NBC was supposed to announce its renewals for next year today, but the network announced that it would delay it until likely next week after the unfortunate passing of programming executive Nora O'Brien.
O'Brien was visiting the set of the new comedy "Parenthood" when she suffered a brain aneurysm and died.
So several NBC shows are still in limbo, though "Medium" and "Southland" got renewals. One wonders what goes on in the NBC thought process, since "Southland" is a fairly expensive show to produce and gets uninspiring ratings (even for NBC), while I've never actually met a "Medium" fan ever. (Honestly, if you know someone who has watched more than one episode of this series, please introduce me.)
Of course, NBC has five less hours to play with these days with the Jay Leno variety show appearing five nights a week beginning in the fall (as discussed in last Thursday's posting), so the NBC real estate has shrunk considerably.
Of all the shows currently on the bubble, "Chuck" has garnered the most attention between the spirited campaign to save the show and the fact that everyone I know is rooting for it to stay.
Nikki Finke is reporting on her entertainment blog that "Chuck" will make the cut, but don't get your hopes up just yet. Finke hasn't listed a source for her report and these "insider" blogs in general get as much wrong as they do right. (Not singling Finke out here, but blogs in general. Well, except for The TV Guy, obviously!)
For example, Finke posted that the NBC announcement would come today even though the network said it was pushing things back because of O'Brien's death. Still, "Chuck" fans should note that "Southland" was renewed despite worse ratings both overall and in the 18-35 demographics.
Anyway, the rest of the networks will be making their announcements shortly as well.
If I could save one show from each one, it'd be:
--"Chuck" (NBC): A great ensemble cast and one of the most fun hours on TV. If nothing else, I'd be happy with just one more season to see how the game-changing season finale from last week plays out over a year. "Life" is a close second.
--"Eleventh Hour" (CBS): One of the rare UK imports that shared a level of quality with the original, the show had solid ratings though it lost quite a bit of its "CSI" lead-in. TVGuide.com lists its prognosis as fair.
--"Better Off Ted" (ABC): A very rare case of ABC developing a sitcom worth watching, its goofiness always makes me laugh. I wouldn't mind seeing "The Unusuals" coming back, either.
--"Dollhouse" (Fox): OK, this one is going to be a longshot, and I think creator Joss Whedon is so fed up with Fox that he may not want to come back even if the network renewed it. But still, after a slow start, it's really hit its stride. Karma (and Fox) owe Joss and Eliza Dushku one. An honorable mention to "Fringe," which really picked up dramatically about five episodes into its run, but I think it's going to return, so I'm using my wish on "Dollhouse."
--"Reaper" (CW): Most of the other shows I watch on CW are safe, and once "Reaper" got away from catching the demon of the week, it picked up a lot of steam, especially with Armie Hammer as Sam's hellspawn brother, Ken Marino as a gay, rebellious demon and Jenny Wade as a lovesick demon all becoming recurring characters. Ray Wise is absolutely awesome as Satan. If they could just jettison Tyler Labine, this would be a pretty good show.
Which network shows do you want to be saved?
MONDAY'S BEST BETS: NBC will air a two-hour "Medium" beginning tonight at 9 p.m. Who will watch it is still anyone's guess.
"House" (Fox, 8 p.m.) deals with a ballerina whose skin is falling off (I hate when that happens), while House must also deal with visions of Amber as his subconscience. It's followed by a new "24" at 9 p.m.
CBS has a lineup of new episodes of its comedies from 8-10 p.m., followed by a new "CSI: Miami."
"Dancing With The Stars" (ABC, 8 p.m.) expands to two hours tonight, meaning there won't be that putrid Bob Saget comedy on. It's followed by a new "Castle" at 10 p.m.
CW has new episodes of "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" beginning at 8 p.m.
On cable, ABC Family has new episodes of "Greek" and two new episodes of "Roommates."