TV Cancellations: The Final Countdown?

Well, decisions have been made, and hardly anyone is happy.  This week, TV networks have been having their “upfronts” – meetings where they announce their lineups and schedules for the next season to press and advertisers.  That means the hard decisions concerning cancellations have been flying thick and fast.  Now, last season’s lineups seemed particularly geek-friendly, with quite a few offerings in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.  Perhaps it’s not a surprise, then, that not all of them will see another season – and that most of these shows had devoted fanbases.

We Hardly Knew Ye

Terra Nova – This was the first big cancellation.  Supposedly it’s being shopped to other networks.

Alcatraz – I had high hopes for this one, but it apparently failed to connect with viewers (or Fox is being stingy and quick to cancel, as it has a reputation of doing).  There’s already another JJ Abrams drama lined up for next year, though, on another network.

The Secret Circle – The loss of my guilty pleasure particularly stings, because originally it was reported it had been renewed.  In some cases, I literally clicked on a headline that said one thing and got content that said another.

The River – I’ll not lie, I didn’t watch this one because it looked like it’d be too scary for me.  Perhaps everyone else felt the same.

MTV, You’re My Only Hope

So fans of guilty pleasure The Secret Circle have been springing into action to attempt to save it, or perhaps have another channel pick it up (like MTV, ABC Family, or Ion).  It might be a long shot, but it’s happened before: Roswell was saved not once, but twice, by an outpouring of fan support.  The second time, it was booted from the WB, but picked up by UPN.

Other shows have famously been saved by fans:

Star Trek – This is the one that started it all.  If it weren’t for proto-geeks writing in, one of the biggest sci-fi franchises in TV history – one that has surely influenced the look and function of current technology – wouldn’t exist today.

Chuck – In a novel approach, fans targeted a sponsor, not a network, to get financial support to continue the show – and it worked!  For a few more years, at least.

Arrested Development and Family Guy – Sometimes shows do come back, not due to a tidal wave of support, but a growing swell.  Family Guy was off Fox for years before its popularity on Adult Swim prompted some rethinking; Arrested Development supposedly has a movie in active development… six years later.

A Sigh of Relief

Not all shows of particular interest to geeks were cancelled.  Here are just a few that continue to live on:

Grimm – I said it should get renewed, and luckily it has.  Good thing, too, because this show just keeps getting better.  The season finale is this Friday, and I can’t wait.

Once Upon a Time – An unlikely premise, and it borders on the silly with all of the Disney-specific allusions (the perks of being an ABC show).  Still, it’s brought back to earth with genuinely clever writing and good acting by, well, pretty much everyone.

Game of Thrones and Doctor Who – It’s not really a surprise, but it’s comforting to know they’re out there, continuing to be awesome.

What about you?  What cancellation are you most disappointed about?  Are you going to participate in fan efforts to rescue any shows?  And what are you looking forward to? 


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