Saturday, May 12, 2012

ABC surprises with cancellations and pickups

I think ABC took everyone a little by surprise this week when they started announcing their cancellations and pickup for next season.

First, the good news. ABC renewed ‘Private Practice,’ ‘Last Man Standing,’ ‘Body of Proof’ and ‘Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.’

The ‘Private Practice' news was especially interesting seeing as the show has tumbled in the ratings since being moved to Tuesdays. The show was solid, if unspectacular, when it had the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ lead-in. Since the move, the show has lost 30 percent of their viewers and is now at a low of 6.1 million viewers.

While ‘Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23’ is getting decent buzz – mostly because of James Vanderbeek’s hilarious turn as himself – the ratings for the show aren’t great. Perhaps ABC believes that the show can grow – which is a marked change from their usual cancel fist and ask questions later mantra.

Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing’ debuted to solid ratings – but the show has seen a recent slide. My guess is that ABC is trying to build a comedy block – but to do that they actually need funny shows.

The real surprise out of this group is ‘Body of Proof,’ though. I think most people thought this show was a goner – even show star Dana Delaney. The program has a small but loyal following. ABC just needs to find a way to market it better.

Now, on to the bad news. To no one’s surprise, ABC has axed the underperforming ‘Pan Am’ and ‘The River.’

‘The River’ debuted solidly but then slid into mediocrity creatively and the basement as far as the ratings go. ‘Pan Am’ was basically dead on arrival. I don’t think ABC was the best fit for the show. It might have done better on a cable network.

Also cancelled was ‘Missing’ starring Ashley Judd. This also isn’t a surprise – since the only buzz the show got was about whether or not Judd had undergone plastic surgery.

What is a surprise is the cancellation of ‘GCB.’ The show wasn’t a ratings juggernaut, but it did debut solidly and the show was starting to get some traction. In addition, it was pretty much the only show on ABC (besides ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’) that was getting any media attention what-so-ever.

The returning shows join early pickups like ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Scandal.’ ABC has also picked up a number of pilots – including the highly anticipated ‘Nashville,’ which stars Connie Britton and Jonathan Jackson.

ABC will make their schedule announcement at the network upfront on Tuesday.

What do you think? Do these cancellations and pickups surprise you?


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