It was long predicted that the science-fiction/fantasy genre was going to take a beating when the cancellations began to be announced.
And those predictions were right on target.
Several shows, some of which were heavily pushed at first by their respective networks, came to a bitter end at the hands of the Grim Reaper of Television, while some managed to escape to air another day.
On ABC, two shows came to unpleasant ends with the cancellation of “No Ordinary Family” and “V.” “No Ordinary Family” was a fair show, but frankly, I feel that it was too much a blatant retool and rewrite of a blend between the Fantastic Four and “The Incredibles.” The family angle was good, but the action level was low, which is a killer for superhero shows.
In the case of “V,” it had a fair chance to survive, and got a second season when, quite frankly, the numbers didn't support doing so. The stories and plot lines were good, but they just didn't get the traction it needed, nor gathered a large enough core audience.
This was on top of the fact that in the first season, fans of the original shows were upset that none of those former stars were cast in any way. Then, when in the second season, two of the originals appeared, the fans of the new version were not happy.
CBS is the one network with no science-fiction/fantasy shows on their schedule currently, but two programs include alumni of the genre. The reboot of the hit show, “Hawaii Five-0” got a very much deserved and earned second season. That show has among its case Daniel Dae Kim from "Lost" and Grace Park from "Battlestar Galactica."
“$#*! My Dad Says,” however was not so lucky, experiencing the swing of the Grim Reaper's scythe. While some will wonder if CBS (who owns the rights to “Star Trek”) has a dislike for the show's star, William Shatner, this was strictly a case of a show that despite the controversy that got people's attention, just didn't post the numbers to survive. Perhaps a few more science-fiction alums would have helped Shatner's show.
Over at The CW, the only show leaving was “Smallville,” which was ending its 10-year run on its own. While there were elements of the finale that just didn't sit right, seeing Welling exposing that famous logo from under his shirt with John Williams' theme playing was quite the moment.
The other shows of interest, “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural” both survived.
NBC canceled both of its offerings in the genre, “The Event,” and “The Cape.” In the case of “The Event,” the Grim Reaper's scythe was an act of mercy. I found the show hard to follow, going over viewers' heads. Frankly, it failed to get interest high enough to suspend one's logic center where they can enjoy such a show.
“The Cape” started off well, with fair advertising, but it ended right there. It showed me potential when it started, but as it continued, it started sliding from unbelievable toward campy. I'm sorry, but the days of campy are long gone, and that slide caused the show to have to hang up its cape.
Fox made some puzzling choices. As almost everyone expected, “Human Target” missed the rating target and perished at the hands of the Grim Reaper. However, despite negative predictions by a lot of folks, “Fringe” survived for one more season.
Many people are speculating that Warner Bros. has practically given the show away to Fox to get the number of episodes where the show can ultimately reach syndication. If it doesn't get its ratings numbers up next season, the Reaper will be calling on it, I'm sure.
Next week, we'll turn from what is now the past and look toward the future by taking a look at what is coming in the new fall season in September. What does it have in store for the science-fiction/fantasy fan? Check here next week for details.
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