Let’s Predict the First Cancellation of the 2009-2010 Season

A new television season officially begins tonight which means it’s time to predict the first cancellation of the 2009-2010 season. Over the next few weeks the networks will roll out more than 20 new shows (a few have already premiered and a handful won’t premiere until October or November). And FOX has given the first full-season order to one of its new shows, Glee. But what will be the first cancellation of the season? And how many of these new shows will be forgotten by mid-season 2010?

New obscurities are born each and every season. Television isn’t a medium that looks back very often, it’s all about moving forward and discovering the next big hit. Consider the 2008-2009 season. How many people remember Do Not Disturb, The Unusuals or Eleventh Hour? Think back to the 2007-2008 season (all of two years ago). Do Life Is Wild, K-Ville or Journeyman ring a bell? On the other hand, most one season wonders are released on DVD these days and, starting with the 2005-2006 season, the networks have streamed unaired episodes of cancelled shows online for hardcore fans to watch.

What’s your pick for the new season’s first cancellation? Three Rivers on CBS, any of ABC’s new Wednesday programs — Hank, The Middle, Modern Family, Cougar Town and Eastwick — or perhaps FOX’s Brothers, the only new show airing on Fridays? If I were FOX, I’d have the pink slip ready for Brothers

13 Replies to “Let’s Predict the First Cancellation of the 2009-2010 Season”

  1. It could be the orignail Law and Order. They spent 18 of its now 20 years at 10pm on Wednesday nights now they’re moved to Friday nights at 8pm. If they don’t go willingly after this season I think NBC will show them the door.

  2. I’d have to say it will be the Jay Leno Show. Nothing against Jay, but it’s the Tonight Show at 10 p.m., nothing new. We have many shows we record, so we can watch those if nothing else is on at 10. Don’t have to watch Jay.

  3. Aren’t you forgetting “‘TIL DEATH” is appearing in tandem with “BROTHERS” (their first episode is actually the first two, “back-to-back”)? However, the way Fox quickly yanked “”TIL DEATH” along with that other new comedy on Wednesdays from 8-9 last season {les’see, it was set in a hotel, starring Jerry O’Connell, what WAS that title?? AUUGGGH!!}, I wouldn’t be surprised if that Friday combination was just as quickly removed within the next– three weeks…?

    NBC is going to give Jay a “fighting chance”, just as they gave “WEEKDAY” on their daily 1955-’56 network radio schedule: that was supposed to be the next step in national daytime radio programming (as “MONITOR” was on weekends): a multi-hour potpourri of news features, interviews, comedy sketches, musical interludes, and other material aimed at housewives [10:15am-3:30pm(et), with time out for the daily 15 minute version of “FIBBER MCGEE & MOLLY” at 11:45 and Pauline Frederick’s news and commentary at lunchtime] emceed by Margaret Truman (Harry’s daughter), Mike Wallace, and two other co-hosts. It aired from November 1955 through August 1956…and ultimately did absolutely nothing for NBC’s withering audio daytime ratings. In fact, they eliminated virtually all of their traditional daytime radio programming {including their remaining soap operas} by 1959…just as they’ll eventually do with their daily TV schedule {a fifth hour of “TODAY”, anyone?}. Anyway, to make a long story short, the network has too much invested in Leno to yank him off after just a few weeks. “Wait and see” is their attitude- but look for a lot of “adjustments” in the show’s format to commence almost immediately.

    “LAW & ORDER”, in its various “franchises”, will not go quietly…yet, as that’s one of their few “profitable” series the network owns and produces right now {don’t forget off-network and cable repeats, and the DVD box set sales}. I’d say the original will end after 20 years, at the end of this season. The others will “hang on” a bit longer. If ALL of them went off at once, what could the network POSSIBLY fill the time with? More “DATELINE”? “THE BIGGEST LOSER”? How about some more “SNL” retrospectives? Or “THE BEST OF TODAY- AT NIGHT”? TOO RISKY!

    Ask me again in a few weeks….you don’t HAVE to!

  4. Barry, that Jerry O’Connell sitcom on Fox was called ‘DO NOT DISTURB’–and yes, it deserved to be yanked after just a few weeks.
    Speaking of Fox, I agree ‘BROTHERS’ will probably be the first casualty of the season, and it will take ‘TILL DEATH’ with it, leaving poor Brad Garrett hoping for an ‘EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND’ reunion show (though that may not happen with the death of Peter Boyle).
    I don’t think ‘THE JAY LENO SHOW’ will leave the NBC lineup anytime soon. My guess is that the network will look at ratings (and revenue) for the first season before deciding its next move. Plus, it must consider the ratings for the Conan O’Brien-hosted ‘TONIGHT’ (and how it fares against David Letterman on CBS) before NBC makes another boneheaded schedule shift.
    But if I were Kelsey Grammer, I’d be worrying right now: From what I’ve seen, ‘HANK’ is to ‘FRASIER’ what ‘AfterMASH’ was to the original ‘M*A*S*H’. Not a whole lot of good.

  5. I’m thinking shows like V or PARENTHOOD will be the first to go because these are re-makes of shows that really didn’t do that good in the first place.

  6. Thank you for refreshing my memory, Michael. I DO remember that “DO NOT DISTURB” was yanked after just three weeks…unless Fox has something “in the wings” (another repeat of “HOUSE” or “BONES”, perhaps?), “BROTHERS” and “‘TIL DEATH” will appear for a little while- HOW “little”, we shall see.

    I KNEW Kelsey Grammer’s “BACK TO YOU” was in trouble from the moment Fox “planted” an item about the series in the NEW YORK POST in January 2007 [the POST, like Fox, is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire], when production was announced under the title “ACTION NEWS” {they couldn’t use that title because REAL local newscasts use that around the country}, and the article claimed it would soon appear on a major network in the fall of 2007, that according to an expert “sophisticated comedy” was coming back, blah-blah-blah…until the other networks said, in effect, “Thanks, but no thanks- we have our own sitcoms we can produce in-house for less money than you’re asking for”. That’s when Fox realized they HAD to buy it for their own network or lose their “investment” and Kelsey Grammer’s services. But “BACK TO YOU” and Fox were a mismatch, much as a cheese-and-wine affair and a “tailgate party” would unfold in the same room. Besides, didn’t Fox management remember that producer Steven Levitan’s previous 2005 sitcom for them starring Pamela Anderson and Christopher Lloyd was {pardon the expression} a bust? Still, they made a commitment to it for one season….and “BACK TO YOU” promptly vanished in the spring of 2008. I predict ABC (who owns and controls “HANK”) will do the same thing.

    Besides, how could “PARENTHOOD” be “the first to go” if it’s been delayed until mid-season?

  7. You’re right, Barry: ‘BACK TO YOU’ would have been better suited on, say, NBC–and not Fox. (I like the comparison between a cheese & wine party and a tailgate bash.) Fox just doesn’t know what to do with relatively sophisticated live sitcoms. ‘ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’ was another bad fit; how it lasted for two-and-a-half seasons on the network still stuns me, considering the fact Rupert Murdoch reportedly hated the show for being too elitist.
    The clips I’ve seen of ‘HANK’ tell me that it will be the first of ABC’s four new Wednesday night comedies to be cut by January (at least the network can use ‘SCRUBS’ as a fill-in).

  8. You’re lucky Murdoch considered “ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT” “too elitist”, Michael; the mass audience considered it “too weird”, and stayed away from it in droves. The ONLY viewers who regularly watched it were a small “cult audience” of about five million people and virtually every influential TV critic who had orgasms discussing (and praising) it and berating Fox for not giving it a chance to “succeed”. Believe me, 53 episodes were more than enough. I’m still mystified as to WHY it’s so special to some people….however, the MAIN reason it stayed on Fox was because ONE key executive gave it the green light (after said executive left the network, it did, too)…AND they own the series.

    The fact is, the “target audience” Fox wants to attract is the one who regularly tunes into their Sunday night “Animation Domination” schedule [with “THE SIMPSONS” and “FAMILY GUY” out front], “AMERICAN IDOL”, “BONES” and “HOUSE”. “BACK TO YOU”, as I’ve stated, was placed on Fox solely because they couldn’t “peddle” it to anyone else [this season, Steven Levitan’s “MODERN FAMILY”- co-produced by Fox TV- was sold to ABC, and that’s where it belongs].

    Possibly “HANK” will be replaced by “SCRUBS” if it doesn’t do that well (I haven’t seen one episode of it as yet- I’m a bit wary of judging a TV show by “preview clips” alone)…but I have this feeling ABC might bring “BETTER OFF TED” back to air in tandem (as they did last season) as well…

    And thanks for the compliment about the “two divergent groups”…

  9. Starting with ABC: Modern Family, Cougar Town, and Eastwick should have been pulled after the pilots aired. And, not so sure Fast Forward is going that far forward into the future. But I think ABC will be the first to pull the plug on these.

  10. Has anyone seen how poorly The CW’s new The Beautiful Life is performing? The second episode barely broke one million viewers. Even The CW cannot accept those levels for long.

  11. The tribe has spoken: “BEAUTIFUL LIFE” has officially been yanked by The CW; reruns of other network dramas (specifically “MELROSE PLACE”, which is now on life support until Heather Locklear’s return in November) will fill the slot starting September 30th.
    Now we’ll see which new series will be the SECOND cancellation of the season!

  12. Not every prediction pans out. ABC didn’t have the best season overall, but CougarTown did well, and Modern Family is a certified hit.

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