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The Network Mambo: Renewals And Cancellations

Television’s survivors in the sci-fi, fantasy, horror genres


It has been a brutal month for television as the networks have announced their cancellations and renewals for the coming season.

A few genre shows took a very unfortunate hit, and some will live to fight another day. I will only be covering the network TV shows that are horror, fantasy or sci-fi themed. Comedies, dramas, dramadies and police/lawyer/medical procedurals are for another website unless they have elements that make them worth mentioning.

ABC: Renewed

“Once Upon a Time” was picked up for a fourth season, and this next one could be a lot of fun given the season finale reveal. “Resurrection” also gets a pickup. Given its cliffhanger ending, many people are glad to hear this news. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is being renewed, and I am truly grateful for this one. The series has been fun from the get-go, but it has picked up a considerable amount of steam during the last half of the season and has turned into the show that many Marvel fans wanted. Its tie-in with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has given it some seriously good plots to explore, including a heavy-duty betrayal that was a jaw dropper.

ABC: Canceled

“Once Upon a Time In Wonderland” met the ax, having been put in a very difficult time slot: 8 p.m. Thursdays. It started off with low numbers and quickly went downhill from there. “The Neighbors” was also cut down after two seasons. There is a bit of a cult following for this show, but critically it was raked over the coals. It was moved from Wednesday to Friday as well. Friday is notoriously a dead zone for TV, and shows are not expected to perform at the same numbers there, but the loss was significant enough to warrant cancellation.

CBS: Renewed

“Person of Interest,” although not firmly rooted in sci-fi, has futurist elements that make it interesting (plus hey, J.J. Abrams). Its numbers are solid enough for now to give it a fourth season. “The Big Bang Theory” will be returning, of course. I know it’s a comedy, but it’s got plenty of genre references, enough to get a mention here. They have three more years at least with CBS.

CBS: Canceled

“Intelligence” will be leaving the air. This isn’t strictly a genre show, but it has enough tech/futurist elements to be covered. The freshman thriller originally had a Tuesday time slot and performed well there, but viewers left when it moved to Monday night. Anyone else notice that CBS is thin on high-concept genre material?

NBC: Renewed

Detective Nick Burkhardt and his gang on “Grimm” will be seeing a fourth season, with it being a pretty solid performer in the dead zone that is Friday. “Hannibal” will be around to torture more folks next season as well, giving it a third season to continue the story of the twisted dynamic between the good doctor and Will Graham.

NBC: Canceled

“Dracula” won’t be coming back from the dead. Although it had strong numbers when it debuted in October, it never became a ratings smash. “Believe” will be leaving the air as well. The midseason show failed to perform well enough to garner a renewal. There are additional episodes that haven’t aired, but it’s unknown if they will be shown. “Revolution” has lost power (sorry, pun intended) and will not see a third season. It wasn’t performing well in its Wednesday time slot this year; although, it started off strongly in the first season.

Fox: Renewed

Fox is keeping a considerable number of its genre shows, with one glaring exclusion. I’ll get to that later. In the animated block, “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “Bob’s Burgers” and “American Dad” got picked up. “The Simpsons” is Fox’s stud horse in the lineup and will enjoy a 26th season. This one was actually renewed on October. I understand this will be the last season for “American Dad” on Fox, but it will be moving to TBS beginning next year for its 11th season. The numbers for “Family Guy” have dropped over the years, but it’s still a solid performer. “Bob’s Burgers” is the newest of the bunch, starting its fifth season, but has a solid following. Outside of the animation ring, Fox renewed “Sleepy Hollow” for a second season of mayhem. They actually granted it early renewal in October after the network saw the strong ratings. Any show with John Noble can’t be bad. “Bones” and “The Following” will also see new seasons. Again, although not strictly genre, they both have elements of horror that earn them a mention.

Fox: Canceled

Now comes my biggest issue with Fox. Canceling “Almost Human” was a blow to the very depths of my being. This was an excellently produced show with a stellar cast, and had the same numbers as “The Following” most of the time; although, “The Following” did better with the DVR crowd. I’d love to see this show moved to a different network, but that is unlikely even with the petitions floating around. A woman can hope.

The CW: Renewed

The CW is loaded with genre shows, and a healthy number of them have been picked up. “Beauty and the Beast” got renewed for a third season. It has struggled in the ratings, but I’ve read it’s strong internationally. “The 100” has had stronger domestic ratings and will see a second season. Also coming back will be “The Vampire Diaries” and its spin-off, “The Originals.” Both got early renewal orders along with “Arrow,” “Reign” and “Supernatural.” “Supernatural” will be enjoying its 10th season and remains a solid ratings winner for The CW. “Arrow” has picked up some major steam this season, and hopefully that energy will carry over to Season 3.

The CW: Canceled

“Star-Crossed” and “The Tomorrow People” were cut down by Fox. “Star-Crossed” had stiff competition in its time slot and barely stood a chance. “The Tomorrow People” had “Arrow” as its lead-in but could never really get the ratings boost it needed.

There are a number of potentially interesting new shows planned for the fall season, including “Gotham” (Fox) and “Constantine” (NBC), which I am looking forward to, but I’m not sure if they will cure me of my “Almost Human” grief *sniffle.* Someone hand me a tissue.

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Could they be a gh...gh...gh...ghost? Rut-ro! Shaggy
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