2008 – 2009 Cancelled Shows: ABC Renews 12 TV Series, What About the Rest?

According to Jim, Cupid, Samantha Who?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.

Which ABC show should be saved?

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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.

Cupid — This remake of the 1989 Jeremy Piven series hasn’t been performing well in the ratings at all. The network hasn’t shown much faith in it either. It looks like a goner. Sign the Petition

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.

Canceled and renewed TV show

30 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. I'm mad 2 Eddie. says

    Such aggravation, Networks draw me in, as the spider did the fly. They tease me, with 10 episode. Wine and dine me without no happy ending..I feel like they played with my emotion. Hunted down, killed cupid and broke my heart. Networks decided to cancel 90 percent of the shows I was watching. So I’m switching to Netflix, all the movie you can watch for $9.99. I never in all my years of television seen such drastic chopping of shows. I found they are not discriminate on which type of show I’m watching, rather it to be Sitcoms, Drama or Fiction, its being put on the chopping block. The Networks may think we will keep keep taking their abuse of the, chopping block don’t have any other choice. Well, I’m here too tell you we do!

  2. smiley427 says

    I love castle!!!! it’s my # 1 show on TV!!!! and right behind it is grey’s anatomy, then parenthood on NBC. and then after that is modern family, and next the middle. and when i ask some of my friends if they like the show castle and some of them say “what’s that?” but they obviously have no taste. anyway, my point is that CASTLE IS AWSOME! but on the season two that just ended on monday, where they left off, castle and beckett were SO CLOSE to having a real relationship. but then castle’s stupid ex-wife came in and ended up going to the hampton’s with castle instead of beckett coming with him. so that kind of killed the mood. it really sucked. but there’s always next season! i’ll be counting down the days ’till march 30th!!!!

  3. ahwnee says

    LOVE CASTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bever knew about the show till i saw it online love it and want more of it and Jake needs go to a school to learn how to talk about women seriously dude. This show is AWESOME and Nathan Fillon is awesome in any show i love this guy and firefly it should be brought back.

  4. Meg says

    I love Castle as does my roommate & even if we can’t watch it when it’s on we always DVR it! Please don’t cancel it!!

  5. Lana says

    PLEASE don’t cancel CASTLE…..it’s one of the BEST on ABC network. It’s true…the way Castle & Beckett play off of one another is rare….they have the chemistry needed to provide a great 1 hour program. Let’s face it…..there is a lot of JUNK on TV…..reality shows are terrible except for Dancing with the Stars. Give Castle & Beckett a chance…please!

  6. Nancy says

    My husband and I NEVER missed Castle. It was so comical and entertaining. The way Castle and Beckett play off each other is fantastic. PLEASE PLEASE don’t cancel another great show.

  7. Pam says


  8. elisha burns says

    CASTLE!!! The show gets better and better!!!!!! I am a season 2 watcher and got hooked on the first espisode-thank for allowing a season 2!! I’m begging for a season 3:) Nathan Fillion is a GREAT actor! I believed he proved that in Firefly!!!!!! Please keep it going-who knows a show like Castle could run as long as JAG with some great writing and wonderful stories:)

  9. Bruce says

    Regards Jake:

    Being an old person who apparently should be shot, I find Castle, humorous and entertaining. Now granted, Castle ain’t Family Guy or The Simpsons, two shows which may suit the taste of the aforementioned Jake who may not have been sophisticated enough for South Park, but Nathan Fillon does a good job. Now for Dancing with the Stars; my 20 year old daughter and my 77 year old best friend love the program (cross generational??) I can tolerated it with enough Moscow Mules on board. I have an uncanny ability to pick with the judges, which scares me a little.

    Still love to see Nathan get enough support and see Firefly return.

  10. Jake says

    In reference to Mike Goldman, Dancing With The Stars is a great show. It revives the careers of long forgotten actors and makes the public aware that some of these forgotten actors are still alive. As for the show not being useful or well received. The mountain of evidence says otherwise. You said so yourself that Castle has a great lead in due to the Dancing show and yet to manage to be highly critical of the show. Castle is not a great show. It’s a lame attempt at a “Bones” remake. Susan Sullivan’s character on Castle is very annoying and gives people the impression that all old people are annoying as hell and should be shot. The only redeeming qualities of the show are Castle’s daughter (damn, she is smart!) and the lady cops two “assistants”. As for (A)Stana Katic she does not have much to work with on Castle. Her best work might have been as that of an evildoer on the hit show 24. She was not bad in the film, The Spirit. But the “writer”s of Castle are so stupid and immature that they make the writers of sNL look like Rhodes scholars. Did you see the episode where KAtic wore a low cut dress? I really loved seeing Katic’s find body, but that dress was very hideous. But she’d look smoking hot in a maid’s outfit. Why have her wear a trenchcoat all the time? Doesn’t make sense…..which reminds me of what you had said….just pure drivel….pure nonsensical drivel.

  11. mary jo sullivan says

    Good Day,

    I wrote a series of three children’s books for youngsters learning to read. The series is called, “Who Am I? series. The first book is called “The Power of Me”,the second book is “The Power of You” and the third book is called “The Power of Us.” The books are teaching children to embrace who they are, they are perfect just the way they are, to give them high self esteem, high self confidence, pride, complacency, and each child is special and unique.

    I would like to take positive steps to get my books on the show and have the character of Robin on GH reading to her new baby and on OLTV Starr read to Hope and Todd/Blair/Jack read to Sam.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Miss Mary Jo Sullivan

  12. Mike Goldman says

    Keep Castle for sure great show I like Eli Stone Odd but entertaining Besides to many reality shows and what is DWTS really all about Does anybody really care

  13. Brandon says

    if a show had 67% of the total, and all the comments are for castle, ABC should really listen to what the audience wants. WE WANT MORE CASTLE!!!!!!!

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