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April 14 2006

'New TV Shows Teeter on the Brink', some featuring former verse favorites. The TV Network up-fronts are just weeks away from announcing their new fall schedules. So which shows are solid returns, which shows are on the fence, and which will not becoming back.

"Criminal Minds" on CBS and "Bones" on Fox have been renewed for next season, while the fates of "Conviction" on NBC and "Freddie" on ABC remain uncertain.

Beyond "Criminal Minds," CBS also has confirmed that it will return the drama "Ghost Whisperer," as well as the comedy "How I Met Your Mother." CBS also seems highly likely to renew both the midseason drama "The Unit". CBS could also choose to save at least one more drama, "Close to Home," a truly close call that would almost surely make it on another, less stocked network.

"American Idol" is such a juggernaut these days and Fox has added so many more hours of that series this season that the network's programmers could whistle pass any graveyard of failed shows. But Fox has added a couple of useful new pieces, including "Prison Break" and another drama it has already renewed, "Bones."

None of NBC's other new entries offered much help to that struggling network. "Conviction," the new drama from Dick Wolf of "Law & Order" fame, may still have an outside chance to stay alive, but little else does."

Uhm, hasn't Conviction only just started? Or am I mistaken?

Has anybody heard anything about Veronica recently?

I am question boy. I have pants to go with this supa hero look.

I wonder if Lost will return..
As of tonight Conviction has aired 8 episodes in the US with at least 2 more yet to air. It was a midseason replacement, but it has not had stellar ratings since it began airing.

Since Veronica aired a few episodes on CBS last summer, I would say it has a pretty good chance to make it to the CW. We will find out in 4 weeks.
The last odd Veronica news I heard was when CW execs handed out material to advertisers which listed VM as amongst the shows returning for 06-07. Since then, I've seen/read nothing which reinforces that information.
If anybody watches Gilmore Girls, apparently the show runners and creators have both resigned, so it's future is in doubt.

Edit: correction - checking up, they have threatened to walk out, but haven't actually gone yet.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-04-15 04:46 ]
gossi, they were going to go run a new show for WB, but with the whole CW thing it got put on the back burner.
My next season predictions:

1) Veronica Mars will get cancelled. A fan campaign fights to get it picked up by another network but all it achieves is a vague commitment that there will be commentaries on the season 2 DVD.

2) Smallville will be intended to be a mid-season replacement on The CW but once the Aquaman show bombs, it gets aired tout de suite.

3) Lost will be aired in blocks. Thus insuring that fans will pay particular attention to the riveting "spaceship crashes on the island" plotline.

4) As part of a Fox network synergy campaign, there will be a House/Bones crossover where House and Brennan massively flirt with each other and then realise how anal the other person is.

5) Drive gets picked up and gets a full season order. Fandom stunned as a result.

6) Battlestar Galactica will be shown on NBC. Ratings plummet as Ron Moore is forced to compromise to make it viewer friendly. Boxey gets stuck in a well. Oh no. How will Adama save him?

7) How I Met Your Mother will feature camoes from every Buffy and Angel actor in existence. Even Kirsty Swanson.

8) 24 will have a time-travelling plot arc. Now Jack Bauer can relive the worst days of his life over and over again.
Simon, that is just mean.
Ha, LOL Simon ;-).

I think those are plausible suggestions (apart from 5 obviously, that's just crazy talk) but why not combine 3 and 6 ? The Galactica crashes on Lost island, Boxey falls down the hatch and Adama has to really, really believe in ladders to save him. Also, if you can think of a better time to introduce the cybernetic Daggett i'd like to hear it.

However, Veronica Mars _will not_ be cancelled. It just won't. La La La, not listening, La La La, I can't hear you ;).

(and House and Bones would so get it on, anal personalities or not. For House it'd be like shagging himself, the ultimate ego trip and Brennan would dig that he's apparently as socially incompetant as she is)

[ edited by Saje on 2006-04-15 11:40 ]
As of this minute the only returning shows I have any interest in watching are the two Stargates and Battlestar Galactica, 24, Lost and the underrated (in my opinion anyway) Supernatural. Pretty slim pickings really. I'm going to try out Deadwood too when it returns to Sky One.

I'll maybe keep watching Veronica Mars, assuming that it returns and that Living TV even shows season two (won't be buying the DVDs though). As for Bones and Conviction, not my kinda shows so I'll pass, thanks.

I've got no idea about Ghost Whisperer. Anyone here think it's worth my time? Again, assuming a channel here in the UK ever picks it up, obviously.
Dear God, I NEED that last season of Gilmore Girls!

Also, LOST, VM and The OC (sorry, it's true) are the only reasons I watch tv anymore--so they better come back.
Lost is definitely coming back. They plan a musical episode -- which also has singing sheep. But don't worry, it's all in a characters imagination, they're just going mad for that episode so it's okay (because they haven't done enough characters are going mad episodes yet).

Oh, they also plan to add The Cigarette Smoking Man to the cast regulars. He'll play a sinister operative of the Dharma Initiative. And Mulder will appear in the cross over Lost/X-Files movie this year, released by Paramount, which will have so much back story nobody care know what is going on.
As long as Prison Break, Lost, Battlestar, and Supernatural return, my life is complete. Odds are longest on Supernatural, but I think it has a better chance of making the CW than many other shows, including fan-fave VM.

Lost? Musical episode? Singing sheep? Hee.
Anyone see that really horrible "Lost: The Musical" segment on I think the Jimmy Kimmel show? Lol, that was painful. There were definite nightmares involved (of the Hurley/Charlie variety).
I think they might give Conviction a go ahead. There were so many issues after they cancelled "Jury" to soon, that I think NBC wants to play nice-nice with Dick Wolf.

It got it's best rating on Tuesday before SVU, so maybe next year that would be a good time slot.
What I would like news on(there are no Whedon alumni but its a great show!) Invasion. Man I hope that comes back.
Of course, as I am stuck here in Ireland we are generally much further behind the US so many of the shows you have been watching still haven't been shown over here, but I'll post my thoughts anyway.

I suspect both Lost and Desperate Housewives will be back, which I'm glad about because I enjoy both. Lost is kinda like a surrogate Buffy/Angel for me, because of the well developed characters and plots and mythology. Season one only has been shown over here however someone from the US has been sending me season 2 DVDs so I've seen about half season two and have been quite impressed. However I wouldn't say I "get" it as fully as I understood and loved Buffy, Angel or Firefly. DH is just funny, light entertainment with some beautiful and hilarious ladies.

Prison Break has been quite tense and enjoyable, I think I've seen about half of the first season so far, and it seems like it will be getting renewed which is good news. I have been following Invasion and enjoying it, however again nowhere near as much as I enjoyed Joss' work. However I do think it is very unique and well paced, the sense of atmopshere and tension is very effective and, I think, brave on TV nowadays, because you would have expected the end of the first episode to have laid out exactly who and what the bad guys are, what their agenda is, and the general premise for the show, whereas it has been fairly slow and unpredictable up to now. However I hear the show's outcome isn't certain but I'd like to see where it goes even though its cancellation wouldn't outrage me like Firefly's did.

Grey's Anatomy has just started over here, I've only seen the first episode and I did think it had a lot of promise so I'm hoping it will be good. It's kind of like a cross between ER and something a little younger, slightly more glossy. I think its future looks good which is good news.

As for ER itself, have they finally put it out of its misery yet? I think I heard they were ending it soon. I started watching it quite late on, but have seen the first few seasons on DVD and they are so much better than the show has become. To be honest I think there is only so much you can take of one simple premise in the same setting with the same characters, before it becomes stale, and that point was reached some time ago. Even if we still had Green, Ross, Carter, Hathaway, Benton and Lewis, the relentless repetitiveness of the show would be pretty boring, however the fact that all the actors have gardually left means there isn't even a strong emotional connection with the show. ER was fantastic for some time, but I just think after that inital frantic pace and excitement it hasn't been as good, and it has been horrible to see great characters like Romano leave (however dramatically their exits were). And Lewis actually left permanently for the last time off screen, with only passing mention of her exit, which I found jarring considering the huge send off Carter received.

But anyway, I do still watch ER as it is fairly entertaining but I do think it's past its best and now would be a good time for it to bow out. I am also praying that The Simpsons will end sometime, because I find anything after the first ten seasons or so has been crass and repetitive, however it appears that millions of people disagree with me, and there is a film coming out in the next couple of years. The Simpsons has actually become one of those horrible FOX shows it used to mock, which I feel is a sad legacy to leave for what was once such an original, intelligent and yes, heart-warming show.

Alias is also bowing out this season, I am still watching season four at the moment but I think it has been an improvement over season three, and I am looking forward to seeing what happens. In a way I think that it is nice that Alias will be ending hopefully on a high rather than past its selll-by-date as some of the shows mentioned above have been. I think the first two seasons were amazing, fast paced, emotional and intelligent TV, and the third season was much more dark and relentless, but just as good. I can't wait to see how it all ends. And at least Lost will still be on the air. Maybe they could get more of the Alias cast to appear on Lost at some point, as Terry O'Quinn and Greg Grunberg have?

I have only recently caught up with 24 on DVD. I watched the first season a few months ago and recently purchased seasons two, three and four on DVD so I should have a lot of entertainment for some time to come. Season two has been enjoyable thus far, however I'm not sure what I think of the news that 24 will be continuing to at least season eight, as I don't know how it has been progressing. I generally have a good idea of how shows like Alias and Lost are being received by critics and fans, but I'm not sure about 24 as I'm not involved with the fan base. If it's still as good as ever, eight seasons might be a rare treat in modern TV.

And lastly, Veronica Mars, which I still haven't seen. I suspect the only way I will get to see it in the next few years is on DVD, which means either waiting on an R2 release or importing the R1. I have pretty high hopes and I'm expecting something of near Jossian quality, at least Abrahms quality, if not quite the same style or sensibility. I probably will import season one at some point and I do think I'll like it.

There seems to be a bit of a question mark over its renewal. As I haven't seen it I can't say definitely, but I think its continuation can only be a good thing. We always need a smart, heroic blonde teenage girl on TV, right? ;) I think the feeling is among fans that season two hasn't been quite as good as season one, but every show usually has periods where it isn't quite as good, and that sometimes helps to build up to better work, so I wouldn't give up on it just yet. Plus the fact that Charisma, Alyson and Joss have all appeared on it mean I really need to get the DVD.
VM S1 is just the best since Whedon, Razor, you'll love the DVD! Even though I hate to admit it, I have to say that VM S2 has just suffered from 2 bad eps in a row, but I'm hopeful they'll pull it out to make the season end as strong as it did last year.

But I'm really waiting for the Galactica/Lost crossover, Boxey-in-the-hatch ep, aka The Lords of Kobol Must Be Crazy.
I would like to know about Invasion as well, I keep hearing rumours its going to be cancelled which is such a shame
Regarding Supernatural, riaspark17, as far as I'm aware it has already been renewed for a second season. At least that was the case prior to the news of the WB and UPN merging. Given that they must have known of the planned merger when the commitment for Supernatural season two was made, I would imagine that it will hold true for the CW as well. At least I hope so, anyway.

The news is less promising for Invasion, kurya. The show is currently on the bubble and I'd only give it about a 40% chance of seeing a second season at this point. I would imagine that it's survival depends now more on how many new projects ABC wants to try out next season.

Razor, I'm a little biased here because it's one of my favourite shows but I wouldn't worry about the news that 24 has theoretically been given the go ahead for three more years. Firstly because the show is only getting better and better (this current season has just been so very cool, so far) and, more importantly, Kiefer is only actually committed up until season six. I'd say that it is most likely that they will go seven seasons at this point but that is just pure speculation on my part.

Veronica Mars? Probably 50/50 at best for a renewal but I tend to agree with Simon that it won't be coming back. Unlike the other three shows I mentioned though, I have to admit that I really don't care either way. I really haven't taken to it at all.
Kiefer is only actually committed up until season six

But isn't the point that Kiefer just signed a contract committing him until season 8? Personally, I think a show like 24 can sustain itself for a lot longer than other genre shows can, because 24 is less character-based and more plot-based, and the writers will always find new plotlines to explore. I actually think it would be a very interesting twist to have Jack Bauer killed at some point and have him replaced by another hero, possibly a female one.

As for Invasion, I really hope it makes it to a second season even though I know it's unlikely. I'm hoping that all of ABC's pilots will be really bad so they'll keep Invasion instead.

[ edited by vampire dan on 2006-04-16 15:50 ]
Actually, vampire dan, we are both correct. Kiefer has signed on for a potential further three seasons but the show itself is only officially renewed for season six. Therefore he is only technically committed for a further year.

Of course, having Kiefer's involvement already confirmed will make it a lot more likely that Fox will keep the show going for as long as possible, assuming the ratings stay strong. As for keeping the show going without Kiefer, does anyone remember the Duchovnyless X-Files years? Yeah, I'm trying to forget those seasons too. Without Kiefer, 24 would fail, simply because the events shown are secondary to the character in the middle of them. 24 is Jack Bauer.
The Immortal: I agree that 24 without Jack Bauer would be a complete disaster. But whilst I have been enjoying the current season tremendously, I think Jack Bauer alone is not enough. I sorely miss Dennis Haysbert as President Palmer, and missed him from the previous season (until his brief appearance in the last few episodes). I don't want to claim that 24 is deep or anything, but there was a moral dialogue between Palmer and Bauer that I thought really gave the show some meat. Bauer is the arch-utilitarian: the ends always justify the means. This means torturing people, shooting people and cutting their heads off ("I'm gonna need a hacksaw"). Palmer was the arch-deontologist -- ends never justify means, people are ends in themselves, and their rights and the law matter and are inviolable. The two of them had to work together to solve the crises that befell them, and Palmer tempered Jack's extreme tendencies, while Jack brought a sense of practicality to Palmer's idealism. With that gone, and no character of similar stature to Palmer to replace that, the show has lost a little something for me. It's still hugely enjoyable -- the crack-cocaine of TV -- but there's just a little less meat to it now. I mean, they wheel out the "medical interrogation" guy every other episode now. Torturing people is now so casual that they were even going to torture the Secretary of Defence's daughter! I miss the fact that no one on the show is saying, "What the hell are you doing? That's illegal." Or if they are they are portrayed as whiny liberal do-gooders who unknowingly help the enemy, like the civil liberties lawyer last season.
dzr, absolutely. That is a point I have raised myself concerning the events of this season. After Bauer, Palmer was the character I enjoyed the most on 24 and, whilst I see why his death was necessary this season, it has left a moral void to the events seen. From a personal perspective I actually have no problem with the extremely violent actions sometimes carried out by Bauer and CTU. The position they are in sometimes forces them to be equally as "evil" as the men they have to stop. However, whilst I see people like Bauer as being essential to the safety of the free world, I think that is is just as necessary to let it be seen that the actions they carry out really are morally wrong, no matter how they might be justified in the bigger picture. Without a character like Palmer to voice that, the show definately lacks an important element.
If Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars are taken away from me I will be devastated.
vampire dan, Ivasion's chances don't look good since ABC ordered more pilots than any other network (over 30). Of course, they have three extra hours to cover on Monday nights now that football has moved to ESPN. Chances are they will find something that they think will beat Invasion's ratings. Adam Baldwin's Daybreak is showing promise.
HBO's new drama Big Love needs to get renewed. Holy awesome acting/writing and I fully admit I'm almost always sucked in by the "high concept" ideas of HBO's dramas (various forms of polygamy in Utah, this time). ["High Concept" is a lazy way for certain members of the media to label the dramatic backgdrop of a series' set-up, which may or may not be all that unique or original, "gimmicky" or unnecessarily twist-like. Screw 'em--we can only stand so many cop/lawyer/doctor dramas, give the other professions and in this case family lifestyles a chance].

I hope 24 doesn't go on for too long. I have yet to pick up the DVDs for Season 4 and have missed recording too many episodes of Season 5, so it'll be a while before I'm caught up. I hear Season 4 was very good and people seem to be loving Season 5, 'cept for the guy I talked to in the comic shop the other day. Just hope it gets concluded when it's fully run its course (and that that movie never happens. What a horrible idea. Not that the show is absolutely defined by its format, I mean it's all about the characters and the tension at the end of the day, but I don't think they should squish a 24 story into two hours of screentime. Half the fun of the series is that it's like a super-long action-drama film and pulls it off well).

If Smallville ends this year, I'll probably rent Season 5's DVDs this fall (haven't been watching this year, missed the first couple episodes due to schedule shifting up here) so I can have completeness of my last surviving guilty pleasure. If it gets renewed for a sixth season (or more), I gotta give up on it 'cause I really can't afford to lose that many more hours of my life to it.

The only way Lost won't be renewed is if a meteor crashes into the set. I wish ABC would do something crazy like make it direct-to-DVD though, then there wouldn't be the dilemma over whether to watch the aired episodes next season and I think it'd do everyone's hearts and brains some good to not have it stretched across eight months.

I suppose if I was caught up on Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me (only seen their first seasons), and The Shield (a season and a half behind), I might be hoping for their renewals as well. Actually, for The Shield I hope it continues to get renewed for as long as Shawn Ryan needs to tell the entire story. I trust him, the cast, and crew enough to support them unconditionally at this point. It's in its fifth season though and I dunno, maybe I'll feel burnt out after the Season 4 DVDs.

If Season 3 of Deadwood rocks as hard as Season 2 did and there's more story to tell (I understand they may be limited by some historical facts, somewhat), definitely want more of that as well.

Would also appreciate another few seasons of Entourage. I know it's not everyone's thing, but I feel like there needs to be much more of HBO's male-centric ensemble to balance out the six seasons I watched of Sex & The City (those of you who weren't Sex fans or just flat-out hated it may wanna give Entourage a chance, they're not similar aside from the "4 good life-long friends" set-up). Season 2 especially proved what legs the concept has and the cast is so fun and funny (Jeremy Piven's as asshole-agent-with-a-heart-of-gold Ari is perfect).

Yeah, I think that's all I care about. Haven't jumped on the Battlestar Galactica bandwagon yet, will soon. Trying not to let myself get too hyped up for it, have taken into account criticisms I've heard about it, but I'm pretty sure I'll like it lots.

[ edited by Kris on 2006-04-17 13:35 ]
The only way Lost won't be renewed is if a meteor crashes into the set.

You kidding me? If that happened they would still keep the show going and just write the meteor into the script. Probably with somebody discovering the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 chiseled into it. :)
And a Dharma Initiative logo on the meteor. ;-)

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