As we look ahead to a brand new year, we take stock of our lives, our relationships and ourselves. Or at least people less obsessed with television than we here at TVRage do those things; we take stock of television shows.
When we consider the scripted series at the big four networks, each contingent has a couple of underperforming stragglers. They may be great shows, but for whatever reason their ratings are below what their network would like to see. These shows are on the cusp of getting cancelled--or they could be renewed in a show of faith of the quality of the programming therein.
These shows are the ones whose ratings have not garunteed them a home throughout 2013; this doesn't mean they will be cancelled, it means that their future is decidedly in peril. For each one, ask yourself: would you give this series another season or cut it from the air? Leave your answers below in the comments!
NBC's comedy woes persisted throughout 2012, with 'Go On' being the only happy and healthy new sitcom to join the ranks of '30 Rock' and 'Parks and Recreation.' The three shows on the NBC chopping block for 2013 are all sitcoms and they each suffer from similar complaints from the critics.
'Whitney' seems to have lived its entire life on the proverbial chopping block, ever since its debut in September of 2011. No one was certain if the show would earn itself a second season, but here we are in medias.
The sitcom follows Whitney Cummings playing a fictionalized version of herself (ala 'Seinfeld,' although that's where the comparison must end). The Chicago-based series centers around Whitney's desire to prove her devotion to her supportive and endlessly-patient boyfriend, Alex (played by Chris D'Elia).
Even with this second gasp at life, 'Whitney' isn't drawing NBC-worthy numbers. What say you, audience? Cancel 'Whitney?'
Joining 'Whitney' on the NBC chopping block is a show from this season: 'Guys with Kids.' Premiering back in September, the series earned itself an upped-order, bringing the first season to a total of seventeen episodes.
That is where the good news ends, however. The ratings have failed to find a niche despite some favorable critical responses to the show. 'Guys with Kids' stems from a sketch comedy pitch from Jimmy Fallon about three buddies, their respective partners, and their children. That is essentially it. There wasn't a whole lot of meat on the bones of this series when it debuted and according to the ratings, it hasn't been fleshed out much further since.
So how about it? Axe 'Guys with Kids,' or let it see a second season?
Rounding out the NBC contingent is a strange case: 'Up All Night.' Premiering in September 2011, 'Up All Night' stars Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as new parents dealing with their newborn.
The strange aspect of the series is that, due to flagging ratings, 'Up All Night's third season will convert from a single-camera format (ala 'Arrested Development') to a traditional multi-camera sitcom format (ala 'Roseanne'). I cannot recall any series switching formats mid-run before--this is an odd experiment indeed.
Will it be enough to save the show? Keep 'Up All Night' or let it go?
CBS is no longer wringing their hands over what to do with their failing comedies--the network smartly took the hatchet to the horrible 'Partners' shortly after the series debuted. But there are two dramatic series that haven't been pulling their weight in the ratings-war. Let's shift into drama with...
'CSI: NY.' Unlike the three NBC series in jeopardy (the oldest of which debuted in 2011), the New York City chapter of 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' is in the middle of its ninth season. I shouldn't have to tell you how exceptional that is for a dramatic television series.
So this adds a new wrinkle to our game: when we consider whether or not to take the axe to 'CSI: NY' we have to consider a decade of loyal viewership. While the show isn't putting up spectacular numbers, it isn't dropping either--those who watch it aren't giving up on it.
But on the other hand... nine years is a very long time. Maybe that's all the Detective Mac Taylor America is inclined to handle?
Keep 'CSI: NY' or drop the hammer before season ten?
Along with the veteran 'CSI: NY' is the exact opposite: a rookie that has been pulling up lame in the home stretch of the season.
'Vegas' is dropping numbers for CBS despite a very strong critical reception. The crime drama stars Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, each on opposite sides of the law. 'Vegas' also has the added boon of being set in the 1960s and being based on an actual lawman, the former Sheriff of Clark County.
The problem isn't with the concept nor the actors, but 'Vegas' isn't finding itself a steady audience. Be it timeslot issues or any other number of factors, 'Vegas' finds itself on the cutting board as 2012 comes to a close. We'll be getting a full twenty-one episode season order, which is good as the early seasons seemed to place the plot on a slow sizzle rather than a series of hot flashes.
However, even from the onset our ace reviewer Joel Thomas noted that 'Vegas' wasn't quite hitting the mark.
Do you agree? Would you like to see a second season of 'Vegas' or let it go the way of the dodo?
That's NBC and CBS. Tomorrow, we'll outline the potential 2013 cancellations from FOX and ABC.
So? What's the word, TVRagers? Which shows would you keep, which would you discard like a bag of moldy tangerines?