Idiot Box: Networks Go On Killing Spree

Networks Go On Killing Spree

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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It’s Upfront Week in television land. That’s the time when the broadcast networks pitch advertisers on all their fancy new fall TV shows. Of course, in order to get all those new series on the air, networks have got to make room for them on the schedules by killing off all the old, underperforming shows we’re watching (or not watching) now. The networks went full-on Jason Voorhees this year, giving the ax to a whopping 19 shows last Friday alone. So what’s dead and buried in 2018?

FOX—Never the most sentimental of networks, FOX dumped a lot of fan fave shows. Cop sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was the highest profile of the executed—but was snapped up immediately by NBC, which will air the show in fall. The death of supernatural crime drama “Lucifer” ticked off a lot of fans, who are rallying furiously to save it on Facebook and other social media sites. Chances of its revival are better than zero. Will Forte’s oddball—but extremely funny—“The Last Man on Earth” coasted for four seasons on cult audiences. Its chances of continued survival (on Hulu or whatever) after an unfortunate cliffhanger finale are far less than those of “Lucifer.” Horror drama “The Exorcist” and rude sitcom “The Mick” were both escorted out of the building after two seasons. After a couple extremely up-and-down add-on seasons of nostalgia, the rebooted “X-Files” is gone again. “New Girl” signed off as planned after seven successful seasons. “Lethal Weapon” was saved from cancellation after troubled star Chance Crawford was replaced by Seann William Scott. And “Gotham” will return for a fifth and final season so producers can turn young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) into Batman.

ABC—The alphabet net already dropped “The Mayor” and closed up shop on long-timers “The Middle,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Scandal.” Official cancellations were just handed out to Kiefer Sutherland’s political drama “Designated Survivor,” angelic sitcom “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” crime drama “Ten Days in the Valley,” FBI-vs.-terrorists drama “Quantico,” Zach Braff-led sitcom “Alex, Inc.,” sci-fi drama “The Crossing” and magician-solves-crimes drama “Deception.” Least Surprising Cancellation of 2018 goes to “Marvel’s Inhumans”—a rare misstep for the superhero-making machine.

NBC—The bandwagon-jumping true crime anthology “Law & Order True Crime” didn’t survive past its Menendez bros. dramatization, leaving “Law & Order: SVU” to carry the “L&O” torch. Action movie spinoff “Taken,” military drama “The Brave” and media sitcom “Great News” are gone. Sci-fi drama “Timeless” sits on the same “will they or won’t they” bubble it’s been on since its premiere.

CBS—Sitcoms “Me, Myself & I” and “Living Biblically” and preposterous, app-based crime drama “Wisdom of the Crowd” were all yanked from CBS’ schedule earlier this year before they could air their full first seasons. Kevin James’ sitcom “Kevin Can Wait” at least made it to the end of its second season before being killed by the network. High-tech crime drama “Scorpion” and sitcoms “9JKL” and “Superior Donuts” now join their moribund compatriots.

The CW—It was announced back in November that military drama “Valor” would not be getting a second season. It aired its final episode back in January. Cancer dramedy “Life Sentence” will end its first season run in June and won’t be back for a second.
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