Sunday, May 4, 2008

may 4, 2008, tv season cancellations

I calculated that there were 13 series that I watched since last September. Five of them were cancelled, one of them I'm not watching anymore, and, with one exception, the shows that I loved were cancelled and the ones that were just okay got renewed. Anyone see a pattern here?

Please note that the asterisks are series that were cancelled.

Brothers & Sisters/ABC
Eli Stone/ABC
Life is Wild*/CW
Men in Trees/ABC
Ugly Betty/ABC
Viva Laughlin*/ABC

You will notice that I do not watch any reality series. You will note that the only procedural that I watched is CSI: NY, and the only reason I watched it was because I like Gary Sinise, not because of the subject matter. You will also note that the only sitcoms that I watch are reruns on PBS of the British series As Time Goes By and My Family.

I was angry enough with CBS when it cancelled Jericho last year that I quit watching my only other CBS series, but returned to CBS when it announced it was returning Jericho. However, Jericho got cancelled again, so I've stopped watching CSI: NY again. This time I won't be back.

There are several reasons why the shows I like get cancelled, and none of them have to do with quality. Obviously, everybody else has very different tastes than I do; hence the low ratings for shows I love and the high ratings for programs that bore me out of my skull. Also, the ones that I watch that do get renewed are the ones that I could take or leave because they are just mediocre. They may have been interesting in the beginning but now are somewhat tedious and don't have much happening. The following shows fall into that category: Brothers & Sisters, Chuck, Eureka, Men in Trees, Reaper and Ugly Betty.

The only show that survives that I can honestly say I am close to loving is Eli Stone, and the reasons I watch it are because it is a fantasy series, it's a musical, it has lots of elements of Everwood and a few elements of Jericho. Although I cannot figure out why Eli Stone lasted and Viva Laughlin didn't, because both are musicals and both are fantasies, and VL actually had a much better cast and better singers.

The other big reason that so many shows get cancelled is because they have shortened seasons, and this situation started occurring long before the infamous writers' strike. How can a series develop a following if it has a season of only eight or 10 or 12 episodes, and no repeats? Not only do the regular viewers tend to forget about the program, any new viewers don't have a chance to get involved. I miss the old days, with 26 episodes from September through April, then reruns of the entire (or almost entire) season from April through September. Now at least one series starts a new season every month, and then the season lasts for only two months, and then the season isn't seen again until it's released on DVD. Yes, I know it's a way to make money, but I don't understand why the networks rely more on DVD sales now for revenue than they do on regular programming.

No wonder I'm watching so much less TV than I used to. Doesn't have anything to do with having a busier lifestyle, or being on the computer more, or working more, or going to bed earlier, all of which I've heard about personally or read constantly on the Internet in the past few years. It simply has to do that there are fewer programs that I enjoy, and the ones that I do watch aren't on the air for a reasonable period of time.

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