Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC, ABC, FOX,
Next week, advertisers will gather to see the big TV networks unveil their fall lineups. So throughout this month, a giant game of shuffleboard has been going on in those network boardrooms. Where to put the new shows? What to do with the old ones? Should shows with so-so ratings get a second (or third, or fourth) chance to shine, or should they cut their losses and try something new?
Now that the networks are down to the wire, news is coming hourly about renewals and cancellations. For shows whose ratings range from excellent to good enough, there's no surprise that they've gotten picked up for another season. Here are some series whose renewals have shocked no one.
ABC: Renewed shows include The Bachelor, Modern Family, Suburgatory, The Middle, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, Revenge and Once Upon a Time.
FOX: Bones, Glee, New Girl, Raising Hope and The X-Factor will be back.
CBS: 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0 and Undercover Boss have gotten the thumbs-up.
NBC: Grimm, Law & Order, Smash and The Voice will all return.
The CW: Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries are a go for next season.
But what of the so-called bubble shows, the ones that could have gone either way? Here's what's going down in bubble town.
Cougar Town (ABC): The fate of this show, which has a rabid fan base but mediocre ratings, sure was a nail-biter. Things weren't looking good for creator Bill Lawrence's underdog sitcom until…TBS decided to save the show! The cable network has ordered a fourth season of the comedy. Break out the champagne, Courteney Cox! (Oh... you already have. Of course you have.)
Parenthood (NBC): People who watch this show love it. But like Cougar Town, there aren't as many of them as the network would like. Which is why we're pleasantly surprised to hear that the endearing drama will live on for at least another 13 episodes. Way to go, Braverman family!
30 Rock (NBC): You didn't really think this show would get canceled, did you? Sure, Alec Baldwin kept threatening to leave, and it's the second-lowest rated comedy on NBC's Thursday night comedy block. But it's still funny! Plus, who wants to get on Tina Fey's bad side? Did you see how she skewered her high-school enemies in Mean Girls? The network picked up the series for one more, shortened season of 13 episodes.
Community (NBC): This one got picked up too! It's got its own Baldwin-like live wire in Chevy Chase, and its own lousy ratings. But it's also getting a second chance with a shortened, 13-episode season. Up in the air is whether low-rated comedies like this one will stay on Thursday nights, or move elsewhere in the schedule.
Alcatraz (FOX): Who doesn't love Lost's Jorge Garcia? Alas, he wasn't lovable enough to save Alcatraz, which has been officially canceled.
Scandal (ABC): Insiders say that Shonda Rhimes' Washington-based drama is likely to get renewed, but no word yet.