One of the most frequent questions that I receive here is “Why did NBC cancel Medium?” Well, I’m quite happy to report that the Patricia Arquette series has not been cancelled at all. Medium will return for a third season on NBC. It was officially renewed for season three back on April 28, 2006. Contrary to popular belief, NBC does not want to kill the show — it’s one of the few successful shows that it has. So where is it? Well…
NBC, who had a very weak showing last season, was trying very hard to come up with groundbreaking and interesting new shows. Shows that people will actually watch. The strongest of their offerings was the new series from The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip starring Amanda Peet, Mathew Perry and Bradley Whitford. It was clearly one of NBC’s most promising new shows. (Now that the Studio 60’s debuted to lackluster ratings, it will be interesting to see how long NBC sticks with it.)
The network originally scheduled Studio 60 for Thursday nights to presumably try to re-establish their “Must See TV” night domination. But, when ABC unveiled its tough new Thursday night line-up (headed by Grey’s Anatomy), NBC decided against “scheduling suicide” and to move Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip to Mondays at 10pm. Medium’s slot. Rather than forcing Medium to do battle on the competitive Thursday night, NBC instead opted to move Medium to Sunday nights at 10pm (9pm central). Unfortunately for Medium fans, NBC now has the rights to air Sunday Night Football (which usually garners huge ratings). Football will run on Sunday nights for the rest of the year.
For that reason, Medium’s third season debut has been pushed back to January 2007 (*see update below). The first two episodes (of the 22 episodes that have been ordered) are entitled “Blood Relation and “Four Dreams” (not that the titles tell you very much). Depending on how their season goes, NBC may run Medium uninterupted (no reruns) much like 24 on Fox. No radical changes to the show cast or basic storyline/concept are expected.
Could Medium return to the airwaves sooner than January 2007? Possibly — especially if some of the new NBC shows fail and the peacock network runs out of Dateline “Catch a Predator” episodes.
In the meantime, loyal viewers can watch reruns of the Alison Dubois inspired series on Sunday nights on on Lifetime or via the Season One or Season Two DVD sets currently available (each set offers some great extras and cast & creator commentaries).
*10/12/06 UPDATE: NBC has just announced that Medium will return to the schedule on Wednesday nights at 10pm, starting on November 15, 2006 (in part due to the recent cancellation of Kidnapped). President of NBC Entertainment Kevin Reilly said, “We have been waiting for the right moment to bring back this excellent, chilling drama to our lineup and we know this will make the show’s legion of devoted fans very happy. Medium is an especially creative show, led by the vision of executive producer-creator Glenn Gordon Caron, that is ready to hit the ground running with its new season of thrilling episodes.”