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October 23, 2014

Should ABC Save 'Ghost Whisperer' and 'The New Adventures of Old Christine'?

by Gary Susman, posted May 20th 2010 3:20PM
Ghost WhispererEven though CBS canceled both 'Ghost Whisperer' and 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' earlier this week, there's been lots of talk that ABC might save both shows from the dustbin of history. The most recent rumors (as reported by Deadline and Entertainment Weekly) suggest that ABC still wants 'Ghost Whisperer' but not 'Christine.'

But viewers may well ask: Does either show deserve to be saved?

CBS canceled the two shows, which had both run for five years, citing the usual reasons of low ratings (as CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler explained to E!) and increased expenses (actors tend to demand more money the longer a show stays on the air). ABC had long been interested in picking up either show if CBS should drop it, much the way ABC, CBS and TNT picked up 'Scrubs,' 'Medium' and 'Southland,' respectively, after NBC orphaned them.

The news that 'Ghost Whisperer' still has a shot at survival, while 'Christine' doesn't, is curious. ABC's fall slate, unveiled this week, is already full of hour-long dramas, including one, Dana Delany's Friday-night procedural 'Body of Proof,' that seems to play to the same strengths as Jennifer Love Hewitt's longtime Friday night staple (minus the supernatural element). Still, ABC Productions is a co-producer of the 'Ghost Whisperer,' so some of the expense of the transfer and a fraction of any potential syndication revenue will go back into the parent company's pocket.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 'The New Adventures of Old Christine'That wouldn't be the case with Julia Louis-Dreyfus' 'Christine,' even though, as a long-running half-hour comedy, it would be much easier to syndicate. Also, ABC's new fall slate includes a couple new 'Christine'-like comedies: 'Happy Endings' (about a couple that splits up but remains in each other's lives) and 'Better Together' (about two women and their very different romantic relationships). Not a lot of room for a third such show, especially given the network's popular Wednesday comedy block -- which contains sophomore series 'Cougar Town,' another 'Christine'-like show.

Even if ABC could save both CBS castoffs, however, should they? Sometimes, a canceled show still has a lot of potential creative life left (as was the case with 'Southland,' which NBC let go after just one season). Often, however, the canceled show has run out of juice before it finds a new home, as was the case with 'Scrubs.'

Does anyone think that, after five years, 'Ghost Whisperer' or 'Old Christine' still had a lot of new stories left to tell? If you do, let us know below. And if you think it's time to let them rest in peace, let us know that, too.

• Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.

Should ABC rescue 'Ghost Whisperer' and 'The New Adventures of Old Christine'?
Yes, save them both.3664 (14.7%)
Just save 'Ghost Whisperer.'11600 (46.5%)
Just save 'The New Adventures of Old Christine.'4354 (17.5%)
No, don't save either of them.5315 (21.3%)

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