Sci-Fi Fodder

Survey: First New Show To Be Cancelled

It's getting close - the new crop of network Sci-Fi shows are only a few weeks from their respective debuts.

I hate to be a killjoy, but...they all won't make it. Some will be cancelled. Some - very, very quickly.

So, rather than set up false hope, I thought I'd do a quick survey to see what shows people thought had the highest likelihood of cancellation. Then, if one of these shows happen to survive, we can all be pleasantly surprised!

Just as a preamble, Viva Laughlin (by all reports) will be the first show cancelled. You's the one with the singing and has Hugh Jackman in the credits. Just about every critic has hated it. The best I have heard it described was "a mess". But, for our purposes, we are only interested in the Sci-Fi shows, so a sure thing like "Viva Laughlin" doesn't count.

So, here are the six new offerings that have Sci-Fi themes (out of the 26 new shows this season):

  • Moonlight (CBS)

  • Pushing Daisies (ABC)

  • Bionic Woman (NBC)

  • Reaper (CW)

  • Chuck (NBC)

  • Journeyman (NBC)

Of these, my vote is unfortunately going to "Moonlight". "Moonlight" has the dreaded Friday night time slot, leading into "Ghost Whisperer". There were also reports that the show was being made more "family friendly", which is actually logical considering that it is set to run on Fridays - but a bad sign, since this is a show about a Vampire. Vampires are not typically family friendly! And, finally, with all of the "Angel"-"Forever Knight" comparisons, it really seems that this show is not going to get a fair shake.

I give it six weeks.

Honorable mention goes to "Pushing Daisies". In contrast to "Viva Laughlin", most critics have loved this show. But, I am starting to see articles like "Is ABC Pushing Daisies Into An Early Grave", which asserts that ABC is not really promoting the show properly. ABC is known to have a quick trigger finger on the cancellation button, so if "Pushing Daisies" does not draw 10 million viewers in its debut, watch out!

So, I have "Moonlight" and "Pushing Daisies" on the cancellation watch list. What do you think?

Actually, Moonlight isn't "leading into" Ghost Whisperer, it's scheduled at 9PM after GW, which is good. CBS has been advertising GW and ML as a pair, which is a smart move; get the supernatural GW fans interested in ML, and hopefully they'll stick around. Then, if the Numb3rs cop people are interested in the P.I.-ness of ML, maybe they'll tune in early.

There has also been a general lack of hype surrounding Moonlight, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Because of the extensive recasting and the changing of the producers, there hasn't been a lot of buzz around this show, and I've noticed most of the disgruntled ATS/FK comparisons have died down since the announcement that CBS had picked up this series. I take this as a good sign, and hope many of these supposed genre fans have gotten used to the idea of a new vampire show and might tune in. Also, the media hasn't gotten a chance to savage the show, which I also consider a good thing!

I don't think Friday night is the death slot it used to be, as GW and Numb3rs continue to do well. But I also fear for ML, as the night remains somewhat dicey for viewers. I don't worry about the Angel and Forever Knight comparisons and living-forever-in-the-past fans, because while they may be making a bit of a stink on the web, their ranks aren't big enough to change the course of the show, as we've seen numerous times in the past with dozens of other shows. No, the show's success will rely on marketing, promotion, and whether the first few episodes are clever/innovative enough for the genre fans, and family friendly/non-fantasy enough for the mainsdtream audience to get involved. A tough line to walk - let's hope they can!

-- Posted by: KayDee at September 6, 2007 3:37 AM

Chuck will get the ax first. Bumbling everyman as accidental secret agent hasn't really worked in the past.

-- Posted by: Josh at September 6, 2007 10:31 AM

Oops..I wrote this post late, and got the "Ghost Whisperer"/"Moonlight" ordering backwards. Good catch!

As for "Chuck", there is a good point there - Jake 2.0 didn't fare so well, and it could be construed as similar. Still, as opposed to "Moonlight" and "Pushing Daisies", NBC is advertising the heck out of this show. I see it on about every web site I visit!

So, I think it still has a chance - but, you vote has been noted!

-- Posted by: fred at September 6, 2007 3:03 PM

I think which series goes or stays also depends on how much the networks want their shows to succeed and how much leyway they're planning on giving them. NBC might be more pre-disposed to give "Chuck" and "Journeyman" more time, as they did "Surface." CBS desperately wants a buzz-worthy hit, so may give "Moonlight" more time, especially considering the tougher Friday night timeslot. They acted rashly in canceling "Jericho," then brought it back. ABC seems to be putting most of its beans in the "Private Practice" basket. And with the hits of "Ugly Betty," "Desperate Housewives," and other fairly stable shows, I'm betting that if "Pushing Daisies" doesn't take off liek a shot and hold its own, its going to be the first canceled.

-- Posted by: KayDee at September 6, 2007 5:48 PM

I hope "Moonlight" is not going to be one getting the 'ax' it's really a great show with excellent actors that have palpable chemistry. Alex O'loughlin is gorgeous.

-- Posted by: Jewels at October 22, 2007 12:17 PM