Last week was furiously busy with announcements from networks about what shows they would and wouldn’t be bringing back, along with some new pilots ordered for the fall. There were even false reports surfacing, one which foretold the demise of Parks & Recreation, later contradicted by its renewal for a full twenty-episode season, with no end in sight. Among the chaos, there are some intriguing – and unfortunate – takeways.
Most Lamentable Cancellations
This science fiction series had an excellent pilot that saw inmates confined in Alcatraz in the 1960s reappearing and replaying their crime sprees in the present day. A slight lag midway through its season was corrected with two-hour installments through the fantastic cliffhanger finale. This is the kind of show that deserves to be saved by another network, and we can only hope that Syfy expresses interest before it’s too late.
This comedy series with Amanda Peet as a single mother and David Walton as her ineffective contractor wasn’t superb. Yet giving a show only six episodes to prove itself is hardly fair, and this show could definitely have evolved well over time if NBC had any interest in investing in its non-Thursday night comedy fare.
This show’s demise is much more notable for what it represents than for the show itself. The FOX comedy received an unexpected reprieve when the network reversed its decision in August to cancel it. Why, then, put it back on the air for just a month only to cancel it again? It’s a frustrating and unnecessary tactic that also led to the second death of Jericho several years back.
Some shows find audiences, and others don’t. Why this spinoff of Bones featuring Geoff Stults as an eccentric private investigator of sorts didn’t work is a mystery, and its cast is sure to move on to less impressive roles. Putting a show on competition-heavy Thursday nights only to move it to the Friday night dead zone isn’t exactly giving it a chance.
Most Surprising Renewals
CW doesn’t utilize the same criteria as the other networks to judge its hits. Buzzworthy newbies Ringer and The Secret Circle didn’t make it, but this sophomore series with less than exemplary ratings has been commissioned for another season. Though this critic watches loyally, it does seem unwise to try for more of the same if the same isn’t attracting viewers.
This show has been declining in quality for the past few years, and at a certain point, it’s time to give up, especially after the star’s exit leads to the worst season yet. Instead, NBC is sticking by one of its classic hits, keeping it on the air to ensure that, by the time it finally ends, it won’t have any shred of quality left.
Let’s call this a wishful renewal. This show hasn’t performed nearly as well as it should have for FOX to justify ordering more of it while cancelling its other two midseason series, Alcatraz and The Finder. The network likely wants to recapture the energy of its previous Kiefer Sutherland starrer, 24.
Continuing this show is a real head-scratcher, since it’s almost universally seen as terrible. Moving it from Thursday to Wednesday nights seemed like a negative sign, but instead this show is being given the headline spot for its new Friday night comedy hour, guaranteed to deter viewers from tuning into NBC on that night.