HitFix examines TV Shows on the Bubble

05.01.09 8 years ago


It’s a pretty exciting time to be a pop culture enthusiast. “Wolverine” marks the semi-official start of the Summer Movie Season and just because it stinks doesn’t mean that it isn’t a harbinger of high-budget popcorn flicks to come. It’s May Sweeps and TV shows are pumping out finales and stunt episodes galore. It’s also NBA and NHL playoff season, if you happen to agree with me that sports and pop culture are intermingled in this media culture.

But if you’re a true television fan, you know that the most important event running through May is Upfront Season, decision time for network television hopefuls, including both the shows currently on the bubble, but also countless pilots that have been stimulating Los Angeles’ economy for weeks now. 

[More after the break…]

NBC kicks things off on Monday by answering some of the spring’s biggest questions: Will “Chuck” return for a third season? Will “My Name Is Earl” become a free agent? How embarrassing will a Jay Leno glutted primetime lineup actually look?

Because NBC’s playing by its own rules, the rest of the networks will wait another two weeks before letting us know the fate of shows like “Dollhouse” and “Privileged” and “Castle” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

With that in mind, I’ve thrown together a big ol’ photo gallery of TV bubble shows, analyzing their hopes for renewal, the factors working for them and against them. Photo galleries are pretty and colorful, but I know people people sometimes get annoyed at the need to click-through so many pictures. I hope I’ve added enough textual handicapping to make the clicking worthwhile. 

As of Friday (May 1) afternoon, things are looking positive for a “Chuck” renewal, which is what I’ve been predicting for weeks. And that’s what I predict in the Bubble gallery. 

I’m also going out on a limb and guessing that “Dollhouse” will be back next season. No, I don’t have *any* evidence to support that assertion. It’s just a hunch. I’m prepared to have a little egg on my face if FOX decides that the Joss Whedon drama’s ratings are just too darned low to justify another 13 episodes.

On the negative side, I’m assuming that just because E! readers said they wanted it back doesn’t mean that “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” will get a third season. The show was already on the bubble for renewal last season and the ratings were already in the tank before FOX shipped the show to Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I’d gladly maintain my season pass for “Terminator” if it gets picked up, I just don’t think it will.

I’m also assuming that NBC will pick up “Southland,” but somebody has to point out that it’s a mistake. Ratings have slipped the past two weeks even though the show is in a relatively soft timeslot. Put that puppy against a legitimate CBS procedural next fall and it’s going to get creamed and NBC will just look around in confusion.

But enough teasing.

Check out…


[As a helpful hint, the shows are grouped by network in the order NBC, FOX, The CW, ABC and CBS…]

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