Low-rated programs set to return
Every thing old is renewed again, at least on the eve of the broadcast network upfront presentations.
Latest bubble show to get a network reprieve: Fox’s “Til Death,” the Brad Garrett comedy that many expect will be paired with the net’s new sitcom featuring Garrett’s old “Everybody Loves Raymond” co-star, Partricia Heaton, and Kelsey Grammer.
Meanwhile, as of Friday midday it also looked like NBC was set to bring back “Scrubs” for a seventh and final season (at a reduced 18 episodes), despite mounting speculation that the Peacock would let it go — leaving ABC to pick up the laffer, from its sister ABC Studios arm.
Other bubble shows that continue to look good for renewal — at smaller episodic numbers — include ABC’s “Knights of Prosperity” and “Notes from the Underbelly.”
Nets appear to be adhering to the conventional wisdom that they’d rather keep and try to grow the critically acclaimed but low-rated shows they already have (read: NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) — given all the time, money and patience already spent on said shows — than try to do it all over again with new, untested properties that could potentially do even worse.
(Of course, the high number of borderline shows making the grade could also be a sign that the webs aren’t as bullish on their development this season as they’d like to be.)
In the case of “Prosperity,” ABC opted to hold back on the show’s final episodes of the season, which featured Ray Romano, in the hopes that the “Raymond” vet’s star wattage might help relaunch the show.
Also Friday, NBC added “Lipstick Jungle” to its roster of drama orders. Show, based on the Candace Bushnell book, revolves around women in Manhattan (Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, Lindsay Price star). NBC Universal TV is behind the show.
On the rumor tip, talk of ABC pickups center on the net’s untitled Jon Feldman pilot, as well as “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Eli Stone” and “Pushing Daisies.” Comedies on the hot list include “Cavemen,” “Sam I Am” and “Carpoolers.”