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Monday, May 15, 2006
Television--- Several Series Get Renewed, Several Get Cancelled
With upfront week in the television industry now upon us, several network TV series have already learned their respective fates.
The most upsetting two pieces of news for fans of quality television are that ABC has cancelled both Invasion and Sons & Daughters. The cancellation of Sons & Daughters was almost a foregone conclusion due to its poor ratings (despite its critical acclaim), but Invasion was thought to have had a real shot at life for a second season.
With Commander in Chief just about dead in the water (with its three remaining unaired episodes set to be burned off in June on ABC), the feeling was that ABC wouldn't cancel both of its high-profile freshman dramas, especially since Invasion's ratings were only in the "fairly bad" category (as opposed to "God-awful"), and it didn't have the ratings collapse throughout its season that Commander in Chief experienced.
Making the situation worse for Invasion fans is that ABC has renewed the midseason drama What About Brian for a second season, despite the fact that What About Brian had the same fairly bad ratings and very little critical acclaim as compared to Invasion.
As for the other on-the-bubble ABC shows, Freddie and Hope & Faith did not make the cut, as both series have been cancelled. Crumbs, Rodney, The Evidence, and In Justice have not been oficially cancelled, but are expected to be cancelled in the very near future. According to Jim and George Lopez are still very much up in the air, although the blog posts of the creator of Sons & Daughters would seem to indicate that According to Jim got the nod for another season.
Over at Fox, The OC has been renewed as expected, despite its slumping ratings. The War at Home, a good comedy with mediocre ratings, has been renewed. Strangely, a second season renewal was also given to The Loop, a horrible comedy that was among the lowest rated shows of the season. Also, though it happened a few months ago, the fact that King of the Hill got renewed for another season is still shocking due to the horrible ratings that the show produces.
At NBC, Conviction and Teachers have been cancelled, with Joey, Four Kings, E-Ring, and Surface expected to follow very shortly (although Four Kings will at least get the dignity of having its remaining unaired episodes burned off in the summer).
The last major remaining on-the-bubble show for NBC is Scrubs. Honestly, any other TV show with the same ratings as Scrubs would probably have been cancelled two seasons ago, and would definitely have been cancelled last season. NBC is in a different position now because Scrubs is no longer its only critically acclaimed young comedy. With My Name is Earl and The Office as part of the landscape (both with better ratings than Scrubs), NBC no longer "needs" Scrubs in order to have a critically acclaimed young comedy. Scrubs' ratings were just about as bad as ever this past season, and The Office is regarded as far more buzzworthy and with far more of a potential upside in the future. We'll find out about Scrubs later this week.
On the new CW Network (the love-child of the UPN-WB merger), 7th Heaven has been renewed for another season, despite the fact that the so-called "series finale" of 7th Heaven just aired last week. This was a case of both sides (the network and the studio) playing hardball for the past several months, as the network took the position of, "It's no longer worth it for us to pay these huge rights fees for the show," followed by the studio taking the position of, "Well, we're not going to accept a decrease in the rights fees," followed by both sides storming off and saying, "Well, fine then!" (That is obviously not a word-for-word transcript.)
Ratings have a way of changing people's minds, so after the last few episodes of 7th Heaven performed very well in the ratings by WB standards (especially the so-called "series finale"), the two sides worked something out and now the show will be back in the fall.
Previously Confirmed-as-Cancelled Shows
For the purposes of being concise with upfront-related news, the only shows that I have discussed so far have been the shows whose fates were not known until the past few days. Plenty of shows from the 2005-2006 TV season were already confirmed as being cancelled in the previous weeks and months. Here is a list of those shows on all of the broadcast networks, listed alphabetically, followed by a couple of other lists for summary purposes.
Previously Confirmed as Cancelled This Season on ABC: Alias, Emily's Reasons Why Not, Hot Properties, Night Stalker
Previously Confirmed as Cancelled This Season on NBC: Apprentice: Martha Stewart (the Donald Trump version is not cancelled), Celebrity Cooking Showdown, Heist, Inconceivable, The Book of Daniel, West Wing, Will & Grace
Previously Confirmed as Cancelled This Season on Fox: Arrested Development (I miss it already), Head Cases, Killer Instinct, Kitchen Confidential, Malcolm in the Middle, Reunion, That '70s Show
Previously Confirmed as Cancelled This Season on CBS: Threshold, Yes Dear
Previously Confirmed as Cancelled This Season on UPN: Get This Party Started, Sex Love & Secrets
Previously Confirmed as Cancelled This Season on WB: Charmed, Just Legal, What I Like About You
Shows that have not yet been officially cancelled, but are widely believed to have very little chance of being renewed: Commander in Chief, Courting Alex, Crumbs, Cuts, E-Ring, Eve, Free Ride, In Justice, Jake in Progress, Joey, Less Than Perfect, Living with Fran, Mircale Workers, Out of Practice, Related, Renovate My Family, South Beach, Stacked, Still Standing, Surface, Survival of the Richest, The Evidence, Three Wishes, Twins
Shows that were just revealed as cancelled in the past couple of days: Conviction, Freddie, Hope & Faith, Invasion, Sons & Daughters, Teachers
Shows that were just renewed for an additional season in the past couple of days: 7th Heaven, The Loop, The OC, The War at Home, What About Brian
Labels: Television (Non-MMA)
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