‘Men’ anxiously awaits its fate

Decision on third season likely to come next week

“Men of a Certain Age” is hoping it gets to, well, age.

Wednesday’s season-two finale might, in fact, have been the series’ closer if the beancounters at Turner have their say. “Men” is averaging about 600,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo while most other series are above 2 million. On top of that, TNT is the producing studio, footing the entire bill — about $2.5 million per episode.

If the business folks have their way, “Men” looks like a goner. But a few execs are making a case for the show internally, based not on the bottom line but on the show’s cachet and long-term potential. Their talking points:

• How many shows can call themselves Peabody Award winners? “Men,” along with “Southland,” is the most prestigious show on the network, one that generates huge amounts of positive buzz through traditional means as well as social media.

• Those who watch “Men” adore it. Twenty years from now, there won’t be any Paley Center tributes that look back at the legacy of, say, “Leverage,” yet “Men” has already had two Paley panels.

• The show just needs a helping hand. This 12-episode season was split into two parts, the first six coming in December and January against high-profile sporting events and holiday programming. A better berth for a third season could bring bigger ratings.

A decision to renew or cancel will likely come late next week after the Emmy noms. Net is hoping the show lands one of the six drama slots, though that would be difficult given the steep competition. More likely would be a nom in the supporting actor category for either Scott Bakula or Andre Braugher.

An Emmy nom might not even be enough, though, unless a million or so viewers automatically come along with it as well.

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