Of the 16 new shows to debut on the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) this season, not a single one has been canceled. Orders have been reduced, as E! Online points out, but The Player going from 13 episodes to nine isn’t the same thing as NBC saying thanks, no thanks to Wesley Snipes, and putting the series out of its misery. Are we living in a kinder world? Not exactly.
In fact, reducing episode orders is a great way to never have to cancel a show at all. Just let the show run its newly shortened course and then refer to it as a “limited” or “event” series, let it fade into oblivion, never to be spoken of again until its few diehard fans start wondering why it doesn’t appear on the next season’s schedule. (Via E Online)
All you Blood & Oil fans, all dozen of you, are going to feel duped when you realize your DVR season pass is useless in a few weeks.
Just how unusual is it that after many of the new shows have aired five of six episodes, none have been canned? Let’s take a look at the first cancellation for every fall season since 2000, not counting programming on The CW, WB, or UPN.
2000-01: Tucker (four episodes)
Tucker, a divorce comedy that lasted for all of four episodes, is probably best known for being Katey Sagal’s first post-Married… with Children live-action starring role. Which is to say, it’s barely known at all.
2001-02: Danny (two episodes)
Daniel Stern’s résumé isn’t impeccable, but it does have Diner, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Wonder Years, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, City Slickers, City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold, and that one episode of The Simpsons on it. That’s good enough to deserve better than Danny, a came-and-went comedy about a single dad with two kids that he created. Fortunately, in WGN’s Manhattan, Stern’s found a more successful showcase for his talents.
2002-03: That Was Then (two episodes)
That was then, this is… you’re gone after a pair of episodes, both of which starred the immortal Jeffrey Tambor, neither of which left an impression. Other than, “Didn’t The WB’s Do Over have the same time-travel plot?”