Without a Trace Forums

CBS (ended 2009)

Trace facing almost sure cancellation?

  • Avatar of ArthurBranch

    ArthurBranch

    [41]May 19, 2009
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    This is probably the worst case of a high rated show being cancelled in history.

    Question: what would stop another network or a cable outfit (like TNT) from picking it up?

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  • Avatar of ArthurBranch

    ArthurBranch

    [42]May 20, 2009
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    RuRudy wrote:
    This show has done quite well for a long period of time, much of it with diluted plot lines and cheesy writing. It would be a shame to see it go, but I agree with those who point squarely at better writing focused on plot development as the only potential savior. The show has become so much of a soap opera, with the writers so often reversing field after they've gone down paths to nowhere, it's no wonder that there's seemingly no place for the character storyline to go. Like with so many shows, there's been little long-term thinking and discipline to the character development. It's like they're thinking out loud, not thinking things through.

    A few tweaks of the current bland formula in favor deeper plots and more stable character relationships could save it. The characters don't need to "grow." Instead, recent episodes appear bent on self-destruction as they panic about renewal, so they are just throwing stuff at the wall hoping something will stick.


    I do agree the show has its own writers to blame for increasingly terrible "dead end" story lines. While the show should have been renewed with it's high ratings and solid cast, if it was based on plots only the show should have been ordered to retool. It's really ashame, because Without a Trace had every potential to be a Law & Order type of show with double digit seasons. The "missing persons" plot line could always produce new shows, but unfortunately the show's writers chose soap opera storylines more meant for daytime TV and it made it easy to cancel.

    In addition to focusing on the storyline rather than character soap opera, one thing that has kept Law & Order -- now in Season 20 -- on the air -- is that it is "compelling" television. I've watched so many episodes thinking "they can never cancel this series". In fact, it is that alone that saved it its early years when the government sensors and advertisers were all nervous. The fact is it dealt -- even handedly -- with issues of the day and made you think -- and that's not easy to do.

    Without a Trace had the same feel in its first few seasons, until about Season 6 and then it went downhill. Rarely in recent years have I thought "this show is a must keep" other than the fact it's better than most of the other shows on TV, the characters are generally good, and the acting is solid. But rather than the compelling issue of missing people, the show is now about the personal lives of its cast, and that is the first step towards cancellation, which happened today. What's sad is that, as I mentioned, Missing Persons is a plot line that was never ending. They could have "re-told" the stories of missing persons from around the country. It would be real and interesting, and you could have gotten to know the characters personalities without all this soap opera nonsense.

    It's really ashame. I hope that another entity picks it up, retools it, and puts it back on TV, because it's sad to see this day come. But, the writers had it coming.
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  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [43]May 20, 2009
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    The writers did have it coming, but it's still a shame. I'll really miss it.
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  • Avatar of rdwing19

    rdwing19

    [44]May 20, 2009
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    I disagree, I don't think the writers had it coming. Yes, it wasn't at strong as it once was, but shows get boring when you don't feel any connection with the main characters, even procedurals. They might have gone a little too deep too quickly, but I really don't think that's what killed this show. It still performed better in ratings than shows they brought back. Unfortunately, it all came down to money and even though CBS has a lot of it as "America's Most Watched Network" they chose to be greedy and ruin a great show instead. I hope someone else picks this up and I hope CBS thoroughly regrets this decision when their shows FLOP, especially "The Good Life," which to me sounds HORRIBLE and generic.
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  • Avatar of rdwing19

    rdwing19

    [45]May 20, 2009
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    Sorry - meant to add this (and edit isn't working for me now):

    Truly a sad day for us Trace fans. I haven't seen the finale yet, but I'm sure it was just as good as we can hope. I can't wait to see this WHOLE CAST back on TV real soon in roles where they continue to shine. Love 'em all!
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    WonderSlug

    [46]May 20, 2009
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    It's a sad day for me as well. WaT was one of my favorite shows. I recorded every episode to DVD-R from my HD DVR since the 2005 season. I'm also catching up on the first two seasons on TNT HD.

    There's no reason another network couldn't pick up the show.

    After all, NBC didn't renew "Scrubs" and ABC picked it up. CBS just picked up "Medium", presumably after NBC let it go in favor of Leno's 10:00pm M-F variety show.

    NBC also moved "L+O:Criminal Intent" to USA Network a few years back. However, USA Network is part of the NBC/Universal family so it was relatively easy.

    However, unless it's another major network with lots of advertising revenue, there would probably be some cutbacks if the show was picked up.

    For example, if it were to reappear on TNT, there likely would not be as much money per episode to spend since TNT doesn't get the same viewership as the 4 major networks. In that case, they might have to jettison some of the cast members or production staff or they would have to take pay cuts. Say bye-bye to Samantha's kid, her baby's father, and Jack's daughter. You might hear them mentioned on the show, but they won't actually be shown anymore.

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    huntress1013

    [47]May 20, 2009
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    The last thing I have heard is that it was in fact cancelled =( I wasn't a regular viewer but I did like the series well enough.
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    amyhj23

    [48]May 20, 2009
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    It is truly a sad day! I'm a huge fan of this show, I've been watching it for years, and I'm gutted! Looking forward to the final season being shown here in the UK though, and still waiting on the dvds to get me through! It's true that the writing has gone downhill a bit since the first few seasons, but still. It will always be one of my faves.
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  • Avatar of ArthurBranch

    ArthurBranch

    [49]May 20, 2009
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    I agree it is about money in the end, given that its ratings were better than other shows. However, my point is that when the quality of your product drops, people notice, and it becomes easier for your show to be cancelled when financial decisions have to be made. The fact is that it has been called "Melrose Trace" for a reason.

    In the first few seasons we felt connections to the characters without all the silly romance. The Jack-Samantha thing was silly and the Danny-Elena thing was unncessary too. The Martin fiasco was just not good this year. It was coming to the point that more than 1/2 the show was dedicated to the romance not the missing person, which is what the show is about.

    So, when network execs are choosing between shows which to punt, they'll choose the one where most people agree the writing was getting lazy.

    I agree it is a sad day because even with the drop in quality, I recorded it every week and watched it faithfully and have seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. It was still better than most shows on tV. I will buy the others whenever they come out. I also hope that another network picks it up, even a cable network like TNT which would love it, as it does seem to have a loyal following. The good news with the Jack-Samantha thing "ending" tonight, perhaps its setup for a return to its old form should some other network pick it up. No one was killed off or anything, so it has that possibility -- perhaps for a midseason pick up should some shows tank?

    My dream? NBC somehow picks it up and we see crossovers with the L&O universe. the missing persons angel would fit in so well. They talk a lot about working with tne NYPD and NY DA's office, so it would work easily.

    Edited on 05/20/2009 9:05pm
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  • Avatar of rdwing19

    rdwing19

    [50]May 21, 2009
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    I agree with you ArthurBranch. I totally see your point and agree with what you're saying. It is truly a sad day and I'm moreso disappointed about the show not being given a proper ending and just being randomly cancelled.
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    Jim856796

    [51]May 25, 2009
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    Without a Trace has the #16 spot in the ratings for its 7th season. This is going to make CBS regret that they cancelled the TV series.
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    DyNama-3

    [52]May 25, 2009
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    too bad. when the soap opera elements were introduced, i thought now why did they have to do that? why couldn't they just solve the case and leave their private lives out of it? but i did get into it, was rooting for jack and sam (cuz sam is gorgeous!) and for danny and elena (cuz elena is fantastically beautiful!) and i really did like the characters. i knew they would solve the crime, but would find myself crossing my fingers and hoping with bated breath that the missing person will be found alive. that was one of the most suspenseful elements of any tv show i watch.

    remember the episode in which 2 kids disappered under unrelated circumstances, 1 was found alive but the other was found dead, and they never revealed to us which was which? that was 1 of a number of well-done episodes. i never missed an episode and will miss the show.

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  • Avatar of ArthurBranch

    ArthurBranch

    [53]May 26, 2009
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    I wonder if the show could get picked up mid season by someone? I am probably dreaming but with that high of ratings out the door, it seems so odd.

    Looking back at old cancelled popular shows, they had really tanked prior to pulling the plug. Without a Trace is just screaming to be picked up by another network or even cable.
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    haldrey

    [54]May 26, 2009
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    I have to take Without a Trace off my TV schedule and I am giving myself a hard time doing it. I am still baffled how a good consistant show like this one be ended.
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    PMcOuntry

    [55]May 27, 2009
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    I will miss Without A Trace because I was enjoying seeing character development but to tell you the truth, the show itself just wasn't the same as it used to be. I would have liked a better ending - to wrap it up and all for the viewers but at least they saved Cold Case. I think Cod Case has a lot more potential. Well, farewell Without A Trace.
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    agent_0042

    [56]May 28, 2009
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    Jim856796 wrote:
    Without a Trace has the #16 spot in the ratings for its 7th season. This is going to make CBS regret that they cancelled the TV series.

    Don't be so sure about that. What I read was that this show, The Unit and NCIS were all under consideration for the axe. The Unit was canceled, NCIS was spared and I think it was doing better in ratings. Also, I think that the 18-34 demo ratings were a factor.

    ArthurBranch wrote:
    I wonder if the show could get picked up mid season by someone? I am probably dreaming but with that high of ratings out the door, it seems so odd.

    I dunno-- they might not want to pick up the high production costs that also come along with the show.
    Edited on 05/28/2009 4:09pm
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  • Avatar of rdwing19

    rdwing19

    [57]May 28, 2009
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    I hope another network does something with this as a mid-season replacement. I don't think it'll happen, to be honest, but it's worth the hope. CBS claimed the problem was $$. I wonder if another network is willing to take the $$ risk.
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    Law_n_Disorder

    [58]May 29, 2009
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    Wow, I'm surprised this show got the axe. It was one of my favorites. I agree that it has been focusing more on the personal lives of the characters but, with a little tweaking, the writers could focus on the storylines again and still have enough room to squeeze in some of the characters relationships.
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    peachtoast

    [59]May 30, 2009
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    I have watched the show from the beginning and stayed faithful to the show. It always has to CBS that cancels good shows. I just hope they tie up all loose ends.
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    agent_0042

    [60]May 30, 2009
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    Tie up loose ends? The show has already ended. So unless they make a movie...
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