The ABC network has announced renewals for a dozen of their current series. It looks like America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Supernanny, Ugly Betty, and Wife Swap will all be back next season.
None come as a big surprise since ABC is still doing pretty well enough in the ratings. The weakest among the renewed series are certainly Wife Swap and Supernanny but they’re relegated to Friday nights. Expectations are lower on that night and the shows don’t cost as much to produce anyway.
Unfortunately, ABC has had little luck in launching any new hit series. Private Practice is the youngest of the shows on the renewal list and its already been around for two seasons. America’s Funniest Home Videos has been on the air for almost 20 years. So, now that ABC has committed to the obvious renewals, what about the rest of their shows? Where do they stand?
According to Jim — This sitcom has been performing very poorly in the ratings for awhile but kept getting renewed because additional episodes could be added to the profitable syndication package. Though ABC’s president, Steve McPherson, said that the sitcom might return, the sets were bulldozed quite awhile ago. It’s not coming back.
Better Off Ted — The office sitcom, paired with Scrubs, hasn’t been attracting many viewers. Next week’s episode, the seventh installment, is the final one that’s scheduled to air. We may see the remaining six episodes at some point but it’s highly unlikely the show will get renewed for a second season.
Boston Legal — The five year-old series aired its finale in December. Denny Crane and Alan Shore won’t be returning next Fall.
Castle — This romantic dramady has decent viewership but much of that can ultimately be credited to the powerful Dancing with the Stars, which kicks off the evening. ABC typically renews at least one struggling freshman drama per season. If they continue with that trend, this seems like a likely candidate.
Dirty Sexy Money — ABC renewed this drama last season but the ratings weren’t very good in year two. The network pulled it midway through the season and the final four episodes are now set to air on Saturday evenings beginning July 18th.
Eli Stone — This quirky drama didn’t attract enough viewers for a renewal. The final four episodes will be surfacing on Saturday nights, starting June 20th. The show certainly won’t be coming back for a third season.
Homeland Security USA — This reality series about the men and women who protect our country didn’t generate much interest with viewers. The series debuted in January but was pulled in March. There’s no word about when or if the five remaining installments will see the light of day. One thing’s for sure, there won’t be a second season.
In the Motherhood — Loosely based on a web series, this sitcom didn’t attract many viewers. The network has pulled it after four episodes and isn’t expected to return for another season. There are two episodes left unaired.
Life on Mars — ABC had great expectations for this Americanized version of a BBC show but it never took off. The network pulled the plug but gave the producers just enough time to give the series some closure in episode 17.
Opportunity Knocks — The Aston Kutcher reality game show was pulled from the schedule after three installments. The rest are expected to air this Summer but they aren’t making any more.
Pushing Daisies — A beloved but ratings-starved series. ABC will get around to airing the final three episodes on Saturday nights, beginning on May 30th. On the positive side, series creator Bryan Fuller has made a deal to continue the piemaker’s story in comic book form and would like to do a movie. On the negative side, there won’t be any new episodes coming to ABC.
Samantha Who? — This sitcom looked like a winner last year but, without the advantage of a Dancing with the Stars lead-in, not enough viewers tune in. ABC has pulled the show from the schedule and has seven unaired episodes left on the shelf. The network may burn them off during the Summer months or hold onto them until next season. If it’s the latter, it’s possible the network may order additional installments at some point to make a complete third season.
Scrubs — Though ABC’s McPherson has said that the show might return for an ninth season, it seems highly unlikely. Series creator Bill Lawrence and several performers are set to leave at the end of this season and wouldn’t be coming back if the show did. On top of that, the ratings are terrible. Recent reports have indicated that ABC is considering renewing if costs can be cut and Zach Braff agrees to do guest appearances. Though it could happen, it seems very likely that this one is dead.
Surviving Suburbia — The network picked this Bob Saget sitcom up after Media Rights Capital’s deal with The CW fell apart last Fall. Like Castle, the series has been getting good ratings but it loses 50% of the Dancing with the Stars audience. If they can get more episodes inexpensively, ABC may bring it back but the ratings certainly don’t mandate a renewal.
True Beauty — Viewership for this reality competition certainly wasn’t a thing of beauty for the network. ABC let the season play out but it would be a big surprise if it returned for a second year.
The Unusuals — This one hasn’t been performing very well either but ABC clearly would like it to succeed. CBS is still having great success with cop dramas and ABC doesn’t have any. Word is that they want at least one for themselves. Though the ratings don’t warrant it, this show is a possible candidate for the network to take a chance on and renew it.
We’ll know for sure what ABC has planned for the upcoming season once the new schedule is announced on May 19th at the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers.
Image courtesy ABC.