We’re getting down to the end of the TV season, which means lots and lots of speculation and anticipation about which of your favorite shows will make it to next season.
We’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about the shows that should be canceled — those that have declined creatively or in the ratings, or both. And yes, we are talking about “The Office,” but also “America’s Next Top Model” and “Gossip Girl” and at least one “CSI” and probably some others that aren’t coming immediately to mind because we gave up a while ago. They’ve all reached the point of diminishing returns, but we’d put money on seeing them all again next year.
It’s likely that their respective networks simply can’t afford to drop them, either because their ratings are just good enough, or they have little else in the pipeline to replace them, or heck, just because old habis die hard.
Instead they’ll limp into next season, taking up space on the schedule
and serving as case studies in what happens when the economic realities
of broadcast TV overtake the creative forces that brought the shows into
“The Office,” according to Deadline, is now considering a “reboot” for its ninth season. Contract negotiations with John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms and B.J. Novak have stalled, Mindy Kaling is doing a FOX pilot and Rainn Wilson is gearing up for a potential Dwight-centric spinoff (and we say again: No Mose, no show), so executive producer Greg Daniels and NBC are talking about bringing some new characters into the fold for Season 9.
Look, we get that the show is one of the few (mostly) reliable performers NBC has at the moment. Including DVR viewing, it’s still a Top 40 show in adults 18-49, and because of that it’s a near-certainty for renewal, even if Season 9 ends up featuring Darryl, Phyllis and Nellie Bertram as the three leads.
But even though the show and its characters have built enough goodwill over the years that it can still be fun to hang out with them, even the most charitable view of the show has to admit that it’s lost something (and not just Steve Carell) this season. It’s time to turn off the documentary cameras.
As for “Top Model,” an overscheduled DVR led us to abandon the all-star season in the fall. Know what? We didn’t miss it even a little, and thus felt no need to tune in to the “British Invasion” season currently taking place. Judging by the ratings, not many of you did either: What was once The CW’s flagship series can’t even crack the 2 million-viewer mark now, even with DVR use.
“Gossip Girl’s” ratings are on the wane too, and when we put the question of which shows should be canceled but won’t to our Twitter followers, people mentioned it almost as much as “The Office.”
It looks like CBS is considering dumping at least one of the “CSI” spinoffs, since neither one was part of the network’s huge pickup announcement in March. Collectively the franchise has produced close to 700 episodes of TV, but while cast turnover has actually freshened the original, “Miami” and “NY” feel a little tired.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. With the possible exception of one of the “CSIs,” these shows and others will be back next season. And we’ll continue to be frustrated at the way the networks do business, and wring our hands a little more as shows we once loved slouch toward oblivion.