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Upfronts News Roundup: Bubble Show Updates

by Chris Harnick, posted May 17th 2010 1:45PM
Cold CaseIt's mid-May and that means one thing: The networks are doing their upfront presentations! Yes, it's a wonderful and exciting time to be a television fan. We've got the updates on all the major cancellations and renewals from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox complied all in one place. Did your favorite show survive?

Canceled: After seven seasons, CBS pulled the plug on 'Cold Case.' Despite a loyal fan base, ratings fell during its tenure on TV. The show averaged 14.18 million viewers in its first season, but slumped to 9.55 during its seventh and most recent. Falling ratings and high production costs are likely to blame here.

Canceled: Despite insider predictions that the show was safe, Jennifer Love Hewitt's 'Ghost Whisperer' will not return next season. The show aired on Friday nights, a night many consider the place shows go to die, and flourished. Over five seasons it averaged approximately 10 million viewers. While not great numbers by CBS standards, they were good for a Friday night -- though apparently not good enough to warrant a sixth season. UPDATE: According to the Ausiello Files, ABC may save 'Ghost Whisperer,' though no official decision has been made.

The freshman drama 'Miami Medical' won't live to see a second season. The series debuted to decent numbers, but started plummeting soon after. Ratings eventually rose, but by then it was too late.

Canceled/Saved?: 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' has been on the bubble virtually every year it has been on the air, but CBS has finally given it the boot. The series just wrapped its fifth season with an average of 7 million viewers. ABC is reportedly interested in saving the show, but no official decision has been made. UPDATE: A source for the Ausiello Files says there is now a "50/50 chance" that ABC will save 'Christine.'

Canceled: The Jenna Elfman-fronted sitcom 'Accidentally on Purpose' won't go on to a second season. The sitcom was plagued with mixed reviews from the start and averaged around 7-8 million viewers -- not a success by CBS standards.

'Medium' slipped by the cancellation ax once again. The show migrated over from NBC last season and was paired with 'Ghost Whisperer' on Friday nights and has done decently, averaging about 8 million viewers this season.

Saved: CBS has picked up its midseason comedy 'Rules of Engagement' for another season. The comedy does well in the coveted 18-49 demo, and this season the series has bounced around in total viewers from 10.19 million to as low as 6.7 million.

Saved: 'Two and a Half Men' has signed Charlie Sheen for two more years. 'Men' is the top-rated comedy on television, averaging around 15 million viewers over the course of seven seasons. Sheen is set to receive close to $2 million per episode. Our full report can be found here.

CBS announces its full schedule on Wednesday. Stay tuned to TV Squad for more updates.

Canceled: 'Law & Order,' NBC's cornerstone legal drama, was canceled after 20 years on the air. The series, which helped launch the careers of many, including Chris Noth and Benjamin Bratt, slumped in the ratings in recent years. Luckily, the franchise will be carried on by 'Law & Order: SVU' and 'Law & Order: Los Angeles.' UPDATE: As we previously reported, executive producer Dick Wolf is still looking for ways to save the show.

Canceled: 'Heroes,' NBC's superhero drama, debuted to strong ratings -- 14.3 million viewers -- in 2006, but was a victim of the writer's strike during its second season. The show never rebounded and consistently lost viewers, with only 4.4 million viewers tuning in to its season finale on Feb. 8. NBC may be planning a wrap-up movie or mini-series, though nothing is set in stone.

Canceled: 'Mercy' and 'Trauma,' NBC's two medical shows that couldn't fill the void 'ER' left, have gone the way of the dinosaur. 'Mercy' saw an average of 6.4 million viewers during its brief tenure on air, but its finale was only watched by 4.4 million people. 'Trauma' debuted to about 7 million viewers but lost steam week to week, only getting more episodes ordered after NBC's 'The Jay Leno' show failed.

Saved: Fan favorite and perennial bubble show 'Chuck' was given a fourth season, and will kick off NBC's Monday nights. The show has held steady this season, with last week's episode bringing in 5.3 million viewers, and was the subject of a flash mob campaign by fans to save the show.


Canceled: And so ends Fox's late-night talk-show experiment: 'The Wanda Sykes Show.' Created to fill the 'MadTV' void, the show premiered to decent ratings. However, the talk show couldn't keep the momentum going, and its ratings fell below those of 'MadTV's' final season.

Saved: Fox moved 'Lie to Me' to June this season, which is never a good sign, but it has since officially been renewed for a 13-episode third season. Its renewal is a bit of surprise, since ratings have fallen since its first season -- its first new episode since December aired in April and only attracted 5.28 million viewers.

Saved: Another struggling drama, 'Human Target,' also got a surprise pickup. The action show debuted to decent numbers and held steady as a lead-in for 'American Idol,' but didn't perform well in its season finale, which brought in only 7.2 million viewers. Fox has moved the show to Fridays next fall.


Canceled: The Alyssa Milano sitcom, 'Romantically Challenged,' received the boot after to failing to capitalize on its lead-in, ratings juggernaut 'Dancing With the Stars.'

Canceled: 'FlashForward' debuted to decent ratings, 12.4 million viewers, but fell drastically. It recently hit a low of 4.4 million viewers, failing to keep the audience around. The show also switched showrunners and suffered from a lengthy hiatus.

Canceled: No surprise here -- ABC canceled the low-rated comedies 'Scrubs' and 'Better Off Ted.' 'Scrubs' was around for nine seasons, seven on NBC and two on ABC. 'Better Off Ted' had passionate fans, but not enough of them tuned in, the series hit a low with 2.17 million viewers.

Saved: 'V,' ABC's other science fiction/concept drama, got a surprise renewal. It aired four episodes during the fall, with viewers starting at 14.3 million and falling to 9.3 million. Its return this spring after a lengthy hiatus was only watched by 7.2 million and was bested in viewers by a rerun of CBS' 'The Good Wife.'

Saved: 'Brothers & Sisters' was renewed for a shortened 18-episode season, despite its hefty production costs. Look for official word from ABC during its upfront regarding the rumored new season.


Canceled: The CW's 'Melrose Place' reboot won't live to see a second season. The series premiere was seen by 2.6 million viewers and ratings slumped from there. After much hype, the show failed to connect with viewers, not even Heather Locklear could save it.

Saved: 'One Tree Hill' will surprisingly live to see season 8. The popular teen soap has averaged no more than 3 million viewers for the past few years, but those ratings are OK by The CW standards.

Saved: Another surprise renewal, critically-acclaimed 'Life Unexpected' has also been picked up for a second season. The series premiered to 2.8 million viewers but slumped to 1.8 million for its season finale.


Tell us: What cancellation has you the most upset? Are you happy about any of the shows that were renewed?

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CBS made a big mistake cancelling Cold Case. It is the best show on tv and deserved better promotion. It is a smart, witty show unlike no other. Seven years is not enough for me. At least I can watch the reruns on TNT for now even though they have cut back on episodes. TNT should save Cold Case and make us fans happy once again.

July 10 2010 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cold Case .... It is a Great show ...

June 04 2010 at 5:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really like the Law and Order shows. It's as real as you can get with out actually being there. The stories that are portrayed are like real life events and do have happy endings sometimes and are not always so black and white. The show has been going for 20 years so that in itself should tell you something. It's well liked and working. Keep it on.

May 24 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it's a shame that Trauma and Mercy are being cancelled. They are just a few of my very favorites and I think they should at least be given a chance to get more viewers. The cast members are excellent and the shows are serious but also lets you see more than just whats going on inside the hospital. You get to see whats going on in the personal lives of the crew as well. KEEP THE SHOW'S GOING.

May 24 2010 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia Sexton

I'm the most upset about the cancellation of Cold Case. This is a good show, but it really didn't have a chance. A lot of people Tivo or record shows to watch. Because of football games running overtime every Sunday, instead of having Cold Case on Tivo, we ended up with 60 minutes and maybe half of Cold Case. How can you sustain a fan base when fans never knew when Cold Case would be shown? I found this to be very annoying. We couldn't even see the missed episodes online. VERY annoying. Any show in this Sunday night/post football game spot will have the same problem. They won't catch me watching any of them, though. I'm finished with this channel on Sunday nights.

May 24 2010 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm still mad that the Unit was canceled therefore I'M still not watching CBS there is not ethic shows on either.

May 24 2010 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

get rid of those reality shows about housewives. they are stupid and very inappropriate. i cannot understand the program managers unless they have relatives on the show who know where bodies are buried and will tell. amazing race is great sitting in jungles and the childish dribble of survivors is too much. law and order criminal intent has gone to the dogs with those poker faces monotonous actors. wh y why why did ypu get ride of bobbie and eames.. the summerlineup on cable is smashing and will keep many dvrs humming if watchers are on vacation and cant watch. i am sure the same people are not planning those shows. gene simmons show is also a ha ha and keeps you interested. i still say there must be secrets that keep some of those reality and talk shows going. fess up and give us back the good shows. people do nt understand how yoi are insulting our intelligence with some of these shows. cold case was great dummies bet their salaries are six figures, but cant afford to put it into a show. charlie sheen.s salary. shame shame on all of you.

May 24 2010 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would have much rather heard CBS cancel Medium and kept Cold Case or Miami Medical - somethin about supernatural crap should only be shown around halloween - As for NBC , Chuck can go , shoulda kept one of the med shows - and ABC glad LOST is over , V should have been right behind it and FOX 24 needs to go badly , poor acting and all the violence , I can't believe it lasted as long as it did - good choice in keeping Human Target , but why lie to me , another waste - I wish all of these channels would come up with more "interesting reality shows " like Survivor and put them on at time that don't intersect with other stations with similar shows - they'll all get better ratings then trying to compete with one another - MIX IT UP and FILL IN THE BLANKS " the Bachelorette (or bachelor ) is a fantasie show for 12 years olds - dancing with the stars - I don't dance . Biggest Loser , does this show require an entire evening , it may be appealing to America since more than half of us are overwieght , but come on now . Jamie Oliver - good , Hells Kitchen - good , Surviovor -good - get it ? make it interesting !!

May 24 2010 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe Cold Case will not continue. That is and has been one of the best written and acted shows on TV. Every episode is top notch, and I cannot believe CBS would cancel such a great series. I never miss an episode, even though they all leave me in tears, even the repeats, I TiVo every sinlge one.

May 24 2010 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

COLD CASE, the one show with human emotion and sincerity. What a shame that the netwrok could not (would and will not) save this show. All the main characters worked so very together, and there was no over playing involved. Its what a detective show should be. oh well, another one bites the dust.

May 24 2010 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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