The main television season runs in the US from September to June. During the first year of a US television show it’s often not known whether that show will be around long enough to make an impression, or even just to be remembered. This year’s been a particularly turbulent time, and now we know what shows have survived, what ones didn’t, and what new shows will take the place of those that are gone.
Cancellations – What’s not coming back?
Already in the 2012-2013 season, there have been a handful of new shows that struggled to even get their initial episodes aired before being cancelled. Highlights among these include The Shield creator Shawn Ryan’s Last Resort about a submarine crew forced to go rogue against the United States, which was cancelled with episodes still in production so was hastily re-written to give the series an ending.
Other new shows already cancelled without even finishing their initial episode order include Zero Hour, starring E.R. veteran Anthony Edwards as a man searching for his kidnapped wife amid a Nazi conspiracy, pulled from schedules after airing only 3 episodes of its 13 episode run (it’s not known if the creators received notice of cancellation prior to the filming of the episodes or not, to give it an ending), Do No Harm, a medical drama starring Rescue Me‘s Steven Pasquale which was likewise cancelled before airing even that many episodes.
Other shows included the rather fun black comedy Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, which had a steady fan following, but for unexplained reasons was cancelled mid-way through its second season, horror series 666 Park Avenue, starring Rachel Taylor and Dave Annable as a young couple moving into a seemingly demonic block of apartments run by a mysterious owner played by Lost actor Terry O’Quinn( which did get a chance to wrap up its story in its finale, but without the final four episodes being aired), a new medical drama that starred Smallville actor Justin Hartley, and The Mob Doctor, another medical drama following a doctor who is under the thumb of mobsters William Forsythe and Michael Rappaport. Cult, about a cult following a television show by Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon was originally given a 13 episode order, but was moved from mid-week to Fridays after two episodes and cancelled after airing only seven in total.
Then there were series which were cancelled ahead of their final seasons. Biggest among these was science-fiction series Fringe which, in an unusual move, was given a shorter ten episode season to wrap up storylines, despite having been on Friday nights for the previous year. Canadian action/drama series Flashpoint, about a hostage negotiation team, finished its run with a likewise ‘final season’ to wrap up the show, Tina Fey’s comedy 30 Rock finished its 13 episode final season in February, The Office ends its 9 season run this month, 90210, the spin-off/follow up to the original teen series Beverly Hills 90210, was not origially intended to end this season, but after initial episodes hit a ratings low, it was announced by station CW that this season would be its last. Similarly there are several shows that have been given ‘final season’ notice for the upcoming 2013-2o14 period, which will be covered later.
So what else didn’t make the cut? Well, those in particular that stand out include CSI: New York, the second spin-off of Las Vegas original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (which was renewed for a 14th season) after CSI: Miami – which was cancelled last year – has now met its end, being cancelled after below average ratings airing on friday nights (Friday is generally the lowest rated weekday evening).
Most surprising of all was Keifer Sutherland starring Touch, from Heroes creator Tim Kring, not for being cancelled (it aired Friday nights to poor ratings, and seemed to only have a second season as part of a 2 season deal when originally greenlit), but for news related to its cancellation, that Sutherland would be returning as Jack Bauer in a 13 episode order of a new season of 24, four years after its cancellation.
Other cancelled shows of mention include Vegas – The Dennis Quaid/Michael Chiklis drama set on the strip in the 1960’s was relegated to friday nights after poor ratings during the week, to finish its run of 21 episodes. Despite some good storytelling, it’s production costs and it’s low ratings meant it wasn’t likely to be brought back next season.
Body Of Proof – Police procedural following Lana Delaney’s medical examiner in a modern updating of Quincy, amazed some when it was renewed for its 3rd year in 2012/2013 after low ratings in its second season. Its cancellation is not really a surprise to anybody.
Southland – No formal announcement was made that cable channel TNT’s police drama had been cancelled or renewed until recently, but in recent months news had been broken that main cast members had signed on to other shows, meaning they would not be available had it been renewed.
Animated comedy Futurama, after originally being cancelled by Fox years ago and then saved by Comedy Central, has now been cancelled.
Up All Night, the comedy show centering around Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, was announced to be re-tooled into a live audience sit-com, but star Christina Applegate, having worked previously on Married With Children, publically fell out with producers over this idea, and it looks like all plans to continue with the new format have permanently been scrapped.
Other cancelled shows include: Happy Endings, Red Widow, Smash, Rules Of Engagement, Monday Mornings, Deception, 1600 Penn, Whitney, Go On, The New Normal, and Whitney , How To Live With Your Parents and Family Tools, which only started this past month, have both also been confirmed as gone.
Upcoming mid-season shows
(Dates may be subject to change.)
Between now and the start of the 2013/2014 season, are some cable shows, some of which are returning, and some of which are new. Two shows in particular, Burn Notice, which starts June 7th in the US and Dexter, starting June 30th on Showtime, have both been confirmed as their last seasons. The rest:
Family Tree – A collaboration between HBO and BBC 2, filmed as a mockumentary and starring Chris O’Dowd as his character travels to the US to investigate his lineage. Accompanying him is his sister, played by ventriloquist Nina Conti, who plays a woman far too attached to her puppet that helps her cope with severe anxiety. The series started on HBO on May 12th.
Rookie Blue – The Canadian police drama begins its 4th season on May 23rd.
Longmire – Season 2 begins on the A&E network on May 27th.
The Killing – Season 3 of the US version will begin on June 2nd.
Teen Wolf – the 3rd season begins June 3rd on MTV.
Graceland – A drama show focusing on a group of officials from various United States law enforcement agencies, DEA, FBI, and the U.S. Customs department, all of whom are forced to live together in a Southern California beach house as part of an undercover operation. Begins in the US on June 6th.
Falling Skies, the alien invasion series produced by Stephen Spielberg starts its 3rd season on June 9th.
Major Crimes, the spin-off of police drama The Closer starts its 2nd season on June 10th.
True Blood, the Vampire/Werewolf drama, begins its 6th season on HBO on June 16th.
Wilfred, the 3rd season of the American version of the Australian comedy starring Elija Wood airs June 20th.
Under The Dome, A series based on the Stephen King story about a town that finds itselt trapped under a mysterious invisible dome, preventing anyone from getting in, or out, starts on 24th June.
The Newsroom, the second season of Aaron Sorkin’s news drama airs on HBO on July 14th.
Covert Affairs, season 4 will air July 16th. There has been speculaton that this may be the final season of the spy thriller.
Suits, Season 3 of the legal drama will air July 16th.
Renewed for 2013-2014
Early news that Game Of Thrones, which finishes it’s current 3rd season on HBO on June 9th, has already been greenlit for a 4th season next year is welcome to most.
Netflix exclusive series House Of cards, starring Kevin Spacey as a manipulative US senator, will have a second season of 13 episodes later this year as part of a 2 season deal when originally greenlit. All 13 episodes are expected to be released in a similar fashion to the first season.
New Zealand series The Almighty Johnsons, which was initially cancelled by station TV3 after its 2nd season last year, has now been confirmed as coming back for a 3rd season. Though no date is known when this will air, filming started in January of 2013, with funding of $6.9 million (Australian dollars) provided. It is currently expected to be the show’s final season.
Syfy’s game tie-in series Defiance, which finishes it’s current 13 episode first season in July, has already been renewed for a 13 episode 2nd season next year. It was just announced that their other main self-produced show Warehouse 13 which is currently airing the last half of it’s episodes from Season 4, has been renewed, but only for 6 episodes.
Other shows confirmed as coming back next season (renewed) include:
Nikita – Though the show has suffered from poor ratings this season, CW has renewed the show for a 6 episode 4th season to wrap up the story with a completed ending.
Sit-com How I Met Your Mother has been renewed for a 9th Season which has been confirmed will be its last.
The best of the rest: Supernatural, Arrow, The Walking Dead, Community, Criminal Minds, CSI, Revenge, The Neighbors, Suburgatory, Once Upon A Time, Castle, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Modern Family, Revolution, Parenthood, Chicago Fire, Nashville, 2 Broke Girls, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Mentalist, Mike And Molly, Person Of Interest, The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Beauty And The Beast, The Vampire Diaries, Bones, Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Following, Raising Hope, New Girl, Grimm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Parks & Recreation.
As already mentioned, action/thriller series 24 has been greenlit to return by Fox for 13 episodes. It’s not yet known if this will be the full season order, or if this will be extended to 24 episodes if it proves successful in ratings.
Arrested Development – The cult series has been brought back from cancellation by Netflix, who has produced 15 episodes and will publish these available for download on May 28th.
A decision has yet to be confirmed on new critically acclaimed show Hannibal, which begain airing last month. It is not currently on the announced schedule for next season, though it is only intended to have 13 episodes a season, so could return later in the year, as a filler for a time slot of any cancelled show.
A pilot was produced for a spin-off of Beverly Hills Cop, following the son of Detroit detective Axel Foley, but networks declined to take the pilot to series. Currently it is being shopped around to other potential networks.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. – From Joss Whedon comes a Marvel series tied in to the same universe of the Marvel movies. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns after apparently being killed in The Avengers, leading a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents as they investigate mysterious goings on around the world that fall under their purview.
About A Boy – Based on the Nick Hornby novel which was also adapted into a movie starring Hugh Grant. David Walton plays the lead, a single man who finds himself befriending a neighbour’s kid (Benjamin Stockham) to get in with the kid’s single mum (Minnie Driver). Pilot episode directed by Jon Favreau.
The Family Guide – A half-hour comedy show about a family undergoing a divorce, and how it affects Henry (Eli Baker) the young son of the family (who in old age is voiced by Jason Bateman in a “How I Met Your Mother” sense). Also starring J.K. Simmons and Parker Posey, Pilot episode directed by David Schwimmer.
Sean Saves The World – A sit-com in which Sean (Sean Hayes), a divorced gay dad who successfully juggles work and family has to change his life when his teenage daughter Ellie (Sami Isler) moves in permenantly with him.
Crisis – During a high school field trip, the students of Ballard High School, a school for the children of Washington, D.C.’s elite (including the president), the students are kidnapped, igniting a national crisis. Now with some of the country’s most powerful parents at the mercy of one vengeful mastermind, the question arises: How far would you go and what would you become to ensure your child’s safe return? Pilot episode directed by Phillip Noyce (“Salt,” “Patriot Games”).
Believe – From JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón comes a show about Bo, a child who since the age of two has shown amazing abilities like telekinesis, the ability to control nature, and predict the future, gifts she could neither fully understand, nor control. Raised by a small group known as the True Believers, the orphaned girl has been safeguarded from harmful outsiders who would use her forces for personal gain. But now that she is ten, her powers have become stronger, and the threat has grown more dangerous. With her life and future now in jeopardy, the Believers turn to the only person they see fit to be her full-time protector. That is, once they break him out of jail. Tate, a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate who’s lost his will, and is initially reluctant until he witnesses one of her extraordinary abilities.
The 100 – From Warner Bros TV/Alloy Entertainment, the series is set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. A spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. Based on the Alloy books by Kass Morgan.
Star-Crossed (Formerly titled “Oxygen”) – Passion and politics threaten the peace and an epic romance ignites between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school 10 years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they’ve been imprisoned ever since.
Reign – A drama following Mary Queen of Scots’ rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. The secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue.
The Tomorrow People – Based on the UK series, The Tomorrow People is the story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Pilot episode directed by Danny Cannon.
The Originals – Spin-off series from The Vampire Diaries, following the Vampire Klause from the events of the 20th episode of season 4 of Vampire Diaries, as he returns to New Orleans.
Almost Human – A second new show from JJ Abrams, Almost Human stars Karl Urban, Michael Ealy and Lili Taylor and is set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. An unlikely connection is forged when a cop with an aversion to robots and a robot with unexpected emotional responses are partnered up together.
Gang Related – Ramon Rodriguez plays a member of Los Angeles’ elite Gang Task Force led by a character played by Lost actor Terry O’Quinn, Rodriguez’s character is teamed up with a partner played by RZA to take on three of the city’s most dangerous gangs, including one he has ties to.
Rake – Greg Kinnear stars in a legal drama based on the Australian series of the same name as Keegan Deane, addicts, frustratingly charming, and a brilliant criminal defense attorney, whose chaotic and self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one. He takes on cases that nobody else will touch, ruled by a resolute optimism, belief in justice and dogged determination to defend those who seem beyond redemption — much like himself. Pilot episode directed by Sam Raimi.
Sleepy Hollow – Executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (writers of Fringe and Star Trek Into Darkness), Sleepy Hollow is a modern-day retelling of Washington Irving’s classic story. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to find that the world is on the brink of destruction and that he is humanity’s last hope, forcing him to team up with a contemporary police officer (Nicole Beharie) to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Pilot episode directed by Len Wiseman.
Surviving Jack – Comedy based on best-selling author Justin Halpern’s semi-autobiographical book, “I Suck at Girls”. Set in 1990s Southern California, Christopher Meloni stars as a man becoming a dad, as his son is becoming a man, in a time before “coming of age” was something you could Google.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – From the creators of Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy about what happens when a detective who doesn’t take anything seriously gets a new by-the-book boss who wants him to grow up and respect the badge.
Dads – A new live-action comedy from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi star as two childhood best friends who are now successful men, but whose lives get turned upside down when their pain-in-the-neck patriarchs (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert) move in.
Enlisted – Military-set comedy starring Geoff Stults (The Finder), following three brothers getting to know each other again on a small Florida Army base and the group of misfits who surround them.
Us & Them – Based on the BBC Gavin and Stacey, starring Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel, about a young couple, whose path to happily-ever-after is complicated by the screwed-up circus of people closest to them.
The Blacklist – James Spader (Boston Legal, The Office) stars as Raymond Reddington, the FBI’s most wanted man, who turns himself in to the FBI as an informant. Providing the FBI with information on a blacklist of people he has gathered details on, while seemingly having an ulterior motive that is yet to become clear.
Ironside, a remake of the legal series that originally starred Raymond Burr, with Blair Underwood as the main character, paralysed from the waist down. In a change to the original, instead of being a Lawyer, Ironside is a cop.
Welcome to the Family – a culture clash of mixed marriage involving white and Hispanic families.
The Michael J. Fox Show - Centres on a New York news anchor diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (as Fox was) who decides to return to work after a five-year sabbatical.
Dracula is a new take on the age-old vampire story with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (The Tudors) in the title role.