Ah, the excitement of Upfronts Week is upon us again - that time of year when the major US networks (CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC and The CW) announce their new schedules (set to debut in September/October), reveal their slate of new pickups, and announce which existing shows have been cancelled or renewed.
The official presentations are taking place this week, while most of the renewals and cancellations took place last week. The television news websites had a distinctly gruesome tone last week; most of the networks made major changes to their schedules, meaning it was a bloodbath for shows that had performed badly and bubble shows that could have gone either way.
If you're interested in the status of every show, you can check out a full list at TV Line. In the meantime, here are a few decisions - both good and bad - that stuck out to me:
Bad decision: Happy Endings cancelled. One of the most under-rated comedies around, thanks to its unconventional cast - led by Zachary Knighton and Elisha Cuthbert, and helped by standout performances from Adam Pally and Casey Wilson -was both clever and funny, but never managed to grab the kind of audience it deserved. I'm sad to see it go.
Good decision: The Good Wife renewed. One of those rare network shows that continually matches the cable channels for quality. I just wonder why it isn't on the air here in New Zealand; TV3 used to play it on Sunday nights, but it disappeared a couple years ago and hasn't been seen since, except for occasional late night repeats. We've had two seasons in this country, even though this renewal puts it into Season 5.
Bad decision: Glee renewed for two more seasons. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons to bring the high school musical back for another year - but where is the sense in giving a show on the decline more than a one year deal? Every other renewal on this list is for a single year, but Glee gets two. Baffling.
Good decision: Rules Of Engagement cancelled. Proof there is a god!
Good decision: CSI: NY cancelled. It started the successful franchise and now it's the last man standing - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was always head and shoulders above its offspring, and the fact that neither one is still on CBS' slate is proof of that. The real shame is what CSI: NY has done to Gary Sinise's career. He should be a lot more successful than he is.
Bad decision: The Middle renewed. I swear, I don't know a single person who regular watches and enjoys The Middle. It seems to exist in its own little pocket universe where nobody watches it and ratings don't matter.
Good decision: Smash cancelled. Sure, it landed on my Worst of 2012 list, but I admitted that I wanted to see what would happen next. As it turns out, I wasn't that interested; I haven't missed it at all. However, I do think the producers should finish and release a full performance of Bombshell, with Megan Hilty in the lead role. I'd watch the hell outta that.
Bad decision: Go On cancelled. Is Matthew Perry cursed? This story at Stuff makes a pretty good case for it - this is his third show to be cancelled after a single season, while his Friends co-stars continue succeeding. This was also his best show since Friends, thanks to an interesting premise and a fantastic supporting cast. A damn shame.
Bad decision: Community renewed. "What?!" you shout, reading this heading. "You don't mean it, do you?!" You're damn straight I mean it! Community rates terribly for NBC and the latest season (which I *cough* haven't seen any of) seems rudderless without Dan Harmon. Community losing Harmon was like a horse losing a leg. It should be put down.
Bad decision: 24 renewed. You read that right - the Kiefer Sutherland-led action show is coming back for a return season, a mini-series of twelve episodes. This is the surest sign yet that the networks are pining for the good old days. What next, Lost gets a three-season order? Seinfeld comes back for a reunion season? Live in the now, TV networks!
Good decision: Parks & Recreation renewed. Awesomesauce! Anybody want to go to JJ's for some after dinner omelettes to celebrate?
What shows are you happy to see returning? Any shows you're glad to see the end of?
Shakespeare play causes scores to faint (graphic content)