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 V.20 No.22 | June 2 - 8, 2011 

Idiot Box

Gone, Baby, Gone

Networks cancel on us

At the end of May, the broadcast networks announced their new fall schedules. Amid the flurry of intriguing-to-disappointing new shows, a whole mess of intriguing-to-disappointing old shows got flushed down the crapper of cancellation. The networks aren’t exactly flaunting their failures. But we’re happy to. So what shows won’t you be seeing this fall? Let’s lift the lid and take a look.

ABC—The 2009-2010 season was a bad one for relationship sitcoms, starting with ABC’s “Better With You,” which eked out a single season before cancellation. The drama “Brothers & Sisters” went away after five seasons. The gritty cop series “Detroit 1-8-7” failed to make an arrest its first season. Supernatural soap “The Gates” closed last fall and never reopened. “Friends” alum Matthew Perry couldn’t light up “Mr. Sunshine” in its debut season. Time-skipping soap “My Generation” lasted all of two eps last fall. “No Ordinary Family” proved, yet again, TV doesn’t know how to do superheroes. Producer Shonda Rhimes became a one-trick pony with her third sexy-doctor drama “Off The Map.” True, “Skating With The Stars” is gone, but rest assured we’ll see a new “----ing With the Stars” any day now. “Supernanny” called it quits after seven seasons. “V” failed to reboot. And “The Whole Truth” ... was apparently a show.

NBC—“America’s Next Great Restaurant” shut its doors. “The Cape” reiterated what “No Ordinary Family” already proved. “Chase” petered out. Guess we’ll never know (or care) what “The Event” was. “Friday Night Lights” shut off the lights after five good seasons. “Law & Order: Los Angeles” died of spin-off fatigue after one season. Legal drama “Outlaw” got busted after eight eps. “The Office” rip-off “Outsourced” was barely one season’s worth of funny. “The Paul Reiser Show” was two episodes’ worth of funny. “Perfect Couples” got lost in the relationship sitcom scrum. “School Pride” failed to inspire viewers. And the J.J. Abrams-created series “Undercovers” never lived up to its hype.

CBS—CIA-spies-do-stuff series “Chaos” vanished after three midseason eps. “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” did the one-and-done, just like “Law & Order: Los Angeles.” Lawyer dramedy “The Defenders” also lost its case after a single season. “Live to Dance” died. There was no love lost for “Mad Love.” The “I see dead people” crime drama “Medium” became a ghost after seven seasons. And the network put a muzzle pretty quickly on “$#*! My Dad Says.”

FOX—Christian Slater went 0-and-3 with “Breaking In” following the similarly DOA “My Own Worst Enemy” and “The Forgotten.” Cops and robbers weren’t enough to draw interest to “The Chicago Code.” Or “The Good Guys.” “Human Target” got plugged after two seasons. “Lie To Me” ended after three seasons. “Lone Star” ended after two episodes. Hopefully Will Arnett will do better in his new NBC sitcom “Up All Night” than he did in his old FOX sitcom “Running Wilde.” And “Traffic Light” suffered the same fate as all the other “Friends”esque sitcoms this season.

CW—Cheerleader drama “Hellcats” threw down its pom-poms after one season. Teen drama “Life Unexpected” met a rather expected death after two. And “Smallville” flew into the sunset, Superman cape flapping in the breeze, after 10!

 

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Classic film about 9-year-old Ralphie and what he wants for Christmas: a BB gun.

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