NBC Puts Awake To Sleep For Good, Cancels Three Freshman Comedies

Awake Canceled

Why do I still watch network sci-fi shows? This is the question I find myself asking today, and I'm sure after reading this, a lot more fans will be asking themselves the same thing. NBC has just canceled the best show most people aren't watching, that being the excellent sci-fi series/cop drama Awake.

For those unfamiliar (which judging by the ratings is most of you), Awake follows Det. Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs, delivering an absolutely terrific performance), who finds himself living in two parralel realities following a fatal car accident. In one reality, Britten's wife died, while in the other, his young son was killed. Every time he falls asleep (or is otherwise knocked unconcious) Britten wakes up in the other reality. Each episode features the usual "case of the week" format common to most cop shows, but the sci-fi elements are really what the make series shine. Britten finds clues in one reality that lead him to solve a case in the other. Some information he learns is even leading him to believe that the accident that changed his life was no accident at all.

But I guess now, we'll probably never know which reality was real, or who caused the accident. There are still two more first season episodes set to air, but I highly doubt they will provide much closure, since the producers were not informed of the cancellation before filming on the finale wrapped up. Awake is yet another great high-concept show to meet its end after low ratings on a broadcast network. These shows do so much better on cable, where the 5+ million viewers Awake draws would be downright good. Sigh.

In other NBC news, the comedies Are You There, Chelsea?, Bent, and Best Friends Forever have all met the cancellation axe. None are too surprising, as all three make Awake's ratings look great. Especially "Chelsea" which was critically thrashed. The critical reaction on Bent was actually very good, but the network didn't even bother to promote it, making it's demise a self-fulfilling prophecy. Best Friends Forever's reviews were just a medicore as its ratings, garnering a solid meh from most critics.

Are you bummed about the end of Awake? Will you miss Chelsea, Bent, or BFF?

- Best Friends Forever
- Bent
- Are You There, Chelsea?
- Awake

Written by: msd85
May 11th, 2012, 4:46 pm


Level 2 (56%)
Since: 19/Jun/11
Message Posted On May 23rd, 2012, 11:52 pm

Would be great if American TV was more like British television.  Complete a story arc in 5-10 episodes, if enough viewers watch -- bring it back a year later with a different, complete, story.  Seasons that end with cliffhangers is very 1970's -- times have changed, so should American television...


Message Posted On May 18th, 2012, 6:03 pm
There have been 3 network shows that I decided to watch in the last few years - Awake, Life on Mars, and Journeyman. Please, feel sorry for me.

Message Posted On May 18th, 2012, 6:03 pm
There have been 3 network shows that I decided to watch in the last few years - Awake, Life on Mars, and Journeyman. Please, feel sorry for me.

Message Posted On May 18th, 2012, 3:35 pm
I am so bummed about Awake being cancelled. It is a great show. I am torn about whether to even bother watching the last episode since I'm sure it won't give us closure. AARRGGHHH!
Not Amused

Message Posted On May 18th, 2012, 6:30 am
What else to expect from a Network, especially that ludicrous NBC? All NBC is good for is overpaying superanuated commedians and bragging about their nonexistant originality. "Awake" never had a chance, neither had any of those other shows, not while NBC is looking for instant success. Remember what the tv bosses did to Roddenberry!

Message Posted On May 17th, 2012, 10:49 am
This is the only show I really looked forward to watching every week. I'm really going to miss it. I've got this outside hope that maybe CBS will pick it up, like it did "Medium," which, like Awake, had a protagonist whose sleep habits aided in solving crime and brought with it a litany of other interesting issues. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Message Posted On May 14th, 2012, 3:32 am
I will really miss Awake. Why do the networks keep canning original ideas?

Level 1 (2%)
Since: 26/Mar/12
Message Posted On May 13th, 2012, 10:01 pm

There should be something we can do to  eradicate the infestation of reality tv and ensure that all scripted shows receive an ending. It is just plain laziness , lack of vision, care or talent  for ANY story teller not to have a conclusion. TV is the only story telling medium where endings are not even a consideration and why some series lose their way and meander  lost if left to run for too long. How well would a movie or book do at the box office or best seller list if it had no ending and finished mid-way through the story?


  • Firstly, ALL scripted series should have a finite life and run for a pre-determined (case-by-case basis) time in order to tell the WHOLE story. 
  • Secondly, 99% of reality shows should be eradicated. The general reality viewing public might just learn something useful which is a reach I know as the vast majority of reality TV viewers have mush for brains and no lives, hence the need to live vicariously through the talentless famous-for-being-famous cretins on most of these shows.

Message Posted On May 13th, 2012, 8:50 am
I watched the first episode and immediately thought "this will be canceled in it's first season; no reason to get involved in it." The concept of alternate realities being a "reality", i.e. Multiverse/Dr. Michio Kaku, is too much for the average viewer to wrap their head around. I've lost count of the quality programs that have been canceled over the last ten years, solely because "the numbers weren't there." Just use my formula, "If it has sex, it'll last. If it has lots of gun play & explosion, it'll sell. If it makes you think, it'll last 3-6 episodes."

Message Posted On May 12th, 2012, 11:04 pm
I remember a French interview of an american producer last year who looked taken aback after a question about tvseries without end : the u.s. producer was saying that it didn't matter to film a real end to tvseries that people weren't watching (evidence : weak audiences) and the journalist asked "are you aware that those series are worldwide sold and that international channels wouldn't buy your shows if they have no end leading to great loss of money and encouraging illegal downloads (dvds would less sell too without a proper conclusion). The producer didn't seem to have a clue about that :). Anyaway, Awake is the best original series I've seen in years. I remember having been moved near the same way only during Lost's first season about Locke's life or Jack's family problems but there....the dialogs are perfectly written, they're just genuine, I'm not ashame of saying that I shed tears during 9 episods out of 11. The plot is so perfect, close to a twilight zone movie, I understand the story might be confusing but is it really that confusing ?!! Haven't you watched Twin Peaks, the Lost episods of seasons 4 and 5...way too blurry. I just hope that There will be a good end, a real end I mean...A 13 episod show is good for me, I don't want secondary plots drowning the whole thing (just like latest Supernatural). Finally, about the 4400...there is a real end, everyone is marked by the promicine...the "tainted" are eliminated...what else ? I did like it, contrary to John Doe SPOILER (the best friend is the evil boss and....good bye). Keep in touch, keep in touch
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