Post-Strike Update: When TV Shows Return (Tuesday UPDATE)
The latest rumors on the post-strike return of "Private Practice," "Prison Break," "House," "Gossip Girl" "Bones," "Women's Murder Club" and many other shows.
PRIVATE PRACTICE: The freshman medical drama is not expected to return with new episodes this spring. The Kate Walsh-fronted series will however be back with at least 13 new episodes next season, as will the rest of ABC's Wednesday night line-up ("Pushing Daisies" and "Dirty Sexy Money"). Surprisingly, "Women's Murder Club" may get canceled.
PRISON BREAK: Hollywood press reports FOX won't be ordering additional episodes of "Prison Break" this season - next Monday the drama concludes its current 13-episode arc. The show has gone down over 15% in the ratings this year.
HOUSE/BONES: Furthermore, the network now appears to be inching towards not ordering additional episodes of "House" this season (which has already run out of fresh installments) and "Bones" (the procedural has 4 episodes left in the can).
SMALLVILLE: The CW's veteran drama is now critical to survival of the young network. Following a series of flops and declining ratings, "Smallville" has become CW's top rated scripted hour, keeping eyeballs tuned into the struggling network on lucrative Thursday nights.
The show will have 3-5 new episodes beyond the original 15 pre-strike episodes, increasing the season total to 18-20 episodes. 3-5 new episodes are also expected for its lead-out "Supernatural" which filmed 12 pre-strike episodes, so its season total will be 15-17 episodes.
BLOCKBUSTER TV DRAMAS/DRAMEDIES: Tube's greatest hits like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives," will be coming back with at least 4-7 new episodes this spring.
CSI and other CBS procedurals: Hit CBS crime dramas are expected to follow the same pattern of other blockbuster TV series - they will be back this spring with 4-7 new episodes.
These shows help keep the Eye network on the top of the ratings (in total viewers, not among adults 18-49, that is), so expect to see more of "CSI," "CSI: Miami," "CSI: New York," "Without a Trace," "NCIS," "Numb3rs," "Criminal Minds" and "Cold Case."
HEROES: NBC's sci-fi drama from the producer Tim Kring was originally planning to open a new arc titled "Villains" in early 2008. Since the studio would probably not be able to film more than 3 new episodes this season, NBC is expected to delay the return of the drama till September, when season 3 launches. Next season may however contain more than the standard 22-23 episodes.
UGLY BETTY: ABC's sophomore comedy would come back this spring for 4 additional episodes, bringing the season total to 17. Executive producer Silvio Horta has said to Entertainment Weekly the writers would however have to tweak the planned storylines as they were originally mapped out for a 23-episode season. 13 episodes have aired thus far.
GOSSIP GIRL: The CW's teen drama based on the series of bestselling books is expected to return in late April with the at least 6 more episodes. Under that scenario, the struggling network may extend its official TV season into the summer. "Gossip Girl" was the first freshman drama to receive a full-season pickup last October.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: Given its half-hour format and well-established production, CBS' flashback-laden comedy might (along with the network's top sitcom "Two and a Half Men" and its lead-out "The Big Bang Theory") return for as many as 7 new installments this spring. 11 episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" have aired so far.
24: This is a really tricky one. As you may have heard, 8 episodes had been filmed prior to the strike. Since bringing the show back for an abbreviated season is impossible due to its 24-hour format, the drama will most probably return in January 2009, which means the strike may have cost both fans and people who produce the series an entire season.
SAMANTHA WHO: The single-camera comedy starring Christina Applegate is expected to return March 24, following a new cycle of "Dancing with the Stars." 12 episodes have been filmed, 9 have aired through early December, the remaining 3 episodes will kick off the new batch. As many as 6 new episodes could be filmed this spring, bringing the season total to 18.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: The second season of "Friday Night Lights" (including last week's 15th episode) will be released on DVD April 22, and would therefore have no additional episodes. The show's future remains up in the air.
TO GET CANCELED: Shows like "Bionic Woman," "Journeyman" and "Big Shots" are not coming back with new episodes this spring and they are expected to get canceled when the new fall grids are announced in May.
The post will be updated/corrected when more information becomes available.