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May 18 - 24, 2017 
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Idiot Box

Gone, Baby, Gone

Networks ax shows with abandon

By Devin D. O’Leary

Fall TV schedules are about to be announced, so the broadcast networks are making room by killing old, sickly and underperforming series. So who got the chop? Check it out.

ABC— Film director John Ridley’s high-class, high-profile anthology series “American Crime” went away, proving networks have a hard time even when emulating their basic cable competitors. Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal”) scored a rare miss with her detective/con-artist series “The Catch.” Hayley Atwell left the entertaining “Marvel’s Agent Carter” for the short-lived legal thriller “Conviction.” (Maybe now we’ll see a season 3?) Ken Jeong’s semi-autobiographical sitcom “Dr. Ken” lasted two whole seasons. The Jenna Elfman/Rachel Dratch-led fantasy sitcom “Imaginary Mary,” on the other hand, only managed seven midseason episodes before vanishing. Conservatives sensed a liberal conspiracy when the network axed Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” after six seasons. (But if liberal Hollywood hates Tim Allen so much, why put his show on the air in the first place?) I think “Notorious” was some kind of legal/medical drama, but don’t quote me on that. “The Real O’Neals” with Martha Plimpton eked out two seasons and that’s it. The suburban murder mystery drama “Secrets and Lies” with Juliette Lewis managed to solve two murders in two seasons. Time ran out after only five episodes of “Time After Time,” the TV reboot of the 1979 movie about H.G. Wells chasing Jack the Ripper though time.

NBC—Although “The Blacklist” is returning for a fifth season this fall, the spinoff, “The Blacklist: Redemption,” was a one-and-done. Movie director Tarsem Singh’s gorgeous but totally confused Wizard of Oz reboot “Emerald City” couldn’t conjure enough magic for a second season. And the silly DC comics-based sitcom “Powerless” proved there isn’t a lot of demand for superhero shows without superheroes.

CBS— Surprisingly the eye network yanked its still-popular sitcom “2 Broke Girls” after six seasons. The death of “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” is another sign of network TV’s “spinoff fatigue.” Katherine Heigl’s legal drama“Doubt” was cut short after only two episodes—furthering the actress’ “kiss of death” reputation. Joel McHale’s office sitcom “The Great Indoors” won’t be coming out for a second season. Canceling “The Odd Couple” after three season could mean network TV is weary of traditional multi-camera sitcoms. Also, the stupid “tech billionaire builds a magical hospital” drama “Pure Genius” was mercifully euthanized.

FOX—The stupid “tech billionaire builds a magical police station” drama “APB” was thankfully DOA. Bill-and-Ted-esque time travel comedy “Making History” ran out of time after one truncated season. The well-regarded “first woman in Major League Baseball” drama “Pitch,” sadly, did not get to play a second season. Morris Chestnut as a sexy pathologist-for-hire drama “Rosewood” passed away after two seasons. Ryan Murphy’s comedy horror series “Scream Queens” also managed two seasons before being hacked to death. Time travel supernatural crime series “Sleepy Hollow,” however, survived four entire seasons (and the departure of its lead actress) before being put to sleep. Jason Sudeikis’ wonderfully odd live-action/animated sitcom “Son of Zorn” was probably never long for this world, but it was fun while it lasted.

The CW— Like fellow time-travel crime movie reboot “Time After Time,” The CW’s “Frequency” couldn’t find an audience. Finally, apocalyptic romantic fantasy “No Tomorrow” saw its world end after 13 episodes.

 
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