A few weeks ago now it started again. It caught me by surprise. It then suddenly hit me of how it was now the month of May and how that could only mean one thing. Well, it means one thing for that of television. Basically every May the main television networks of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW come together in New York for a week with an event called the “TV Upfronts”. It’s this during this time where these networks showcase all of their upcoming programming for the next season of television on their respective channels. New television programs along with already established series are included in this showcase for the Upfronts. This event involves trailers for the new series along with every network premiering their newly laid out schedule for the upcoming next season for all of their series, new and returning.
When a new show enters onto the scene for a network that means sometimes that an already existing series might then get cancelled to make room for that new series. And since there are only so many days of the week and only so much room for so many series not every show will again see the light of day with another season for their series. So for the industry that is television the month of May basically means that new shows are now entering into the television landscape, while already playing series might be entering the zone of possibly getting a pink slip of a cancellation notice.
Not too long before the Upfronts begin announcing the next season of television programming, the network part of the television atmosphere starts the process of cancelling programs on their channels. Last year there were some particularly rough cancellations like The Last Man on Earth and The Mick, both formerly of the FOX network (And both very much TV Favorites for this TV Nerd gal that is myself). Last year something awesome happened though. A TV miracle, if you will, happened and lot of great programs that got an unexpected cancellation pink slip notice ended up getting saved by other networks.
At the end of the day once a show gets cancelled, it’s cancelled. For most cancelled TV Series that’s it, it is now gone. All those unanswered questions, and that crazy cliffhanger will be the last that we will see of a series that has abruptly gotten cancelled. No answers to those questions of where the story was going or where it might have gone. Which is pretty much a full on bummer for viewers of a series that “just gets cancelled”.
“The Golden Age of Television” that we are currently living in where a series “just got cancelled” doesn’t always means the series is for sure over and done with being on television. These days there is fully a possibility of a cancelled series possibly getting a reversed cancellation. With the amount of networks and streaming services on television nowadays a cancelled series isn’t always a “see ya never again” for a TV Show. These days thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, or even that of network and cable television that possibility of a reversed cancellation can and has happened for some TV Programs. There’s a few things that can help a cancelled show get a reversed cancellation which is another networks faith in that program, along with a loyal fan base behind a series.
That reversed cancellation happened last spring for a few lucky series. Designated Survivor (formerly of the ABC network) was one of those programs to get a reversed cancellation last year. I liked this program, but have to admit I was really quite surprised to see it get saved by Netflix after being cancelled. It was a series I did like, but one I wasn’t super bummed about hearing that it had been let go. My favorite part of this series is probably when Maggie Q’s character says pretty much every episode her character name along with her occupation, “Hannah Wells, FBI!”, for that alone I’m happy the series got saved by Netflix. Designated Survivor is an enjoyable enough series that had an interesting Season 2 Finale for its final season on ABC. That finale was really quite good, peaking my interests again in this series. To say the least I am completely curious about the new season of this series after that finale. And can’t wait to see where its story will go when Season 3 of Designated Survivor premieres on Netflix this June.
There were two series that really stood out from the many “TV Cancellations of Spring 2018”. Series that after there cancellation had gathered a whole lot of attention. There was an outcry of support for these two shows everywhere. Brooklyn Nine- Nine and Lucifer, both cancelled by the FOX Network were these two series. The fan base behind these shows really made a difference, and got those unexpected cancellations reversed. That loyal fan base showed other networks that these programs still very much had an audience intact in them. Brooklyn Nine- Nine just completed its sixth season on NBC, fitting in perfectly with “NBC’s Must See Thursdays”, while Lucifer recently just premiered its fourth season on the streaming service of Netflix. So TV miracle reversed cancellations can happen.
Now for this year’s newly fresh and pressed TV Cancellations hot off the presses. In the matter of a day not too long ago, it seemed like every show had gotten cancelled. Okay, I’m being slightly dramatic, but a whole lot of programs did in fact get cancelled by their respective networks. I was shook, as I am every spring when this happens to the world of television. I am a TV Nerd after all.
This year though, I had forgotten about that pop culture craziness of when the month of May comes around it means “duh, so many shows will now be getting cancelled”. I was reminded of what May means for Network TV when I turned to TVLine.com (as I do because it’s my absolute favorite site for the latest TV happenings). And that’s when I was once again reminded about “that dreaded time of the year for TV Cancellations”. I was seeing cancellations for many TV Programs on a variety of all the network channels.
ABC gave pink slips to some established series on their channel such as Splitting Up Together, Speechless, and For the People, shows that have had more than one season. While cancelling a few of their new series such as the comedy of The Kids Are Alright, and the dramas of Whiskey Cavalier and The Fix.
Out of the new series for the drama side I haven’t watched The Fix as of yet. Although, I do hope to still catch up on this newly cancelled series at some point eventually. As far as Whiskey Cavalier, I have watched this series. As a matter of fact, I recently caught up on the show, just in time to hear about its cancellation. So the question may be “Did I like Whiskey Cavalier?”. Yes and no. I love the cast which is full of All- Star TV talent. Although, as far as the show goes it was simply just okay. I did enjoy watching it, but I have to say I wasn’t like mega sad to hear about its cancellation.
The show did remind of me of a USA Network type of program from the early 2000s, being a mix of comedy and drama set in an action pack atmosphere. Also, it did have a catchy theme song, and I love me a good TV Show Theme Song. If someone were to ask me if Whiskey Cavalier is still worth a watch despite its cancellation I would say most definitely! I mean Scott Foley is on it after all, and that alone is enough of a reason for tuning into Whiskey Cavalier. At the end of it all, it wasn’t a bad show. It was a fun watch that you feel okay saying goodbye to after its short run and moving on to the next one, kind of show.
The cancellations on the ABC Network for the ones that were the most surprising were for the series of Splitting Up Together, The Kids Are Alright and Speechless. ABC is a network that is known for their many family sitcoms, a kind of series that the network has really established very well. These three series fit in perfectly with that format of programming on the network being both funny and heartwarming. Out of all the cancelled programs on this network, these three series are the ones that I hope can find life on another TV Platform. Because they were good series and are shows worth sticking with.
FOX last year was the network that had gotten the most attention for its Cancelled TV Programs. Surprising viewers with the cancellations of many fan favorite series. This year was no different. On the list of “ugh, but why?!?!” cancelled series were the following: The Passage, The Cool Kids, Lethal Weapon, Proven Innocent, Star, and The Gifted. A combination of shows with many seasons, along with some newly minted series.
Some cancellations are surprising, whereas others aren’t so much. I am such a fan of the Lethal Weapon TV Series (I am though not caught up on this past season, TV Nerd Fail, I know). Being more of a TV Nerd I have never seen the films, but the transition of this franchise from big to small screen worked really well as a series on TV. This series was one of FOX’s best programs, and then the end of Season 2 happened. It’s always unfortunate to hear when there is backstage drama, especially for a series where the cast just worked so incredibly well off of one another. Basically what happened was one of the leading men got fired from this series, and the part was then recast. The series still very much worked, but Damon Wayans said after Season 3 that he was ready to move on from the show. In many ways, once that came out it seemed far fetched that this series would come back again with another new season. Lethal Weapon’s cancellation was not surprising, just disappointing.
Some of these cancellations were surprising though. Cancellations for such series as The Passage, The Cool Kids, and Star. These series getting cancelled were surprising because in the fact that they are all great shows. I haven’t seen the first season of The Passage entirely, only a few episodes as of now, but from what I have seen I thought it was a fantastic new series. One that was interesting, intriguing, and quite good. I kind of thought the whole “Vampire Genre on TV” had faded away, but this series brought it back fully. I really do hope The Passage can find a new lease on life somewhere else on TV. Netflix seems like it would be a good platform for this series, fitting in perfectly with Netflix’s many other programs.
The one series this year that FOX cancelled that was the most upsetting for this TV Nerd was The Cool Kids. How exactly do I express just how very much I enjoyed this new series? Hmmm….. It goes a little something like this: I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! So dramatic, but this show getting cancelled is when being dramatic is completely called for. It was just so perfectly perfect. It was so funny. It was a show that before watching it I was like “Getting Cancelled!”. And then I watched it, and my mind was completely changed. I hope to write a something, something about this series soon, but for now I’ll just say that this cancellation hit hard for it was a true favorite of mine from this TV Season.
CBS Cancellations were mostly for the sitcom side of the network. Fam, Happy Together, Murphy Brown (revival), and Life In Pieces. The first two of these sitcoms were new to the network. It took some time to get into the new series Fam. I initially thought this series comedy was just okay at first, but after a few episodes it kind of grew on me and I ended up really enjoying it. I mean Brian Stokes Mitchell was on it, I should have figured how at some point I’d like this show because a Theater Dork I am after all. If you don’t speak Theater Dork, Brian Stokes Mitchell is a veteran of the Broadway Theater scene who is a fantastic actor. Overall, I do have to say for a series where I went from thinking it was “eh, just okay” to really quite liking it, I was slightly sad to hear of its series cancellation.
It’s possible that some of you out there reading this have probably never even have heard of this now cancelled series. It came and then went without getting much attention during its time on the air. So for those of you wondering what this series was about here is a short overview, it’s about a woman named Clem (played by The Vampire Diaries Nina Dobrev). Clem is around her early 30s, and who shares a home with her fiance. She lives a life where there are no real surprises, and she very much likes her no surprises kind of life. Then her no surprises kind of life is altered when her younger half sister moves in with her, and her life goes from knowing what to expect to feeling upside down. I would normally say to those interested in wanting to check out a series to just go on over to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, but since CBS doesn’t share a lot of their content on other streaming services the best bet you’re going to have in checking out this now cancelled series is over on at the streaming of CBS All Access.
Then there was Happy Together. I really liked this show and its cast. The premise was a bit unique, of a pop star going to live with his accountant and his wife to try and live a normal existence while still being a mega pop star, but it worked. Thanks in part to funny scripts and a great comical cast. Damon Wayans Jr. is so funny on everything he’s ever been on, and I hope it’s not too long before we get to see his amazing comic acting chops on a series again soon.
The Murphy Brown revival was an interesting one for me. I was aware of the original series, but had never watched it. I thought the revival was good. It was another CBS series that again had taken some time before I really started to find myself enjoying it. It had a great cast, but something about the revival just never seemed to take off. It was just okay, but not really standing out beyond that “eh, okay” factor.
The one series on the CBS network that got cancelled that made me be like “NOOOOO!!! Say it ain’t so!” was the genius comedy gem that was Life In Pieces. The show is just beyond perfection, which is now currently playing in its fourth and now final season on CBS. If I had to say what is my favorite show that is on CBS it is no question that it is Life In Pieces. It is a perfect series told in an interesting and unusual way for a sitcom. It follows around the fictional family known as The Shorts. The series follows the family, with the episodes being cut into four separate short stories told over a 22 minute episode. Each part being a few minutes long. This series just simply worked with good funny writing and an amazing cast.
Life In Pieces cancellation was the one series that I was the most bummed about hearing. CBS kind of dropped the ball on this series for some reason after Season 3. You see the Murphy Brown revival took Life In Pieces time slot in the fall, therefore pushing the show from coming back sooner than it did. Then Fam took its time slot, pushing back yet again the show from returning to the tv airwaves. It was basically off the air for over a year. For which I say “Why would you, CBS, do that to literally your smartest and funniest comedy currently on your network?! But why?!”. Just kind of messed up, making yet another amazing show end while still in its prime.
The CW is a network where there aren’t usually a lot of cancellation surprises. If you are a TV Show, this is the network you want to be on. Out of all the network channels on TV the CW is the one that seems to give the most time to its series to find an audience, despite the ratings the series may be getting. That is a rare thing for a television network these days on a whole to do. Usually if a series isn’t bringing in the numbers with its ratings in the first few weeks on air it will shortly then get cancelled soon afterwards. But then there’s the CW, and there’s a kindness that this network shows to its new series by giving them some time to establish themselves and find an audience. Thanks to this way of handling their series many wonderful programs have been able to have successful runs. Amazing series such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. A great series that despite their greatness was never a ratings hit. Something I will never understand, but anyways….
A lot of my absolute favorite series are on this very network with many of these favorite said shows ending this very year. Shows that weren’t cancelled per say, but shows that are ending their runs after a few seasons. A decision to end these series was one that was not abrupt but planned out. Jane the Virgin, iZombie, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are the series ending their runs on this network this season. These series were some of the best that the CW has ever produced. I am so sad to see them go, but so grateful that they were given the opportunity and the chance to be able to tell their story fully and completely.
The sole cancellation that did surprised me for the CW this season was hearing about the cancellation of Arrow. It seemed after this series premiered on the CW years ago that this network started to become somewhat known as the “DC Universe World Of Superhero Programming”. After Arrow then came The Flash, then The Legends of Tomorrow, then Supergirl, and soon there will be a Batwoman series starting next season as well. There is such a fan base behind these series, and hearing about the cancellation of Arrow, the series that started this superhero craze on the network was very surprising. In many ways these superhero shows on the network seemed untouchable for ever getting cancelled with the amount of fan base there is to them. These programs make up a huge majority of the programming on the CW within these last few years.
I have to admit though, I could just never really get into the universe of Arrow. I watched up to Season 4 (thanks to Netflix), and stayed with it as long as I did because of the crossover events every season. Even while I was never really a fan of this series, I was taken back hearing of its cancellation. It does make me wonder if Arrow getting cancelled means it’s only a matter of time before more of the DC Shows follow in its cancellation footsteps. Although, this is the CW and that means they will be giving Arrow at least a proper ending and not just an abrupt cancellation. If you are a fan of this series get ready to say a goodbye to it next fall when it starts its seventh and final season on the CW.
And now for the last of the network channels, NBC. A few notable series ended their runs this year on NBC such as Timeless, Trial and Error, as well as the now first season only comedy called I Feel Bad. Timeless was a series that had a roller coaster of a run on TV. The series was much loved by its fans, but despite having a fan base this series was never a hit within the ratings. It was thanks to those low ratings that the network ended up cancelling the series after its first season. The cancellation only stuck for a minute as NBC reversed their own decision and ended up giving Timeless a go ahead for another season. Then Season Two happened, and after that that’s when NBC cancelled the series for good. But not before giving its fans some closure with a two hour wrap up movie (which I still haven’t gotten around to watching just yet, another TV Nerd Fail). This incredible series did get cancelled, but NBC was awesome enough at least to give the fans a final and proper send off and not leave the series on that Season Two cliffhanger. So that’s something.
Then there was Trial and Error. A series that for whatever reason never really picked up. It was a quirky as they come kind of series that fit in perfectly with the many other funny shows on NBC like Superstore and The Good Place. It had a great cast with spot on comic timing that instantly make you laugh out loud. Trial and Error’s first season was placed in the This Is Us time slot after that series had wrapped up their first season. It is never a great sign when a network places back to back episodes for a new series instead of ones on a weekly basis. And that was the case for how NBC decided to put out the episodes for the first season of this series.
Trial and Error was just such a smart, funny, and clever show that for NBC to deliver its first season’s episodes in such a “whatever kind of matter” was kind of like they had already moved on from really caring about the potential future of this series. And the fact that this series wasn’t one that was more talked about is one that will always puzzle my little brain.
Season 2 of Trial and Error premiered last summer on NBC with absolutely no promotion behind it. It was another amazing season of this charming and delightful series, and for there to not have been any promotion at all for it was just upsetting as a fan to see. It was a hidden gem and with no promotion behind it, it was going to stay the way of being a hidden gem. Despite having a perfectly amazing second season and a great cast, this show ultimately got that cancellation that all us fans were hoping the series would avoid getting again. I still hope another network or a streaming service picks this gem up because it’s worth it. I could definitely see this show fitting in perfectly alongside other programs on a network like TBS. I know it’s a long shot for that happening since the series got its cancellation notice quite awhile ago now, but hey here’s hoping anyways.
I didn’t mention absolutely every single series that got abruptly cancelled on all of the television network channels. I pretty much only talked about the shows I am currently watching or am caught up on, and shows that I still want to watch despite their cancellation and am going to at some point in time eventually watch. I’m sure there are still plenty more series that we will hear about in the upcoming weeks ahead that are on the bubble of possibly getting cancelled. It’s always sad to hear about shows getting an abrupt cancellation vs. a proper goodbye. Unfortunately that just the business of this industry. Great shows gets cancelled while others stay on. Every year even though I am fully aware of this fact, I will always continued to be surprised and saddened to hear of a great show getting that pink slip of a cancellation notice.