The five major networks just announced their fall line-ups this week, and it might be a little cynical, but I’m already looking forward to seeing which one will be the first to die. Every year some new shows make early exits from the schedule. Last year, FOX’s Lone Star and ABC’s My Generation were both axed after two episodes, not even making it to October.
So of the 27 new shows currently planned for the fall season, which ones are most likely to get an early cancellation?
There are a lot of contenders, and it’s hard to narrow it down to much with so little information, but here are several shows I’m keeping my eye on.
The Playboy Club
I don’t care that there are two new shows set in the ’60s, what I’m concerned about is the time slot. Let’s look at the shows NBC has put on its fall schedule Mondays at 10pm for the last five years: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Journeyman, My Own Worst Enemy, The Jay Leno Show and Chase. This has to be the worst time slot ever, especially since it’s up against two highly-rated returning shows with Castle and Hawaii Five-0. Add in its lead-in, The Sing-Off (which I suspect will flounder against Dancing with the Stars) and you have the recipe for an early death.
NBC hasn’t had much success adding to its Thursday comedy lineup this year. Outsourced, Perfect Couples and The Paul Reiser Show all tried and failed, and this old school comedy doesn’t quite fit with Community, Parks and Recreation and The Office. I could easily see them yanking this comedy off early and replacing it with reruns or another show they have on deck.
Grimm/Once Upon a Time
Is there really enough interest for two fairy tale shows? The only problem is that both have strong cases for being the first to go. Grimm is saddled on Friday nights and goes up against Fringe and Supernatural, which may not be formidable in the ratings, but it has loyal fans who seem like the right demographic for Grimm. On the other hand, ABC is trying its show Sundays at 8pm to start the night, and Once Upon a Time may have writers from Lost, but it looks more like the failed ABC summer drama Happy Town. I honestly don’t see either of these shows going the distance, but it’s a coin flip as to what one will die first.
If there’s a new TV show that most closely resembles Lone Star, it might be Revenge, where a girl returns to the Hamptons to exact the titular action on the people who destroyed her family. A complex mystery series may not work well following the ABC Wednesday night comedies, and it’s going up against Law and Order: SVU and CSI.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
FOX is trying very hard to push live action comedy, and while Raising Hope worked, Running Wilde, Traffic Light and Breaking In didn’t. Following The X Factor seems like a great time slot, but if the ratings are anything like those for Breaking In after American Idol, I fully expect to see two-hour episodes of The X Factor on Wednesdays.
Shows based on British imports are hit or miss, but my big problem with this show is that the premise seems to focus on how hard it is for a female detective. The problem is that so many TV shows focus on female detectives (Castle, The Closer, Rizzol and Isles, etc) that it’s a bit unbelievable. It also airs Thursdays at 10pm against a dominant crime procedural (The Mentalist) and a strong female show (Private Practice). That’s stiff competition and could make NBC the prime suspect in the first death of the season.
ABC has two sitcoms with the word “man” in the title on Tuesdays, but at least Last Man Standing has Tim Allen, who a lot of people (my father included) really like. Man Up, on the other hand, has no recognizable stars and the trailer makes it look like a carbon copy of FOX’s Traffic Light. The network is waiting until Dancing with the Stars to end to bring on Apartment 23 and Cougar Town, but I can definitely see one of them getting called up early if Man Up fails.
I may be hedging my bets by picking eight new shows, but with so many potential landmines, it’s hard to figure out which one will be canceled first. What new show do you think is going to be the first to die in the fall?
(Image courtesy of NBC)