We have reached the end of the regular television season; so now it’s time to do the annual housekeeping of doing away with the leftover shows that didn’t hit the almighty ratings goals set by the networks. In total, NBC had 14 cancellations this season which included “Parenthood” in its sixth season and “Parks and Recreation” ending on its seventh season.
All of NBC’s other cancellations apart from were shows in their freshman season. One of the shows I really liked and saw as a potential Sunday night rival to CBS was “State of Affairs”. The show about a CIA analyst played by Katherine Heigl who briefs the President played by Alfre Woodard, on matters of national security was an interesting take on espionage dramas. Heigl’s character was not only engaged to the president’s murdered son but she also unknowingly played a role in his death and lied to hide that fact. It’s been some time since a show has come close to being exciting as the “West Wing” was when it aired for seven seasons on NBC. It was my hope that this show would be the weekly TV version of “Homeland;” instead of ten episodes we get 20+ P-G 13 versions. Although I don’t think this will be the last time we see Alfre Woodard play a U.S. President.
“Constantine” was probably the most shocking failure this season. Comic heroes and anti-heroes have been a gold mine for movie studios and networks in the last few years. With the rise in the number of franchises taking off on both the small and silver screen, “Constantine” seemed destined to rise to cult status like “Buffy” and “Charmed”. However that is not how the cards played out. Apparently demon hunting and the occult has taking a back seat to vampires and werewolves on TV.
Zachary Quinto made his return to television in the drama that NBC heavily promoted; “The Slap;” a drama focused on the aftermath of a domestic incident involving members of a close knit family that causes a major rift. It had a strong all-star cast which included Uma Thurman, Melissa George, Peter Sarsgaard, Thandie Newton and Victor Garber. “The Slap” was adapted from an Australian series of the same name, however American audiences didn’t receive it very well. It joins a long list of series adapted from British and Australian TV to be rejected in the States.
Comedies on the Peacock Network have been extremely successful in past seasons. “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “30 Rock” have all been undeniable hits for NBC, however this year there didn’t seem to be any break out comedies. Kate Walsh’s “Bad Judge” tanked very early in the season. Critics seems to love “Marry Me,” viewers were pretty much divided. The romantic comedy starring Ken Marino, Casey Wilson and Tim Meadows will not be setting a date for a fall premiere. Another romantic comedy that failed to resonate with viewers was “A to Z,” which was heavily promoted by the network. Ben Feldman, Lenora Crichlow and Katey Segal starred in the offbeat comedy.
More people seemed to loath “One Big Happy” than those that actually liked it; and not for the reasons you might think. The majority of viewers who railed on the show cited the performance of the cast and unrealistic plot and characters. There were far more objections to the hollow acting than there were about a gay character. Is that considered slight progress?
After seven seasons “Parks and Recreation” ended its run on NBC. The show starred Amy Poehler and a host of other actors including Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe and newly crowned action movie hero Chris Pratt.
“Parenthood” is also wrapping up a six years on NBC. The show boasted a talented cast that included Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Dax Shepard and many others. It centered on the lives and family dynamics of the Bravermans. It’s one of those series that will be remembered like shows such as “Sisters,” “Providence” and “Brothers and Sisters”.
Other NBC shows being cancelled include “Mission Control” which never made it production, “About a Boy” which ended after its second season, and the espionage thriller “Allegiance” which I thought would have been hit because of the success of “Homeland”.
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