Well, it has happened again. One of my favorite new shows is being killed by Fox’s scheduling. Classic Firefly, show the episodes out-of-order, destroying any chance for serialized narrative to grab an audience, bump them repeatedly, making sure anyone tuning in casually forgets they are on, then announce the remaining episodes will be shown at some later time TBA. I will keep fighting for you any way I can, but, Enlisted, I fear our story will be a short one. If you readers will indulge me I feel the need for another rant. Join me after the jump for a discussion of the state of network TV.
It is a telling feature of online TV journalism that an entire genre is the “Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon/Save One Show” polls and articles. Telling for network TV that is. With a business model where well over 50% of any new product roll out is expected to fail, well you have to wonder what’s sustaining it and how. And if it is viable in the long term.
I’ll admit right off the bat that there is often a strong sense of Schadenfreude when a show that threatens to replace a favorite of yours goes down in flames (yes, I’m thinking of you Undercovers) but it isn’t about any hostility toward the cast and crew. More often in fact a lot of the distress we feel over a canceled favorite show is that we won’t get to spend any more time with the lovable but flawed knuckleheads on Enlisted or Happy Endings or Chuck or Wonderfalls or, well you get the point. And there is also a great deal of investment in the actors on our part. Geoff Stults, Parker Young and Chris Lowell need to be on TV, they are too good not to have a show where they can be seen on a regular basis. And someone as good as Geoff Stults shouldn’t be forced to bounce from show to show season after season only to have the next one canceled after a single season (much like Adam Baldwin before Chuck).
So a new favorite of mine, Enlisted will likely be joining the ranks of Firefly and Wonderfalls and Keen Eddie and a few more, badly missed and gone before their time, but treasured so much more for the little we were able to have.
Since this post has little to do with anything other than venting I thought I’d toss in a poll to see what other people are watching and to maybe have a bit more discussion that ranting about how much broadcast TV’s model sucks for new shows.
Below is, as far as I was able to determine, the present TV schedule for the 5 broadcast networks with shows no longer on the schedule but not canceled tacked on to the end. Pick as many as you are watching, DVR-ing or catching on iTunes, Amazon, OnDemand or Hulu since they all feed in to the networks and studios revenue streams now. There is also a write-in option for any shows I missed, but basic cable and subscription shows were left off for a reason. There are too many for me to put into a poll in any reasonable amount of time, and this is about the broadcast networks business model.