WHO WILL GET THE AXE?
The new TV season is well under way and the first casualties have already been announced this week along with some schedule changes designed to help the remaining rookie shows avoid the worst. So, where are the new shows standing and who is next to get the axe? The shows are listed in order of their respective premiere dates.
VANISHED (Fox, Fridays at 8/7c) The first new drama of the season has just lost its anemic main star Gale Harold who was replaced with Eddie Cibrian ("Invasion"). Too little, too late. The show is also moving from its plum post-Prison Break slot to the Friday death zone. And that is never a good thing on FOX. Do not expect to see anything beyond the original network order of 13 episodes (6 remain). The show returns October 27.
For more on Vanished click HERE.
JUSTICE (Fox, Mondays at 9/8c) The Jerry Bruckheimer legal drama starring Viktor Garber has struggled in the ratings over its five original airings (a little over 5 million viewers was its record low). FOX is however firmly behind this project as they have proven by reairing the episodes already shown, giving the series another shot starting October 23 and ordering 4 additional scripts.
TILL DEATH (Fox, Thursdays at 8/7c) There is some strong competition in the timeslot, especially since the successful launch of ABC's "Ugly Betty". The critics however believe the sitcom's lack of originality is to blame for its poor performance in the Nielsens. Even the star Brad Garrett has ordered rewriting of the scripts, effectively shutting down production for a week. Again, FOX will be patient with the comedy bringing it back on November 2.
HAPPY HOUR (FOX, Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c) This is the painfully unwatchable half-hour that both critics and viewers loathe for its crude humor and witless cast and it has topped Bravo's Death Watch list of shows its viewers believe will get the axe for weeks. Although FOX has shocked everyone by insisting this tragedy of a comedy would be back on November 2, we still believe they will come to their senses and cancel this pile of crap pronto.
STANDOFF (FOX, Tuesdays at 9/8c) The drama about two special agents who fall in love as early as in the show's pilot (normally a Jump-the-Shark moment reserved for a later, more desperate season) did pretty well in the beginning (over 13 million viewers tuned into the pilot). The ratings have gone down since then and now the drama is switching timeslots with blockbuster House, M.D. That is a strong lead-in, but so is the competition in the timeslot, and once American Idol returns in January, it may be almost impossible to find another spot for this series on FOX's crammed schedule.
MEN IN TREES (ABC, Fridays at 9/8c) Anne Heche Alaska-set drama that USA Today called a "pale imitation of Northern Exposure" had done pretty well in a couple of pre-season slots when there was weak competition of reruns on other networks. Since then the drama has gone down to about 6-7 million viewers, which is nothing to write home about. For the time being, ABC may give the series a little more time to develop an audience.
THE CLASS (CBS, Mondays at 8:30/7:30c) The sitcom comes from the Friends co-creator David Crane and features a large ensemble cast. Many critics have found the comedy endearing, but the Nielsens are yet to follow. The series has dropped about 20% since its premiere, so CBS will do what they had originally intended to do with the show - it is moving to the post-"How I Met Your Mother" slot. Sandwiched between two hits (with "Two and a Half Men"), it may gradually find its audience after all.
STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP (NBC, Mondays at 10/9c) This smart Aaron Sorkin-penned drama about production of a live television comedy show with an all-star cast received a lot of buzz as NBC's most anticipated new series. Some have feared that the show's theme may prove to be "too inside" for people not working in the entertainment industry, though. They may have been right. Following a successful premiere, the one-hour drama has been losing viewers every half hour it has been on air. Although we believe NBC will do its best to keep it on the air, perhaps by finding a new spot on the schedule, this may end up being a very expensive mistake on the part of NBC, a network so desperately in need of a new hit.
For more on Studio 60 click HERE.
SMITH (CBS) and KIDNAPPED (NBC) are the first two shows to get cancelled. Some believe Ray Liotta's drama failed when it asked the viewers to root for criminals. As for Kidnapped, the viewers may have already been exhausted with the serialized thriller format when FOX's Vanished premiered a month earlier. Also, the NBC drama was known among focus groups for it dark and depressing tone that may not have sat well with viewers. Kidnapped will be burned off on Saturday nights, while there is no indication if CBS will air any additional episodes of "Smith". The drama was taken off the schedule instantly.
For more click HERE.
JERICHO (CBS, wednesday at 8/7c) Finally a winner! The drama's success has puzzled the critics who did not think post-apocalypse hour would strike the right chord with viewers. Not only has the show delivered about 10 million viewers in its premiere, but it has grown since then, giving CBS the most successful Wednesday at 8-slot in years. If the ratings hold up, expect a full season order of 22 episodes.
SIX DEGREES (ABC, Thursdays at 10/9c) The JJ Abrams-produced drama about the intertwining lives of six people living in Manhattan has struggled since the get-go. A recent episode lost more than half of its precious "Grey's Anatomy" lead-in audience. Things are not looking well for this complex drama from the creator of "Lost" and "What About Brian". The show may get cancelled very soon.
For more on ABC Thursdays click HERE.
SHARK (CBS, Thursdays at 10) The critics have said that the best thing about this unoriginal legal drama is its star James Woods. The viewers seem to agree up to a point. Although the drama is losing a great chunk of its lead-in CSI audience, the numbers are still high enough to make this hour the second most successful new series this season. If the numbers hold up, the show may get picked up for a full season.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS (ABC, Sundays at 10) Many had believed the show would tank following all the rumours about last-minute recasting and behind-the-scenes drama. The buzz is, however, that the show is improving with every episode and its post 'Desperate Housewives" slot also does not hurt. Currently the fourth most successful new series this season, the drama may continue to grow. For the time being, the future looks bright.
HEROES (NBC, Mondays at 9/8c) Some of the critics are surprised that this new cult drama has managed to find its niche audience on Monday nights. Giving NBC some of the best numbers in the timeslot for years (almost 15 million viewers), the drama was quickly picked up for a full season of 22 episodes.
For more on Heroes click HERE.
HELP ME HELP YOU (ABC, Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c) The comedy may be the highest-rated new sitcom of the season and the fifth most popular new series overall, but it is losing over half of its "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in audience. Its unfunny scripts that waste the talent of Ted Danson show little promise that the comedy would grow into a quality half-hour. Then again, we had to endure the pain of "Freddie" all season long last year, so anything is possible when it comes to ABC comedy.
UGLY BETTY (ABC, Thusrdays at 8/7c) This charming telenovela of a comedy starring America Ferrera is not only the highest rated new show of the season (over 16 million viewers tuned into the premiere), but also the darling of TV critics across the industry. Also, it has managed to build a strong audience without a lead-in, giving ABC (along with Grey's Anatomy) the strongest performance on Thursdays in years. Expect a full season pick-up.
More on ABC's Ugly Betty.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC, Tuesdays at 8/7c) This is probably one of the highest quality hours on TV this season. A truly exceptional and slick football drama with truly poor ratings. Only one episode has aired so far, so if the audience holds up or grows there may be a chance to save this great series. If the drama loses viewers next week, it may get axed fairly quickly. Given its quality, that would be very unfortunate.
THE NINE (ABC, Wednesdays at 10/9c) The jury is still out on this one. The first episode lost a considerable chunk of its "Lost" lead-in audience and we all know what that meant for last year's "Invasion" (which had a stronger premiere in September 2005). The show's heavy drama may once again prove to be too much to bear for all those Losties, exhausted after watching an hour of their favorite island mystery drama.
"THE GAME" and "RUNAWAY" (The CW) are the only new series on the struggling CW network and they are bleeding heavily as are many of the returning shows from UPN or WB. Less than 2 million viewers tuned into these shows giving them very little hope for survival.
For more on The CW troubles click HERE.
Labels: New Shows