As much as things are booming in TV land, there's just as many things that can go bust. Some of you may recall that it wasn't too long ago that TV was not a cool place to be. In fact, it was mainly a place for fading stars to go to revive their sagging movie careers. Then, once they regained their cachet, said actors couldn't bail TV land quick enough.
In fact, say what you will about The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and a handful of other shows being groundbreaking, it really wasn't until Breaking Bad and Netflix that TV land became the wild west of possibilities. Suddenly, stories that couldn't be crammed into a couple of hours got to breath for thirteen hours or more during an entire TV season. A list actors and directors were suddenly clamoring for their place at the small screen table.
Well, like anything in Hollywood, nobody really knows when to say when. An idea that might have been suicide some years ago, suddenly could have an audience in today's fragmented network, cable, internet, VOD landscape. In fact, shows that ended in the 1980s and 1990s, have been rebooted, oftentimes with the same cast. Even movies aren't immune from the reboot to TV treatment.
Now, lets be honest, it isn't like all of these shows are going to be hits. And no studio executive really thinks that they are going to tag the bullseye every single time. Some shows are going to just flat out not make it. As much as people want choices, there's the reality that there's only so many hours in the day, only so much money for studios to push shows, etc.
So we are left with the sad truth that it is a lot easier to pick the losers rather than the winners. This is why we are bringing you '11 New TV Shows Most Likely to Be Canceled' as we head into the new 2016 Fall TV season, with a little help from TV Guide. Nobody really knows what is going to work, however, what won't work often makes itself known much sooner.
Training Day - CBS
Alright, some shows look like they have it. Right off the bat you can tell that this show will have legs. It will have a history. Training Day, based (or inspired by the film of the same name from 2001), sees a new police officer (Justin Cornwell) teaming up with a bad cop (the great Bill Paxton). It seems that the biggest question about this show is why? The movie from 15 years ago answered every question. Because of that, this show looks like little more than a police procedural about good officers, bad officers and the thin blue line in between. Will a 2016 audience tune in when there's a gazillion other things grabbing their attention, the answer seems to be no.
Still Star Crossed - ABC
Still Star Crossed
A period piece on network TV seems a little dicey. Okay, before you throw Game of Thrones in my face, remember that that show is on HBO. It's cable and they can afford to be more risqué. This show begins after Romeo and Juliet have ended things. It delves deep into the interpersonal lives of the Montagues and Capulets. Look, I am all for TV pushing boundaries but this show doesn't seem to be the one to do it. As I've said, there's a lot of content that is gunning for people's attention. It seems that ABC has simply misjudged what people want to see, and how much they will support a show just because it has the name Shonda Rhimes on it. Looks like Shondaland might be getting a bit smaller...
American Housewife - ABC
This sitcom is either going to be one of the biggest things on TV or it is going to fail miserably. Sadly, it seems like American Housewife's fate will be the latter. It all starts with an idea and this one feels like too much of a retread. A domineering mother is raising her imperfect family in a part of town where everything is perfect. Lemme guess, we come to find out that the imperfect family is actually "normal," and the perfect families are not as perfect as they seem. Now, this show's saving grace could be if it allows the comedy to approach an almost Porky's level. Something tells me that being on ABC, the humor is going to be tempered. The rough edges will all be smoothed out and that will ultimately spell this show's doom.
Downward Dog - ABC
Alright, the tagline for Downward Dog is "Thoughts of a stay at home dog." We are living in a time where we treat our pets better than we treat most people. This makes sense in some ways because a lot of animals would be helpless without our care. At the same time, people bring their dogs out to eat, they bring them into supermarkets, they assume that just because they love their animal that you will too. Something tells us that that seems to be the thinking behind this show. Almost like the studio execs said, "It'll be like Look Who's Talking but with a dog!" Now, a movie about a dog and their human counterparts could be decent. A TV show... probably not.
Imaginary Mary - ABC
Is it just me or this does this Jenna Elfman vehicle seem like a rehash of 1991's Drop Dead Fred? That nearly 30 year old movie saw a woman have problems when her imaginary friend from childhood re-enters her life. Imaginary Mary sees "a workaholic" woman have her life upended when her imaginary friend comes back. Okay... making movies, TV shows, isn't easy work. It's not bringing refrigerators up 20 flights of stairs or anything, but it IS hard. Finding ideas that are worthy of being made, given all the money involved, is even harder. However, Imaginary Mary seems like it's destined to be titled, "Couldn't They Have Imagined Something Else?"
Lethal Weapon - Fox
Of all the shows on this list, this one honestly seems like the one with the biggest chance of seeing a sophomore season. This show's biggest enemy might be history. First off, no offense to Clayne Crawford, but there's only one Martin Riggs. The audience for this show hasn't forgotten that (despite his myriad of troubles), Mel Gibson made this role. The show seems to follow the movie in that a detective close to retirement sees his stress level shoot up when he is partnered with an "unhinged cop." Secondly, the best part of this show has got to be Wayans in the iconic role of Roger Murtaugh. (However, were not gonna complain about Jordana Brewster being here either). The reality is that the Lethal Weapon movies were bold and brash. Network TV just isn't going to allow them to go there. Add McG to the mix as a director and that makes the prospect even more suspect. Now, had original Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black been tapped to direct this TV reboot....
Man With a Plan - CBS
Man With a Plan
Matt LeBlanc and comedy seem like the perfect mix, right? Wrong. At least in this situation comedy. Sadly, this show seems more like CBS not wanting to take a loss on an investment than something they really have faith in. The show sees LeBlanc as a father. He realizes just how hard parenthood is when he becomes a stay at home dad after his wife goes back to work. Okay, aside from this idea seeming old, redundant and from another time..., it actually WAS from another time as Michael Keaton did this to perfection in 1983's Mr. Mom. This isn't a dig at Mr. LeBlanc. You broke a lot of ground with Friends. However, this isn't the 90s anymore and it seems high time Hollywood tried to break some new ground of its own.
Pure Genius - CBS
Okay, call me pessimistic about the health care industry, but a show looking at a silicon valley tech titan starting a state of the art hospital really doesn't grab me. This isn't to say that it won't grab others. Who knows, maybe the idea of House bothered some people before it went on to become one of TV's best shows? The reality is that silicon valley is going to do many things. It will create jobs, reward certain investors with "drug dealer-type" money, and make things that change the world. What it won't do is fix a healthcare system that, no matter how said system spins it, is "for profit" in every sense of the word. Pure Genius might go more than one season but the underlying theme seems to be in the ICU.
Riverdale - The CW
I love the idea of Riverdale. A subversive take on the Archie comics is the kinda thing that could play really well in today's "smart TV" world. However, this idea seems like it was already subverted by a little show called Wayward Pines. In fact, why even have the Archie Comics be a part of this. Why not just create a brand new show that explores the "surrealism of small town life"? Could it be because Twin Peaks is already getting a reboot from Showtime? Could it also be that comic anything (movies, TV) is all the rage? When one realizes that this show was originally going to be on Fox but ended up going to The CW, something tells us that the tv decision makers knew something they hoped we wouldn't find out.
The Great Indoors - CBS
The Great Indoors
Call me cynical but Joel McHale being in a TV show doesn't really excite me the way TV executives probably think it should. This show sees a former adventure reporter (McHale) as the boss to a group of youngsters. Add to this that the youngsters work for the digital department of the magazine, and you have a recipe for laughs galore, right? Well, it seems like once we get past McHale being out of touch with the millennial's lingo (something that seems kinda hard because of how "on the tip" McHale presents himself) and lifestyles, where will this show go? Sure, it's funny that the youthful people on his staff never actually experience the outdoors, but can a show really be sustained around this? Who knows, maybe The Great Indoors will surprise all of us? However, it seems most viewers will explore other options when this show turns up.
Timeless - NBC
The idea for this show is awesome. Three people travel through time so that they can stop criminals from doing very bad things. The reason why I think this show won't go past its first season is because it deals with history. This is always a dicey prospect and in today's world of Snopes and other internet truth finders. It seems to me that that this show will be skewered beyond belief. Honestly, I hope not as this show actually seems to be the most original of the ones listed here. Sure you had Quantum Leap a few decades ago, but Timeless seems like a fresh take on an old idea. Sadly, due to the current time period it is being released into, that seems to be a commodity that this show will most likely run out of.