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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  1. Mark says:

    The only cancellation that I disagree with is Suburgatory.

  2. Doug says:

    DVD/on-Deman/Netflix/DVRs have changed TV forever the way VHS started to and now to a greater extent DVD/on-demand/netflix has changed the movie industry. By allowing for more ways to catch a TV show after the original broadcast the need to see a show when it is new is diminshed since people feel they can always catch it later. Add to that the constant cancellation of new shows people are much less likely to invest in new shows. Add to that the immense watering down of programming due to the overwhelming number of channels to fill on cable and the 10million viewer premier is all but gone.
    Finally the ultimate strategy of a pairing a new show with an established hit no longer has the same impact when people are so much less likely to be actively watching TV.

  3. bitter trekkie says:

    Eh, broadcast TV is pretty dreadful anyway, they could cancel everything and I wouldn’t notice. Parks & Rec is the last show on broadcast I watch.

  4. sr says:

    the new series, “Selfie” will be done and gone in two weeks. It won’t make it past the second episode. What is the network thinking? This is such a stupid premise and boring as hell. As such, the network deserves nothing less than nothing.

  5. Canceling rake and new Girl was a big mistake, what the heck!!! these shows are extremly funny and locked in my dvr. It’s always the good shows that get the ax. FWBL is halarious, now its gone before it had a chance to get going, thats B.S You network dummys. And Revolution now we will never know what happens to the world, not cool, not cool at all…….

  6. Jackie Bruce says:

    Surviving Jack was the best new comedy out there. Why do networks always cancel the good shows? I loved the ‘voice over’, the dry humor, and those great facial expressions. Can’t you give this show another chance? I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  7. mike says:

    I watched every single episode of “Dracula”. It was an exceptional re-imagining of the vampire and loved every show. Once again NBC cuts the throat of success and bends to the lowest common denominators. Can’t someone else–USA Network, TBS, Sci-Fi–pick this up for a second season?

  8. John & Denise Kudla says:

    I can’t believe Growing Up Fisher was cancelled! I loved that show. Had lots of places to go!!!!!!!!! What is up with that??? I liked Believe too, but not as much as Fisher!

  9. Some really great sci-fi shows get canceled too early. Star-crossed, The tomorrow people, Almost Human, I thought were really good.

  10. alonzo leal III says:

    That sucks star crossed and tomorrow’s people will not return in the fall 2014 ! Those are my favorite shows with arrow, supernatural, beauty and the beast,reign,originals,vampire diaryies, Grimm,hannibal, WHO’s line is it ! Believe,crisis ?

  11. Duder NME says:

    RIP, Almost Human and Trophy Wife.

  12. The Crazy Ones was a great, funny show. We never missed it, perhaps its sophisticated humor rose above the heads of the “reality tv dullards.” If I want to watch “real people” make fools of themselves I’ll make goofy faces in the mirror or make a hit show like Saving Hope or whatever the back woods show with the “millionaire” srar Miss Plimpton which ran four seasons.

  13. Joy says:

    I’d never really watched this shows but heard of them. Hell, I don’t even know what they were about. I’d liked Trophy Wife. The shows I’d watch are Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS: LA and Law & Order: SVU. And why are they making shows based off stuff from social media sites. “Selfie” really? That’s the dumb stuff that I’m talking about. Shows like that doesn’t last long. Just because a word or a catchphrase becomes popular that doesn’t mean you can turn them into shows and thinking that they’re gonna work. I miss shows like One Tree Hill.

  14. trkcritter says:

    Saving Jack on Fox is a mistake. On the plus side, got back 6 half hour show time slots back in my life. Actually watched about half of what was canceled. Might place me in the loss side, but they were funny. Will be going back to cable as ABC and especially with NBC with its reality and repeat Saturdays is just a waste of time.

  15. Surviving Jack is Hilarious!, Deserving of a Slot Change before Obliteration

  16. Larry says:

    Clearly, NBC is writing off male viewers entirely. I’m going to really miss Revolution, The Crazy Ones and Enlisted.

  17. Joseph says:

    While I’m a bit out of touch, Dracula and Revolution will be missed.

  18. sammyglick says:

    How “The Neighbors” lasted two seasons is beyond me…that has to be the single worst show I’ve ever seen on TV. ZERO LAUGHS and the CAST WAS AWFUL — they had ZERO CHEMISTRY OR CHARISMA.

  19. I think the problem is the high-concept notion that drives most (but not all of these shows–Fisher, Neighbors, Trophy, & Fun Night were good shows, but the execs have the ratings jitters).

    But in the high-concept shows, they let the concept drive the story instead of the characters. This is why Chuck Lorre is the king of the sit-com. The concepts are simple, but the characters are as complicated as mapping DNA.

  20. gracie says:

    Curious if you watch the stupid ‘reality’ stuff. THAT is the thing that I don’t get – why do people watch that?

  21. Nam Marine says:

    I never heard of any of these shows?

  22. bob says:

    Almost Human had good ratings and was canceled?

  23. HowDoUConsumeSuchCrap says:

    Good. WTF watches NBC, Faux or CBS anyway? I haven’t watched ANYTHING on any of those networks for over a decade. I literally CANNOT WATCH that crap anymore. It’s like having Starbursts, Skittles & Laffy Taffy for dinner. It’s just pure CRAP.

    The lighting, sound, set design, costumes, makeup etc. is all IDENTICAL in all of those shows. The very SECOND someone turns one, on I know right off, it’s from one of the big, state run networks. It’s like everything takes place inside of a bubble on all of those shows. Everything is bleached and totally fake. The dialogue, “humor” — everything, is so homogenized, sterilized and runs on the same “cookie cutter” formula that it’s all just plain unwatchable. I can’t gag it down if I had to. My system just rejects it.

    • Paul . says:

      The problem with a lot of new shows is that they take too long to develop the story and the characters. And many of them don’t include a single character to care about. And, there hasn’t been that much original. Intelligence was a serious version of Chuck which was a comic version of Jake 2.0. Almost Human was a take on Mann and Machine back in ’92. And, if we get one more vampire series, I will bite someone; I swear. What I don’t really get is how does Beauty and the Beast survive?

  24. Barbara says:

    I am soooo disappointed that Believe won’t be returning.

  25. Karyn says:

    I LOVED Believe!!!!! So so sad it has not been renewed!!!!!

  26. Jan says:

    Suburgatory was great fun. Guess nobody saw the humour. George, Tessa, Dalia and her mother,
    the orthodontist, and the across the street neighbours will be missed.

  27. Dan Barnes says:

    Taking crisis off the air is a bad move. Just starting to gain momentum as to what’s going to happen and you take it of the. Get rid of all that reality crap and keep the shoes with a plot and substance

  28. Tom says:

    There were a couple decent shows, but all in all another group of shows that lasted way longer than they should have, there are a few that should be given second chances… there are a few who were given too many (ie: Revolution, a show that had a good concept but ruined with the rinse and repeat storyline) The new list of shows they have scheduled to replace looks like another group of winners, a show about a girl who is always tweeting, another show about an immigrant family, which will try too hard with racial humor to be funny, but will come off as another bigoted project… there is no future for network tv… they should just fire all of the executives and bring in new people

    • John Harrold says:

      @ Tom regarding Revolution: I like your terminology, “rinse and repeat”. Get caught…escape…get caught…escape…get caught…escape…plod plod plodding along.

      JJ Abrams should have been banished to the QVC network after the Lost debacle.

  29. Jackie says:

    The only one of these cancelled shows I ever watched was Dracula – it was a great show, but would be better without all the commercials cutting into the suspense of the script. Otherwise, I won’t miss any of these other shows and rarely watch MSNBC anyway.

    • mike says:

      Can’t go without the commercials. But yes, I loved Dracula. Excellent retelling on an old story. So many loose ends left.

  30. Rich says:

    Most were crap anyway. Never seen most of them. Tired of all the same reruns. Get it on with the new season.

  31. Bob says:

    No skin off my back as I never seen any of them shows. I watch the star treks, the law and orders, and jeopardy. Other than that , I have better things to do. IMO, there is twenty more between 7 and 9 that can go too.

  32. *Crisis*,NBC, Almost Human,,FOX Cancelled,I am back to CABLE, where they give shows a chance to grow a audience.

  33. Victor says:

    ” “Dads,” the first live-action series from Seth MacFarlane’s shop…”

    What would that make “The Winner” from… (goes to check)…2007, which was even less successful than “Dads” with only six episodes?

  34. Fox has cancelled many good shows One of the best ones I remember was Terminator TSCC I am still miffed about that..

  35. Elizabeth says:

    Am surprised and disturbed that Suburbatory is cancelled. It was a good show!

  36. Unfortunately, I have no desire to watch ANY of these programs. That may sound brash, but my problem is that almost all of them have immoral themes I have no desire to associate with.

  37. Alex says:

    The networks have chased away the 50+ crowd sending them to cable, they’re competing for the 18-49 crowd that doesn’t like the crap they air.

    • Kim Moss says:

      Sadly the attention span and understanding of the complex storylines and getting to know the characters is lost on the demo that they are trying to reach. Hill Street Blues was going to be canned because its ratings weren’t so great and then they broke the Emmy record; Everybody Loves Raymond was another show that took a minute to catch fire, it was and is still funny; Frazier, the list goes on and on. Revolution (excellent cast and story) Crisis (okay so they had some spots in DC that weren’t accurate, but it made you think and wonder) Believe (Delroy Lindo, one of the most underrated actors ever – great show and story) People who are invested in good writing and shows that are going to keep you coming back because of the cast, story and direction – the ones who green light dumb shows wouldn’t know a hit show if it slapped them upside the head. Funny is funny and sadly there are way too many comedies that are on TV,that shouldn’t be and the few dramas that are good get pulled – Hostages was another example of a good cast and story. Maybe NBC should find their own Shonda Rhimes to create excellent shows with great casts,I have no doubt that Brandon Tartikoff is rolling over in his grave wondering what in the world happened at NBC and must see TV. I can count on one hand the number of NBC shows I cannot miss, too bad too, I used to use both hands to count those. Whoever is looking at the numbers, stop a minute and listen to the critics and the audience that is watching. That market is the one you need to cater to.

  38. Shawna says:

    The Australian series “Rake” is much better than the US series.

  39. Kef Farms says:

    I am most upset about Surviving Jack. That is a very funny comedy. So many of the comedies now make the men look like idiots, which is getting tired. Plus there are now so many remakes and spin-offs, I guess no one in Hollywood can come up with an original thought. There is only 1 show on NBC that I watch, NONE on ABC, and a few on Fox. Otherwise, it is either premium channels or the “second tier” channels like TNT, etc. As long as the networks cater to narrow demographics or the wrong audience, their decline will continue. They like to appeal to the 20-something crowd, but they forget that it is the 40+ crowd that has money to spend on sponsors.

  40. Elmer Gantry says:

    Of course NBC would cancel an excellent show like Revolution, while bringing on a show that’s a gift to the gay agenda and Ellen

  41. ribbie149 says:

    It is interesting that so many series that were drawing the same or better ratings than surviving series were cancelled. How do networks justify this? From now on I will wait to see if series are picked up and watch the backlog on Netflix or Hulu. I am sick of wasting my time on series that are not even given a proper finale (i.e. Revolution).

  42. Matty Matt says:

    They are making a mistake cancelling Revolution. I’m not happy about Almost Human but I can see why it didn’t catch on with mass audiences, it was advertised too much as a sci fi show and not enough as a cop drama set in the future. Seems like everyone is surprised when they find out someone else watches(d) Revolution, but I now know a ton of people who watch it and who are just getting into it. A third season with the foundation they have laid could blow wide open, but alas some moronic producers are always looking for the next big thing and fail to recognize what they already have.

    • Tyrone says:

      I agree with you completelly. I’ve been watching it on HULU as I can’t see it when it first airs with the network. Very much enjoyed it and now will be very much missed….

      • Kim Moss says:

        I’m with you on that – the network execs are definitely out of touch!

      • Joseph says:

        I thought Revolution was the next big thing. I’m starting to think that it’s these tv execs who are out of touch.

  43. Actually America would be stupid if these shows survived. The fact that the network cannot find an audience for this crap gives me hope. Feel free to leave and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out

  44. Karen White says:

    I’m disappointed that Believe has been cancelled as I think it is a good show. I looked forward to it every week. You keep worthless shows on like Survivor and the Voice.

    • Normandy says:

      weird that so many of you are ignorant about TV-it’s a BUSINESS. People dont watch, advertisers cut ties, show is cancelled-its not rocket science…

  45. Craig M. says:

    Very disappointed that Intelligence was cut. That show had a great plot and good cast. I am losing confidence in our Networks ability to keep a good show on the air.

    • Joseph says:

      Voice is so unraveling, at least others take the time to mask their intentions, this is such a blatant money making marketing machine, it’s truly sickening how many people are hooked on this dumb excuse for a show, that is only a show to get( and Im guessing ) it’s predominantly female fan base investing their interest and before long more of their hard earned dollars over their dirt cheap talent that they literally just pulled off the street ready to sign contracts that are 95% fine print. The music industry alone is sickening, so little comes with the average cd today, it’s become less and less and they wonder why they have to go to extreme lengths to sell the product. No thanks, keep your crappy recycled emotions.

  46. Jack Bauer says:

    It’s my fault. I never, ever watched any of the shows being cancelled. On the brighter side, there’s now more room to bring Jack Bauer back for a season instead of 12 tidbitsQ

  47. Bud Masters says:

    Miss Shep late afternoon news greatly. A full news show will little guest commentary. Shep presents himself well and is a great news presenter. Gay? Who cares? I now watch CNN’s Erin. Not the same.

  48. Larry says:

    About time they cut The X Factor, it sucked.

  49. Try a ROKU or similar and an $8/month service like Netflix. With all of the other free and/or cheap content available, you will not regret it. Doesn’t $8/month sound better?

  50. Carol says:

    I absolutely agree. I watched “The Event” a few years ago on NBC and they never finished the show. I was left hanging and swore I would never watch a new NBC show ever again. ABC’s V also left me hanging somewhat.

    It appears that my taste in shows, I liked Almost Human and Intelligence, does not fall in line with most so I am more than ever disinclined to watch any new network show. .

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