Sunday, October 23, 2011

The New Season Death Knell Tolls On!

We hope you're been checking out lots of the new shows this season, but there are a few that won't be so easy to track down anymore.  There are a handful of already-dead, some that the networks had high hopes for, and some that were probably destined for the goodbye-pile from the start.  Let's take a look at the casualties so far, in reverse order of cancellation:

The latest to fall is ABC's redo of Charlie's Angels, which faltered on Thursday nights and couldn't muster enough babe-a-liciousness to survive.  Goes to show that hype and pretty girls aren't enough to breathe life into any old retread, even one with a politically-correct mixture of feminine pulchritude on display and a sexed-up Latino playing Bosley.  It even sounds bad, doesn't it?

NBC let go its remake of the snide British comedy Free Agents starring Hank Azaria.  Its late airdate was October 5th, but don't despair if you liked it -- you can watch the original Britcom on BBC America, and there's nothing like the original! 

The CW cancelled Mario Lopez's comedy reality show H8R pretty fast out of the gate; last airdate was also October 5th.

CBS cut the cord on the much touted sitcom How to Be a Gentleman after two Thursday airings, then decided to run out the episodes on Saturday night, replacing Rules of Engagement which slipped happily into HtBaG's vacated 8:30pm slot after The Big Bang Theory.  Even the Saturday slot was sunk by the cancelled series, and now it's out of there, too.  The flop of How to Be a Gentleman was a bit of a shock, mostly because of its cushy timeslot -- though last season's disappointment $#*! My Dad Says also got no boost at all from TBBT -- and a good cast, including the appealing Kevin Dillon, Dave Foley, and Rhys Darby.  I think the problem was lead actor David Hornsby, who lacked the charisma to carry a show as a lead (but is a talented performer, though maybe not as a lead).  Overall the show didn't live up to its cast and seemed lackluster and stilted.  You just never know!

NBC also quickly pulled the plug on its controversial -- at least to conservative TV activist groups -- period drama The Playboy Club.   Three episodes was all it took for NBC to find out that there no future for their bunnies, proving...duh...that there is no inherent desire on the part of TV audiences for 1.) evocations of the Mad Men-era   2.) a show that is sold with the promise of sex but is on a broadcast network so there won't be any.  Groups who disliked its glorification of Hefner's mature and hedonistic lifestyle must be basking self-righteously in the warmth of their book-burning bonfires at the demise of The Playboy Club, though it was the ratings and not their prudish rants that sunk the show.  So far ABC is hanging in with their Mad Men-esque series Pan Am, but it feels unlikely that it'll make it for a full-season pick-up, and we're quite certain that it won't last for a second season.  The series is at best a curiosity and kudos to ABC for keeping it on this long, actually.

Undoubtedly more cancellations to come; any of your favorites hanging on for dear life?  What would you be sorry to see get the ax?


Anonymous said...

I think you might have meant Happy Endings instead of Happy Returns.

Toby O'B said...

I got the impression the producers/CBS were trying to push the show's lead as a NPH clone (at least in looks). That poster for the show gives off that kind of vibe......

Lisa said...

Anon, thanks for the correction! I spaced out and have corrected it!

And Toby, I think you are right about CBS perhaps wanting to push the clone thing, but though Hornsby is fun -- as in his stints on "It's Always Funny in Philadelphia" where he's quite broad -- there was no charisma on the CBS show at all. The show had a dead, canned feel -- what a misfire! And I really love all the actors!

Jane said...

I would be sorry to see Pan Am get the axe, and I'm not even sure why. It's an anachronism, such old school TV feel, I half expect to see a commercial come on for Tarrytons or a Kodack instamatic. Actually, that would spice it up a bit, ABC should try to get their sales staff to work with cliets who want to product spots with 60's sensibility. I love to watch Pan Am because the clothes are pretty and I can read while it's on and not miss anything.

Jane said...

I have to correct an appalling amount of typos in my last comment:
*Kodak* (my Dad is rolling in his grave) and *clients*. Sorry!

Lisa said...

Hey Anon, I spaced out again -- what I really meant was "Rules of Engagement" on CBS that replaced "How to Be a Gentleman"!

Now fixed in the article!