBS sister network is not used to seeing typical ratings found on the bigger broadcast nets, Emily Owens scored as the lowest rated new series this fall for them and so the cord has been cut.
ABC grants full season order to ‘Nashville’, cancels ‘Last Resort’ & ’666 Park Avenue’; NBC picks up ‘Chicago Fire’; CBS cancels ‘Partners’; and other order updates
As we start to approach midseason, broadcast networks take a close look at the ratings and decide whether or not to keep the new shows they introduced earlier this fall. In addition to reporting the latest pickups and cancellations, I will take a grander look at the status of each network’s programs to give you an idea as to what is likely to stay and go before the new year rolls around.
ABC: On Monday, ABC picked up the Connie Britton-Hayden Panettiere country music drama Nashville. This serialized soap had a ton of buzz going into the pilot and word of mouth helped this show perform to respectable ratings; leading up to its back-nine order it was averaging 9.4 million viewers and a 3.2 in adults 18-49.
PREVIOUS: The Alphabet is still sitting on new dramas Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue as ratings continue to bottom-out for the submarine and supernatural thrillers. Ratings are not good for either shows. This week Last Resort drew a 1.3 in adults 18-49 (a series low) and 666 saw that same number in its most recent outing. While Last Resort continues to fluctuate, it appears as though 666 has found the bottom since this is the second consecutive week it scored a 1.3 in the coveted demo. Insiders bet that ABC will likely renew Last Resort and dump 666 when all is said and done, but with ratings so neck-and-neck, it’s a tough call at the moment.
UPDATE: As I was putting together this post, news broke that ABC has cancelled both Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue. That 1.3 demo ratings must’ve really spooked the execs at top and gave them no choice but to let the Colorado and Drake go. It’s sad, really. Both of these shows were refreshingly ambitious in their storytelling. Fans will likely be vocal about this somber news because over the course of the last few weeks both shows managed to get ahead creatively and their potential to grow into truly memorable series jumped significantly. The acting on Last Resort (a show from The Chicago Code creator Shawn Ryan who just can’t catch a break) is superb led by Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman. In 666, the enigmatic Rachael Taylor only just ventured down the rabbit hole. I tip my hat to ABC for giving these serialized dramas wrapped in mystery and intrigue a shot in its schedule; it’s unfortunate that neither of them managed to retain an audience. They will sorely be missed.
Now here’s a sprinkle of good news on top of all this: ABC will allow both series to finish out their respective 13-episode runs; whether or not this gives the writers and producers enough time to properly wrap some things up remains to be seen. Also, ABC is not letting go of these show entirely just yet; the network has the option to revive them next season, but without a back-nine order now this is likely a formality and you shouldn’t hold your breath.
Elsewhere, The Neighbors miraculously received a pickup and the new Reba McEntire sitcom Malibu Country dropped significantly after opening to huge ratings a couple weeks back; ABC recently ordered three additional scripts.
NBC: Last Thursday, NBC gave a back-nine order to the Dick Wolfe drama Chicago Fire. Though the procedural didn’t have much buzz a the get-go, it managed to reach 8 million viewers on average and a decent 2.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demo leading up to its pickup. NBC’s other new drama Revolution was picked up over a month ago and continues to be a strong performer for the network.
Elsewhere on the Peacock, comedies Go On and The New Normal were also granted full season orders. Animal Practice has been cancelled, and multi-cam comedy Guys with Kids is still alive. Though it has been sitting on the fence ratings-wise (it attracted 3.8 million viewers and a 1.3 demo in its last two installments), this week NBC has shown a spark of faith by ordering an additional four scripts increasing the Jimmy Fallon-produced comedy episode count from 13 to 17. It’s not a back-nine order, but it’s certainly good news for fans of the show. Whether or not the network decides bring the season’s episode count up to the typical 22 remains to be seen.
CBS: Today, CBS cancelled the David Krumholtz-Michael Urie comedy Partners after six episodes. Though it averaged 6.5 million viewers and a 2.4/6 in adults 18-49, in its most recent outing it sunk to 5.6 million viewers and a 1.8. With ratings giants like The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men on its schedule, Partners is obviously a weak link for the network and did not perform up to its high standards. The show has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately and CBS comedy repeats will air in its Monday at 9:30PM slot starting next week. Though the sitcom was packed to the brim with gay jokes, I enjoyed engaging in the excellent rapport between stars Krumholz and Urie and I will sorely miss seeing the stunning Sophia Bush on a weekly basis. Also cancelled by CBS earlier this season was Made in Jersey.
CBS dramas fared better this season as the network picked up the Sherlock Homles-inspired Elementary and the Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis period drama Vegas. This week the network played around with these series’ episode orders: Elementary has gained an additional two episodes bringing its grand season 1 total to 24 and Vegas is losing one so its debut season will consist of 21 episodes.
The CW: Over at The CW, Arrow and Beauty and the Beast have been given the back-nine. Emily Owens, M.D. is still awaiting its fate.
G4 is reportedly undergoing a major rebranding next year and two significant casualties include the cable network’s flagship series Attack of the Show and X-Play. The video game review show X-Play debuted in 2003 back when G4 was known as TechTV and personalities Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb helped make it an entertaining way to discover new games and highlight ones worth checking out. Two years later Attack of the Show premiered, it introduced us to Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, Chris Hardwick, and Alison Haislip, and it quickly became the go-to destination for the latest in technology, gaming, pop and web culture. It also provided fantastic live coverage from major trade shows like E3, CES, and Comic Con. I had the pleasure of working at AOTS during the time it celebrated its 1,000th episode and I will never forget the great people who contributed to the making of such a fun and knowledgable show.
G4 Media General Manager Adam Stotsky on letting the long-running shows go: “Attack of the Show! and X-Play have been important for G4, and we want to acknowledge the creative people who have helped inspire and showcase the phenomenon of gamer culture. With more than 3,000 episodes aired between them, we have more than enough great material to honor these innovators and their amazing contributions as we bring both shows to a close.”
G4 will continue to air new episodes of both series through December. Retrospective episodes and ones with returning personalities and other special guests are in the works. In 2013, G4 will rebrand itself into a “more upscale, sophisticated guy TV space,” says TV Guide. PR after the break. (Click here for more…)
Today NBC cancelled the Justin Kirk/Crystal the Monkey comedy Animal Practice due to poor ratings. The Peacock did everything it could to promote the series, including airing a special preview during the Olympics this summer. That effort fared well for the Matthew Perry sitcom Go On, but for Practice it couldn’t do the trick. The most recent episode wrangled 3.8 million viewers scoring a low 1.0 rating in adults 18-49. Five episodes have aired, and NBC will show three more. Come Wednesday, November 14, Whitney will fill the vacant spot at 8PM. Community fans will sneer at this scheduling move, but it makes sense for the network; both Whitney and its soon-to-be lead out Guys with Kids are multi-camera shows so they go well together, stylistically at least. Community remains on the bench for the time being. And Guys with Kids is safe for now, having most recently attracted 4.3 million viewers and a 1.4 demo rating.
Animal Practice is the second show to get the axe this fall. Last week CBS cancelled legal drama Made in Jersey after only two episodes had aired; the premiere attracted 7.7 million viewers with a 1.1 demo rating and then things dropped in its second outing to 5.8 million viewers with a dismal 0.8 rating. Starting November 2 Undercover Boss takes over CBS’ Friday night at 8PM slot.
Some say this news should have come when star Steve Carell left the show at the end of season 7. But the show went on and this past Tuesday the series’ executive producer Greg Daniels announced that the upcoming ninth season will conclude the antics in The Office. Daniels served as the series’ showrunner from seasons one through five and then handed the creative reins to exec producer Paul Lieberstein, who plays Tobey. For the final season Daniels returns as showrunner and he had this to say about the not-so-shocking news.
“This will be the last season of The Office. And we’re planning a very big exciting last season. We’re going to have a lot of faces coming back … There are a lot of things that I’ve personally been wanting to do since season two … All questions will be answered this year. Now that we know we have an end date we can blow things up and take some chances and it will be very freeing, creatively.”
He assures fans that NBC has not cancelled the show (why would they–it’s the network’s highest rated comedy); The Office is closing its doors because the creative team behind it feels the time has come; many fans likely share the sentiment. “This year feels like the last chance to really go out together and make an artistic ending for the show that pays off a lot of the stuff that matters most to fans,” said Daniels. He continued, “You have a choice–only tell the beginning of story and the middle, or allow a story to end. If we didn’t let it end this year, I don’t think we would have been able to tell the ending stories of so many characters… we couldn’t count on getting everybody back for season 10.” (What with Mindy Kalling headlining The Mindy Project on FOX with fellow Office star B.J. Novak, and Rainn Wilson moving on to NBC’s Office spinoff The Farm.) Daniels added, “You could see a world where new people keep coming on the show. But I think [we want to] do justice to the existing characters in the most creative and explosive way and that means the show will be changed to such a degree that if anything was to continue it wouldn’t be the same show.”
Specifically, what can longtime viewers expect to see in the final season? Daniels says more drama will hit Jim and Pam’s relationship, the season will explore who’s behind the documentary crew that’s been filming the Office employees over all these years, and the elusive Scranton Strangler will be revealed. Do you want to see Michael Scott again? The producers do. “We would certainly wish for it,” Daniels said. “We’re not going to put so much pressure on Steve by writing something that would only work if he would return. He really loves how he was exited. He’s probably anxious about not messing up such a stylish exit. It’s a perfectly legitimate point. We’ll see, we haven’t written anything, we just have some ideas for the ending.”
The Office returns Thursday, September 20 on NBC.
Major spoilers inside…
This past Thursday marked the season one finale of NBC’s unique drama Awake. Unfortunately for the show’s small but rabid audience the episode also served as the series finale; the cancellation was announced weeks ago. But how about that mind-bending, Inception-like conclusion? After an impressionable pilot and a handful of procedural installments, Awake managed to tell an extremely compelling story that left its viewers wanting more when the grand finale closed one chapter and opened the door to a shiny treasure chest of possible season 2 storylines. Detective Michael Britten (played by the gifted Jason Issacs) figured out that Harper was the one behind his life-altering car accident, and shortly thereafter he created a third (dream?) reality in which his son and wife survived.
So what the hell happened? (Click here for more…)
Today cable network A&E cancelled addicting drama Breakout Kings after two seasons of holding modest ratings. From Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora (the creators of FOX’s Prison Break), Breakout Kings followed a special task force consisting of U.S. marshals and convicts whose goal was to chase down and lock up criminals. Though season 1 was criticized for lack of character development, season 2 made up for it by delving directly into the psyche of arguably the most interesting and entertaining character of the series, Lloyd Lowery (played by the brilliant Jimmi Simpson). Spoiler alert… Season 2 also happened to open with a major death, that of U.S. Marshal Charlie Duchamp (Laz Alonso). The loss of Alonso was hard-hitting, but it also accelerated the series in many ways: Zancanelli allotted the Kings more freedom in terms of how they assisted in tracking down criminals on the loose, and the death sparked the season long arc (and oh-so-gratifying conclusion) involving the maniac Damien Fontleroy (props to Jason Behr for a killer performance).
Spoiler alert… Season 2 ended not so long ago with the Kings in a sticky situation. The U.S. Marshals Chief Director gave the trio an offer they seemingly could not refuse: if they tell the truth about Damien’s fall and turn in Ray they will be immediately released from prison with time served. Thankfully, and in a rare move, co-showrunner Santora shed light on the direction the show would have taken if it had continued on. Via Twitter: “How it ends. BOKs pretend to turn Ray in but double cross Marshals so they go free & Ray walks. Shea gets rich w/ elbow savers. Erica raises daughter in the country. Ray starts private security biz, lives near his daughter. Lloyd & Jules marry. Name their son Charlie.” He concluded, “Wish A&E kept BOK going. Matt and I don’t own the show. So when it’s cancelled, it’s over. Goodbye to the BOK fans. Thanx for the support.” While Santora is now looking for his next show to work on, his partner Olmstead has already moved on to executive produce the upcoming NBC drama Chicago Fire. (Update (5/18): Santora has joined the CBS Dennis Quaid/Michael Chiklis period drama Vegas as co-executive producer.)
The tag for this season was “one king will fall.” Unfortunately, they all fell by season’s end. And it was because of a force infinitely more powerful and twisted than Damien Fontleroy: ratings. Ray, Shamus, Erica, Lloyd, Jules. Your antics will be missed.
Tis the season when the TV season comes to a close and the press goes wild with speculation about which shows will be coming back next fall and which ones will be brutally murdered never to be seen again. If you’re looking for rampant speculation you won’t find it here; this post will inform you about the already determined futures of your favorite TV shows that air on the big four networks. As the Upfronts loom ahead (the time when the networks reveal their schedules for next season), the current slate of TV shows look fate in the eye and a decision is made to keep them or cut them.
Unless otherwise stated, the following shows have been renewed for full 20-something episode seasons and will return in the fall or midseason.
Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, Blue Bloods, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Rules of Engagement (13 episodes), Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Two and a Half Men
Cancelled: A Gifted Man, CSI: Miami, How To Be A Gentleman, NYC 22 Rob, Unforgettable
Renewed: 30 Rock (13 episodes), Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, Celebrity Apprentice, Community (13 episodes), Grimm, Fashion Star, Law & Order: SVU, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Smash (15-18 episodes), The Biggest Loser, The Office, The Voice, Up All Night, Whitney
Cancelled: Are You There, Chelsea?, Awake, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Chuck, Fear Factor, Free Agents, Harry’s Law, Playboy Club, Prime Suspect, The Firm
Renewed: American Dad, American Idol, Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Family Guy, Fringe (13 episodes), Glee, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Cleveland Show, The Simpsons, The X Factor, Touch
Cancelled: Alcatraz, Allen Gregory, Breaking In, House, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Napoleon Dynamite, Terra Nova, The Finder
Renewed: America’s Funniest Home Videos, Body of Proof, Castle, Cougar Town (moving to TBS), Dancing with the Stars, Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23, Grey’s Anatomy, Happy Endings, Last Man Standing, Modern Family, Once Upon A Time, Private Practice (13 episodes), Revenge, Scandal, Shark Tank, Suburgatory, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Middle
Cancelled: Charlie’s Angels, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, GCB, Man Up!, Missing, Pan Am, The River, Work It
Renewed: 90210, America’s Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, Nikita, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries
Cancelled: H8R, One Tree Hill, Remodeled, Ringer, The Secret Circle
After five weeks of being on the air, FOX is pulling the Christian Slater comedy Breaking In from their schedule. New Girl repeats will fill in the Tuesday night at 9PM time slot through May. FOX says that the remaining eight episodes of Breaking In will air “at a later date,” likely this summer.
So what happened? Poor ratings, obviously. After being cancelled last year, FOX decided to resurrect Breaking In and use it as a midseason player and squeeze it with their other quirky Tuesday night comedies New Girl and Raising Hope. The show’s most recent airing attracted a meager 2.6 million viewers and scored a low 1.3 rating in the coveted 18-49 adult demo. Simply put, the newfound workplace comedy didn’t spark interest and couldn’t hold onto the audiences who watch the two comedies that precede it on the night.
Having been a fan from the first season, I must admit that the revamp the show went under (namely, going from a break-in-of-the-week to a more typical workplace comedy) hurt the show creatively. Switching formats was risky and in the end didn’t help the show find the spark it desperately needed to flourish in the ratings. Though season one was a sleeper, it did strike a chord due to the fun and wacky dynamics of the characters, three of which departed the show for season two (Odette Annable’s hottie Melanie, Michael Rosenbaum’s douchey Dutch, and Trevor Moore’s master of disguise Josh). The addition of Megan Mullally and British hottie Erin Richards added a nice kick to the Contra Club, but ultimately their roles in the show diminished the influence so effortlessly executed by the hilarious Christian Slater. His character Oz dominated the first season. Once Mullally entered the picture and took over as Contra boss, Oz’s mystery and intrigue rapidly dissipated and he just became “one of the guys.”
And so in the end, even though the ratings decline might not have been affected by it, I believe that it was a poor decision to drastically change the dynamic of the show. The antics of Breaking In will be missed. As the old saying goes, we’ll always have season one.
Fans of the Steven Spielberg-produced time travel drama, your days at Terra Nova are now over. Today FOX pulled the plug on the special effects heavy prehistoric sci-fi series, despite all the speculation that the show was tipping towards renewal. With House out of the way next year, there will be at least one vacant spot left open on Monday nights next season. But due to moderate ratings and a lack of creative focus, FOX prez Kevin Reilly made the final decision to close Terra Nova for good.
Back at the Winter TCAs, Reilly foreshadowed this decision. “There were a lot of chefs in the kitchen. The show was hunting for itself creatively through the season. I loved some of the episodes. If this is all we make [of Terra Nova], we made money on it, the studio made money on it, and it seems to have resonated with the family audience. If we had more holes in our network, we’d be thrilled to lock that right in.” I suppose the subtraction of House wasn’t enough to keep Terra Nova afloat on the schedule.
Am I surprised Terra Nova was erased from TV? No, not really. Though the thirteen episode first season managed to output a handful of exciting hours, overall the series disappointed due to poor writing, character development, and acting, plus the dino CGI was mostly lackluster. Props to Stephen Lange (Nathaniel Taylor) for commanding this show on his tired back. It’s certainly sad to see a show that started with so much buzz, potential, and pedigree lose its way so early on.
Can we lay Terra Nova to rest forever? Not quite yet. Backing studio 20th Century Fox TV has plans to shop the show to other networks to see if anyone else will bite. Unfortunately for fans, in all likelihood networks will not show much interest in resurrecting the show simply because it is extremely expensive to make. The question remains: is Terra Nova worth saving?
This is an “evolving post.” This means that I will be coming back to it throughout the fall TV season and updating it accordingly when news breaks concerning the fate of new programming. Get it? Got it? Good.
*Bolded shows denote the latest updates
Pickups: 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable, Person of Interest
Cancellations: How to Be a Gentleman
Other: A Gifted Man (received 3 additional scripts on 11/15, season will contain 16 episodes total)
Pickups: Up All Night (episode count increase to 24 on 11/21), Whitney, Grimm
Cancellations: The Playboy Club, Free Agents, Prime Suspect
Still waiting on: (received additional 6 scripts on 10/12)
Sophomore status: Harry’s Law (received full season order on 11/15)
Pickups: New Girl, Terra Nova (before the season started FOX committed to do 13 episodes), The X Factor
Cancellations: Allen Gregory
Still waiting on: Napoleon Dynamite, Alcatraz
Pickups: Suburgatory, Revenge, Last Man Standing, Once Upon a Time
Cancellations: Charlie’s Angels, Work It
Still waiting on: Pan Am* (received 5 additional scripts on 11/3, 1 additional script on 11/29), Man Up! (pulled from schedule on 12/8, 8 of 13 episodes produced have aired)
*ABC released this statement: “Pan Am will wrap production on its first season in early January after completion of its 14th episode. A decision about about a second season will be made in May.”
*At the 2012 TCA winter press tour ABC said regarding Pan Am: “We have new and original shows right through February.”
Sophomore status: Happy Endings received full season order on 11/3, season will contain 22 episodes total; Body of Proof received full season order on 11/18, season will contain 20 episodes total
Pickups: Ringer, The Secret Circle, Hart Of Dixie
Just when I thought this TV season was coasting along just fine, this brunt of bad news knocked me unconscious today. HBO has decided to part ways with three of its cult comedies: How To Make It In America, Bored To Death, and Hung. How To Make It only managed to score two seasons before getting the axe, and fans of the show will never get to see if Ben and Cam, well, make it in America as fashion icons with the Crisp brand. They were definitely going places; season 2 managed to top the premiere season in almost every way and still the show was doomed in the end. Also concluding is Jonathan Ames’ Bored To Death starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, and the talented Ted Danson. This series lasted a total of three seasons and rightly deserved many more. What started as a detective-story-of-the-week quickly turned into a more serial adventure exploring the eccentric lives of the title characters. Though I must say, the season three finale thankfully wraps things up and leaves viewers pleasantly satisfied. Why did HBO suddenly feel the urge to clear out its Sunday night lineup? Ratings is to blame, as is usually the case (according to Variety How To Make It and Bored To Death were “down about 25% from their respective previous seasons”), plus the premium cabler is making room for new shows in the pipeline for next year. They did keep one, however. Enlightened starring Lauren Dern is coming back for a second season despite rather dismal ratings. Perhaps the comedy’s recent Golden Globe nomination came into play.
Ben and Cam’s hustle and the zany adventures of Jonathan, Ray, and George have come to an end. Triumphant tears are shed in their honor for making it this far.
It’s a real shame that FOX passed over Locke & Key, the Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez comic book adaptation from creator Josh Friedman and executive producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Steven Spielberg. 20th Century Fox TV screened the pilot directed by Mark Romanek at Comic Con, but the cheers simply didn’t prove loud enough for the studio to pass it along to another network. Due to rising production costs and lack of network/cable interest, Locke & Key has been shelved indefinitely and will likely never see the light of day again.
And so I share with you this sneak peek at the pilot that leaked onto the Internet not too long ago. On Twitter Friedman posted a link to the video saying that it “was made by FOX for advertisers months ago (obviously before they decided not to pick us up).” Mirando Otto, Jesse McCartney, Sarah Bolger, Skylar Gaertner, and Nick Stahl star in the haunting promo that successfully hypes the mystical world set forth by Hill and Rodriguez and imagined for TV by Friedman. Though it’s hard to watch because you know the story will never be told on screen, it’s certainly worth viewing so you can at least experience a glimpse of what might have been.
In June Hill had this to say about the premiere episode: “Mark Romanek and Josh Friedman turned in a hell of a good pilot (says a dude who is, of course, completely unbiased). The finished episode is scary, and lean, and emotionally authentic, and has a similar feel to Super 8; it very much has a kind of early 80s scary-Spielberg vibe. It’s also very faithful to the source material. I’m so, so proud of everyone who worked on it and of what was accomplished.”
And here is your proof. TVShowsOnDVD has managed to get their hands on this image of the DVD packaging for NBC’s failed series The Cape. Notice the branding: The Cape: The Complete Series. Typically networks release DVDs with the marking “The Complete First (or second or third) Season,” and as you can see that is not the case here. Nail, meet coffin. We all saw this coming, didn’t we? First the network decreased the show’s episode count by three, and then it refused to broadcast the series finale and put it online. I never want to even think about this show ever again. Yes, it was that bad.
Tear. After its 10-episode debut season, TBS has cancelled the ’80s college comedy Glory Daze. The culprit is ratings, of course. When the show premiered in November it attracted 1.8 million viewers (with a 1.0/3 rating in the 18-49 demo) and that number would dwindle down to a low 1.1 million when the season series finale aired. It’s a bummer because Glory Daze managed to capture by attention every week with its grounded in reality take on fraternity life. Plus the ’80s backdrop was just downright nostalgic. If you missed out on the first season when it aired, the DVD box set is must-have. This show’ll make you laugh and it always left me feeling great after every episode–it’s one of those feel-good programs, you know? Now we’ll never find out if Joel gets with Christie; ah well, ’tis the nature of television.