It's fingernail-biting time for television producers all over, as November often brings doom for many shows. Last week, three programs—Hank, Eastwick, and Dollhouse—got the axe, and others will likely follow before the month is through.
So what shows are in trouble? And what are their chances of survival? Let's take a look at one intriguing cancellation candidate from each major network.
People have been saying that Heroes is on its last legs ever since Season Two, but it keeps trudging on, thanks to a crazy fan base and international popularity. The current season's biggest supervillain comes in the form of horrible ratings, and Monday's episode plunged to its series low: a 2.2 rating/6 share in the 18-49 year-old demographic. Despite what your friend who wears a "Peter is my Hero" shirt says, the quality of the show hasn't exactly gone up. If it weren't for good DVD sales, a solid Web presence, and the not-so-distant possibility of syndication (Heroes is on episode 68, with 100 being the magic number for viable syndication), I'd say this show is a goner. If Heroes were a Fox or CBS venture, it would be long gone. But as it is, Heroes may still have some life.
Verdict: On the Bubble. Somehow I think this show will inexplicably last one more season.
Amanda's back, but who really gives a rat's ass? This remake has had problems from the beginning, and things have only gotten worse. The CW jumped the gun, thinking that all people wanted was to watch new versions of old shows, but the ratings indicate otherwise. Sure, everyone knows the new Melrose and its remade brethren are on TV, but only thanks to beefy marketing campaigns, which is how the CW does things. Look at Gossip Girl, for example: One of the media's favorite darlings isn't even the biggest show in the CW's Monday-night lineup—One Tree Hill consistently beats it. Oops, did I veer off topic about whether or not Melrose Place will be canceled? Sorry. Melrose Place will be canceled.
Verdict: In Trouble. May run out the season, but won't be back next year.
FlashForward was an incredibly promising series... until it started. After premiering with great numbers, the show has steadily lost huge chunks of its audience. As TVByTheNumbers points out, the recent episodes of FF have averaged only a 2.6 ratings among adults, and ABC's average hovers around 3.1. Do the math; it's easy to see that sucks. I get the feeling that viewers are hanging on by a thread, and from comments I read across the internet, people just don't care anymore about whether the FlashForwards come true or not. Whether it will finish out the season will depend on the cost of producing the show—which is probably too high for penny-pinching execs. Oh, and if V continues on its current trajectory, it could be in trouble too.
Verdict: In Trouble. Might finish out the season, but things aren't looking good for Season Two.
I don't think there is a show this season that has gotten the shaft more than Fringe. Moved to a competitive Thursday-night time slot and preempted by baseball, Fringe has recently hit series lows in the ratings, which prompted fans to fear for its life. But fear not, Fringe folk, Fox likes the show—and it's obvious. This Observer-week promo isn't happening because the net is bored, it's happening because Fox wants the show to survive. And it wants Fringe back for Season Three. And it will be back. And then we'll meet alternate universe Astrid who will be a major ass-kicker! (I hope)
Verdict: It will be back, and hopefully on another night.
Okay, I was wrong. I thought this show would be a hit for CBS back when it was announced about nine months ago. But it turns out that, without his fangs, Moonlight hunk Alex O'Loughlin just isn't the attraction I thought he would be. Approximately 8.77 million people tuned in last Sunday, but they were mostly grandmas and grandpas, as the audience yielded a measly 2.1 rating in the adult demo. By contrast, Family Guy had a half-million fewer viewers but a juicy 4.1 rating among adults (and sold tons of Axe Body Spray in the process). That's what keeps shows on the air. It's only a matter of time before Three Rivers dries up.
Verdict: In Trouble. Might run out its 13-episode order... if it's lucky.
What other shows do you think are in danger of getting the axe?