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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's showtime for U.S. television networks

Posted: 05/10/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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After a soul-crushingly cold winter and a reluctant-to-arrive spring, and with lingering sub-normal temperatures suggesting summer might never actually arrive, it seems both premature and unkind to be talking about autumn.

But for the TV business, spring's arrival means that fall is here, too, because it's time for the U.S. networks to unveil the rosters of shows that will fill their schedules when September brings the launch of a new television season.

All this week in New York City, American television's major broadcasters -- ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW -- will reveal their fall lineups to advertisers during the annual commercial-sales marketplace known as network upfronts.

Billions of dollars will change hands as network executives try to convince the marketers representing deep-pocketed corporations that their networks, and their shows, are the best bets for getting advertising messages seen by the maximum number of eyeballs.

The lineups of new U.S.-network TV series -- dramas, comedies and reality-TV shows -- will be unveiled at a series of lavish sales presentations -- Fox and NBC on Monday, ABC on Tuesday, CBS on Wednesday and the CW on Thursday.

And as those new rosters are revealed, the fate of the shows that currently populate prime time will also be made clear. Some have already been renewed, and others have already been given the axe, so it's the producers and stars (and fans) of those shows "on the bubble" who will be most nervous as this week of fall-schedule announcements unfolds.

(Based on what's announced in New York this week, Canada's commercial networks -- CTV, Global and Citytv -- will immediately shift their program-acquisition departments into high gear so they can fill out their rosters and unveil their fall lineups early in June).

Renewals and cancellations will continue to be issued right up until each network's upfront presentation; here, at press time, is the most current rundown of who's in, who's out and who's on pins and needles in the TV world's class of 2013-14:

 

ABC:

Had a dismal season when it came to launching new shows, and as a result has a few holes to fill.

Renewed: Grey's Anatomy, Castle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Resurrection.

Cancelled: Lucky 7, Mind Games, Back in the Game, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Killer Women, The Assets, Trophy Wife and Mixology.

Likely to survive: The Middle, Nashville, Last Man Standing, The Goldbergs, America's Funniest Home Videos, Dancing With the Stars.

On the bubble: Suburgatory, The Neighbors, Super Fun Night, Betrayal, Shark Tank.

 

CBS:

The perennial ratings leader has the most stable schedule, so not many new titles are required.

Renewed: The Big Bang Theory, C.S.I., Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, Elementary, Person of Interest, Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, Mike & Molly, The Millers, Mom, Survivor, The Amazing Race.

Cancelled: How I Met Your Mother (series ended), We Are Men.

Likely to survive: Most renewals have already been issued.

On the bubble: The Crazy Ones, Intelligence, The Mentalist, Hostages, Friends With Better Lives, Bad Teacher.

 

NBC:

The Peacock launched 2013-14's most successful drama, The Blacklist, and successfully expanded the latest Dick Wolf franchise by adding Chicago P.D. to the mix.

Renewed: The Blacklist, Grimm, Parks and Recreation, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Apprentice.

Cancelled: The Michael J. Fox Show, Ironside, Community, Sean Saves the World, Welcome to the Family, Dracula.

Likely to survive: Parenthood, Hannibal, About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher, The Biggest Loser, Hollywood Game Night, The Voice.

On the bubble: Revolution, Believe, Crisis, American Dream Builders.

 

Fox:

Got solid performances out of two newcomers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Sleepy Hollow, but lost a lot of momentum as ratings for Glee and American Idol continued to slide.

Renewed: The Simpsons, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Glee, American Idol, Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Following, Bones, Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef.

Cancelled: Raising Hope, Dads, Enlisted, Almost Human, Surviving Jack, Rake.

Likely to survive: Kitchen Nightmares.

On the bubble: None.

 

The CW:

The lesser-known (and, in Canada, harder to access) fifth network continues to cater to a younger demographic; less programmed hours and lower ratings expectations allow marginal shows to stick around longer than they might on another net.

Renewed: Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Reign, Hart of Dixie, The Originals, The 100.

Cancelled: Nikita (series ended), The Tomorrow People, The Carrie Diaries, Star-Crossed.

Likely to survive: Most renewals have already been issued.

On the bubble: Beauty and The Beast, Whose Line Is It Anyway?

 

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2014 G9

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