Monday, November 21, 2011

What shows have YOU canceled lately?

In a sense you’re a network president. We all are. Especially with DVR’s, ON DEMAND, and streaming video. We program our own “networks” per se. The only real difference is that we don’t decide what shows to put on. But we do decide which shows to cancel.

My heart goes out to producers. Mounting a hit show was always next to impossible. Now it’s damn near impossible. Too many other channels, too many other options. You’ve got to grab an audience right away. And that game plan does not always lead to the best television shows.

The feature world is now built on that strategy. All Hollywood studios really care about is whether their movies open, whether they have big first weekends. That’s where they make most of their money, over that initial three-day stretch. So movies have to be splashy, they have to hook you in with big stars, or big explosions, or Shrek for the ninth time. A movie can be bad but if it’s marketed well, if the trailer is decent, or the big stars agree to go on Letterman to promote it, studios can profit off a turd. So what if no one shows up the second weekend? They’ve already got their payday.

But here’s the thing – in television for a show to make money you have to come back. Not just once but every week… for years. No one gets away with hit & run accidents in television.

Network presidents are in a bind. If a show struggles out of the gate, is it worth sticking with because like CHEERS and HILLSTREET BLUES it sometimes takes time to find your stride and audience? Or are you throwing good money after bad. Just like studios will never make MARS NEEDS MOMS II, why should they shell out the money for PLAYBOY CLUB XIV? And only developing shows to hit home runs out of the gate often leads to disaster when viewers don’t return. Things get GRIMM, so to speak.

That’s why every year freshman shows that the networks promote in October as “America’s #1 New Comedy” and “America’s #1 New Drama” get canceled by January. Meanwhile, the producers of BAD TEACHER are all in Hawaii celebrating.

So bringing it back to you – or more specifically, me (but you again soon): I program my own network. Thank you (semi) trusty DVR. I have season passes for certain shows. I have my “must see” shows like THE GOOD WIFE and “sure, why not?” shows like CSI now that Ted Danson is on it. I have my comedy nights if I’m in the mood, my movie nights when a title strikes my fancy. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you the time slots of most of the shows I watch. I think PARKS & REC is on Thursday but don’t hold me to it. All I know is that it’s there on the weekend. LOST was the last series I had to watch the night it was on. And before that, INSTANT BEAUTY PAGENT. But other than that, unless it’s a sporting event, I’m catching it on my schedule.

Or canceling it.

I set season passes for quite a few new series, and one by one this year I have canceled them. I beat NBC by a week on FREE AGENTS. UNFORGETTABLE (excuse me… THE REMEMBERER) was zotzed week two. PAN AM lasted three weeks. PERSON OF INTEREST just went bye-bye this week. (That lead is not Christian Bale no matter how much they try to make him Christian Bale). Actually, the only new series that remains is ONCE UPON A TIME. And so my average is about what a regular network’s is – I keep approximately one out of ten.

Then there are the established shows that I once liked (or loved) and now have gotten off the train. DEXTER. Maybe my favorite show the first two or three seasons. It dipped then came back strong the John Lithgoe year. But last year didn’t move me and this season I began watching and by the second episode I said, “God, this is tedious. I don’t give a shit about Angel and Maria and the office politics and the foul-mouth sister shacking up with another slimeball, and the cockamamie ‘code’, and yet another bizarre serial killer that the police mis-analyze but Dexter doesn’t, and the dad popping in to say he can’t do whatever it is at the moment he is doing even if it’s brushing his teeth.” I just reached a point where CLICK – no more dark traveler.

Same with COMMUNITY. I know fans are outraged that NBC put it “on hiatus” (read: kiss of death), but it just got too uneven for me. I appreciate how innovative and ambitious the show is, but with each format-bending episode I cared less and less about the characters, and if I’m not invested in the characters, ultimately I go away.

I was ahead of the pack on leaving GLEE. More and more Gleeks or Gleeniacs or whatever they call themselves now add an “ex” to the front of their title. And patients are coming in with Klingon diseases now on HOUSE. I don’t remember exactly when I canceled HOUSE but Cutthroat Bitch has been in three series since.

I imagine HAWAII 5-0 is the leading show that has been canceled over the last two years. And everyone who does says the same thing: “How did I keep this as long as I did?”

So now I throw it back to you. I’m curious. What shows have you canceled on your "network" and why? This will be less accurate than a Nielson survey but I bet way more fun. Thanks.


That Neil Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
That Neil Guy said...

The main one for me is The Simpsons. I stuck with it for 13 or 14 years, well into a time when I felt like it just wasn't really funny anymore. I finally just stopped altogether. Haven't seen it since maybe 2005.

Michael said...

I gave up on the The Office after it was announced James Spader was joining the show. Everything I have read online since has confirmed I made the right decision.

doggans said...

//Same with COMMUNITY. I know fans are outraged that NBC put it “on hiatus” (read: kiss of death), but it just got too uneven for me. I appreciate how innovative and ambitious the show is, but with each format-bending episode I cared less and less about the characters, and if I’m not invested in the characters, ultimately I go away. //

I disagree with this; most of the format-bending episodes only served to amplify what I loved about the characters.

This week's Apocalypse Now/Hearts of Darkness episode, for example, gave Dean Pelton a lot more depth, and managed to reframe almost every appearance he's made in the first two seasons. Last year's two-part paintball episode wasn't just a Family Guy-style parody of westerns and Star Wars, it was an exploration of the dynamic between Pierce and the rest of the characters in the study group.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

"House" is the first one that comes to mind for me. I gave up on it a long time ago. And "Gray's Anatomy" is on the cusp. I can't stand the "cute music" they play when it's supposed to be funny. If it comes into conflict with anything else I'm taping, it's the one that gets left behind.

RevChris01 said...

Hawaii Five-O! Scott Caan is just down right horrible in it. What's with his hair? Come to think of it, the whole cast is horrible. Masi Oka makes me cringe every time he has a scene. Sadly though, its like Walker, Texas Ranger; I watch it whenever I see its on.

I've also canceled: Revenge, Two and Half Men (can't stand Ashton), Sanctuary, Mike & Molly, How I met Your Mother, and a few others I can't think of.

ElizabethH said...

I'm just about to cancel Big Bang Theory. We are re-watching the first two seasons, and they are still hilarious & chock-full of scientific stuff, real punchlines, and unique characters. The new season is just Friends with Nerds, a hottie & a funny voiced girl. I cancelled Law & Order: ER (Elisabeth Roehm), because she's such a bad actor that she disturbed the plot line every time she emoted. I too cancelled the Simpsons, probably 4 years ago. Can't look away from Chopped yet. I need about 3 episodes in a row before I'm sated, although the formula and ALL THOSE COMMERCIALS is wearing thin. I still miss What About Brian, the precursor, sort of, to Parenthood. Which I like, but which stresses me out. So much sturm und drang. Still loving Necessary Roughness. And will Conan ever stop appearing on tv? Watch him sometime without the sound on. It's downright embarrassing.

olucy said...

In the last year I've "cancelled": House, Parenthood, 30 Rock, The Office, Psych; I picked up NO new shows this season. I've pared down my viewing so much this year, I'm considering cancelling cable this weekend.

Thom said...

Well most recently The mentalist.Before that Criminal minds (I get it before the act break it's either '' This guy's not gonna stop'' or ''We only have 48 hours until he never kills again'')

Also The Simpsons (watched it for a season to see what it was all about).

Greys anatomy long time ago, it got to bad. private practice (Tim Daly and Taye Diggs are just atrocious actors)

Two and a half men (I should have done that sooner)

I'm close to calling in quits on House. Last season was getting tedious but it's just plain boring now.

I almost quite breaking bad, there was a real lull after the second episode until the last 4. Glad I didn't though.

HIMYM has to get better soon or I'm gonna quite it.

Retro Blog said...

I have been dissatisfied since Charles Bronson was killed off in "The Travels of Jamie McPheters" and that is eon's ago in television viewing years. So my inner curmudgeon had to make to with do with PBS until the food channels and HGTV came along. Phew!

I may be a closet liberal.

Tod Hunter said...

Thank God I'm not the only one who can't look away from "Chopped." Ken, if you haven't turned your eye to that weird feast on Food Channel I'd love to hear your take on it.

My personal cancellation was "Castle" at about half-past season two. The oh-so-cutesy will-they-or-won't-they tension bored me. He was trying too hard to be quirky, she was trying too hard to be a hardass, the mother and the teen daughter living with him was too sitcom-y, and as I recall the crimes were cutesy too, like a writer stabbed with a quill. Check please.

WV: vilonath -- Klingon musical instrument

jb said...

"Boss" with Kelsey Grammer, canceled by us for a complete lack of believability. Never mind the ridiculous sex scenes--you can't set a show in Chicago and have not a solitary soul speak with a Chicago accent.

Please Leave Name said...

Since I don't watch much network Tv (and because I was just this close to sending out my spec for Pan Am), I'll limit my comments to the cable shows.

Off my list.

HUNG (HBO) -- it held promise the first year, but fell apart year 2 and continues to slide.

BOSS (Showtime) -- it's starting to lose me because, although Kelsey is good, the show itself seems to repeat itself every episode.

HOMELAND (Showtime) -- It was sooooo obvious that Sgt Brody wasn't the turned American and that Sol was the real bad guy that when I told my wife how it all would turn out she asked, "How do you know?" And I did. When you can predict the plot and how it's all going to fall out, it's never good.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO) -- I just don't care about the characters.

HELL on WHEELS (AMC) -- Watched the first episode with mild interest, but it quickly turned predictable and I wont bother with anymore of the show.

Mark said...

We sampled a handful of new shows this year and didn't stick with any of them. At one time we enjoyed each Law & Order, CSI, and NCIS. Now they're all gone. (It wasn't a quality dip as much as 'it's always the same, and even though there's nothing WRONG with it, why bother?')

The Simpsons is long gone too, although we held out long after it stopped being great, or even good. But there reached a point where it got so bad that we realized it was ruining it's first few seasons (we own the first 9 seasons on dvd).

Ironically, most of our television viewing is done through Netflix or our own dvds: MASH, Cheers, Frasier, and the first 6 or 7 years of The Simpsons will never get canceled in our house.

We still enjoy 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory (which is probably in its last season in our house anyway), and Modern Family.

Rob said...

I watch nothing current but The Middle and The Walking Dead. I haven't watched NBC since Friday Night Lights. Sampled a few new shows and didn't make it past the pilots (Charlies, Gentleman, Person of Interest, Last Man Standing - ugh!). Otherwise it's MASH, Cheers, Simpsons, All in the Family and My 3 Sons on cable.

Colleen Kelly Mellor said...

I find myself less tolerant with my years (66), altho' it seemingly only applies to my choices in television. As such, I 'canceled' House (too damned repetitive in the 'Dr. is always right (but boorish in the way he self-indulges via his points);' Glee never really had me (but apparently I'm the anomaly); I credit my having been a teacher to this. But what you say in your piece today--that we have little stick-to-itevness regarding choices operates in all realms. I know as journalist I have to hook in first sentence or my reader's 'gone;' and I know no one would be running today to pick up each week's segment of Charles Dickens's latest episode in the local newspapers (as they did in the day). Why? Public doesn't have the time (work crazy hours)and too many choices. Dickens's work took work on the part of the reader. He or she had to invest, and just as with excellent programming with complex story lines, public doesn't necessarily wish to do that. Much easier to turn on the trash that takes no investment. But am I heartened by some? I love "Good Wife" and pretty much anything by PBS (never thought I was an anglophile), and I salivate at thought of another episode of Britain's 'Doc Martin.' Apparently Britain does, too, for that show's no.1 but I never knew that delicious litttle fact, when I became a fan.

Holly said...

I canceled:

(after they left Agrestic, it went downhill)

Breaking Bad
after three seasons, Hank became the protagonist and any storyline that didn't involve him just made me mad about how stupid and mean the other characters were)

Up All Night
(After one episode, too sweet)

Grey's Anatomy
(after Meredith drowned and came back to life)

(after season one -- Regionals was over, what more could there be?)

Melissa Banczak said...

well, I was still watching Homeland, (a few eps behind) but now I don't need to thanks to leave your name please.

Community was hit and miss. I loved the western paintball ep and....well, that was the one I liked.

I know it's long gone but the writers of Torchwood need to take me out to lunch and apologize for some of the worst writing on television. How could a show have that many characters doing dumb things? More than once, a characters announced to the bad guys that they were going to turn them in while having their back to a wall and no way out of the room. Ahh, and you were surprised they tried to or did kill you? Bad, bad bad writing.

Castle is fun when they are being playful (I love the two cops that only seem to be errand boys. Give them their own show) but I turn it off in a hurry when it's something to do with her mother's killer. Boring.

Terra Nova. Wow. The writers and producers are clueless to the fact that the teenagers are incredibly boring. The most interesting character is the son of the guy who runs the place. And in the two eps I watched, he was only alluded to!

Tried Once upon a time. It just felt like a bad soap opera.

Never watched the Good Wife, but Ken you talk about it so much I might have to. It's not a soapy thing is it?

Watched the first ep of Two broke girls. Never even smiled. Bad, bad, bad. Tried the one with zoey D (not going to try to spell her name) and wow, did she try to hard. It was embarrassing how bad it was.

Thank god for football season and I may have to try baseball again in spring.

Melissa Banczak said...

Retro Blog : if you haven't read it yet, go look for a copy of The Travels of Jamie McPheters. My favorite book when I was a kid.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

I watch so few shows these days that I'm not in a position to cancel anything.

Homeland's a brilliant find. I've been meaning to see it ever since 24 ended, since I always pick shows based on who's running it, and Homeland's essentially run the same people.

I actually think The Simpsons has improved in the last 3 years or so. Going HD widescreen and changing the 3 act story structure was a big improvement for me. I still watch Futurama religiously as well.

Fringe is the only Abrams show I still follow. I gave Persons of Interest a brief chance before dropping it.

Modern Family and The Office are still keepers, even if they feel a little worn around the edges and repetitive these days.

I might drop Terra Nova. I'm not sure yet. The network might drop it first, given Fox's track record with sci-fi.

Matt said...

I just cancelled "Ringer" because Buffy love only gets you so far. How do you hire Sarah Michelle Gellar and then write her TWO boring characters?! I cancelled Pan-Am after the premiere. I cut Family Guy because I don't find it surprising anymore. Glee is stacking up, not sure I'll ever get to that again.

Anonymous said...

I just got rid of 'The Walking Dead'. I don't consider myself an avid comic book freak, but every single issue of the graphic novel did more for me than the disturbingly trivial borefest that is season two.

Another one on my list is 'The Big Bang Theory' - I think they've pretty much told every story there is to tell.

danrydell said...

I left Grey's after one-and-a-half seasons. It was great and then...then we went to Cuckoo Land.

This year, I started with Revenge, but got bored. Same with Ringer. I love me some SMG, but this show is dull.

I dropped Big Bang Theory after they moved it to Thursdays because I will always watch 30 Rock, P&R, and Community.

Shows that always start out great and then slip into unwatchable? Anything by David E. Kelley. No one can walk that quirky / annoying line for long, and he always slips to annoying after a while.

Mac said...

I stuck with the Simpsons for way too long before I had to admit the painful truth. Not that there aren't still good episodes, there are, it's just far too hit-and-miss to wade through. That was a show where once, even a lesser episode still unmissable.
I haven't cancelled Family Guy but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it. Still some excellent episodes but it's just nowhere near as consistent as it used to be.

nairam_tdlowneorg said...

Mad Men: There is so little "clear" content in every episode, that i started to lose interest in it. It's just the pace of the whole show, i watch 3 episodes in a row and it's like: ok, what did just happen? to be honest, not much...

The Cleveland Show: Family Guy (i have to watch it, still one of the best shows ever), American Dad (the same), but Cleveland Show is just not funny enough to keep watching

Curb your enthusiasm: I dunno... life of Larry David is after the "cool concept!"-thought, not interesting at all, and most important, not funny enough, but i still love Seinfeld...

Cougar Town: i didnt like it from the beginning, but i'm such a big fan of Bill Lawrences Scrubs, that i still can't believe (and im in season 2) that this is his work! its not funny, its not interesting, it feels like he is settled in the suburbs and boring the shit out of himself, so he thought: why not do a show with my best mates and get a lil more money. shame on you bill! i want a real show! so i keep watching with the hope its turning into one...

sorry for my bad english...

bettyd said...

I gave up on Chuck after season 2. I had about 13 episodes on my DVR when we had to move. We were getting a new surround sound high end TV system and needed a new DVR, so didn't even try to watch them. I figured if I let them stack up this long, it probably was off my radar.

I tried The New Girl a few times, but I am in the Zooey D is annoying, not "adorkable" category.

I want to be rid of Glee but let me daughter watch most epis - but I have to watch first, as she is a bit too young for some of them (like a few weeks ago when two couples lost their virginity). This means I usually watch it twice!

I usually keep up with shows I have liked to the end - I stayed with ER through the end; Roseanne even through the strange last season; Boston Legal to the final stupid ending; and I'm hanging in there with Desparate Housewives, but if this wasn't the final year, I'd be out - it is really bad this year!

I love Hawaii 5-0. I see it is as fun camp with some action thrown in.

Dodgerbobble said...

I've cancelled Law & Order:SVU, The Office & 30 Rock. I just got burnt out on anything Law & Order. The office is not the same without Steve Carrell. I can pinpoint the reason I fell out of love with 30 Rock, but it's cancelled.

Very close to cancelling House & Walking Dead. The supporting cast members on House were always great, and I enjoyed watching him interact with them, but it doesn't feel like it's working as well with some of these new cast members.

Walking Dead has gone away from all the "zombie killing fun" to "way too much story". I hope the writers can get back to more walkers getting shot soon.

Shows I'm not cancelling any time soon: Hell on Wheels and Homeland.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii 5-0. PanAm (It was interesting the first show when it was actually about the luxury of international travel at the beginning of the jet age. Now it's just tedious.

J. Allison said...

We tried Up All Night because of Will Arnett but gave up after two episodes. I know comedies need a while to find their way and we might go back if that happens here but the characters seemed forced.

Dropped Family Guy a couple of seasons ago. I thought the writing went from edgy funny to shock for its own sake, which is never funny.

We watched Glee for the first couple seasons...I was in only for Jane Lynch. She's great, but that character can really only go so far. Some of the musical numbers used to be fun but even that got old after a while.

James O'Hearn said...

Person of Interest is out? *sigh* My family liked that show a lot, actually. It was our favorite show of the new season.

cadavra said...

This season, I made it five minutes into the second episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY and then said, "Enough." UP ALL NIGHT lasted two; ALLEN GREGORY barely made it through the first. TERRA NOVA is now gone; great dinosaurs, boring humans. I'm barely hanging on to GIFTED MAN, but Ehle and Martindale may not be enough to keep me much longer. On the other hand, I too have returned to CSI now that Danson's onboard, and came back to GREY'S briefly when Peter MacNicol was recurring.

And I like UNFORGETTABLE. So there.

WV: "scromor"--English estate run by people of bad taste.

Eric said...

Once Apone a Time

Though, in response we greenlighted Grimm. It's basically a remake of The X-Files, and is not a bad one at that.

I was pretty sure Community was going to be cancelled. It was just too specific. It reminded me of Sports Night, so this time I was prepared. I watched it, and enjoyed it, knowing that it would end too soon but it's better for them to end too soon rather than too late.

normadesmond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blaze said...

My wife and I have about a dozen shows snagged during the week (like you, I have little idea what night they actually air).

Of those dozen shows, only about 3 or 4 "grab" us. Where we actually are keen and eager to see what unfolds this week.

The remainder are full of saggy parts and plot holes, but are still tolerable. We watch them because (strictly in terms of television entertainment) the alternative is has-beens trying to dance or home renovations ad nauseum. I'll take a show with a "not Christian Bale" over another cake decorating epic any day.

normadesmond said...

but i'm adoring "enlightened."

James O'Hearn said...

Just curious... when was Person of Interest canceled? Last week there were near 12 million viewers, almost as many as the Mentalist, and the episode came second in the 18-49 demo.

RevChris01 said...

I don't believe Ken meant that Person of Interest was actually canceled. I think he meant he actually canceled it (I canceled it within the first 20 minutes).

James O'Hearn said...


Ah. Indeed you are right. Chalk it up to poor reading comprehension, and/or glazed eyes after getting home from work.

-bee said...

I didn't realize till you asked the question that I don't often give up on shows once I begin watching them regularly.

Here are the shows still on the air I've stopped watching.

- The Simpsons
- Antique Roadshow (still fine, but I started watching How I Met Your Mother)
- Saturday Night Live
- 60 Minutes (I don't know if its because they became more biased or if I just started to recognize it).

I know what you mean about Community, but as long as there are great episodes amongst the not-great ones I will continue watching.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

After further thought: I've given up on Law and Order SVU after many years of watching. Watched Hawaii 5-0 once, and that was enough. I'm still watching Harry's Law, although I realize it's kind of silly. I liked it better last season--not crazy about all the new characters, the new offices, etc. If they start singing, however--which most David E. Kelley shows seem to do--it's gone. Also gave up on How I Met Your Mother.

iain said...

Put me down for another "House" cancellation. Also, although it may not fit your exact definition, I've also cancelled "Monday Night Football," which used to be an event, but now is more of a, "Huh, I forgot it's on" thing.

Of course, the fact that the Browns stink out loud & rarely get near a national game has probably contributed as well.

Ron said...

Terra Nova
Allen Gregory
2 Broke Girls
Covert Affairs
My targeting radar is starting to acquire Bones, NCIS and House.

Ben Scripps said...

The last show I stuck with for any measurable length of time, then just gave up on outright was "Heroes". (I want credit for lasting through three seasons, though.)

Before that, once Noah Wyle and the Serbian guy on "ER" went to Africa at the end of one of their seasons, that did it for me.

Of current series, the only one from the fall that really piqued my interest was "Pan Am", and when I lost interest halfway through the first episode, I took that as a bad sign and gave up right then and there. My own personal "Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos".

WV: somick. When the Rolling Stones do a concert on Fox, this will be their slogan.

Johnny Walker said...

I don't keep abreast of the latest shows. I tend to see how they end before I take a leap. That said, shows that are still on the air that I don't watch include:

The Simpsons - Those first five seasons will stand the test of time. It gets patchy after that.

Family Guy - I stopped watching when it was cancelling the first time.

Two and a Half Men - Never a big fan, the show became unwatchable with Kutcher.

How I Met Your Mother - A show for romantic men! Sadly the first episodes of season six jumped the shark for me. It suddenly got weirdly broad.

Little Miss Nomad said...

I quit Burn Notice a while back because it got too convoluted with the greater arc (Who set up over Michael and why? Oh, wait, there was another guy behind this guy? I give up.) and the weekly stories just felt like more of the same. I've picked up three new shows this year -- Revenge, Hart of Dixie (oddly), and Once Upon a Time, but if Once Upon a Time doesn't get a little more interesting, I might not stay with it. It's pretty slow.
I will not give up on Community. Ever.

Barbara C. said...

I don't watch much television anymore, just Breaking Bad and The Office. But that's probably because my husband and I got into them late via Netflix. My only "can't miss" show is Dr. Who.

I used to keep up with House and Bones on Hulu, but towards the end of the last season of both just didn't hold my time and attention.

In the past, I dumped Desperate Housewives after season 1. It just seemed to go over the top/soap opera in season 2. I dumped Grey's Anatomy whatever season Private Practice spun off. I only stuck with it as long as I did because I loved Kevin McKidd in Rome.

RS Gray said...

So far this season we've cancelled:

Boardwalk Empire - I know I liked it last year, but every time I see it on the DVR list I find myself getting tired and so haven't watched it. I think I've reached the "It's not me, it's you" phase.

Dexter - Totally agree with your assessment. The show had a gift-wrapped opportunity following the John Lithgow season to throw the premise on its head and have Dexter fleet Miami as a fugitive. Instead they chose the same old boring routine with ever-diminshing returns. Not officially "cancelled", more like "on-hiatus", with two weeks of episodes unwatched on the DVR.

Walking Dead - quite literally. Loved the first season, hate that the second season has been one big detour. Can't bear one more prolonged talk about "what it all means". If they don't find Sophie and get the hell out of the farm of Dr. Moreau and on their way to Ft. Benning by next episode, they're dead to me.

Jim S said...

Homeland lost me last night. It went from a character-based story with a plot to a plot-driven story with these particular characters.

House lost me when House went from a devil's advocate who cared about patients in his own way and tested people's beliefs and predjudices to being just a jerk or even a willfully evil man.

Fraiser (sorry Ken) lost me when I had to work on Tuesday nights and could only tape one show. Angel won. I realized that I didn't miss Fraiser. Same with The X-Files. It was winter,t he show was in reruns and a new show called The Sopranos came on during the same time. Back in 1999, there were no DVRs or OnDemand. So I watched the Sopranos and when X-Files came back with new shows, I stuck with the Sopranos.

Murphy Brown was a show that I dropped consciously. The kid was the last straw. Murphy as a character I could watch was OK. But the notion that she could be a mother and I would want to watch was a bridge too far.

Mark Fearing said...

House - painful to watch now and think about how good it used to be.

Terra Nova - good to fall asleep to

Community - neh. other things to do.

kent said...

Thanks to you I have added JUSTIFIED & I think there are three good new dramas this year, BOSS, HOMELAND & PRIME SUSPECT. For comedy, LAST MAN STANDING shows some promise.

On the other side of the ledger I have dropped UP ALL NIGHT, 2 BROKE GIRLS & NEW GIRL; while TWO & 1/2 MEN, PERSON OF INTEREST & BODY OF PROOF are on the brink.

kent said...

A note to "PLEASE LEAVE NAME..."

Re HOMELAND you seem to have spoken to soon, the 11/20 episode ended with the revelation that BRODY was "turned" along with his pal Walker. Guess it wasn't as obvious as you thought.

Anonymous said...

Gave up on Good Wife when she turned smug (this was the episode wherein the writers are utterly clueless about what a religious leader does) near end of season one. At that point, it was clear it was going to be a soap.

Like Vampire Diaries. I watches a few episodes because of the clever ways the writers played with the tropes of standard Urban Fantasies, but when it was clear no one was going to change, just go on to angst fests forever, I lost interest.

Lost interest in Supernatural when it became clear that it was basically Fight Monsters Forever, and suffer PTSD emotional trauma, without a hope of mythic worldbuilding, inspite of the mythic figures. Though the meta eps (the writer who was writing the guys as they lived their lives) were pretty awesome, especially the awareness of the fans.

Liked Third Rock and Community until the jokes began to recycle and the characters turned to cartoons.

Hated The Office and Extras--there's that Dorothy Parker ennui that makes me think, who cares?

Adored Big Love--which ended exactly when it needed to. Still rewatch West Wing, which again ended when it needed to.

Still watching Mad Men, but just as I was thinking, hmm, this is going toward soap, the word came they're going to cap it. Yay.

Hate serial killers are cool spinoffs from Hannibal Lector ridiculousness, so have no opinion on any of them.

Sherri said...

Community and Glee have both been hit or miss, but so far Glee has just managed to hang on my Tivo Season Pass while Community fell off. I think it's timing as much as anything; every time I've been ready to delete it, Glee has come through with a good episode.

I tried twice with Harry's Law, last season and this season, because I like Kathy Bates that much, but nope, couldn't take it.

I thought Boardwalk Empire was impressively done, but I just didn't care.

I didn't make it past the pilot of either Falling Skies or Terra Nova. I'm hanging onto Ringer just because it gets more ridiculous every week.

I watch The Good Wife, Castle, and a bunch of cable stuff: The Closer, the interchangeable USA blue sky shows, Dr. Who. I continue to watch House and Grey's Anatomy out of habit. I actually liked Prime Suspect, though it shouldn't have been named Prime Suspect.

Bella D said...

I've dropped Community...dropped it sometime last season. It's not that it isn't funny; I just really don't enjoy several of the characters. Annie and Shirley get on my nerves a lot, and the rest are okay, but I'm not invested in them. Donald Glover is hilarious, though.

I dropped 24 for good during Season 6, when the writers got either lazy or cocky after winning an Emmy, then proceeded to completely ruin Jean Smart's and Gregory Itzin's characters that I'd loved so much in Season 5.

The Office lost me a long time ago. I'm really tired of that format. The Big Bang Theory was never funny, to me. I always feel like I'm watching a sitcom from 20 years ago. It doesn't feel fresh or modern, and the jokes are lazy, generic nerd jokes.

Anonymous said...

Simpsons, Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica before I jumped back in, Modern Family, Allen Gregory

Anonymous said...

From Paulette

I canceled Community and House; I just lost interest. I thought I would be doing the same with The Office, but ended up loving James Spader on the show. If it wasn't for him I would probably skip it because I don't like Andy as the manager.

Mike said...

I'm thinking of dumping television entirely. The level of sexual dialogue is just too much, and not a good influence on children. That the cartoons are even worse is just horrible.

mickey said...

Haven't left it yet, but I'm getting very annoyed with "Sons of Anarchy." Way too much indiscriminate killing, and in such volume. The characters were interesting; now it's just too unbelievable that all these people can be betraying and doublecrossing each other without getting a clue, and causing all this mayhem and bloodshed with no consequences. I liked Jax better on Undeclared

Adrastos said...

I finally gave up on House. Got tired of sporadic excellence mixed in with total crapola.

Loosehead said...

Was all ready with my (smallish) list, and started reading your other posters here. Turns out there's loads of shows I have stopped watching, till I'm now left with

House - have to watch the last series, so I don't have to ever again. Also, I like that he has his epiphany at 52 minutes, exactly, every time, into the recording.

Criminal Minds - lots of pervy sex crimes, and Hotch is such a total repressed basket case they should lock him up too.

NCIS - my 75 year-old mum fancies Gibbs and my wife fancies Tony. I fancy Ziva, so who cares about the show itself.

Burn Notice - those LEGS go on for ever. I will watch this til the day I die.

Mentalist - Cho is just a scream, but the lead female is a waste of space.

Terra Nova - losing the will to live on this, but I want to see whats with the hieroglyphs, and when they discover the lost city.

Haven - losing the will to live on this too, and its gonna be gone off my TV in a couple of weeks unless something happens.

Castle - more legs for me to perve at. Stories are rubbish, but Nathan is a laff.

CSI-some town somewhere - Horatio and Calleigh know why we watch, and they both play up to it with the shades and the boobs and overdone makeup. And Calleigh too boom-tish.

Used to watch Fringe, but once a dozen episodes mounted up on my DVR I couldn't be bothered to watch them. Same with Dexter. Walking Dead gave me nightmares (I'm 55), so its gone. Chuck, chucked - she took too long to give it up.

Dave said...

The correct term is "Glee-tards".

Ref said...

I keep canceling "Whitney" but it just won't go away!

JimBriggs said...

The Office
CSI - Anything
30 Rock
Top Chef/Iron Chef/Chopped/etc.
The Middle
New Girl
2 Broke Girls
Last Man Standing

One more chance: Up All Night

On the other hand, I had Happy Endings cancelled but kept watching for some reason and now I'm starting to like it. Same thing happened the first year with Parks and Rec. (not that Happy Endings is in the same league)

The Jnow said...

Haha, that's Easy, considering I made such a decision last Sunday. I have NEVER been a fan of the Zombie genre, so it was always going to be an uphill battle for me, but I FINALLY gave "The Walking Dead" the pink slip last week. I know people are saying, "it's so much better than last season, and blah blah blah..." I think the zombies have eaten their brains. The show CONTINUES to spin in circles with faux-revealing moments that are meant to make us "care". I think I started filling out the paper work two weeks ago when the only Zombie action was when the group "stupidly" decided (read: the writers needed a zombie scene in the episode) to pull a waterlogged zombie out of the well because they were afraid of contamination. It was SO STUPID, and guess what? Said zombie split in two, zombie blood everywhere, and water contaminated ANYWAY.

Last week was BORING, and then there was a so-called "twist", or the suckers who like this show thought it was a twist. I was like, that's it?! I'm done. I'll just recap it on the from now on.

Chad said...

I tend to be pretty loyal for shows that were initially good. For example, I still watch House, despite its astoundingly inferior form. Same with Burn Notice, in part because I'm a sucker for popcorn entertainment. To me, the sign of a really good show is one that maintains or even increases its ambition (and/or quality) despite the newness wearing off. I can't think of better examples right now than Mad Men or Breaking Bad -- the latter, despite all odds, continues to improve. A show that makes me shake in anticipation/dread four seasons in is a rare gem, and I believe, a lot to ask as a viewer. Shows such as Homeland will be interesting to follow as it ages. Right now, it's amazing, but I can easily see it sinking into some sort of autopilot.

There are some shows I just can't stick with, though. Dexter is definitely one of them. I have long since said farewell to The Simpsons. I've given up on Supernatural this season. These all feel like shows that are amazed to be around and have no idea what they're doing, or just do the same thing over and over. I suppose that includes House, but none of the others have Hugh Laurie.

The only new shows I included this year are Homeland and Suburgatory. Still watching both of them right now.

Roger Owen Green said...

The Office - watching it by last January was painful.

Older shows - 24. Some point in season 2 when it was both cryptofascist and gross.
Law & Order - when Lenny Briscoe left
Simpsons - after about season 9.

For the first time maybe ever, I added NO new shows. Saw pieces of two or three comedies, all cringeworthy (one was 2 Broke Girls, the others I don't even remember).

Anonymous said...

I canceled Grey's Anatomy after the second episode this year. The focus back to Meredith did it for me. I forgot how much I couldn't stand her while she was more in the background for the past few seasons. I like the other characters but there's too much of her again.

Canceled Desperate Housewives after a few episodes last season.

This season canceled 2 Broke Girls, Person of Interest, Playboy Club and a few others after an airing or 2.

Mike Botula said...

For us, our DVR is a very recent addition to our household. We used to actually have to pay attention to the schedule. The first three shows to be programmed in the new DVR: "Boardwalk Empire","Bones" and "The Daily Show". Old favorites that are now by-passed include: NCIS (the headslaps just got tedious), the Law & Order Trilogy-starting first with "Criminal Intent," "Law & Order" (post Lennie Briscow) and now "SVU." (plots got ridiculous, and finally they dumped Elliot). We did have hopes for "Law and Order LA" after they revamped the cast-keeping the skinhead cop and "killing off" the suit. But then the net starting playing the timeslot roulette game and it finally disappeared. Now the most popular show at our house on the weekend is any time the 49'ers are playing. We don't need to set a DVR for that. Everybody shows up in their best 9'ers Red with the beer at least an hour before kickoff.

Barry Traylor said...

I only managed 1 and a 1/2 weeks of Terra Nova. Is it still on?

Anonymous said...

GLEE. When it first went on, it was snarky (we all love snark) and funny. Now it's preachy and soapy.

L. F. said...

I've cancelled Castle, and just last night, Raising Hope. New Girl just made the cut, but Spy is looking dangerous right now... Yes, I watch everything on Hulu.

But please give Community another shot. I'm with doggans above, every episode, format bending or not, give me a deeper understanding of the characters.

I will admit that this is season has been uneven, but I think it's had 3 good episodes in a row now, which I'd like to think is a trend.

Chris said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the writers of GLEE and HOUSE actually read this blog and paid attention to what their former viewers were saying. The only word for most of the characters on those shows is insufferable. Ah, well, I guess they're too isolated and too well-paid to care. Plus, to be fair, an awful lot of people still watch. Me, I'm happy to have those couple of hours back for better things.

Kevin Jq said...

I stuck with the Office for the first few episodes w/o Carrell, stopped watching and caught last week's 'Gettysburg'. It was so horrifyingly bad I couldn't stop watching.

30Rock. After last year's finale I was done, the second part of the season was so half-assed it was like watching a mad dash to get to the syndication mark. Actually seeing it in syndication on WGN has helped kill it for me too, episodes I thought were hilarious...aren't anymore.

Anonymous said...

It's probably easier to say what new shows have "stuck" with me this year.

So far it's only "once upon a time" and Grimm.

Old favorites that have been relegated to the burn bin...House, Bones, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Hawaii-50, CSI, Walking dead".

Must see within 2 days of airing...Justified, Fringe and Chuck.

Matt Patton said...

I've never had nor wanted a DVR, and there aren't many shows that I actually watch on a regular basis, although if I miss Parks and Recreation, I do catch up with On Demand (nice service).

The show I've pretty much given up on is Bones, which I started watching when my niece was living with us -- the cast is as winning as ever, but the scripts have become cutesy and insufferable to the point of inducing vomiting.

beauty_awake said...

I really need to do some cancelling but the only one I have officially done is: Hawaii Five-O.

Masi Oka is just an embarassment.

Others include:

Bones. I have been ready for such a long time (2 seasons) right now, I am just watching out of loyality. Not enjoyment.

The New Girl- I am so annoyed by the show but it is so out there that it is funny. I just can't stand the show!

Law and Order: SVU- Plain and simple... The chemistry between Meloni and Hargitay was MAGIC. With Meloni gone they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

The Walking Dead- Zombie are better film fodder.

House- UGH. Seriously?

Big Bang Theory- It is losing it's funniness for me. I will hangout and hold out for at least this season but it is losing ground.

Ironically, I adore:

Castle (for those of you who gave up... they are getting together!)

Terra Nova (it just is fun),

2 Broke Girls (Nick Zano has MADE that show)

Prime Suspect (Maria Bello and the dude who plays Duffy are killing it)

Pan Am- I seriously adore this show. It is fantastic... just needed a bit to get into it.

Frank said...

I have no recent cancellations since I only watch reruns of classic sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show,Cheers, and Taxi on MeTV. I did cancel Saturday Night Live about a decade ago though and still pray that its death will be painless.

Ike Iszany said...

For me it's "Person of Interest". It's the only new show to get past week one for me but there wasn't anything to keep me tuned in between "Big Bang Theory" and 9 PM. Add that this season is the first time "Big Bang..." has been on On Demand I have little need to be in front of my TV on Thursday night. Now if they'd add "Person of Interest" to On Demand I'd probably stick with it. I wouldn't rule out buying the first season on DVD when it comes out.

As you may have guessed I am all about watching TV shows when and how I want to. Sans commercials, network logos and promos for other shows over the show I am watching is best.

But funny that you'd mention Jim Caviezel and Christian Bale in the same sentence because for me 'Person of Interest" was just an uncostumed Batman.

The Ames Family said...

Canceled Shows:

House - Last season was just plain painful. It was gone by February.

Chuck - Loved the first 3 seasons, and they he because super spy and they lost me. Where's my nerdy boy?!

The Office - The last several seasons haven't been funny. :(

On the bubble:

The Mentalist - It's corny. It's always been corny, and I think the show itself knows that. Part of what I like about it! But this season is a bit too much, even for me.

Modern Family - Not really a "bubble" just not as funny as last season. The episode where the ad is put on the minivan makes me cry I laugh so hard!

LOVING this season: THE GOOD WIFE (WOW!), PERSON OF INTEREST (JC can smolder at me all he wants), NCIS (not the best season, but starting to pick up), PARENTHOOD (though I agree with a previous post, it stresses me out!)

John Royal said...

Haven't seen one episode of SNL this year and don't think I'm missing anything. Whitney lasted one episode and Two Broke Girls made it two.

I quit House when Cutthroat Bitch and Kumar and Thirteen were just starting. I quit Desperate Housewives two years ago. And Hawaii Five-0 lost me with one too many cliffhangers. I'm only still watching How I Met Your Mother because I lust for Robin.

Thanks for ruining Homeland. I'm a few episodes behind, but some jerk just had to be a smartass. And I gave up on How To Make It In America 15 minutes into the pilot.

jcs said...

Hawaii 5-0: I had high expectations and wanted to like the show. But the characters are two-dimensional, the plots have gaping holes and there's no chemistry between the characters.

I stopped watching "Free Agents" after the first episode and the same goes for "Whitney". Stale jokes, cardboard characters and poor casting. I also could never get past the first episode of "PanAm". Again, I felt the plot was ridiculous.

"Prime Suspect US" might be next. This week's "Witness"-style story lacked pretty much everything. The show should be much grittier for my taste, a bit like "Homicide". The writers seem to be unable to decide how much focus they want to put on the sexism at the NYPD angle. I hope I'll be able to get my hands on the UK original with Helen Mirren.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii 5-0 after season one. Scott Cann wore me out.

Up All Night after five minutes. So wanted Will Arnett to be Gob.

D. McEwan said...

Well first non-cancellations. I am still watching and enjoying The Simpsons, as I have since it first came on the air. I dont't see me ever leaving it. That said, this year's Treehouse of Terror was the least-entertaining one I've ever seen.

I am still watching Persons of Interest. Though they missed a chance last week. They had Michael Emory and Alan Dale on the same show again for the first time since Ben Linus Killed Charles Widmore, and then only put them into the same scene at the end, and didn't give either of them so much as one line to say to each other. And here I was hoping for Widmore's Revenge! Missed opportunity.

And I'm still watching Terra Nova. Yes it's dumb. Yes the teenagers are tedious. But it makes good popcorn viewing or something to have on while I'm on the computer, as I only need to look at it when the dinosaurs come on. Still, it tends to sit on the DVR for 5 or 6 days before I get around to watching it.

Sorry, I still love Community.

I put The Office on hiatus when they brought on Will Ferrell, but fortunately, that unfunny bore only despoiled 4 episodes, and I was able to return. Enjoying the new season. Yes, Andy Bernard is turning into Michael Scott-lite, and the Jim & Pam plot is totally played out, but it remains funny. What Andy did this week Michael Scott would have done exactly the same way, but the episode still made me laugh a lot. The revelations about The Battle of Schrute Farms broke me up.

OK, I cancelled Hawaii Five-0 midway through its first season. This week, due to light competition, I watched a new episode. It did not win me back. It still seems like the exact same episode every week. Maybe if McGarrett & Dan-o never wore shirts at all, I'd return. After all, it wouldn't make the show any less realistic.

I had sense enough never to turn on Glee in the first place. I'm gay, but not THAT gay!

Have never watched House. I get enough "doctor" from my doctor.

Actually started watching Two and a Half Men this season for the first time, so I've never seen an episode with Charlie Sheen. As long as Ashton keeps disrobing, I'll turn in, though the plump housekeeper is annoying and has not made me laugh.

Mike & Molly I cancelled after the first episode. I don't have a widescreen TV.

Suburgatory I cancelled after one episode. They have Ana Gastayer. USE HER!. She's funnier than anyone else on this show, and ought to have her own show. I found the disaffected teenage daughter too terminably annoying to endure. I tried a second episode a couple weeks later, and if anything, it was worse.

I made it through three episodes of Up All Night before I could not stand anymore. Maya Rudolph is the only reason to turn it on. (I do not get the love for Will Arnett. To me he's ok, but meh.)

I cancelled Gray's Anatomy at the end of the third season, realizing that not only did I no longer care about the characters (Who would Georgie fall for next? I don't care!), but and was bored by the whole soapy mess. Yawn. Have not missed it. McBorey.

Well I won't watch Boss or The Middle for politcal reasons. The politics of Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton make me sick, and I will not support their careers. This is very hard this season as regards The Middle because a dear friend whom I adore just got a recurring role on it, but even my love for Ginny won't get me to watch the Heaton Bitch.

(Continues below)

D. McEwan said...


Whitney gone after one episode. Man, is she unfunny and annoying. I'd like the guy if he: A) Got a haircut,
B) Lost his wardobe,
C) Lost his horribly irritating titular girlfriend, and

I rented the first season of Dexter and did not make it through all the way. I very quickly didn't care about the sister or the co-workers or the girl friend, and I tired of hte gruesomeness. I actually stpped watching with only two episode to go, because I lost interest. Maybe I'll give it a retry sometime.

It's easier to list what I do watch than what I don't, as 50% of my DVR recording time and space is spent on TCM, recording movies.

I do still watch Castle, though I turned off the bank hostages episode ten minutes in. Just didn't feel like enduring yet another Dog Day Afternoon.

I stil watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, SNL, Letterman, 30 Rock, Survivor, Law & Order: SVU (I watch for the cases, not the "chemistry"), Modern Family, South Park, Whitechapel, Law & Order: UK, Doctor Who, The Mentalist, Parks & Rec, Beavis & Butthead (So help me, the new episodes not only still make me laugh, but when they are watching MTV clips now, Butthead somehow seems the voice of reason!), The Soup, The Graham Norton Show, Desperate Housewives (In the home stretch. Why leave now?), Harry's Law and a couple others. On Tuesday nights there is not one prime time network show that I watch. It's a wasteland, and has become "Catch-Up on Viewing" Night.

Mike said...

>Well I won't watch Boss or The Middle for politcal reasons. The politics of Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton make me sick, and I will not support their careers.

Perhaps more people should do this, or maybe they already are. Kelsey Grammar's politics are not that outspoken compared to many in Hollywood. Sure he played Patton in a movie mocking Michael Moore, which said without America, Barack Obama would be Moore's slave.
But this sort of blacklisting is unAmerican.

Angie McCullagh said...

Funnily enough, I watch pretty much no TV. I'm hooked on your blog, though.

Jeff Weigel said...

Interesting that you should mention your need for caring about characters on a sitcom. I've come to the opposite position. When a show asks me to get all concerned about, say, whether Ross and Rachel will ever get together, I all too often end up feeling like someone's trying to manipulate me. Nothing feels cheaper than when a comedy invokes a deep "awwww!" from the audience. The lack of that kind of cheap sentiment is what always attracted me to shows like Seinfeld, 30 Rock and Community. The shows were too busy mining funny stuff to ask me to care about which girl Winger ends up with. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

gjs said...

Put Hawaii 5-0 back on your schedule. The only way to watch it is as a comedy. It's ridiculous, but has pretty pictures.

JJadziaDax said...

Still watching and keeping House, Raising Hope, Community FTW!, Cougar Town if I ever see it again, Happy Endings, Modern Family, Bones, Private Practice (meh but I still watch), Hawaii 50 (no clue why I watch still since I can't tell you how any of the shows end, I do like the banter though, probably still missing Human Target).

Body of Proof has grown on me, glad Seven is dumping the ex husband, that was annoying. Grey's is creeping, too many irritating characters have been added in the last couple years more than making up for deleting the annoying blond chick.

New adoptions: Up All Night, Grimm, Once, Terra Nova, Switched at Birth, and Heart of Dixie
I actually liked Playboy Club but it quit on me.

Tried and canceled: Free Agents, it was ok but not good enough for me to stay. Whitney, couldn't even finish the episode, same with the Home Improvement remake (can he act no other character?) and Zoey's show which was only a bit better with the Happy Endings guy, Zoey's character is wretchedly annoying. Watched The Finder in the Bones episode last season, quit in the middle of the ep (there are way too many shows relying on quirky and not walking the right side of that fine line of annoying) for that same reason also tried and canceled Person of Interest. Unforgettable had promise until the redhead needed to enroll in anger management, lost me at that episode. Tried several episodes of Prime Suspect but the unrealistic level of misogeny did it in for me. Tried Pan Am for an episode, didn't do it for me.

Recent cancelations: CSI, I stopped caring after Grissom left and stuck it out for a year, now I catch the odd episode but Ted Danson's character annoys me.

J S Swanson said...

Like ABC, I've canceled Desperate Housewives but I'm still watching -just to see if Bree, Gaby, Susan, Lynette & Carlos & Mike all end up in prison. And if Vanessa Williams & Doug Savant star in a spin off - The Desperate Bunch. Where they marry & raise the Scavo kids, the Solis kids and the Delfino boy. With the help of Mrs. McCluskey, of course...

J S Swanson said...

Oh --- I've NOT Canceled Revenge. And neither should you.

tales from the pole said...

yes, they bend formats, but then this became a go-to gimmick AND, for the kiss of death-they revisit it to mine for future payoff off of former profit. you don't put lightening BACK into the bottle-part of what made the infamous paintball episode so incredible was that it WAS a one-off, it was truly strange and innovative. them going back there to revisit it just seemed lazy. don't get me wrong, i am HUGE community fan and i don't want to see it get cancelled, but i agree with ken-more character, more plot-less formulaic sideshow.

tales from the pole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HogsAteMySister said...

Anything Oprah.

tales from the pole said...

oh yes-and house jumped the show when they had cuddy giving him the lap-dance on the upended bus wreck (stupid) and decided "13" looked more like a real doctor than CB did! instead of what she always appeared to me to be which was an anorexic bad actress. another show which suffered from no growth of the characters and trying to seem relevant by being "edgy" (13's bisexual! a character who's not depressed commits suicide! every case is worked out for 45 minutes and solved by the last fifteen! nobody dies! taub inexplicably knocks up not one--but TWO age-inappropriate hot women who normally would never talk to him). C- house, sorry.

tales from the pole said...

and for god's sakes PLEASE put SVU out of its misery. whoever "speed weed" is needs to be shot. when he started writing all the episodes is when they started EPICALLY sucking. they are so hokey and purposefully provocative for the sake of seeming "edgy" when its just sad and gross. current ex: "you gonna be sucking on something else when we put you in prison!" (ice-t) nice try, NBC but you're still not "oz" or "the wire." and l & o , la doesn't even deserve to wear the moniker. luckily, most of the herd has been culled. most inane sitcom re-treads are gone, save for tim allen's which is only there thanks to nostalgia and whitney's which is only there b/c she's hot and the network sank a TON of $$$ into her show. here's to further missiles sinking the boring battleships! i'm talking to you, GRIMM and ONCE UPON A TIME. i love "american horror story" and continue to hate glee, though-which i would personally like to punch in the face for ruining most of my favourite childhood eighties tunes. can't believe they spring from the same creative soil.

Phillip B said...

Wow - anyone who has made it to comment #99 has real interest, but here goes.

Even after Harry's Law was a lost cause last year I watched every episode - trying to figure how it got screwed up. No more.

The Simpsons is no longer crisp, no longer surprises with the lightening quick cultural references which made it so wonderful early on, and has managed to make Bart a boring boy.

Have not watched Curb Your Enthusiasm since he brought the Seinfeld cast back together.

Stopped taping each and every episode of the "Daily Show." What was once effortless now seems stressed, and a lot less funny..

Came back to Saturday Night Live this year after taking a few years off. The current cast is coming into their own, Seth Myers and Bill Hader can be amazing - and even the musical guests seem better lately.

Hanging in with House out of loyalty, waiting impatiently for 30 Rock to come back.

Thrilled the old MTM shows are back on my cable system, and am always willing to surf my way into Frasier, Family Guy or Futurama.

But since the baseball season ended I'm actually reading more books!

DBA said...

I'm done with The Office as of last season, Ringer lasted two episodes, ditto Secret Circle and Grimm, Person of Interest, A Gifted Man:one; we seem to have given up on House around the same time; the Simpsons I left ten years ago, Glee midway through the first season, I'm about to give up on Community (or at least banish it to "On Demand-if I'm bored"), my love for Mae Whitman only got me through one season of Parenthood before I couldn't take it anymore. I'm a season behind on Dexter but not really itching for the rest of the dvds to arrive anymore.

Steven said...

I actually haven't stopped watching any show this year. If I were going to "cancel" a show, however, it would be "The Office". I'm only still watching "The Office" because the potential it continually fails to meet is more meaningful to me than the actual product put out by most other shows that are currently in production.

benson said...

I'm hoping to form a Friday question based on this post and the reaction to it. Ken, you've been a part of the creative and management process of numerous series. A series gets to season 4, 5 whatever. You see a series is getting tired. You know it, the writers know it, the actors know it. Are the networks the problem? Are they looking to go the safe route in giving the audience familiar programming? Or is it simply, a series has a shelf life much like any other product? Is it merely a cash grab by all parties involved? You saw MASH and Cheers go 11 years and if they were in current production, I'm guessing you'd have had similar comments as we've seen on today's post. I hope there's a decent Friday question in all this.

sephim said...

Here's a fun game to play regarding BONES.

See how many episodes in a row the culprit of the murder turns out to be the second person interviewed after they discover the body.

It's been about three or four seasons now.

James O'Hearn said...

Our family has a hard time canceling shows. We tend to put them on hiatus. The episodes pile up in a queue that we say we'll get around to eventually. But our list of shows-to-watch is so ling that this queue piles up like nobody's business.

But of the shows we have canceled?

CSI Las Vegas
Desperate Housewives

Shows that jump to the head of the queue?

Most USA Network shows - Suits, Burn Notice, Fairly Legal, Psych, and In Plain Sight.

Other American shows - The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Hawaii 5-0, NCIS LA, NCIS, Homeland, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Closer, Falling Skies, Leverage, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, The Mentalist, Modern Family, Breaking Bad, CSI Miami

British Shows - Misfits, Doctor Who, Luther, The Hour

Shows that fall into the "Watch Later" queue (Hiatus) - White Collar, Royal Pains, Chuck, Castle, Community, How I Met Your Mother, Hung, How to Make it in America, Boardwalk Empire, Treme, Being Erica, House, Terra Nova, Supernatural, Fringe, Glee

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

Stopped taping each and every episode of the "Daily Show." What was once effortless now seems stressed, and a lot less funny..

amen, they need to bring back more of the "correspondents", esp Jason Jones, John Oliver and Larry Wilmore.

Anonymous said...

I liked Community at first, but that show has all kinds of problems, and seems like most emanate from the show runner.

For instance, why cast a show that takes place at a community college with 8 (going on nine) running characters? Crafting plots every week with that many characters must be a challenge in itself. Also, the agism in that show is glaring, since they have done nothing with the Pierce character since the first season besides portraying him as some "crazy mean old man."
The Chang character as the "crazy plotting asian" isn't something for the audience to get behind long term either.
The episode with Jeff trying to make time with Annie was a bit repulsive, since it was about a middle-aged man trying to make time with a 19 year old.
Usually, that would be creepy, but in Community's world, not so much.
Also, they will build a joke around elements in their plots that make no sense. Example: why would a high achieving asian woman be all up and scholastically competitive with Annie at a CITY COLLEGE, which begs the question of why, if Annie is a "tracy flick" homage, she would be at a city college in the first place? I think Tracy Flick would have hung herself long before she'd sign up at a community college.
There's examples aplenty on the show of the writers habit of undermining character credibility for the sake of a joke.
To me, this undermines the relationships of all the characters, and makes the show worth canceling. I mean, ultimately if the writer's don't give a shit, why should I?

Anonymous said...

"Stopped taping each and every episode of the "Daily Show." What was once effortless now seems stressed, and a lot less funny.. "

Here's something strange I noticed regarding playing a role on TV. Ever notice when someone plays a wildly successful character on TV, they sometimes begin playing the character in real life?

First time I notice that was on "The Waltons." The "John Boy" character was wildly successful on that show, and then I started seeing Richard Thomas appearing on talk shows, wearing plaid a plaid shirt and wire rimmed glasses, reading to the audience from his book of poetry! I remember during the run of "Kung Fu," David Carradine showing up on talk shows in his bare feet, speaking to the host in his "Ki chang kane" voice and acting weird. And we all saw what "Baretta" did to Robert Blake's approach to being on talk shows.
I recall Leonard Nimoy stating specifically that turning off Spock became quite a challenge.

So my point is, I think folks like Bill Mahr and John Stewart, who initially play the part of pundits on TV, slowly but surely turn into the roles they were initially making fun of, which are wretched versions of human beings that most professional pundits are just that.

I mean, think of the job he's made for himself. He's a professional ranter about current events.

I'd rather shovel shit. At least it's an honest version of Stewart's job, and it's a good workout.

Stewart's likely just very confused right now. That's why he's repeating himself, and eventually, he'll self-destruct, and either fade away, or come back as some other notion his writers make up for him.

Boris from Germany said...

I'm confused, Ned. Don't you DVR Homeland no more? The show, you so enthusiastically recommended the other day?

Ashley said...

Melissa! Please DON'T stop watching HOMELAND just because Please Leave Name imagined something that's not there!

There is NOT an episode that shows that Saul is a bad guy, and we are NOT absolutely positive that Sgt. Brody is entirely good (though we do get tons of information in the most recent episodes). There is still a LOT in the air!

As far as I can tell, Saul is definitely still a stand up guy working tirelessly for the CIA (and for Carrie).

Homeland takes me on a journey every week and is always doing something so unexpected! And each episodes ends with something that makes me count the days until the next one will air.

It seems pretty revered by critics, and audiences are loving it as well. Please Leave Name is actually literally the first people I've heard speak ill of it (and the internet is usually crawling with hate!).

So, please, don't give up on Homeland. Please Leave Name can't be that serious about TV anyway; he thinks Boss airs on Showtime.

D. McEwan said...

Mike said...
>Well I won't watch Boss or The Middle for politcal reasons. The politics of Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton make me sick, and I will not support their careers.
[Quoting me]

Perhaps more people should do this, or maybe they already are. Kelsey Grammar's politics are not that outspoken compared to many in Hollywood. Sure he played Patton in a movie mocking Michael Moore, which said without America, Barack Obama would be Moore's slave.
But this sort of blacklisting is unAmerican."

Kelsey is not outspoken, but he gives money to the Repulsivan Party and to Repulsivan candidates, and I do not want my TV viewing to enlarge his income to help fund Repulsivans.

This isn't "blacklisting," it's me excerizing my right not to patronize a person or product I find objectionable, nor allow my viewing choices to fund Evil. Freedom of consumer choice is highly American.

And frankly, a look at Amerca's history shows us that blacklisting is as American as apple pie, racism, and hypocrisy. After all, it was the House Un-American Activities Committee that GOT people literally blacklisted.

D. McEwan said...

Wow, Anonymous, nice crazy rant about Jon Stewart being a crazy ranter.

Jon Stewart is the most-sane voice "ranting" on TV today. His show is essential viewing each day for me, and I never tire of the brilliant way he calls out the phonies, the liars, and the Evil. And Stephen Colbert is no slouch either.

And Jon isn't anonymous. He "rants" under his own, real name, as do I. Only cowards hide behind anonymity, Anonymous.

Perhaps, Anonymous, you should take your own career advice. Shoveling shit does sound like the right career choice for you. You sure shoveled a load of it here today.

Anonymous said...

Formerly on the DVR but now cancelled for this season were The Office, Hawaii 5-0 and The Mentalist.

I actually had a whole conversation the other day with a coworker about TGW because I thought it was still on at 10. I watch nothing when it's actually on time-wise.

Interestingly Castle was booted around mid S2, the internet sucked me in with tales of the season finale and I've liked all eps this season so it's back on the DVR. First time that's happened.

Kevin S. said...

I only saw three mentions of the ABC show, 'Suburgatory' in all these comments. Two positive and one negative. I can understand the lackluster attention it's garnering from the readers of Ken's blog who know good TV when they see it. That said, the show doesn't take itself too seriously and can brand itself as a very heightened satirical look at suburban life.

What I find endearing is despite the goofiness and unbelievability of some of the storylines so far, the show has a heart to it. I would liken it to a more comedic, half-hour version of 'Freaks and Geeks' (a show that is still, by far, the definition of great television cancelled too early - thank you Garth Ancier of NBC).

'Suburgatory' is not a show that really appeals to a wide audience, but for a first-seasoner, it's holding its own pretty well. I hope ABC continues to give it a chance. It is improving as the writers, cast and everyone else involved find their groove with each subsequent episode. I just watched all the episodes thus far in a row and have been interested in seeing how the show has been retaining the things that work and dropping the elements that are misses. Jane Levy should snare an Emmy nod for her superb acting, in my honest opinion.

But, if I want to watch really good television (and I'm not trying to suck up to Ken in saying this) I just tune into the Hallmark Channel or TV Land to catch reruns of 'Cheers', 'Frasier' and 'M*A*S*H'. If only all television could be as well-written without resorting to the gutter for cheap laughs.

Jenn said...

Shows I've stopped watching:

Another House person that lost interest awhile ago.

Terra Nova - Visually it's interesting, but content wise, it's not.

Ringer - I thought the concept was interesting, but it grew tired quickly and it just doesn't seem like it's very well made.

Two Broke Girls - Only lasted two episodes. We just didn't laugh.

Glee - Only lasted a little while into the first season. The musical numbers are so cheesy and over produced and I thought the story line was bad.

Simpsons - Stopped watching a long time ago.

Shows I still enjoy are Parenthood, The Good Wife, Mad Men, BIG BANG THEORY, Up all Night (Maybe it's because I just had a baby, so I can relate), and my absolute favorite is Breaking Bad. Love, love, love that show. I thought the start of the fourth season was slow, but then it turned out to be the best season so far.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Here's a Friday question: Jennifer Aniston has often said that her agent made her lose 10 pounds (I think it was 10) before he sent her to audition for Friends. (I've seen the movie she made just before that - She's the One - and it's not like she was a porker.) And Christine Baranski has said that she was advised as a young aspiring actress to have her teeth capped to close a gap between her two front teeth.

Do you really believe that neither of these talented women would have had a career if they hadn't made these small changes?


Naz said...

The Office, Royal Pains and Harry's Law and now that Regis has left Live: With Kelly and nobody.

Anonymous said...

"which begs the question of why, if Annie is a "tracy flick" homage, she would be at a city college in the first place? I think Tracy Flick would have hung herself long before she'd sign up at a community college."

She's in community college because she went crazy, got addicted to pills, and had to drop out of high school. It's mentioned several times throughout the series.

Jasonian said...

I was a devoted House fan for many years, but became less and less enthusiastic in the last three seasons. I still watched last season out of a sense of obligation (I'd come this far, why end it now)? But after Lisa Edelstein left and they sent House to prison (as it appears they are running out of places for him to go) I cancelled my season pass on DVR.

I also gave up on Ringer after about four episodes. I basically tuned in to support SMG (who will always be "Buffy" to me), but it wasn't long before that loyalty was not enough. The same happened to me last year with No Ordinary Family. I tuned in solely because it was Julie Benz and as a diehard Dexter fan I was so devastated with Rita's death that I wanted to see Julie make it somewhere else. That lasted about five episodes.

I am still a devoted fan of Dexter, though I can see why some people are getting tired of it. After season four (Trinity! What can't John Lithgow do?) it has never really had the same energy and suspense. This season started out somewhat promising, but the strange one-episode return of Jonah and Brian a few weeks ago was like a total train derailment. I'll stick with it for sure, but it's not the same love affair I had before.

I keep watching Boardwalk Empire mostly because I enjoy period drama. The stories, however, are not as compelling as I had hoped.

Others on the chopping block:

NCIS - it's always the same.
Psych - Filling up my DVR, but it's getting less and less likely I'll watch them.
Happy Endings - It feels like it tries too hard to be funny. The jokes aren't the plot or character development - the characters just sit around telling the jokes (often unfunny or forced). It feels like everyone is "on" all the time.
True Blood - Too many stories and characters no one cares about. It lacks focus.

I also gave up on Family Guy a while ago, as well as Royal Pains.

Anonymous said...

"She's in community college because she went crazy, got addicted to pills, and had to drop out of high school. It's mentioned several times throughout..."

Are you really trying to argue about character development on "Community"? Pop Pop!!

Mike said...

It's not blacklisting to not watch. It is blacklisting to say that Peggy Heaton should never be cast as you said in the past.

D. McEwan said...

"Mike said...
It's not blacklisting to not watch. It is blacklisting to say that Peggy Heaton should never be cast as you said in the past."

I never said she should not be cast, only that I would never watch anything she was in, which is why I've never seen even one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

D. McEwan said...

And it's Patty Heaton, not Peggy.

Mike said...

>I never said she should not be cast, only that I would never watch anything she was in, which
Uh huh, I think you've made your attitude clear, and would extend it to casting if you had that power. In fact..

"Anonymous said...
D McEwan, if it were up to you, would you have hired Heaton for The Middle?"

I would not have hired her for anything, and she is why I have yet to see an episode of THE MIDDLE

Old line Communists engaged in Hollywood blacklisting when they got the chance, before the more well known Hollywood blacklist. Are you sure you want to be thinking along those lines?

D. McEwan said...

I would not cast her because that would mean I would have to work with the evil bitch. Other people are free to hire her, and do, creating shows I will never watch. She's welcome to go work for Fox News.

"Old line Communists engaged in Hollywood blacklisting when they got the chance, before the more well known Hollywood blacklist.

Do you actually BELIEVE that drivel? Hollywood was never run by communists; it was run by greedy, capitalistic moguls.

D. McEwan said...

I would not cast her because that would mean I would have to work with the evil bitch. Other people are free to hire her, and do, creating shows I will never watch. She's welcome to go work for Fox News.

"Old line Communists engaged in Hollywood blacklisting when they got the chance, before the more well known Hollywood blacklist.

Do you actually BELIEVE that drivel? Hollywood was never run by communists; it was run by greedy, capitalistic moguls.

Rob N said...

Dexter is about to hit the shitpile. The writing is offensive with it's hand holding and belief that the audience watching has the intelligence of a garden slug.

Knowing now the show will get 2 more seasons, I think I am at the point where I've come to grips that the show will never return to the drama that was the first two seasons.

Dexter's son Harrison might as well be named Cousin Oliver or Seven. The kid has been shoehorned into Dexter's life and the writers pigeoned holed themselves into a situation they cannot get out of. Dexter's kid shouldn't even recognize his father, he's rarely ever around. Harrison's sitters have connected more with the kid since they are around more for days and weeks at a time than good ol' dad. Not to mention, the sitters never question why dad always has to bolt out the door at any zero-hour leaving them with the child rearing without even saying "Hey Dex, I have a fucking life of my own you asshole! No, I will not be working overtime for the 4th night in a row."

Community has become tedious to follow and the more incessant rah-rah babble I read from internet superfans (which are the only people talking about the show) the more I am glad I cut the show loose. The cheer leading drum circle parade this show generates is actually doing it more harm than good. Face it, Community has zero replay ability. Peoria doesn't give a fuck about it and never will.

Anonymous said...

"And Jon isn't anonymous. He "rants" under his own, real name, as do I."

Really? I had no idea! Guess I'm gonna have to catch me an episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Leibowitz."

D. McEwan said...

"Anonymous said...
'And Jon isn't anonymous. He "rants" under his own, real name, as do I.'

Really? I had no idea! Guess I'm gonna have to catch me an episode of 'The Daily Show with Jon Leibowitz'."

Nice idiotic hair you're attempting to split there. Jon Stewart's birth name is Jonathon Stuart Liebowitz. Yes, in show business he dropped his last name and altered the spelling of his first name. It's still his name. You still know who is speakng when he speaks, you puisilanimous coward.

Nothing unusual about people in show business changing their names. That Boris Karloff did not get billed as "William Henry Pratt," that Lazlo Lowenstein was billed as "Peter Lorre," that Francis Gumm was billed as "Judy Garland," that Archie Leach was billed as "Cary Grant," That we did not see Dracula starring Bela Blasko, does not make anonymous cowards of them. And "Jon Stuart" IS part of his actual, birth name.

But I'm guessing it does NOT say "Anonymous" on YOUR birth certificate, oh cowardly one. Or maybe your parents took one look at you and were so horrified by the revolting cowardly thing they had spawned that they refused to give you a name. Is that it? Does it actually say "Anonymous Cowardly Twerp" on your birth certificate?

My birth certicifate reads: "Douglas Keith McEwan."

Eric Herman said...

IMO, the Walking Dead is much better this season than last. I like that there's more character development and less zombies. Funny that since Frank Darabont left or was axed or whatever, that the show now feels more like his kind of work.

Community I love, sometimes. I think they hurt themselves with too many weird format shows, so it doesn't surprise me that it's likely to get cancelled. That claymation Christmas show from last season was awful... just not funny at all... and that kind of started the downhill trend (though I still watch it faithfully and love it some of the time).

I think House is still truly great, most weeks. But if this is the last season, then it would be a good time to end it.

I bailed on Terra Nova pretty early on. The premise sounded cool, but the writing and acting just wasn't very solid. By contrast, the premise of Revenge seemed pretty absurd, but the writing and acting is sharp and it has been a welcome surprise.

The Office... I still like it, and I was surprised that they've done a good job with characterizing Andy as the boss. James Spader was an odd choice to add, but inasmuch as they use his sparingly, I think he works okay.

Anonymous said...

I have given the pink slip to The Walking Dead. Too much drama not enough zombie action. Last season really hooked my interest, but this season seems like the same episodes over and over....will they find Sophie, will they ever leave the farm? It's time to move on.
I also pink slipped 2 1/2 Men. I really tried to give Ashton a chance, but I'm a true Charlie lover and Ashton just couldn't compete.

Pamela Jaye said...

Canceled: Whatever that was with Anthony Stewart Head. Three eps in, I finally got to watching the pilot. I lasted half an ep and prayed it would be canceled. Seriously. I mean, what if I dumped it and then it got good? It was canceled The Next Day.

I loved ep 3 of Pan Am, btw. I wish it had been ep 2. Maybe more people would have hung in. The most recent episode had No Flashbacks!

Once Upon a Time is cool.

I'm going to say tape when I mean DVR, it's easier to type and shorter to say.

The New Girl is on tape and hold. I suffered thru 3 eps. Maybe it will get better.

I got Community late (but mostly intact as I'd been taping it)

Prime Suspect was dumped as the critics bemoaned its cancelation/hiatus - the DVR was just full, I hadn't watched one ep, and only was interested in Maria (cause of Mr and Mrs Smith)

I'm not big into crime or procedurals.

I'm watching Community live, now, not that I count. Big Bang has great ratings anyway. I watch it at 9:30 before Grey's Anatomy.

The bed hopping on Private Practice seems to have stopped. Sometimes I watch it live (and I was watching on VHS delay long before anyone had DVRs. In ordr, by day of the week, till I hit 7th Heaven and groaned, this again? and realized it was time to drop it from he rotation. I got behind and watched 2 seasons of ER in 3 weeks one summer, possibly Chicago Hope too.)

I'm considering Covert Affairs as I finally saw the pilot, but don't have season 1 - just two. Meanwhile I go around singing Before it Breaks. Remember when we heard new songs on the *radio*?

I still watch Glee. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes I'm just there to sing along. Last ep I followed with a rerun of the Grey's Musical.

I really like Parenthood.

I might have watched Happy Endings if everyone hadn't told me it was going to get canceled long ago.

I have fewer shows in my rotation this year than any time in the last 10. I have one half hour worth of conflict on thurdays at 8, and enough tuner cards to cover it. My DVR will only do analog, so I watch a lot more stuff live on the pretty digital, but still, that's not a lot of shows.

I'm still catching up on A Gifted Man. No clue how it got on the air. I should just be happy it lasted longer than 3 lbs I guess. It's odd but there are doctors, so...

oldfart said...

Hawaii five-o will never watch again after thier crew disrespected our WWll vets