In a small victory, NBC has renewed a freshman comedy.
In a predictable defeat, NBC has cancelled a J.J. Abrams-produced drama.
You can decide if you feel similar elation and dejected about this latest bit of NBC Good News/Bad News: The network has ordered a second season for “About a Boy,” but NBC has also confirmed that the second season will be the end of the line for “Revolution.”
The renewal for “About a Boy” wasn't a shocker. Boosted by “The Voice,” the Jason Katims adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel and subsequent film has been NBC's biggest comedy success in several years, even if ratings have been slipping somewhat in recent weeks.
As the news broke, there were initial claims that “About a Boy” was the first NBC comedy to get renewed for a second season since “Community” back in the day. This, of course, wasn't true, but it's often hard to remember that “Whitney” and “Up All Night” earned renewals, while it's easier to remember things like “The New Normal,” “Go On,” “Animal Practice,” “1600 Penn,” “Welcome to the Family,” “Sean Saves The World,” “The Michael J. Fox Show” and many, many, many more.
In fact, that “many more” includes many more comedies starring David Walton, who sheds his “showkiller” mantle earned with “Bent,” “Perfect Couples” and “100 Questions,” as well as other less notable failures including “Cracking Up,” “Heist” and “Quarterlife.”
Good for David Walton, we say!
And speaking of those short-lived NBC comedies, the network confirms that “Growing Up Fisher” won't be back next year, making this the second straight year for Jenna Elfman with a quickly cancelled midseason comedy at NBC.
Meanwhile, it was a fairly abrupt fall-from-grace for “Revolution,” which was one of the early “sensations” of the 2012-2013 season, only to suffer from steep audience attrition after its midseason hiatus and then to suffer a general collapse on Wednesdays without “The Voice” as its lead-in.
The “Revolution” cancellation is actually a tribute to NBC's new position atop the network heap this season. Including huge Live+7 jumps, “Revolution” actually averaged a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers, numbers that would have earned the drama a renewal most recent springs.
Concluding a rough day for J.J. Abrams — Don't worry, he's got other things on his mind — NBC also cancelled “Believe.” The freshman drama was created by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron, but failed to find any sort of traction on Sunday nights.
Also heading to the graveyard from Sunday nights is the drama “Crisis.” Although CBS isn't going to officially confirm the demise of “Hostages” until next week, it's a safe bet that we won't look back at 2013-2014 as an especially successful year for McDermott/Mulroney DC-set hostage vehicles.
Happy? Sad? Neutral?