The Cancellation Axe Swings
Network television’s fall casualties and survivors: Cancelled and renewed TVshows
There are many different television viewing tactics that can be employed when it comes to choosing which new TV series to devote your time to. Some diehard television enthusiasts choose to watch all the new shows and make their decisions based on pilots alone while some viewers give a show three or four episodes before deciding whether or not to continue watching the series. Some simply wait until they know the show will last before even starting the series because let’s face it, nothing is more frustrating than starting a TV show you genuinely enjoy only to find out it would be cancelled halfway through its run.
Unfortuately, many shows aren’t lucky enough to even get halfway through its run before the cancellation axe comes down, so to help you avoid disappointment, here’s a rundown on what’s been cancelled and what’s been picked up for a full season so far on the top five networks:
- Charlie’s Angels(ABC) – cancelled after 4 episodes
- How to be a Gentleman(CBS) – cancelled after 2 episodes
- H8R (CW) – cancelled after 4 episodes
- The Playboy Club (NBC) – cancelled after 3 episodes
- Free Agents(NBC) – cancelled after 4 episodes
- Suburgatory (ABC)
- 2 Broke Girls(CBS)
- Ringer (CW)
- The Secret Circle(CW)
- Hart of Dixie(CW)
- New Girl(FOX)
- Up All Night(NBC)
The series that received a full-season order are fortunate enough to get a complete 22-episode first season, but the next hurdle they’ll have to jump is getting renewed for the next fall season. Still, most of the shows given the pick-up are deserving of one if I do say so myself. NBC’s Up All Night is a great addition to the network’s crop of comedies and ABC’s Suburgatory has surprisingly delivered as a perfect lead-in to Modern Family. Jane Levy, who stars in the new comedy series, has been described as television’s Emma Stone and has serious breakout potential once the show ends.
But then there's Whitney, a show that defies the laws of the universe and receives a full season pick up even when it clearly shouldn’t. CW’s wildly disappointing Ringer should have been cancelled as well, but because the show is on the CW and because Sarah Michelle Gellar is the star, they’ve given it a go. I’ve now realized the only reason I continue to watch that show is because of Gellar, but even her hypnotizing power over me is beginning to wear off.
As for the list of shows that have gotten cancelled, well, there are no surprises there – especially if you’ve taken into account their struggling ratings. Because as much as Charlie’s Angels tried to be hip and cool and remodeled, it just wasn’t connecting with audiences and the same goes for Free Agents, The Playboy Club and H8R. CBS’s How to be a Gentleman on the other hand…well, who’s even heard of it? The only silver lining, depending on if you were a fan or not, is that ABC has chosen to air the rest of the Charlie’s Angels episodes that have already been filmed – all eight of them.
Meanwhile, Deadline reports that CBS procedurals, Person of Interest and Unforgettable are looking good enough to receive a full pick up. ABC has been doing pretty well too – Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing has a good chance for a full season pick up with the help of a strong premiere and steady ratings. Last Sunday, ABC’s Once Upon a Time also made its case, premiering as the No. 1 drama debut this season in Adults 18-49.
Shows like ABC’s Pan Am and FOX’s Terra Nova are still in the air. Pan Am, which delivered respectable ratings for its premiere, has unfortunately been free falling ever since, both in the ratings and creatively. Terra Nova, on the other hand, debuted to very underwhelming ratings, but has kept steady.
If there’s one thing to take away from all this, it’s that the TV industry is ruthless. If a show’s not a hit right out the gates, networks are quick to swing the axe down, but that’s show business for you.
Update: According to this CBS press release, Person of Interest and Unforgettable have been picked up for a full season.