It's tornado season on the network airwaves and even Steven Spielberg-produced dinosaurs aren't safe from the show-felling winds of bad ratings. On Monday, FOX canceled his prehistoric drama Terra Nova after only one season, despite relatively decent ratings (10.1 million viewers when you included a week of DVR playback) and a family-friendly vibe. And there's more bad weather ahead. Here are 10 shows that might not withstand the low-ratings storm:
Pan Am (ABC): Oh, well. The early buzz on this airline drama was so promising. But with an average viewership of 6.9 million, no one expects it to return in the fall. At least it may have launched a new TV star. Karinne Vanasse, who played a French stewardess, has been cast in the new, fashion-oriented drama, Scruples.
Cougar Town (ABC): You can't say that exec producer Bill Lawrence hasn't tried to revive his beloved underdog. But his grass-roots effort to generate publicity hasn't translated into high ratings. (The show is averaging 4.9 million viewers.) On the other hand, there's still a ray of hope for the cul-de-sac crew, according to TV By The Numbers. "Sometimes shows in their third season are renewed for a fourth simply to reach the current seeming minimum of 88 episodes for syndication," writes Bill Gorman. "Is that enough for [Cougar Town] to grasp at a fourth season? Maybe."
The River (ABC): With only 6.7 million viewers, this Amazon-based horror/sci-fi/adventure show hasn't made much of a splash.
Fringe (FOX): Ah, Fringe. You're always on the ratings fringe, aren't you? Thanks to its four-season run, this show has its rabid fans, and there are certainly some TV critics among them. But unless producers can conjure up more than their average 3.9 million viewers (maybe in that other universe?), Fringe's days are probably numbered.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter (FOX): Critics hated this show from the start. And only 6.4 million people have tuned in. For the time being, it's still on the air, and Katie Finneran is promoting Tuesday's episode with guest star Mark Consuelos. Can he turn things around for the show? Yikes, probably not.
Napoleon Dynamite (FOX): Have you caught this animated version of 2004's indie hit movie? Yeah, not many people have.
A Gifted Man (CBS): When it premiered, critics more or less liked this show about an arrogant surgeon haunted by his dead ex-wife, but the ratings have been just ho-hum. Its season finale attracted a respectable 9.7 million viewers, but that might not be enough to bring it back in the fall.
Whitney (NBC): Panned by critics, and plunging in the ratings, it's actually hard to believe that this show is still around. With less than 5 million viewers, it's future is not bright.
Harry's Law (NBC): Kathy Bates' witty law drama has been on hiatus since January 18th -- it returns March 11th. Since it's one of NBC's lowest-rated shows, odds aren't great for this one to survive.
Ringer (The CW): Who doesn't love Sarah Michelle Gellar? And yet her intriguing good-twin-evil-twin show never really took off. Then again, its network, The CW, has seen subpar viewer numbers like this before (1.4 million) on other shows and stood by them. Gellar and her fans will have to wait and see.
Batten down the hatches, TV producers. It's gonna be a rough couple of weeks.