Tuesday, May 01, 2012
This is sort of weird Upfronts seasons. It’s just not the same without big viewer campaigns to save CHUCK. I hate when traditions die.
But here’s the latest scuttlebutt on the current shows that are on the bubble. Read this right now because in an hour it could all change.
FRINGE was already picked up for 13. GRIMM was already picked up. NBC is doing an interesting thing with GRIMM. They’re continuing production and their second season will premiere right after the Olympics in August. I imagine by June, after already working year round, everyone on the writing staff will be seeing monsters popping out of each other's heads.
SMASH already got picked up. No, it doesn’t get good ratings, but yes, NBC likes to be invited to Steven Spielberg parties.
PRIVATE PRACTICE looks good for 13 with the tiny caveat that it'll be their final season.
HARRY’S LAW is on the fence. If Kathy Bates could lose 20 years that would go a long way towards renewal. Let’s see how good a writer David E. Kelley is if he can pull that off.
NBC’s Thursday night comedies are all up for grabs. COMMUNITY is this year’s CHUCK. I’m personally hoping that PARKS & REC makes the cut. They did wonderful work this year. THE OFFICE should be back... but I don't with who. To me the big question is 30 ROCK. They’re already in syndication and Alec Baldwin has begun his annual “I’m leaving” mantra. Ratings have sucked but that’s true across the board for NBC. I would imagine it’s Tina Fey’s decision as much as NBC’s as to whether she wants to tee it up one time.
If there’s a God, WHITNEY will be gone.
BENT is gone, which is no surprise considering how NBC burned off the show then set its ashes on fire.
UP ALL NIGHT could go either way. It generally beats whatever’s on TELEMUNDO so for NBC that’s a big plus.
AWAKE is taking a new story line. In one reality he wakes to find his show cancelled. In the other he wakes to find his show picked up by Adult Swim.
Surprisingly, LAST MAN STANDING is on the bubble. I thought ABC was thrilled with this Tim Allen traditional comedy but apparently not. At the end of the day I think it will survive. After all, it has Nancy Travis!
CASTLE is another show that’s not a slam dunk but should squeak by. Hey, the CASTLE books are better than the CASTE show anyway.
CBS may have only one slot for a CSI spinoff. So it’s either CSI: MIAMI or CSI: NEW YORK, or they could just compromise and have CSI: CHARLOTTE.
ROB might get picked up. I’d prefer to see WHITNEY renewed for ten years.
DON’T TRUST THE B is, for my money, the best of the B-driven shows. Could go either way. If you like it, watch it, DVR it, and watch it another fifty times.
Still in contention is GCB because it's owned by ABC.
RINGER is a goner. Sarah Michelle Geller is not as big a star as she thought she was… even on the CW.
NYC 22 – There was always the question: what happens when these cops are no longer rookies? I don’t think they'll have to worry about that.
COUGAR TOWN or HAPPY ENDINGS? Depends on whether ABC wants to keep the small older audience or small younger audience that these shows attract.
SUBURGATORY – on ABC it’s on the bubble. If it were on NBC it would be the jewel of the schedule.
MISSING will be when the Fall Schedules are announced.
PAN AM – as dead as the real Pan Am.
THE RIVER – they’ll be crying one.
UNFORGETTABLE – CBS renewed everything else around it. Maybe they just forgot. Doesn’t look good.
THE FINDER – Can’t hold AMERICAN IDOL audience, which shocks me because the same people who like bad singers also like procedurals. It’s gone.
SCANDAL – I think it will survive. And Shonda Rhimes still has about one more year as ABC’s Teacher’s Pet.
A GIFTED MAN – flatline.
TOUCH – Kiefer Sutherland is a plus, the ratings are a minus. Will probably be back but they will ask Kiefer to start killing people.
THE SECRET CIRCLE – not promising. Maybe if they cast better looking girls.
BREAKING IN – This cat has only two lives. I expect it to be gone.
Other factors also come into play. License fees for one. There will be a lot of negotiating. Networks will offer renewals for reduced license fees. Whether the studios can produce them for those fees is another story. And then there are the pilots. If a network feels it has a strong batch of new shows it will be more likely to dump bubble series. If the development slate flames out, current shows might get a reprieve. Which explains CHUCK… year after year after year.
Good luck to your favorite show. Again, the winds could change and BENT anchors a night while BIG BANG THEORY gets canceled. You just never know.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM