ABC has announced a round of cancelations in preparation for their fall line-up, revealing a number of not-so surprising cuts, as well as crowning their pick for sci-fi spiritual successor to LOST - renewing alien invasion drama V and canceling FlashForward.
Other shows that won't be receiving another season include Romantically Challenged, as well as Better Off Ted and the near-to-death Scrubs - receiving it's final deathblow.
It's a thorough house-cleaning. Obviously, it's sad to see a few of the names on this list, though none of them come as a huge surprise. FlashForward was originally expected to carry the LOST audience (after the show takes its final bow on May 23rd) and, though the show started off with a bang, the overly-complicated plot and (mostly) unlikable characters resulted in a ratings free-fall. Despite a number of mid-season rewrites, the series was never able to recover.
Better Off Ted was always an underdog, a mid-season addition that never managed to capture a dependable viewership. Given a better time-slot/marketing campaign, the network could have revitalized Ted - but with a number of fresh ABC comedies gaining critical praise - why would they?
Similarly, Scrubs had been hanging by a thread for sometime, and the Scrubs "interns/college edition" angle failed to connect with viewers. Romantically Challenged, which premiered less than a month ago, seems like an afterthought - following the success of Cougar Town.
Going into the fall, ABC is actually in a good position, continuing to enjoy solid showings from tested drama series such as Grey's Anatomy and reality programming like Dancing with the Stars - not to mention Modern Family's injection of fresh comedy gold.
In addition, the network has picked up seven pilots for the fall line-up:
Drama Series -
Detroit 187, starring Michael Imperioli. "A documentary crew gives us an insider’s view of the homicide unit, capturing the professional crises, as well as the raw personal heartbreak and heroism of these inner-city cops."
My Generation. "A documentary crew captured Greenbelt High School’s class of 2000 on film. Now, it’s ten years later and as the former classmates return home."
The Whole Truth. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. "While victims and defendants wait breathlessly to learn their fate, lawyers are working behind the scenes and in the courtroom, making frantic moves and countermoves of complex legal wrangling to tilt justice in their favor."
Comedy Series -
Better Together. "Two couples, from two different generations, have very different outlooks on love."
Mr. Sunshine, starring Matthew Perry. "The middle-aged manager of a mid-level sports arena, some juggles a wide variety of sports and entertainment acts, while handling his erratic boss and apathetic staff."
No Happy Endings. "For years, perfect couple Dave and Alex drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they’ve split, does this group have the stuff to stay together?"
A number of the shows have a solid premise, but without getting a taste of the execution or tone, it's too early to say much.
As for the sci-fi programming battle of 2010. I'm not going to miss FlashForward but I'm still not entirely sold on V either - it certainly has that "drag you kicking and screaming into the next episode" feel but it's difficult to imagine how the show can up the ante in the second season without jumping the shark (an all-out invasion).
How do you feel about ABC choosing V over FlashForward? What do you think of the network's new round of pilots?