Tag Archives: TV cancellation

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 #8 on your favorite new and returning shows

May is fast approaching, the month when the majority of network TV series reach their season finales, some with cliffhangers galore. We’re still waiting on many network executives to make final decisions on the fate of their shows, and today I’m back with the latest report concerning your favorite ones. Without further ado…

CBS, in typical fashion, is bringing back the majority of its programming next fall. In one fell swoop, The Eye renewed 11 series: dramas Blue Bloods, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary, Elementary, and Scorpion, comedies Mom and 2 Broke Girls, and reality shows Survivor and The Amazing Race. Elsewhere, the time has come to say goodbye to Person of Interest. The addicting crime procedural/serial hybrid from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, and Greg Plageman debuts its fifth and final season on Tuesday, May 3. The EPs released a joint statement for fans, and you can read it after the break.

FOX, meanwhile, is placing lots of confidence in striving drama Gotham and reliably funny comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth. The DC Comics-based series will return for a third season, and the Andy Samberg and Will Forte sitcoms have secured a fourth and third season, respectively.

ABC swiftly removed biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets from its primetime schedule after two wildly low-rated airings. The end.

FXX is primed to make history with a two-season pickup of veteran sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Seasons 13 and 14 are currently in the works, and if FX’s sister network eventually greenlights a record-breaking 15th season, it will make It’s Always Sunny the longest-running live-action comedy series of all-time.

AMC, in the least surprising move, has announced that it wants more Better Call Saul. The Breaking Bad spinoff is officially coming back for a 10-episode third season in 2017. Elsewhere on the cable network, martial arts drama Into the Badlands secured a second season.

One dislikes ending on a sour note, but here goes: HBO has opted not to bring back Togetherness for a third season. Its second season, which currently has two episodes remaining, will be its last. The underrated drama from filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass puts marriage and friendship under a microscope and explores adult relationships with strong sense of finesse and intimate emotion. This one will be missed. READ MORE Status update #8 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 #5 on your favorite new and returning shows

New year, more status updates coming your way in the TV department. If you’re keeping count, this is our fifth look at the current status on your favorite new and returning TV shows this season. This next batch is nominated by renewals, but some of you might want to brace yourself as there are some cancellations in the mix.

CBS is ready to say goodbye to Chuck Lorre’s sitcom Mike & Molly. Its sixth season, which currently airs Wednesday nights, will be its last. The show served as a strong comedic vehicle for Melissa McCarthy who has gone on to become a mega movie star. The Bridesmaids and Spy star can next be seen in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters.

NBC cancelled Heroes. Then it came back as a limited “event” series dubbed Heroes Reborn. And now it’s bidding farewell to the world once more. Peacock head Robert Greenblatt elaborated at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Reborn was always envisioned to be a one-and-done “event.” Though the upcoming 13th episode of Reborn will likely serve as the series finale for the comeback franchise, Greenblatt isn’t calling time of death just yet. He’s leaving that up to creator Tim Kring’s discretion; if Kring comes up with a new idea worthy of resurrecting the series for a second time, NBC will hear him out, reports TVLine.

For more, jump after the break. READ MORE Status update #5 on your favorite new and returning shows

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 #3 on your favorite new and returning shows

Many shows that premiered in the fall are about to go on a winter hiatus soon if they haven’t already, and as the seasons change it’s a good time to take our official third look at the TV landscape.

CBS isn’t ready to let go of Code Black just yet. The Marcia Gay-Harden medical procedural has received a five-episode back order, bringing its season 1 episode count to 18. Sure, it’s not a standard Back 9, but any sort of back order these days is a major sign of confidence from a network.

NBC is head over heels for Blindspot. Previously, the big ratings performer starring Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton was granted a full season order and was handed an extra episode maxing its season 1 episode count to 23. NBC has no plans to put the kibosh on this thing. In fact, the Peacock network has gone so far as renewing the crime drama for a second season! The net is also happy with Dick Wolf’s offerings; Chicago Fire and its spinoff Chicago P.D. will also be returning for fifth and fourth seasons, respectively, next TV season. And there’s the dramedy that just keeps chugging: The Mysteries of Laura headlined by Debra Messing has been given the greenlight to pump out three additional episodes in its second season; that ups its current season’s episode count to 16.

ABC clearly holds its comedic Wednesday night lineup in high regard. The Middle, The Goldbergs, and black-ish are all seeing episode count bumps to 24 half-hour installments. Modern Family is conspicuously missing from this list, but rest assured that it too will more than likely follow suit. Elsewhere, Tuesday night comedy Fresh off the Boat nabbed a full season order plus the two episode increase bringing its final season 2 tally to 24 eps. Following all of this good news, I’ve saved a sour one for last. The alphabet network is the first to make an official cancellation among the major nets this season and the loser is Wicked City. The incredibly low-rated serial killer drama has been pulled from the schedule after airing only three episodes.

Over at CBS’ sister network The CW, freshman Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and sophomore iZombie have been allotted an additional five episodes. This increases their episode counts to 18 and 19, respectively.

No surprises here: FX wants more American Horror Story and Fargo. The two critically acclaimed series from Ryan Murphy and Noah Hawley, respectively, are solid performers for the cable station and their anthological nature fosters exciting creative overhauls every year.

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.

Big Four Networks decide fate of your favorite series in latest renewal/cancellation news (Updates inside)

Article originally published on 5/7/15. Continually updated after the break.

It is May, and the Upfronts are right around the corner. Before the networks make official their upcoming slate of fall shows, they must decide the fate of current series.

ABC made waves Thursday evening, announcing a whopping 16 renewals and 3 cancellations. Without further ado, the following series will be making their way back to the Alphabet network next season.

Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT” lineup remains in tact, as Grey’s Anatomy (season 12), Scandal (s5), and How to Get Away with Murder (s2) will all return for more intense drama. Veteran Castle (s8) and ABC staples Once Upon A Time (s5) and Nashville (s4) are also coming back–no surprise there. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (s3) is here to stay as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to unfold on TV; also, the TV gods thankfully heard our collective cries to keep Marvel’s Agent Carter on the air which will return for a second season! The low-rated, critically acclaimed American Crime is also getting a sophomore run, as is the surprisingly fun murder mystery series Secrets and Lies.

Over on the comedy side, veteran Modern Family (s7) remains the network’s crown jewel, and other Wednesday night sitcoms The Middle (s7) and The Goldbergs (s3), and black-ish (s2) will follow suit with new seasons next fall. Freshman series Fresh off the Boat and musical Galavant have also been greenlit to return. Though it hasn’t been made official quite yet, Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing is expected to make a fifth season. Update (5/10)LMS will return.

Last, the net’s alternative programs that have been renewed include American’s Funniest Home Videos (s26), The Bachelor (s20), Dancing with the Stars (s21), Shark Tank (s7), Beyond the Tank (s2), and newsmagazine 20/20.

Those series not returning include dramas Resurrection and Forever and Friday night sitcom Cristela. While the latter two failed to find broad audiences, the former simply couldn’t manage to sustain its dragged out premise involving dead people coming back to life (good luck, The Returned!). Fans will surely hold onto Resurrection‘s quietly superb 8-episode first season, and thankfully, the season 2 finale happened to bring much closure to the story.

As I teased before, this is just the beginning, people. Hold onto your hats because the Upfronts are coming next week!

Jump after the break for other renewal/cancellation news from the big networks. READ MORE Big Four Networks decide fate of your favorite series in latest renewal/cancellation news (Updates inside)