Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cancelled? How dare they?!?

I watch allot of TV...good, bad, and ugly. I've seen shows come, go, and come back, but the recent rash of cancellations baffles me. Pushing Daisies, My Own Worst Enemy, TRL, Lipstick Jungle, (supposedly), and Eli Stone have been cancelled this season already. Of these, the only one I watch is Pushing Daisies, but I'll get to that in a second.

The thing about all these shows is that they were cancelled without giving them a chance to flourish in other time slots. Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery for a show to rebound. For instance, The Simpsons was on Thursday night for a good portion of its early career, then its ratings started to falter and they moved it to Sunday, and well, the rest is history as it is now one of the longest running shows on TV today.

I know these cancellations are all about money, but what about the people that support them? Given the lack of advertising for most of these shows, and last season's writer's strike, is there any wonder they were struggling so in the ratings?

TRL is a different case because it is a casualty of MTV thinking they need to purge all music from its airwaves. Ironic for a network called MUSIC television.

Eli Stone and My Own Worst Enemy were heavily pushed by their respective networks. Eli even had Katie Holmes guest starring (which may have been the snake that broke the camel's back), and still didn't pick up the ratings.

*SIGH* Pushing Daisies is arguably one of the best shows on television. Critically acclaimed, fun, different, light hearted...guess people would rather watch the moody crime shows. Of course 90% of those are CSI or Law & Order. I can't tell you how infuriated I am about this cancellation. This is one of my favorite shows and should not have been cancelled without giving it chance in a different time slot. It had just hit its stride before the writer's strike, and then ti went off the air and was never seen again until the season started this year. Common sense should have told them to show reruns over the summer. It could have picked up some of the lost (or Lost)fans as well as some new ones that would have carried over into the new season, but instead they felt the need to show some crappy reality show that no one really watched.

Think back to some of the biggest shows in television history. Almost every one of them struggled for their first few seasons. Granted it was a different time, but shows back then were given time to develop. Think about if these shows were on the air today. Seinfeld, Cosby Show, etc. would have been gone before they could get going. Maybe I should become a czar of all television and see to it that nothing gets cancelled unless it deserves to be.

One more cancellation that irks me, well, its not a cancellation as much as it is a contract not getting renewed. The geniuses at TV Land have decided to not renew the contract for I Love Lucy.

Yes, you read right. The network known for classic TV shows is cancelling the penultimate classic TV show of all time. I was reading some of the message boards, and it seems as if I'm not the only one that thinks this is a bad idea. Many have gone so far as to say that TV Land's ratings will plummet. I don't know how true that is, but I do think there will be a drop. They seem to be hell bent on going in the new direction of showing shows from the 80s and 90s. Nothing wrong with that per se, but you can't just rid yourself of the true classics. What's wrong with a mix?

Of course they also want to be sure to have room for their sub par original programming (excluding Myths & Legends) and crappy reality. What are they thinking.

A bit of irony here...both Pushing Daisies and I Love Lucy are getting pushed aside for Scrubs. I like Scrubs, but its already on more channels than The Andy Griffith Show and The Cosby Show these days. Does it really need to be on TV Land right now? It can wait until its contract on Comedy Central or WGN runs out. Speaking of contracts, I Love Lucy is not going off the air just yet. Hallmark Channel has picked it up, but the times it will be coming on are odd. Think I know what I want for Xmas. An I Love Lucy box set!

So, as you can tell, I'm not happy with TV right now. It seems like every show I like gets cancelled. If the pattern holds up, then Bones, Friday Night Lights, MY Name is Earl, or Don't Forget the Lyrics will be next.

In case you were curious, this is my TV watching schedule. This is for the fall prime time only.

Sunday 7pm The Simpsons Fox
-occasional flip to Sunday Night Football
7:30 second half of RetroJams Retro Network TV
-occasional flip to King of the Hill Fox
8pm Family Guy Fox
8:30 American Dad Fox
9pm Mad Men (when it comes back)
Monday 7pm Chuck NBC
-occasional flip to Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles Fox
Dancing With the Stars ABC
7:30 occasional flip to How I Met Your Mother CBS
8pm Heroes NBC
-occasional flip to Unwrapped Food Network
9pm My Name is Earl (reruns) TBS
-occasional flip to Bones (reruns) TNT
Tuesday 7pm 90210 CW
-occasional flip to Dancing With the Stars ABC
8pm Fringe Fox
-occasional flip to Food Detectives Food Network
9pmBizarre Foods Travel Channel
-random flipping during commercial breaks
Wednesday 7pm Pushing Daisies ABC
-occasional flip to Bones Fox
Knight Rider NBC
8pm Legend of the Seeker WGN
-occasional flip to The Cosby Show TV Land
9pm South Park Comedy Central
-occasional flip to Myths & Legends TV Land
9:30pm Chocolate News Comedy Central
Thursday 7pm My Name is Earl NBC
-occasional flip to Kitchen Nightmares Fox
7:30 Kath & Kim NBC
8pm Kitchen Nightmares Fox
8:30 30 Rock NBC
9pm Eleventh Hour CBS
- occasional flip to Charm City Cakes Food Network
9:30 occasional flip to The Sarah Silverman Program Comedy Central
Friday I haven't been home on Friday nights this fall yet because of football games.
Saturday Netflix night

These times are Central Standard Time.

So, what do you think? Has anything you watch been cancelled in the past or this year (yet)?


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

You are more than welcome to take the avatar I made you and upload it into your Entrecard account. I would be honored. :)

bluecrystaldude said...

I really sad when they decided to cancel Pushing Daisies. I honestly think it's one of the best written TV series!

Mystery Man said...

Sandee-be looking for the widget you made to replace the one I have early next week.

bluecrystaldyde-good to see someone else agree with me on Pushing Daisies. I may be delusional, but I think that there may be a sudden swell in viewers before the final epside and that'll save the show. Here's hoping!

Margie and Edna said...

Well, since you came and left us a comment, you know what we think about canceled shows. ;)

I do agree that the networks are too impatient; they're not willing to give anything a chance before yanking it due to alleged low ratings. The Nielsen system is inherently flawed, and doesn't take into account "new media" views from places like iTunes, YouTube, and the network's own video players. Until they count all the platforms that people view their shows on, they'll never have a true count of a show's viewers. And they'll keep jumping the gun and canceling good shows before their time. Shows like Jericho and Pushing Daisies. :(

Mystery Man said...

it is such a shame. i am holding out hope they'll come to their senses and Pushing Daisies will get a reprieve at the last mintue due to the massive ammount of people that will watch it :)