14 February 2010

It's the bubble time on the TeeVee

The Hollywood Reporter, obviously being sadistic to actors, released a list of current tee vee shows that are on the bubble -shows potentially to be axed this May.

Just like when Lost starred back in 2004, all three networks tried to find sci fi shows for 2005-06 season. All of them - ABC ‘s Invasion, NBC’s Surface and CBS’ Threshold - never made it out of their first seasons. ABC, with Lost now ending, gave us two sci fi theme shows for the 2009-10, FlashForward and V. While both shows started strong, ratings dropped fast. While both shows were always designed to have a protracted hiatus due to their serial format, FlashForward seems to in more trouble, as its lost its showrunners twice. Expectations are that V will survive for a second season, if only because its storyline can easily extended.

Despite Heroes huge ratings drop off since season one, the show has always done well overseas -which means its making money. And given any normal year, this expensive show would have been gone. But the whole Jay Leno fiasco has created problems for NBC -they just don’t have enough shows to fill the timeslots. While the chances are good for a fifth season pick-up, expectations are that NBC will order only 12 episodes with the intention of tying up all its plots.

While Medium has done well since CBS picked it up, the show still airs on Friday where scripted shows are just not making any money. But with the Ghost Whisperer still doing good numbers, expect another season for that show. However, Numbers will probably be dropped, if only because its episode number was cut and series star David Krumholtz has been cast in another pilot.

When the CW saw Smallville’s ratings decline, it pushed the show to the death slot on Friday. But it appears Superman is unstoppable. While the show has never regained its early ratings success, it bloomed enough on Friday to give the CW its best ratings ever on that night. Meanwhile, Supernatural continues to play strong as The Vampire Diaries lead-out. And despite its five-year arc wrapping up this May, expectations are that both Smallville and Supernatural will return for season 10 and season six, respectively.

Despite being in a ratings decline since being moved to the very competitive Thursday night (and some might even say, creatively), Fringe, along with Bones, has given the best numbers FOX has had on that night, so expect a renewal.

Finally, Chuck. NBC’s highly popular cult show has never been the huge hit it wanted, but the show stabilized in the ratings, bringing in consistent numbers. Some people in the industry were surprised when the show was picked-up for a third season. But it was only given 13 episodes to prove itself and then scheduled to air in late winter. But like Heroes in some way, its survival can be attributed to NBC having blank slots on their schedule due to the failure of The Jay Leno Show. NBC was forced to return the show early, plus order 6 additional episodes. The show has done well, especially critically, and expectations are the show will be back in the fall.

Shows that have no real chance of survival are Scrubs 2.0, Better Off Ted (which is a personal favorite and could be saved if ABC moves it to Wednesday), The Deep End and Melrose Place, while Mercy, Trauma, The Old Adventures of New Christine, Gary Unmarried, Accidentally on Purpose, Cold Case, Human Target, The Forgotten and even 24 remain too close to call.

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