Tense Times for Shows on the Bubble

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.

- Elysium


It's important, as TV executive, to juggle cancelling shows and doing a LOT of blow.

When you wake in the morning, take a minute to ponder which show you're going to shuffle to a new timeslot so no one can find it. When you announce this shuffle, make sure to note what suit you'll wear, so you can wear the same one when you cancel the show because it's "not finding an audience".

Practice the befuddled look you'll give Entertainment Tonight reporters when you say "We're not sure what went wrong with Futurama. Cutting each episode in half in order to show a bunch of ex-football players talk about the football game you just watched seemed like a great idea. God that was some good coke."

When you cancel a show after six episodes, make sure no one around you mentions the millions of dollars the X-Files made Fox after they allowed a fan base to grow over the course of several years. If someone does bring it up, fire them and hire a Gremlin to pour poison in your ear.

Mmm, ear poison.

Before you leave work, make sure to plumb the depths of human anguish by prepping a proposal for a new reality TV show. Perhaps you should greenlight "When Jackals attack Babies?" But then again, the proposal for "Wedding Sabotage" is irresistible!

With immediate family members vying against each other to sabotage a wedding for a $30 Arby's gift certificate, maybe you should make a little room in Friday night's line up?

With the recent success of your show "Hooters Magoo", you're unstoppable!

Wow, Gunmetal.  That was .... wow.  Blow, ear-poison, baby eating jackals, gremlins, ruined weddings, it was all just so ...


- Elysium

The annoyance at potentially losing Buffy AND Angel in the same year got the best of me.

Come on, Gunmetal.

Think of what you have to look forward to. There's... uh... Well, we have that, uh, you know...



"The annoyance at potentially losing Buffy AND Angel in the same year got the best of me."


Don't remind me! Arrrrrgggggghhhhhh! So much good stuff on TV this year and 2/3 of it will be gone by next season or has already been cancelled (I HATE YOU FOX!). It is so frustrating!

Losing Angel would suck!  The last episode was great.  I missed out on the vaquishing of the beast episodes.  I must say that the episode when the beast first appeared kicked ass.  Just the rooftop fight alone at the end was awesome.  (Wesley with double guns blazing getting tossed back into a wall,  Angel, with fists flurrying, never landing a blow and being cut up and thrown off the ledge)

In the latest episode, did Willow tell Fred at the end when Fred was trying to talk shop/compare notes, in an overly spastic way, that she (Willow) was seeing someone?

After recently seeing Bring it On and watching Eliza Dukshu (sp?) as Faith in Angel, I must say she is not a half bad actress.  Take into account of corse that my expectations were pretty low due to the fact that my real first exposure to her was a spread in Maxim.

"In the latest episode, did Willow tell Fred at the end when Fred was trying to talk shop/compare notes, in an overly spastic way, that she (Willow) was seeing someone?"

Yes, yes she did and I laughed my ass off when she said it.

The biggest loss, and the best show on television that no one watches was "Andy Richter Controls the Universe". I absolutely loved that show. Damn Fox! Damn you Rupert Murdoch! Kahhhhhhn!

Oh yeah that was another one. I never even heard it was cancelled. I assume from your post it was. Dag Nabit, I am soo mad!

Yeah, that was a real shame. That show was really, really funny. Great cast, great writing. Naturally fox just kept shuffling it around until nobody knew when it was on. >:|

Why do these guys always have one hit show, then try to make like 100 more shows and they always flop. What Joss should have done is just stuck with Buffy and try to make it consistently as good as it used to be. Seasons 2 and 3 were no doubt the best. Instead they dilute themselves with too many projects.

I don't think it has been formally cancelled, but seeing as it hasn't been on in many months and I don't see it on the horizon, one can assume its passed into that otherworldly light. My wife mentioned she read in the newspaper that Andy Richter is going to be working on another show, so that may be another sign if its true.<br><br>

Very sad. ARCTU was the best "sitcom" since Sports Night, IMHO. And, I might add, I liked it more than Sports Night too. The quotes from ARCTU are classic (check out IMDB for some of the quotes).


I'd be more inclined to agree with you Oprimistic if the other shows were crap.  I'm not as familiar with Angel, but I _can_ tell you that Firefly was an outstanding show, beautifully written, cliche free, well acted.  A show that was, honestly never given a good chance.  It got a crappy time slot.  They inexplicably didn't show the pilot which turned out to be fantastic.  They showed the episodes out of order.  They pre-empted the show 3 weeks in for baseball for several weeks.  Fox just botched it, and has actually admitted as much. 


Wow, someone else who thought Sports Night was a terrific show.  Another great example of a show that died long before its time. 

- Elysium