News and Notes

TV Shows on Life Support

We predict which struggling series will be revived -- and which will be euthanized

Image credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS

Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Hamish Linklater on The Crazy Ones

Code Blue! Code Blue! Fox's Rake needs an infusion of 4 million Nielsen viewers, stat! As you can see, we're in crisis mode here at Death Watch Memorial Hospital. It's that time of year when broadcast networks must decide whether to save their weakest TV shows or finally pull the plug. While dozens of titles have already been renewed, there are still plenty of patients in our beds. Here's one of our oldest residents — CBS' The Mentalist. After six seasons of Patrick Jane being right about everything, we're not sure he's going to make it another year. (His hair still looks amazing, though.) Over in the ABC wing, there's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was touch and go for a while, but we're now confident Agent Coulson is going to pull through. In fact, we're just about to make our rounds, so join us for a tour of the most anxious hospital in Hollywood...

CBS recently renewed almost all of its shows, so titles such as The Good Wife, Person of Interest, and even Two and a Half Men — the longest-running live-action sitcom on TV — are coming back. Left in limbo: freshman Robin Williams comedy The Crazy Ones, which is softening in the ratings. Josh Holloway's cybercop drama Intelligence and The Mentalist will likely battle for a single renewal, with Intelligence holding the edge since it's a new show (and therefore cheaper). And Hostages? Already in the morgue.

FOX also renewed most of its shows, including second-year thriller The Following and modestly rated comedy The Mindy Project. Despite dire media headlines and record-low ratings, expect American Idol to return for a 14th year (Fox already yanked The X Factor, which boosted Idol's odds). We're hearing that sci-fi drama Almost Human will be rebooted. Rake is almost certainly toast; less clear is the critically reviled Dads.

NBC dumped Sean Saves the World, and The Michael J. Fox Show is all but canceled. The network reinvested in a few dramas (like The Blacklist, Grimm, and Chicago Fire), but much of its slate remains undecided. New post-Voice sitcom About a Boy looks certain for a pickup, while recently unveiled — and generically titled — hour-longs Believe and Crisis are flatlining. The trickiest judgments are probably postapocalyptic sophomore drama Revolution, horror thriller Hannibal, and perpetual bubble comedy Community — of these, word has it that the Greendale gang has the strongest vitals.

ABC is filling half the ward, since the net hasn't renewed anything yet. Rest assured that the big favorites — Castle, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, The Bachelor, Modern Family — are very safe. At the other end of the spectrum, spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Christian Slater's thriller Mind Games, and Rebel Wilson's comedy Super Fun Night are in vegetative states, with newest effort Mixology trying desperately to stop the bleeding. We're told dramas Nashville and Revenge will squeak into a third and fourth season, respectively, and '80s comedy The Goldbergs and even underdog Trophy Wife could come back. Still wait-and-see: comedies Suburgatory, Last Man Standing, and The Neighbors.

The CW shows often have miraculous recoveries here at Death Watch Memorial, surviving for years despite repeated scares. This season will be no different, with low-rated newcomers Reign and The Originals having already been re-upped, joining Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and Arrow. We're pretty sure Hart of Dixie will be resuscitated too, but '80s dramedy The Carrie Diaries has a date with a cold slab. In order of decreasing odds, there's also Beauty and the Beast, Star-Crossed, and The Tomorrow People. It's too early to say for sci-fi drama The 100 — we'll keep an eye on its pulse.

Originally posted Mar 27, 2014 Published in issue #1305 Apr 04, 2014 Order article reprints
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