The networks are still two months away from announcing their fall schedules, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate on the future of your favorite — well, statistically speaking, they might actually be your least favorite — shows.
The network will likely bring back 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights, which earn strong critical praise but weak ratings. NBC execs simply love Lights, and programming VP Mitch Metcalf describes Rock as ”a show, like The Office, that can benefit from patience.” As for Studio 60, its upscale audience means nothing if they don’t watch this season’s remaining six episodes, slated to air — when was that, Mitch? ”We’ll make a judgment on that later.”
Ah, The Class. You started the season getting kicked by critics, so what did you do? You actually listened to them, tightened up the action around midseason, and pulled in a slightly improved 8.3 million viewers. You might have had a chance — had Rules of Engagement not shown up like the Nielsen fairy. Sorry, The Class. You seemed like nice kids.
Veronica Mars has had a good run, but the Pussycat Dolls’ well-rated reality series probably just ended it. And this last one’s real easy: If Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel sign contracts, Gilmore Girls will come back. If they don’t, it won’t. If only Lorelai’s love life were this easy.
What About Brian’s 5.8 million (largely female) viewers may not save it from a noticeable lack of buzz. As for ABC’s comedy lineup? It’s not funny: Wedding sitcom Big Day was a big disaster, The Knights of Prosperity was yanked on Feb. 28 (if it comes back at all, the gang will focus on robbing Ray Romano, which just seems desperate), and Help Me Help You is long gone. We plead the Fifth on According to Jim.
Standoff is 99.9 percent dead — its last seven episodes move to the Friday-night wasteland on April 6. ”If we see something there, it’ll be a contender,” says scheduling exec Preston Beckman. ‘Til Death is now running post-Idol in what seems like a vote of confidence. And while Michael Rapaport just landed a role in CBS’ proposed fall pilot Fugly, don’t count out The War at Home. ”[It’s] one of those utility ballplayers that can always fill a hole in the schedule,” hints Beckman.