Thursday, November 20, 2008

You get a cancellation! And you get a cancellation! And you get a cancellation! Everybody gets a cancellation!!!

Big day for falling axes in the TV biz. The CW officially pulled the plug on its disastrous outsourced Sunday lineup, replacing "Valentine, Inc." and "Easy Money" with syndicated movies and, in a salute to peanut-lovers everywhere, "Jericho" reruns. (Now, if only they could add "Moonlight" to the mix...) ABC declined to give back nine orders to "Pushing Daisies," "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Eli Stone," effectively canceling all three once their initial run of 13 episodes is up. (Bryan Fuller is still talking about wrapping up all the "Pushing Daisies" stories in comic book form.)

On the good news side, ABC finally announced a premiere date and timeslot for "Scrubs," which will air Tuesdays at 9:30 (and will double up at 9 its first two weeks), along with other midseason changes that will have "Private Practice" moving to the post-"Grey's Anatomy" timeslot and "Life on Mars" (which got a pick-up for four more episodes) airing after "Lost" on Wednesdays at 10.

Still need to get to this week's "Pushing Daisies." Ah, well. I figured it'd be canceled three episodes in. Instead, it was a surprise success at first before the ratings started to drop and then the strike effectively killed it. It's kind of a miracle we got 22 episodes of such a weird show on a major broadcast network.

56 comments:

Nicole said...

It's too bad that a show like Pushing Daisies is unable to outlast garbage like Knight Rider. Eventually network television will just be remakes of earlier shows and reality television. And they wonder why they keep losing viewers.

Tor Hershman said...

"Scrubs," I like shows with weird janiTORs.

polkadotoes said...

i'll miss pushing daisies :(

Jenn said...

I'm so bummed about Eli Stone. Love that show.

Hoosier Paul said...

Deal or No Deal is a huge hit, but a whimsical-necromantic-romantic-murder-mystery-fantasia can't find an audience? I just don't understand.

LA said...

I'm bummed about Pushing Daisies. DSM was kind of a guilty pleasure for me, although it really was pretty bad this season. Still, I'm angry ABC did nothing to help these shows promo-wise (can't say the same for Eli Stone... they promoted the hell out of that show).

What absolutely sickens me is Private Practice gets picked up while Daisies is let go. Something's rotten in Burbank.

Nicole said...

Watch Idiocracy and this will all make sense.

filmcricket said...

Man, that blows. Well, that takes the number of ABC shows I watch down to one.

On the upside, as soon as Pushing Daisies is done, I'm cancelling my cable service. It was the only show I watched that I couldn't get on rabbit ears or online.

Anonymous said...

Draft Bryan Fuller to "Heroes." Re-hire the show's best writer, save the show.

Matthew L said...

No surprise about Pushing Daisies - I think we all knew it would be gone, especially since ratings for this week's episode was down to 4.9 million - but damn it still hurts that it is ended.

Surprised, but glad, to learn that Life On Mars is getting an additional five episode. I have been surprised with how much I actually like the show, and would like to see wha they do once they run out of shows to borrow from.

And, in news of other shows that will probably be cancelled quickly, have you seen the promo for the new version of Cupid? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQl2QDDU-h8

Jennifer said...

Well, that's ALL my favorite shows down.

chrisw said...

When are the networks going to realize that with so many more options for viewers these days (quality cable programming, online, DVR, downloading illegally, waiting for DVD, actually doing this with your life, video games) that they need to readjust their expectations? The whole television slate is going a lot more niche programming. It'll be super-rare from here on out to find one fiction show that appeals to a really wide audience (that isn't a comedy like the Office).

Isn't that number for Pushing Daisies like three times what Battlestar usually gets? When a show as weird and amazingly great as Battlestar can survive with such a low number (admittedly on a cable channel and with probably a much smaller budget) why can't this show?

filmcricket said...

(admittedly on a cable channel and with probably a much smaller budget)

You just answered your own question. I don't know about the budget comparisons, but cable is a whole different ball-game. And not only are the networks losing viewers to other options, they're also losing advertisers to bankruptcy. Corporate sponsors are pulling out of the Olympics now - they sure aren't going to spend money on something that barely gets five million viewers. Now, why that show doesn't get more viewers - I'm at a loss.

Gayle said...

I've been resigned to the fact that Daisies wasn't long for this world, but it really is a shame. Such an enjoyably creative whimsical show and different from much of what's on network TV these days--it's too bad there wasn't a bigger audience for it's offbeat wonderfulness.

Eli Stone is well done and I'll miss Victor Garber, but the show seems to have been a little stagnant recently, even as the producers tried to shake up the law firm and the supporting characters.

Oh well, less crowding on the DVR.

dez said...

I didn't even know DSM was in danger. I'm bummed, but all my wailing and gnashing of teeth is reserved for the loss of PD, sniffle. DAMMIT!!!

Anonymous said...

Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money I gave up on ages ago (good casts, but AWFUL shows) so they definitely won't be missed by me. I've enjoyed Pushing Daisies, but the writing has been on the wall for AGES. Pretty much before the pilot even aired. I'd resigned myself to its cancellation a long time ago, so I really can't get very worked up.

Sarah D. Bunting said...

DSM is, in my opinion, a mercy killing. Loved the show the first season, but the writing went from character-driven to plot-driven, and the plots in question were risible. And I cannot stand Simon Elder's goddamned necklace collection.

So Cal said...

Very pumped about Scrubs finally getting scheduled!

On the other hand, way bummed about DSM. Great show, great cast, twists and turns, a fantastic guilty pleasure.

I think they should habe given it a shot behind Grey's. Certainly fit better there than Big Shots or Life on Mars

Kensington said...

Gosh! Well, I'm not the least bit surprised about Pushing Daisies; it's just that I thought it would have happened within five episodes a year ago. It just never made sense to me that a show this quirky would connect with enough mainstream viewers to succeed.

On top if its oddball nature, I really think ABC made a disastrous choice in scheduling it during the family hour. Let's face it: some of the corpse imagery could be a bit grotesque at times (I'm thinking of the bee-sting victims earlier this season).

Still, I'll miss it, and given its earlier success, it's a bit startling to see how it never recovered from the strike-imposed absence.

Same goes for Dirty Sexy Money. I haven't been paying attention to the ratings and had no idea it was doing so poorly. That's a real shame, as I was just starting to get into it.

Heather said...

(Lets out a loud No!)
I was so falsely hoping that the execs at ABC would have an ephiphany and then decide 'What the heck?' to Pushing Daisies.

I never knew ELi Stone was in danger. I didn't watch it, but still.

On the bright side, PD the movie! I really hope for it. I also hope it won't tank like Serenity (Ah, Firefly. You too were a too whimsical show to be on). I also hope the very best for the rest and wish they could give ABC a huge middle finger when they (hopefully) win awards.

ANTM beat them? Really? I hate you dumb people.

Also Bryan Fuller can be on Heroes :). I hope he ressurects that show because I don't know how long I can strain my vocal chords screaming at that damn show.

Also: Janitor will be back! Bad transition, but there's something to look forward to.

Jennifer J. said...

I don't *feel* like I got a miracle in getting 22 eps of Pushing Daisies. I feel robbed and disheartened. I don't care if it makes me sound naive. This world at this time needs that show. If ABC wasn't the "keeper" of Lost, I'd stop watching everything ABC.

We've stopped watching Heroes. If Bryan Fuller goes back to it, we still won't watch it.

daveawayfromhome said...

Would it be possible to get a campaign going to get someone like SciFi to pick it up? Or is the budget thing too great to overcome?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Would it be possible to get a campaign going to get someone like SciFi to pick it up? Or is the budget thing too great to overcome?

Way too big. The budget was too big for ABC, and they indulged it for a while because it was Barry Sonnenfeld, and because the initial ratings were very good.

Charles said...

The most popular show in Pushing Daisies' timeslot is Bones, which regularly features corpses 100x grislier and gooier than PD's. (Though, admittedly, none of them spend a minute chatting with Booth and Tempy).

Lizbeth said...

It's too bad. If 'Dirty Sexy Money' was made in the 1980s it would have a good ten year run. I commend ABC for making "big budget" shows with high-profile concepts and stars - but they just can't keep them afloat in today's economy, and with competition from DVDs, cable, internet, etc.

Network execs need to create some niche cult shows that get "good enough" numbers so that they can keep them in production long enough to keep an audience interested. At this rate, I'm sure many people are tired of getting emotionally involved in shows that get pulled too quickly.

I think ABC is creating some of the best and most original programming. But they should try to make shows they can afford to make -- even if 9 million people don't watch.

Kristin said...

Boo-hoo for "Pushing Daisies." I know for executives and advertising, those numbers are pretty sorry. But damn, almost 5 million people watch this show. That's a LOT.

Especially considering ALL network tv viewership is down. What gets me is that people will eat up procedurals, which get so BORING. The same thing week after week, over and over again. But CBS has built a whole network around procedurals and mysteries.

I know why the game shows are doing well...kids love that stuff. And families will watch that with their kids. I've avoided all the primetime game shows, but it doesn't mean my kids don't want to see them. I just won't waste the DVR space on that junk.

"Garbage like Knight Rider" is also kiddie fare. So I know why that's sticking around. Kids under the age of 12 can't really grasp complex story lines, so you will always find success with dorky shows like this. It was the same age group that watched this show in the 80s...which I also thought was garbage back then.

So long, Pushing Daisies, I loved it while we had it...

zodin2008 said...

Wow, everyone's mad at ABC for canceling "Pushing Daisies" but the ratings were terrible and there weer many of us who were frankly tired of watching that gooey, bright color format every week. My wife and I quit the show several weeks ago - bored of it.

You can blame ABC all you want, but overall, most people were rejecting the show and not returning.

As for "Eli Stone", I'm sad to hear that news. Very much have enjoyed this show. Would have been a much better fit on USA.

Anonymous said...

filmcricket said...
" Man, that blows. Well, that takes the number of ABC shows I watch down to one.

On the upside, as soon as Pushing Daisies is done, I'm cancelling my cable service. It was the only show I watched that I couldn't get on rabbit ears or online."

I'm a non-USA resident, and I followed PD online...granted, if you're talking about WATCHING it online, that's not what I did :D

I will miss it. I could see where some people could think it annoying and they would have a point, but the positive outweighed the annoying for me. I suppose that whoever runs TV doesn't actually WATCH TV.

Pamela Jaye said...

wow. I could clear my DVR of PD and ES (except the Quantum Leap homage)

and yippee to Scrubs and Mars!

what was that about Jericho? reruns?

(not that i care)

Pamela Jaye said...

Deal or No Deal is a huge hit, but a whimsical-necromantic-romantic-murder-mystery-fantasia can't find an audience?


how do you describe Chuck? (cause i loved this description)

Life on Mars must be costly (er, the show)

Byron said...

This is the one where I'm on all of your guys's side. When Arrested Development got canceled after a mere 53 episodes, I said that was a long enough chance to find an audience. When Veronica Mars ended after three seasons, I said the same thing.

But Pushing Daisies getting only 22 episodes? If you can't make money off of this show, you should get out of the making money business.

(Is that from Sports Night? I can't remember)

Kensington said...

Charles: "The most popular show in Pushing Daisies' timeslot is Bones, which regularly features corpses 100x grislier and gooier than PD's."

That is a good point, but FOX has always been a network that pushed boundaries. Plus, I would argue that Bones's gore, whilst more explicit than Pushing Daisies, is less jarring because it’s more expected.

Wow, is Bones really on at 8:00? In the age of DVRs, I lose track of when most shows are scheduled. I would have thought Bones would be a 9:00 program. Huh.

Kensington said...

Kristin: "What gets me is that people will eat up procedurals, which get so BORING."

But you know what the funny thing is? At its core, Pushing Daisies was as much a procedural as any of the more conventional ones. In fact, once that really solidified a few episodes in, it was kind of a disappointment.

I still liked it, but it really was kind of an unusually twee procedural with some sweet, sweet characters and lovely moments.

sanford said...

Like everyone else, I am sorry to hear about Pushing Daisies.

I wish they just would have given the show a full year in order to answer all the plot lines.

Steve said...

very disappointed about Eli Stone. Although the season has been a little weak, I always enjoy watching it.

David J. Loehr said...

Over on my blog, I just posted some thoughts on Daisies' cancellation and why it might be smarter for them to keep it on for a while.

The short answer? Keeping Daisies would probably do more harm to Heroes continued viability. It's not just counter-programming, it's keeping a player off the board.

Travis said...

Why don't they put Reaper back on instead? They're filming the final eps of season 2 as we speak.

M said...

(Bryan Fuller is still talking about wrapping up all the "Pushing Daisies" stories in comic book form.)

Alan, in your link Fuller says the final episode is a cliffhanger. I thought I had read a couple of weeks ago(although that may have well been an unfounded rumour) that with the ratings being what they are Fuller was asked to rewrite the thirteenth episode so that it could function as a series finale.

So, do you know what happened? Will the last episode really end mid-story?

Amity said...

I will miss Pushing Daisies, too. Anybody know how many more episodes we have left?

amysa said...

Didn't Bryan Fuller say at the Paley panel a couple of weeks back that he wrapped up the storylines to a certain extent, but that they opened up a whole new can of worms with the ending? So, essentially, we'll get lots of answers, but then more questions?

Perhaps some reediting can be done to make it a finale. And then we can see the rest on DVD or online or...something. I don't know. It sucks. Pretty much sucks all around, even though I agree with the commenters who think DSM took a nosedive this year. I'll still very much miss Eli, though, and PD was pretty much at the top of my "must see" list these days.

Oh well. At least there's a chance that the SOS fan nonsense will be entertaining. Lots and lots of daisies to ABC? Or honey? Or pie? Live bees?

dez said...

^Live, Africanized bees.

Pamela Jaye said...

pies in the face.
and stones. :-)

jazzfan360 said...

Congratulations, ABC, for making a complete fool of yourself and blowing all that creative, forward-thinking goodwill you'd earned from the industry and the nation after rolling the dice on Lost and Housewives.

You, more than any other network, handled the strike SO poorly, mismanaging every single decision made after the writers began picketing. You killed one of the funniest shows of the decade, Miss/Guided, by premiering it toward the tail-end of the strike amid a wasteland of filler programming when everyone had defected to real life and given up on TV.

After the strike, you decided not to bring back any of your new shows EXCEPT Samantha Who? (which, of course, is doing just fine). Not only that--you didn't air reruns on the main network OR on ABC Family, not ONCE , EVER. What better did you have going all summer?? How could Pushing Daisies NOT have benefited from an ABC Family marathon? Not only that--you stuck to one of television's most insane "nobody benefits from this" hallmarks, releasing first-season DVDs a matter of days before the sophomore premieres. If your goal was ensuring that NO NEW VIEWERS COULD FIND THESE SHOWS, I proffer my hand for the shaking--flying colors.

When PD and DSM came back in October, did you REALIZE their last episode had aired before Christmas '07? That they had been off the air for nearly a YEAR? You can DO that with established shows that have strong fanbases--your Losts, your Sopranos--you can't pull that crap with a new series that's BARELY out of the gate. Everybody forgot about them, and by the time they'd returned, no one cared anymore!

And would it have KILLED you to try them in a different timeslot before making a rash decision? Yes, I'm quite intelligent enough to understand why Dirty Sexy Money can only be played in the ten-o'clock hour, but Jesus, you couldn't have attempted to show it after Grey's just ONCE to see what would happen? You nurtured that insipid, screechy Brothers & Sisters (ratingswise, that is--kudos on throwing out all the good forces behind the scenes and driving the quality straight into the ground)...wouldn't it have been in your good interest to bench the Walkers for a week and try DSM after Housewives, when people were really in the mood for an escapist soap? After all, that is the timeslot where you groomed Grey's to be a flagship series. And Pushing Daisies can play anywhere on ANY night at ANY time! WHY didn't you move it?

I commend you on a quality you share with our fine president, your defiant, almost demented determination to stick to your decisions in good times and bad. You started those shows in those timeslots on Wednesday night, and dammit, whether they were gonna flourish or die, there they'd stay. You took one look at the numbers, shook your head, threw your hands up, and decided there was nothing that could be done. Well, that's just excellent. Truly visionary way to run a television network. You're practically HEMORRHAGING logic, big chunks of reason just fallin out all over the place. Do you leave little droplets of sense, Hansel-and-Gretel-like, in a trail when you move around? I wonder. I really admire your overriding lack of need to step back, observe the big picture, and come to a decision that's best for everyone and, really, television overall. You know, I hear the late Brandon Tartikoff ran his sh*t that way too.

What a spectacular way to fumble with two shows that started out as hits. Can you believe how far they've fallen? I sure can...but then, I saw this coming. How much are you paying the brilliant knuckle-draggers at your company who DIDN'T? I guarantee not half as much as you're paying me, because so far all I've gotten from is the finger.

You've done a real solid for your viewers this day, my friend...and further, a great justice for the present--nay, FUTURE of the television landscape. Now that I really think about it, I don't see why we need Daisies OR Money. One was only, y'know, a bold, brilliant Technicolor fairytale and sweeping love story disguised as a stylish murder-mystery which has given us at LEAST one of the decade's most brilliant hours ("Dim Sum, Lose Sum"--perhaps you've seen it), and the other only a modern-day Dynasty that gets more addictive and deeply satisfying every single week, its sinuous Carringtonian splendor gloriously draped in Tabloid-Era splendor and boasting one of television's most dynamite ensembles. We didn't need either of them. And both were nothing like the real world--when times are as good as these, who in their right mind would want a retreat?

Not I.

And so I want to thank you, ABC, for having the groundbreaking vision and shiny brass balls to drag two of television's most enjoyable and PROMISING series out behind the shed and shoot them the face like a broken-down horse. You have displayed a wisdom far beyond your many, many years, and given this industry, and your viewers, a gift of pain, regret, and longing that will truly keep on giving, the kind of gift so deep and so large and so terribly thoughtful that sadly, we will never be able to repay you in kind. It is truly appreciated.

Today, everybody wins.

Jennifer J. said...

I second you jazzfan360. One hundred percent.

Joe said...

I SAID GOOD DAY!

Tracey said...

Byron said... "But Pushing Daisies getting only 22 episodes?..."

Worse than that: it got 22 episodes split over two seasons, the second season started late and was preempted for nothing special for two weeks running early in the new season. And they expect people to find it amd remember to watch it? TV viewing is all about habits.

dez said...

jazzfan360, you rule!

Smiley Lee said...

I’m really disappointed about Dirty Sexy Money. It seemed like ABC should have given it a try following a higher rated show, at least once, just to draw in more viewers (or at least advertised it during Deperate Housewives once or twice).

I was hoping that show would be around a long time for lots of twists and turns and character development. I watched it every week, even this season when things sometimes went off the rails (when it tried to be too soapy in an attempt to draw in viewers). I kept hoping things would even out, the wonderful characters and writing would reemerge, and more viewers would find it. There were some amazing performances on that show – I hope everyone goes on to bigger, better and artistically fulfilling things.

Well, at least I'll always have the S1 DVD's.

And jazzfan360, that was a work of art.

Pale Writer said...

Hey, hey. To be fair, ABC also cancelled Cupid and Sports Night, too.

jazzfan360 said...

Yes, they did, and with Cupid they're actually doing the unheard of and admitting they made a mistake--isn't the remake slated for next season?

It should also be remembered that they canned The Knights of Prosperity, which should've been the rightful heir to Arrested Development's throne of random, rapid-fire, mind-bogglingly sharp ensemble comedy. One of the funniest shows ever, and they didn't have anything remotely right to pair it with, and like Fox with AD, they hadn't the first clue how to market it. And so they placed it poorly, and so it was promoted poorly, and so it died, quietly and mostly alone, and will likely never receive a DVD release. And worse, Kevin Michael Richardson, that season's best supporting actor in a comedy, went completely disregarded by all the industry awards.

Eeeeeverybody wins.

Zachary said...

Is this the start of a Peter Krause curse in the case of network television? Two shows that last 2 seasons.

Smiley Lee said...

Is this the start of a Peter Krause curse in the case of network television? Two shows that last 2 seasons.

No, I'd put that more on Lucy Liu: Joey, Cashmere Mafia, then DSM....

Though, now that you mention it, Peter Krause may want to think twice before considering another show on ABC.

jazzfan360 said...

To be fair, he thought twice before this one. He really, really didn't want to do it, and they kept asking him. The story he tells on talk shows says he eventually ended up putting his trust in creator Craig Wright, who worked on 6FU, but my guess is also that ABC threw a big pile of money at him, and being able to work with Sutherland and Clayburgh couldn't have hurt.

Tyroc said...

I wasn't a Pushing Daisies fan, but I was happy to see it on the air and trying to do something different (something way too precious for my tastes, but certainly different, and well executed.)

It's always a bummer when a show gets canceled as it means a hundred people just lost their job. With 3 cancellations at once, that's a large amount of people headed out of work with the holidays coming up. Sucks.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they're cancelling "dirty sexy money" and leaving "private practice" on the air. Such a trite show!

matt stechel said...

eli stone would have benefited greatly from being left where it was on tuesdays at 10

they announced that Scrubs would be its lead-in (skedded to air Tues at 9 30) is there a show more suitable to be a lead-in show for eli stone then scrubs??? exactly!!!!! Eli really would've been the sleeper show of the next year. (that or it would've been like scrubs===build up a devoted audience that follows it around the sked for a number of years as long as it shows up sometime during the year-----I really don't get the rationale for canning Eli Stone ratings or no---something has to go against the dogfight between Without a Trace and SVU AND---ABC hasn't even announced a replacement show to put in Tuesdays at 10 when they run out of eps!)

They really should've kept Eli at the very least.