City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

4/22: Morning Mash with TV shows on the bubble

As usual, broadcast TV did not have a terribly good year.

There was one breakout new show: “The Mentalist” on CBS. And two new Fox shows have done well: “Fringe” and “Lie to Me.” Otherwise, it’s been slim pickings.

Hollywood Reporter has listed a bunch of broadcast shows that are “on the bubble.” I’ve also checked with other Web sites, too. Here’s a list in alphabetical order of shows that may be on the “bubble.” Dead shows will come next followed by those already or likely to be renewed.

Which TV shows below on the bubble would you want to come back? (Pick as many as you like)

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“Better Off Ted” ABC – Strange, quirky, not quite as good as “Scrubs” and doing barely “According to Jim”-level numbers. 50/50 shot.

“Castle” ABC – Decent numbers so far, safe cop show, which ABC lacks. So it will be back.

“Chuck,” NBC – My guilty pleasure show, but it has never been a hit and after two seasons, probably never will. But NBC has few if any hits at all so its survival is really on the fence.

“Cold Case” CBS – After six seasons and good numbers, CBS (which is tops in the ratings this season) has maneuvering room. This show is probably getting pricier and its numbers dropped off sharply season five. It’s actually up a bit this year so this is truly a 50/50 shot.

“Cupid” ABC – Poor numbers up front means not enough love for a renewal.

“Dollhouse” Fox – Fox dumped this on Fridays, which didn’t bode well from the get go and its numbers have been modest at best. But who knows? Stranger things have happened.

“Eleventh Hour” CBS – CBS might keep this around as a cheaper alternative to “Cold Case” or “Without a Trace,” which are both on the bubble.

“Everybody Hates Chris” the CW – This show started so promisingly three seasons ago but now buried on Fridays, its ratings are now miniscule, even by CW standards. Too bad. Good show but it’s probably a goner.

“The Game,” the CW – After three seasons, this show has actually held up fairly well. But the CW has not been going out of its way lately to push its few African-American comedies. Chances look grim.

“Gary Unmarried” CBS – Decent numbers so far but nothing overwhelming. This will survive if CBS’s new comedy sitcom slate for 2009-10 looks poor.

“In the Motherhood” ABC – Blech. B-bye.

“Kath & Kim” NBC. Possibly the worst sitcom of the year. And it deserves to disappear forever.

“Kings” NBC – This ambitious drama was bumped to Saturdays after two shots on Sundays. No go. Also say goodbye to “Knight Rider,” “Life,” “Lipstick Jungle” and “My Own Worst Enemy.” In other words, not a good year for NBC.

“New Adventures of Old Christine.” CBS. Should survive though its numbers are kind of borderline now that it’s anchoring Wednesday nights instead of being in the comfort zone after “Two and a Half Men.”

“Numb3rs.” CBS. This show has been a sturdy Friday night drama for CBS for five seasons. It probably has enough juice for a sixth.

“Parks & Recreation.” NBC. NBC will give this one time, just like it did with “The Office” and “30 Rock.”

“Privileged” the CW. This show fits nicely with its other teen-friendly dramas but hasn’t pulled its weight.

“Reaper.” the CW. After such a promising start, this show has been a major disappointment across the board. The reaper will arrive.

“Rules of Engagement” CBS. Kinda blah but manages to hold enough of the “Two and a Half Men” audience to get a third season nod.

“Samantha Who?” ABC. It’s survival is contingent upon ABC’s new sitcom slate this fall.

“Scrubs.” ABC. It was nice of ABC to give this old NBC sitcom an extra year but its time has passed.

“Southland” NBC. The first two episodes have done reasonably well so expect this to be back in the fall.

“Ugly Betty” ABC. I loved this show but it’s starting to feel tired this third season (with a commensurate dropoff in ratings) so I’m not sure if ABC will give it another shot.

“The Unusuals” ABC. A bit too early to say but early results are not encouraging.

“Without a Trace” CBS. While ratings are still relatively good, costs of such a veteran show have gone up, making this a borderline case for CBS to renew. Its ratings are around 12 million, down from 18 million at its peak in 2004.

“Worst Week” CBS. CBS hasn’t said so but this one’s a goner.

Other shows already dead: Fox’s “Do Not Disturb,” “Prison Break” and “King of the Hill”) NBC’s “Crusoe” was a goner almost immediately and “ER” retired a couple weeks ago. CBS long ago axed “The Ex List.” ABC has killed off “Dirty Sexy Money,“Pushing Daisies” and sadly, “Life on Mars.” USA axed “The Starter Wife,” FX did the same to “Testees” and TNT knocked off “Trust Me.”

What’s coming back among scripted shows? ABC: “Brothers & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Private Practice.” CBS: “Big Bang Theory,” “NCIS,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Mentalist,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “CSI,” “Flashpoint,” “CSI: NY,” “CSI: Miami.” NBC: “Heroes” (go figure!), “Law & Order,” “Law & Order; SVU,” “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Friday Night Lights.” Fox: “24,” “House,” “Fringe,” “Lie to Me,” “Bones,” “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Til Death.” the CW: “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill,” “90210,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural.”
Showtime’s “The Tudors” and “The United States of Tara,” HBO’s “The Times of Tim” and “Eastbound & Down” and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”

In unscripted land, what’s certain to be back: Fox’s “American Idol” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Bachelor,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” CBS’s “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” and the CW’s “America’s Next Top Model.”

Not sure in unscripted land: ABC’s “Wife Swap,” “Wipeout,” and “Supernanny” and NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Howie Do It” and “Deal or No Deal.”Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” “Hole in the Wall,” “Kitchen Nightmares.”

The newsmagazines are fine: CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NBC’s “Dateline” and ABC’s “20/20.” CBS’s “48 Hours Mysteries,” too, is fine. And Fox’s Saturday night lineup is safe: “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted.”

Holler if I missed anything.

24 comments Add your comment


April 21st, 2009
9:44 pm

OK i love Friday Night Lights– NBC needs to nurse this baby all the way! love, love love Fringe. i’ll MISS prison break, but hey, how many prisons can these boys break out of is what i’m askin’! and i have to tell you, if you haven’t tried samantha who?, it is REALLY a good, fresh and funny in a different kind of way show. christina applegate is VERY talented, people! i also like new adventures of old christine, only because wanda sykes makes it hilarious. i heard she’s leaving to get her own show. ‘christine’ will not survive without her, IMHO. rodney, you’re right about everybody hates chris. its a great show. i’ll miss it. also, like the unusuals and southland.


April 21st, 2009
10:47 pm

It seems now sitcoms barely get a chance to build an audience. If Sienfeld was on, it probably would have been axed by the 2nd season. Also I can never understand three and a half men, its a decent sitcom and all but to be the highest rated sitcom is beyond me. At least Scrubs is showing on comedy central, great show.


April 21st, 2009
10:52 pm

I mean two and half men. (I was subconsciously thinking about three men a baby which is what this show is ripping off)


April 21st, 2009
10:55 pm

I mean three men and a baby. Thats just a typo.


April 22nd, 2009
2:15 am

What about Terminator: Sarah Conner?


April 22nd, 2009
8:14 am

The good news is that TWO GUYS GARAGE starring Atlanta’s own SAM MEMMOLO and BRYAN FULLER has all new episodes on SPEED CHANNEL.


April 22nd, 2009
9:41 am

Yeah, what Shaun said. Any updated on Sarah Connor Chronicals?


April 22nd, 2009
9:57 am

So you think you have the Great American Novel, eh?


April 22nd, 2009
10:03 am

I don’t think they ever intended to do another season of “Scrubs” after this. Zach Braff, Donald Faison, and Judy Reyes all said they most likely wouldn’t return for another season if there was one, anyway. ABC probably just realized there’s no future for a show without the main characters.

I really wish Fox would cancel “Family Guy” and keep “King of the Hill.” I used to like “Family Guy” but even I don’t find it funny any more. Bring back “Futurama!”


April 22nd, 2009
10:31 am

Seriously The Simpsons for another season? That show is way way way past its prime. I do hope Dollhouse comes back its been one of the best shows I have watched this year, its just awful that Fox put it on Friday nights.

Major Hochstetter

April 22nd, 2009
10:46 am

Bullwinkle is right. TWO GUYS GARAGE rules! It’s the only program on TV worth watching.


April 22nd, 2009
11:15 am

CBS needs to figure out a way to better predict what time shows will be on for their Sunday night lineup — between Football and Golf, it is painful to arrange a recording schedule and that has to affect ratings. If you make your shows “un-Tivo-able”, it will make a show much less desirable for me — especially when CBS’ football coverage (AFC) typically does not interest me.


April 22nd, 2009
11:59 am

Katie – It’s a huge question if Futurama will return at all, let alone on Fox. The movies on DVD along with the airings on Comedy Central have done fairly well. The last DVD released had a suitable ending for the series, but could also serve as a jumping off point for a new run. BTW – if you haven’t seen them, the first DVD was good, the second was atrocious, the third made up for it, and the fourth was good as well.


April 22nd, 2009
12:51 pm

I’m a huge “Futurama” fan. The third movie was awesome. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. Fox killed it because they’d air it at a different time each week. How did they expect to build a fan base if no one could figure out when it was going to be on? The major networks are so obsessed now with instant rating gratification that they never give good shows a chance. “Arrested Development,” anyone? “The Simpsons” didn’t get good until the third or fourth season.

Erik from Atlanta

April 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Has it been confirmed that Season 8 of 24 for the 2009-2010 Fox Schedule will be the last season? I love the show. But, how many bad days can Jack Bauer have? Season 7 is off the hook. Tony Almadia has been fooling everybody all along. I was schocked by that twist. Almost as good as Nina Myers in Season 1.


April 22nd, 2009
3:41 pm

Rodney…Sarah Conner…what’s up with that? And btw, I’m STILL upset with the local FOX affiliate for not rerunning the season finale of Sarah Conner after more than half of the show was preempted for weather related stuff. I know the weather guys needed to stay on the air that night…no problem with that but they are telling me that the only way I can see the entire season finale is to download it. That’s baloney.

Rodney Ho

April 22nd, 2009
4:01 pm

Shoot. I knew I’d forget a show. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is definitely on the bubble. The tea leaves are not hopeful from what I can ascertain.


April 22nd, 2009
4:57 pm

I’ve liked the first two episodes of ‘Southland’. Good writing, good cast. Hope they can sustain it.

Para 05

April 23rd, 2009
8:24 am

My first post, ever. Sarah Conner Chronicals is a great show and hope it makes it. I really like the Dollhouse for the “asetheics” and the writing isn’t bad either. Thanks to my DVR I don’t care what night these things are on but it ticks me off when they cut them off or go overtime (AI anyone?). I really like Chuck (Sarah especially) and hope it makes it.

Troi Torain

April 23rd, 2009
10:08 am

I actually like The Game. Its a great show and I’m a white guy. I’d have to see CW get rid of a good show.

Bert Show Fan

April 23rd, 2009
10:17 am

Just my two cents concerning shows I care about: YES Friday Night Lights needs some love!!!!! It is awesome. It isn’t about football it is about the town. I love Coach Taylor, but Connie Britton as Principal Tammy Taylor is the best. My sixty-something inlaws watch this show for crying out loud.

How can someone not like Two and a half Men? Maybe you just need to take it for what it is…mindless humor you can use to escape with. The writing is good, the acting is good (of course Charlie Sheen is probably just playing himself), it’s not meant to be smart and sophisticated.

Also Family Guy is still relevant and funny. I really enjoy the show and it is one that I must watch every week. I love all the pop culture references. The Simpson’s probably need to go but at this point they are an American Institution — what’s the use.

My husband likes Kings, the plots are good, the acting isn’t bad, but it would be better if the dialogue wasn’t so stupid. Also, why does everyone on this show speak with an American Accent, also why does the country look like New England? I haven’t gone to nbc’s website and researched this stuff, but they should answer these questions on any given episode of the show.


April 23rd, 2009
1:04 pm

Katie, Family guy is signed on for I think at least 2 more seasons with Fox. They are in year 2 of a 4 year deal I believe and yes the show is getting boring because Seth MacFarlane is turning into his own little MSNBC with something political in every show. They need to put the spotlight back on Stewie and away from Brian for the show to be fun again.

King of the Hill (and I like this show too) is at the end of its 11 or 12 year run. It is not Fox taking it away, its the producers who are done making the show. May it live in Syndication forever. Futurama is cult like and Fox never really had any success with it, hence the reason for changing the start times every week. The Simpsons are still around because they still pull in huge numbers nationwide in ratings. The success of the movie should prove that.

And lastly, 24 is awesome this year and fresh from the last two debacles. Sure they still have the drama in Jack’s life, but at least its finally coming full circle instead of sending mixed signals about what will happen next. I think they are setting up this Renee woman to be the next Jack Bauer. Notice how her day is going pretty much like Jack’s did in the first two seasons?

who cares

April 23rd, 2009
1:33 pm

what is going on with Grey’s Anatomy?
I thought Life on Mars was great. How could they cancel that? Imperioli was a funny nut case, the Lieut was a good drunk and Gretchen Mol was nice to look at-eye candy. Sounds like the TV stations need to do better with the cast and storylines.


April 23rd, 2009
3:49 pm

My problem with “Family Guy” these days is that it’s just absolutely painful to watch. They’ve gone way past funny, through poor taste, and into terribly offensive territory. It’s like they’re trying too hard to be offensive. There’s a certain skill to poor taste that Seth MacFarlane seems to have lost when it comes to “Family Guy.” Perhaps he’s spreading himself too thin with spin-offs. Really, does Cleveland need his own show? I don’t think so.

The reason Fox never had success with “Futurama” is because they never really gave it a chance. Fox aired it at 7:30pm on Sundays for most of its run, but it usually got preempted for whatever sports were in season. Matt Groening even mentioned in the commentary on the “Futurama” DVDs that he had intended on a 9:30pm eastern time slot. Yes, Fox aired 4 seasons, but they never really gave the show the attention it deserved.