TVGuide.com ran a list of shows that have yet to be renewed on its Web site. Some of those shows, such as "The Mentalist," haven't gotten a green light yet, but that's merely a matter of timing on CBS' part, since the freshman drama is one of the best-rated shows out there.
Other shows, like "Dollhouse" (Fox, 9 p.m.), are teetering on the brink. There are a number of factors that the networks are looking at -- cost of the show, demographics, if the show has the possibility of improving, etc. -- when it comes time to decide yea or nay.
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"Dollhouse" is a bit problematic for Fox, because the show does very well (for a Friday night, anyway) when you factor in time-shifting, when the show is recorded and watched later or watched via online rather than on TV. Otherwise, the show's meager regular ratings -- about three million per episode -- would have gotten the show yanked long ago.
TVGuide.com listed "Dollhouse" among eight shows it hopes to be saved from the bubble. Others include: "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles" (Fox), "Chuck" (NBC), "Life" (NBC), "Southland" (NBC), "Privileged" (CW), "The Unusuals" (ABC), and "Without A Trace" (CBS).
All have pluses or minuses that will factor in. "Chuck," for example, has had the most vocal support among its fans, but faces a network that is about to cut out five hours of original programming. "Terminator" is expensive to produce, but could see a bump thanks to the summer release of "Terminator 4" later this month. "Without A Trace" draws very good numbers -- 13 million viewers -- but CBS is looking to cut an expensive procedural.
NBC announces its renewals on Monday, and the other networks will soon follow, so if you are a fan of a certain show on the bubble, it's time to cross your fingers.
OBAMA RATINGS: Fox's experiment of going with original programming Wednesday night over showing President Obama's press conference marking 100 days in office was kind of a wash. "Lie To Me" drew 7.88 million viewers, exactly the same number as it had the week before. The latest Obama press conference was down 39 percent from his previous one, though I doubt that had little to do with Fox not carrying it since it was available on all of the other networks.
(The ratings also reflect only the combined number of viewers who watched on CBS, ABC and NBC, not those who watched on cable).
WEEKEND'S BEST BET: Alan Tudyk guest stars on tonight's "Dollhouse," which follows a new "Prison Break" at 8 p.m.
CBS airs a new night of stuff, including "Ghost Whisperer," "Flashpoint" and "Numb3rs."
On Saturday, Season 2 of "Ashes To Ashes" was originally listed to air at 9 p.m., but now it's being listed as a "Torchwood" rerun so I'm not sure what is going on.
Disney airs "JONAS" at 8 p.m., a new series starring the Jonas Brothers, so if you have a 10-year-old kid, expect them to commandeer the TV for that hour.
On Sunday, "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) continues after last week's cliffhanger in which teams reached the finish line and were told to go on. Sucks for the redheads, who finally came in first. But someone please explain to me why teams still sign up for this show when members can't swim. There's a swimming/water challenge every season, yet there's one team that always shoots itself in the foot because one member can't swim. It's followed by "Cold Case" and "The Unit."
Fox has a new night of animation, while ABC winds down with new episodes of "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters," beginning at 9 p.m.
"Masterpiece" continues with its run of Charles Dickens-based movies with "The Old Curiousity," starring Derek Jacobi (PBS, 9 p.m.)
On regular cable, "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 10 p.m.) icontinues its awesome run, especially with Bob Oederkirk as Walt's slimy new lawyer, while "In Plain Sight" (USA, 10 p.m.) is also new.
On pay cable, HBO continues with "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" at 8 p.m. and "In Treatment" at 9 p.m. Showtime counters with "The Tudors" at 9 p.m., in which Henry must now start looking for wife No. 4. Poor Jane Seymour, alas, we hardly knew you.