Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TV Cancellations

It's that time of the year again: the time when the networks announce their fall lineups, and we discover what shows didn't make it to next year. I was obviously concerned about the fate of my favorite shows, but I'll take you through some of the other cancellations and my responses to them.
MY FAVORITES
  • Lost: Series Finale 5/23. That may be one of the saddest days of my life.
  • 30 Rock: Safe for now. It's been picked up for another season, but next year it's moving to a different time slot, with a Community lead-in rather than The Office. It's not exactly a ratings giant, so it may be in trouble if viewership sinks. Which, of course, would be a terrible loss.
  • Flashforward: Cancelled. This is truly unfortunate, since the show really just needed a chance to find its true footing. It had a great premise, great ideas, and the elements of a fantastic sci-fi show were present. All the show needed was to ditch its heavy-handed dialogue and make its characters more interesting. Which actually brings me to a theory about the show: in one episode, an advertisement for Oceanic Airlines could be seen. Maybe Flashforward is one of Lost's alternate universes, showing us what Lost would be with worse writing, bizarre plotting and boring characters.
  • Glee: renewed. And justly too, though the recent announcement that it would air after next year's Super Bowl seems a bit odd (do football fans and Gleeks intersect that much?). Still, its good to know there won't be a four-month layaway next season.
  • Heroes: cancelled. Admittedly, season four was pretty bad. It had great ideas, but terrible execution. But that volume was called "Redemption," which the show really should have had a chance to have. I might have enjoyed seasons two and three more than most, and I still believe in the show. Hopefully, that miniseries/TV movie that NBC is talking about to wrap up lose ends will happen, especially since the finale's cliffhanger has me hungry to know what happens next.
  • House: renewed. Because Fox wouldn't kill a certified hit. Though honestly, the show's been in a decline for me this season. Hugh Laurie and the rest of the cast are still great, but the show's writing has gotten really lazy lately, especially following the terrific season opener "Broken." The show needs to get back to what made it so good in the first place: exploring House's head.
  • Justified: renewed. And thank goodness too, because I can't get enough of Timothy Olyphant's entrancing performance in this contemporary western.
  • Modern Family: renewed. I'm glad ABC picked it up, even though it surprised no one. This is the year's best new comedy, and hopefully it can keep its creativity going next year.
  • Rescue Me: final season starts 6/29. I actually didn't know that this would be the final season; shame on me. Hopefully they'll go out with a bang.
  • V: renewed. Now, V won't return until midseason, but it miraculously secured a second season. Which I had never expected, since V isn't a ratings giant and, in my opinion, its worse than Flashforward. I keep watching it in hopes that the show I want it to be will finally emerge: an innovative, original sci-fi epic where the V's are ambigously sinister, and perhaps better integrated into human society, al a Alien Nation or District 9. Instead, we got the heavy fisted, unsubtle, politically-charged rah-rah-fight-the-power! mess that ABC renewed. I'll remain cautiously hopeful, and I'll still watch, but if it doesn't get better, I hope it's dropped.
OTHER SHOWS
  • TV is about to undergo a huge turnover, since a lot of top-quality, popular, game-changing shows will be leaving the air this season. I'm talking about Lost, 24, and Law & Order. The last of those is perhaps the most surprising one, since it will wrap up its historic 20th season this year, tying it with Gunsmoke as the longest-running primetime drama in history. One would think NBC would at least keep it around for one more, record-breaking season, and there seems to be a chance that might still happen, but as of right now the flagship series is over. Just think of that for a second: this show has been on since there was still a Soviet Union. Of course, it's not as popular as it once was during its '90s heyday, but the move is still shocking, especially since its being replaced with another L&O spin-off: Law & Order: Los Angeles (I imagine this one will go the way of Trial by Jury). I also wonder, if the original does get picked up by another network (TNT), does the new season still count since its on cable? Debate.
  • ABC also cancelled two of its other, lower-rated comedies: Better Off Ted and Scrubs. I never did get to see the former, which seemed like the kind of cult comedy (The Comeback, Arrested Development) that wouldn't last no matter how ingenious it is. Scrubs, on the other hand, is past its creative peak, and should have ended several years ago when it was still on top.
  • CBS still hasn't announced it's lineup, so anything could happen. I don't watch much of that network, though, so I don't have much investment there.
  • The CW hasn't cancelled much, but that's not much of an investment for me either.
So what do you think? Did any of your favorites bite the bullet?

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