Spring is around the corner which means pilots are in development and gearing up for next year’s 2014-2015 television season. However, as the current television season draws to a close networks are faced with difficult decisions in determining which shows will return next year.
Every year around this time TV Guide will post their TV Scorecard to give the audience an opportunity to voice their opinions about favorite shows that deserve a renewal. You can check out the list here, the list is only compiled of major networks, courtesy of TVguide.com.
The first category list shows that will officially return next Fall, the second is the unofficial list of shows that will also return. Alternatively, the last category lists shows that are confirmed over. Overtime this webpage will get updated, but the one category television fans will comment most on is the “Looking Not So Good” category.
For the past few years TV guide posted a “bubble” list, which consists of television shows that have a 50-50 chance of getting renewed. This year the “bubble” list has been combined with shows that will probably get canceled by the end of May. Now is the time for fans to rally together and let networks know which shows deserve to stay on air. (Fun fact, famous examples of shows that have strived through fan support have been Chuck and Community.)
Here is a rundown of pros and cons for sci-fi/genre-shows that are in danger:
Almost Human: The biggest problem with this futuristic crime-procedural is the episodes were aired out of production order. As a television viewer there were times the show’s plot looked like it was progressing in one direction, but then the next episode would refer to a previous conflict that was no longer relevant, consequently the show’s level of interest fluctuated. Some episodes were good, some were not.
Intelligence: Same issue can be said for the CBS drama. What started out as an interesting concept, a man with a computer chip hooked to his brain that allows him to combat terrorism, turned into another procedural too soon, meaning another CSI, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, etc... The first three episodes were very good, unfortunately all proceeding episodes became “problem of the week” episodes. In other words, each episode is self contained and if you miss an episode it is no problem.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Critics and fans agree this spin-off would not have been picked up for the current television season if it weren't for the original Once Upon a Time. Wonderland’s plot is worthy to be a story-line for Once Upon a Time, but not as a standalone television series. It lacks the popular characters from the other show and it does not really crossover to Once Upon a Time. This show is less likely to return since the cast can easily transition over to the more successful flagship series.
Revolution: The current season of Revolution’s plot is at a crossroads. The story-line with cast plotting a rebellion against the newly reformed US Government, aka the Patriots, is what makes the show interesting. However, the sci-fi aspects of the show, nanites with healing and killing capabilities are responsible for turning off the power and now have a mind of their own, sounds weird for Sci-fi show.
Beauty and the Beast and Tomorrow People: The sad fact is these shows, along with every other CW show that has not been renewed, are in a tougher position. CW’s prime time programming block is shorter compared to the bigger networks, therefore, more freshman television series will get canceled and the popular, but low viewership, shows could also get axed. In addition, CW is already working on a Flash pilot and iZOMBIE, and The 100 and Star-Crossed have yet to air.
Overall, networks cannot satisfy everyone, and yes some television shows deserve cancellation, while others deserve either another chance or one final season to wrap up any plotlines. One strategy that seems to be working is ordering seasons with smaller episode runs. It works really well for AMC dramas and Fox has followed that pattern with The Following and Sleepy Hollow. Who knows maybe some shows will return in a limited series run like 24 and recently announced Heroes. It will be sad to say good-bye to some television series, but on the Brightside audiences can look forward to next Fall.