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TV Networks Clean House, Cancel Slew of Shows in Advance of Fall Presentations

As the major networks prepare for upfront presentations in New York next week, the cancellation ax is swinging.

CBS has cut the cord on five first-year shows: “The Crazy Ones,” “Hostages,” “Intelligence,” “Friends with Better Lives” and “Bad Teacher.” “Crazy Ones,” starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, had the much-coveted post-“Big Bang Theory” Thursday time slot, but was unable to capitalize on the lead-in.

“Hostages” was an experiment for the Eye with a shorter 15-episode order that allowed it to alternate in the Monday 10 p.m. slot with sci-fi actioner “Intelligence.”

A number of Fox’s freshman series were tabled including “Rake,” “Dads,” “Enlisted,” “Surviving Jack” and “Almost Human” (which was cancelled April 29). It was announced in February that Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” would not be returning, and that “Raising Hope” would come to an end after its fourth season.

“Dads,” the first live-action series from Seth MacFarlane’s shop, failed to catch fire and was not given a second season, even with ratings that were on par with renewed comedies “The Mindy Project,” “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” “Enlisted” and “Surviving Jack,” despite earning critical support, failed to find a foothold with viewers.

“Almost Human,” a high-concept sci-fi series starring Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, drew 5.6 million viewers and a 1.5 in the adults 18-49 demo for its finale — which matched renewed thriller “The Following’s” finale rating in the demo and beat it in total viewers. But Fox’s competitive drama slate for the 2014-2015 season — which includes newly ordered “Gotham,” “Red Band Society” and “Empire” — ultimately left the Bad Robot production shut out.

“Rake,” based on an Australian format and starring Greg Kinnear, debuted to a 1.7 rating despite a powerhouse “American Idol” lead-in, and was quickly shunted to a Friday slot before its final two episodes were burned off on Saturday, April 5.

R.I.P. Cancelled TV Shows: What’s Not Returning Next Year

NBC’s cult favorite “Community” (pictured, above) was cancelled after five seasons, but it’s expected that producers Sony TV will shop the comedy elsewhere. Post-apocalyptic drama “Revolution” was also cancelled on Friday, having floundered without “The Voice” as a lead-in during its sophomore season. “Dracula,” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, was sucked dry after a single season.

NBC’s midseason dramas “Believe” and “Crisis,” and singlecam comedy “Growing Up Fisher” also failed to make the cut. The two dramas were already believed to be in danger after NBC pulled them from their Sunday timeslots for the last weekend of May sweeps — replacing them with a “Women of SNL” special — while “Fisher” has averaged a 1.7 among adults 18-49.

Previously, NBC announced the cancellations of “Ironside,” “Welcome to the Family,” “The Michael J. Fox Show”  and “Sean Saves the World,” all of which were pulled from the schedule with unaired episodes remaining. The lackluster performance of “The Michael J. Fox Show” was particularly disappointing, as NBC banked on Fox’s star power early, giving the show a straight-to-series order of 22 episodes.

Freshman series “Trophy Wife,” starring Malin Akerman, was cancelled by ABC, along with Rebel Wilson’s “Super Fun Night,” and “Mixology.” Though “Trophy Wife” had critical acclaim, the comedy failed to show any discernible growth on other platforms, and an expensive ensemble cast likely contributed to its demise.

Although, “Once Upon A Time” was renewed, spinoff “Once Upon A Time in Wonderland” was canceled back in March.

ABC’s “Suburgatory” was canceled after three seasons. It was two seasons and out for alien comedy “The Neighbors,” which has been drawing a 0.9 demo rating in its spot between “Last Man Standing” and “Shark Tank.”

Despite airing between solid performers “The Middle” and “Modern Family,” “Suburgatory” never matched the success of its timeslot companions, and creator Emily Kapnek was already set to depart the comedy in order to oversee the newly picked up “Selfie” for the network.

Over at The CW, young Carrie Bradshaw will not return to the screen as “The Carrie Diaries” was axed. Rookie series “The Tomorrow People” and “Star-Crossed” will also not return, as their final installments averaged a paltry 0.3 and 0.4 respectively in adults under 50.

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