Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TV Topic: Which TV Shows are Renewed for Fall Season 2010?

The season is almost over, which means it's time to find out which shows have kept up enough viewers to avoid the annual axe. We already know that "Ugly Betty" producers decided to cancel the series on a high note, ending April 14, "Lost" is coming to a fulfilling end, and "Friday Night Lights" has been given one more season to wrap things up. EW's Ausiello whipped together a comprehensive list of every other TV shows renew status. Here are the shows that need to up their game:


"Accidentally on Purpose"
Where it faltered: The first and second episode were telling two different stories. First they were humping like bunnies, then it was just a one-night stand. As the series progressed, it lacked a believable (enough) storyline. First, she just wanted to be roommates and then suddenly they were in love. There was no natural in-between. It was like they were trying to please viewers instead of tell a story.
How to save it: Throw bigger obstacles in the path of their perfect little family. Relocating-lucrative job offers, his parents' disapproval, an ex-girlfriend he thought was the one, etc. While it's true that they have  a few obstacles here-and-there, it's nothing that can't be resolved in 5 minutes. That's lame. "Friends" ran an argument over a span of episodes and built relationships, not fabricated it.
Should it be saved? It is pretty funny, but nothing that would be missed.

Where it faltered: It didn't build up a big enough fan-base to take a "Lost"-length break. There's no guarantee that fans will return.
How to save it: Week-after-week-after-week of secret-filled episodes that end on a major, emotional cliffhanger.
Should it be saved? Well, I'm one of those viewers who might not get back into it, because of the long wait, so I don't know if it's worth saving yet.

Where it faltered: It's all over the place with its mythology and agenda. At what point will they stop having to save the world? And every chapter is even more pointless than the last. An invisible carnival? Stop it.
How to save it: Stop making it about saving the world, and make it about being a hero, how it has its advantages in the real world, and the pressure of being supernatural in a super-normal world. It should've been about the heroes all along and not endless missions.
Should it be saved? No, put it out of its misery, while we still have respect for the actors.

"Human Target"
Where it faltered: It may not have any action competition on Wednesday nights, but it gets ignored because it's comedy night, and ABC is king.
How to save it: Since "House" is such a ratings powerhouse, they could move it to Tuesdays or Wednesdays and give this series a prime spot next to "24."
Should it be saved? It's interesting, but not exactly groundbreaking.

"Life Unexpected"
Where it faltered: Following "One Tree Hill," it's like a double-dose of wholesome, which might be too much sweetness for one night.
How to save it: Pair it with "Gossip Girl" to lure in a cult fan-base that will appreciate Lux's rebellious side.
Should it be saved? I miss the interesting relationships between parents and children that used to be on The CW. The parents on "Gossip Girl" are kind of lame. So if we can't have Lorelai ("Gilmore Girls") and Sandy ("The O.C.") back, I guess we'll just have to settle for Kate and Baze.

Where it faltered: It's biggest name-actor (James Tupper from "Men in Trees") came from a canceled series. Pulling in viewers who were suffering from medical-drama fatigue after the end of "ER" was going to be a difficult task.
How to save it: I think they're on the right track by stunt-casting James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek") as the new chief of surgery, but they'll need an equally interesting female character to really pull everyone in. Veronica and the girls are great, but they're all about their patients and their romantic drama. They need a seductress who's a little more concerned about herself--someone who isn't as likable as everyone else--who could possibly seduce Mike. And she'll have to be drop dead gorgeous.
Should it be saved? Definitely. The medical cases are more focused on the emotion than most medical shows that prefer to emphasize the adrenaline and the degree of difficulty for each operation. Plus, it's really funny.

"New Adventures of Old Christine"
Where it faltered: She stopped going on dates, and started dating her not-so-funny therapist Max (a diminished Eric McCormack). Christine is at her best when she projects her insanity on unsuspecting strangers, especially hot ones like Mr. Harris!
How to save it: I think she needs a better pairing than "Gary Unmarried." "Two and a Half Men" has such a great following that they could make a boys night of Wednesday's primetime. Then Christine could follow "Accidentally on Purpose"--a double-dose of female comedians before the dork-explosion on Monday nights. 
Should it be saved? Yup! Christine is hilarious, and I'm crossing my fingers that some day she'll find someone worthy of her psychotic advances.

"One Tree Hill"
Where it faltered: Pretty much the moment Haley & Nathan and Lucas & Nathan resolved all of their issues, the show was a wrap. Once the main enemies became stalkers, kidnappers, Dan, and skanks, the show became unbearable. Not to mention, the romantic storylines are becoming more and more convenient, random, and farfetched. They overcomplicate everything!
How to save it: New teenagers, second generation, fifteen years in the future. 
Should it be saved? Please god, no.

"Rules of Engagement"
Where it faltered: Popping up whenever and being treated like filler.
How to save it: Give it a steady time slot and put it on Wednesday nights.
Should it be saved? Uhh, it's hard to miss something that's never around.

Where it faltered: The long wait for its return. I don't even remember what they revealed.
How to save it: Bring it back for just enough episodes to inundate us with the mythology behind the V's and get us hooked for next season.
Should it be saved? Don't know. Don't remember it.


"Better Off Ted"
Where it faltered: First it premiered during a time when most TV shows were on break. It should've been a boost, but it was like everyone took a break from TV. Then it jumped all over the place in primetime and couldn't nail down a viewership. 
How to save it: It's hilarious! But in order to be saved it needs to be on a night that everyone is watching, like Wednesday nights.
Should it be saved? Yes, it's the kookier, unapologetic version of "The Office" and we had no idea they could get kookier.

Where it faltered: By being a cliche of African American family shows and sports comedies.
How to save it: oh please
Should it be saved? nope

"The Deep End"
Where it faltered: ABC's youngest shows are "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy." "Betty" is too zany for it to be paired up with, and "Grey's" isn't doing it any favors. It just doesn't seem like it's on the right network. Maybe Sunday nights with the wily Walkers of "Brothers & Sisters" would be a better fit. 
How to save it: Better cases, more outside life that shows us who these young lawyers are, and more scandal.
Should it be saved? If only to give the network some variety.

"Melrose Place"
Where it faltered: The lame murder mystery and their attempt at having a good girl who's going bad.
How to save it: Well, they're planning on making it more bubbly. It should be the R-rated "90210." Way more romances and far less childish drama.
Should it be saved? Yeah, why not? Katie Cassidy is a refreshing frenemy that could probably go toe-to-toe with Blair on "Gossip Girl."

"Past Life"
Where it faltered: Well, it's too soon to say. But the lack of stars is already a strike against it. 
How to save it: So far so good, but it could use a little tension between the leads like "Mentalist" or "Bones."
Should it be saved? Maybe for the summer.

Where it faltered: Stopping and starting and stopping and starting. Never deciding when it's going to end. Figure it out!  
How to save it: It needs a more lively night, because the cast and storylines are hilarious!
Should it be saved? Yes, it may be a reboot but it was totally worth the hassle.

Where it faltered: I think Monday was too hectic of a night. It was going up against pre-established TV shows with huge viewerships. And it had the added pressure in following in the footsteps of "ER."  
How to save it: Hmm, perhaps being paired with "Mercy" would be medical overkill, but it definitely needs a lighter night.
Should it be saved? Yup! It has amazing, death-defying cases, interesting characters, and genuine heartwarming moments.

"Cold Case," "The Forgotten," "Medium," "Numb3rs," "24," "'Til Death," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" are also at risk for cancellation.

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