We’ve made it through the first month of the fall 2013 TV season. Unfortunately, some of the premiering shows didn’t.
Surprisingly, only four new shows have been cancelled so far. “Lucky 7,” an hour-long dramedy about people winning the lottery on ABC was the first to go after airing only one episode. “We Are Men,” the Tony Shalhoub (“Pain & Gain”) and Jerry O’Connell (“Satisfaction”) CBS sitcom quickly followed, getting the axe after only two airings. NBC announced Friday that it was ending two shows: “Ironside,” a drama starring Blair Underwood (“Thunder and Lightning”) and “Welcome to the Family,” a sitcom that was part of their Thursday night comedy lineup. The cancellation of “Family” was a disappointment, as I thought it was one of the only watchable new sitcoms this fall.
Canceling “Welcome to the Family” was just the first of NBC’s drastic primetime moves. The network also put “Parks and Recreation” on a temporary hiatus until Nov. 14. Though “Parks and Recreation” has something of a cult fan base, the show has always struggled to bring in viewers for original airings. With both “Parks” and “Family” out for a while, NBC will instead air their go-to ratings-getter, “The Voice,” in the coveted Thursday 7 p.m. time slot. “Parks” will be back with on Nov. 14 and Nov. 21, then take a break again until January, when it will be paired with “Community,” another cult NBC comedy that has had difficulty bringing in viewers.
The other half of NBC’s much-hyped Thursday lineup, “Sean Saves the World” and “The Michael J. Fox Show” are also struggling. “The Michael J. Fox Show” was picked up for a full season despite its lackluster numbers. It looks like “Sean Saves the World” will be the next on NBC’s chopping block though. The Thursday night comedy lineup has once again failed for NBC after years of trying to recreate the magic they had 10 years ago with “Friends.”
Fox has been having the best fall season out of all the networks, having not cancelled any shows so far. They also made the unprecedented move of picking up the hour-long drama/horror show “Sleepy Hollow” for a second season after airing only two episodes of its first. The show, which has been the biggest hit of the fall premiere season, will conclude its 13-episode season this year and return next fall with 13 new episodes. Even “Dads,” the Seth MacFarlane-produced sitcom that was universally slammed by critics still has audiences going, leading Fox’s two-hour Tuesday comedy block.
ABC, CBS and the CW are in the middle of the pack. Neither CBS nor the CW had a breakout hit this fall, but their shows are all doing moderately well. CBS picked up the Anna Faris sitcom “Mom” and the Will Arnett comedy “The Millers” for a full season. Their biggest disappointment came from the extremely low ratings for their cinematic new drama “Hostages,” which will likely finish its 15-episode season in a Friday time slot. ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was picked up for a full season after huge premiere ratings, but the numbers of viewers have been dramatically dropping each week.
Stay tuned to see which shows make it to Thanksgiving.