If you're a television executive then you're likely no stranger to Pepto Bismol and very stiff drinks. Life is never an easy freewheeling situation, unless you happen to be someone like David E Kelley or Stephen Bochco who could probably pitch and be greenlighted for a sitcom about two wacky but well intentioned gaming journalists [sic] who start their own website, have some wacky but well intentioned discussions, write wacky but well intentioned articles, and then shoot each other in computer games. No, the life of most television executives is a time of unprecedented and regular stress, but no time is more stressful than that stretch of spring when networks begin to announce which shows are coming back next season, and which should start figuring out if they have a big enough market for a DVD compendium.The slaughter has begun. Let's take a look at what's coming back, and what's still on the bubble.
For Joss Whedon this has been a tumultuous year. As Buffy comes to a close, Firefly is, like its namesake, short-lived, and suggestions of spinoffs swirl, this is both a good and bad time to be Joss. One would at least hope that one of his shows could trudge along without worried speculation from fans, and yet while the WB has jumped at picking up six existing series (including Gilmore Girls, Charmed, and Smallville) Angel is notably missing. This doesn't necessarily spell cancellation, but it can't be a breath of fresh and reassuring air for Angel fans, cast, or creators.
Similarly writer and co-creator of Angel, David Greenwalt, (did you see that segue!) who has since moved on to ABC's Miracles is likely biting his nails double-time as the series continues to struggle at finding an audience and a time slot. Considering that ABC's other mid-season lead-in to Miracles, Veritas: The Quest, appears to have been put on indefinite hiatus, the axe might be falling a little close to home. This article at Zap2it discusses the shared troubles of the two shows.
One show which is not sending producers to the hospital for ulcer treatment is Smallville. According to SciFiWire, "Al Gough and Miles Millar, co-creators of The WB's hit Smallville series, signed a two-year deal with Warner Brothers Television to continue running the show"
And, just for the record, Firefly still appears to be cancelled. I am a man with a grudge.