Monday, January 21, 2013

Midseason Checkup

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

For the past six months, the new series that we've focused on have all been on the "Big 5," better known as the broadcast networks of ABC, FOX, CBS, the CW, and NBC. We looked at each show in four parts, deeming them "good," "bad," "questionable," and "ridiculous." Some of them have not yet started, as the midseason is just getting underway. FOX has The Following premiering tonight, and the ball will just keep rolling from there, with NBC's Do No Harm starting Thursday, January 31st, Body of Proof beginning Tuesday, February 5th on ABC, Zero Hour (also ABC), showing up on Valentine's Day, and more. So, this post will serve as an alphabetical roundup for where this season's shows now are and which are still to come. In the near future we'll do a separate article to look at a few cable shows. 

1600 Penn is three episodes in and definitely NOT a ratings hit. The critics are generally fans, though I've been back-and-forth on it.

666 Park Avenue
made it seven episodes before cancellation. All thirteen episodes will air, though the final four won't be until the summer. Beginning at almost 7M, the show lost 3M before cancellation, though it enjoyed audiences in Canada, the UK, Spain, New Zealand, and Australia, where the series will finish in the next couple weeks.

Animal Practice seems to be nothing more than a laugh now. Five episodes aired before it was canceled, one after, and the remaining three went straight to Hulu, hopefully satisfying the fans it did have. I was among the 12,8M who tuned in for the pilot during the Olympics "Hot Weather Sports," but I never bothered again, finding it just too ridiculous. Still, 3.68M stayed with it until the bitter end.
Arrow, a modern retelling of the comic book Green Arrow, has been a hit with critics and audiences alike. The viewership has been steadily over 3M, and the show is about halfway through the first season. I haven't been able to get into it, but I'm happy it's doing well.

Beauty and the Beast has another 13 episodes to go in its rookie season, which has a very stable audience of around 1.5M. I thought that the pilot was better than the marketing, but I still didn't think it was great. Luckily, there are plenty of teenage girls ogling "beast."

Ben and Kate
has been a bit weak for its time slot, rarely reaching 3M after the first three episodes. It has seven episodes left in its season to turn things around, but things aren't looking great. Personally, I'm only a fair-weather fan.

The Carrie Diaries just started a week ago, and the pilot drew 1.6M. I think that the CW was expecting more for the Sex and the City prequel, set during Carrie's junior year of high school, but nothing about the series really appeals to me.

Chicago Fire didn't draw my attention because I neither find Chicago nor firefighters intriguing. But, it is certainly drawing plenty of eye otherwise! It started with 6.6M and has seen peaks up to 8.54 recently. I highly doubt that this one will get canceled, so that 10pm Wednesday slot will probably hold this drama for a while. 

Crossbones has been largely forgotten about by many, as no news has really broken in months, aside from the possibility of Hugh Laurie starring. Production has been delayed, and this series will likely not even appear for another year, so don't get excited.

Cult begins Tuesday, February 19th at 9pm. My initial opinions about the series (a blogger investigates mysterious disappearances) remain: boring, but could have an audience.

, initially known as Infamous, has its third episode airing this evening. The first two brought in 5.66M and 4.14M viewers, respectively, but I'm still left wondering how this mystery drama is going to work as anything other than a TV movie in the long run.

Do No Harm has been highly anticipated by many, and the marketing for this updated Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde really seems to be creating some hype for its debut on Thursday, January 31st. Personally, I find it to be creepy and an over-exertion of a simple theme. Still, with another former Cosby on the air (Phylicia Rashad), it might just do okay.

Elementary has been a ratings hit for CBS, and will likely continue to grow as it gets the coveted post-Superbowl slot this year. I've personally felt that the episodes are less entertaining as the first season goes on, but I'm clearly in the minority.

Emily Owens, MD is currently burning off the remaining episodes from its original order of thirteen. It's been wavering between one and two million viewers since its inception, but the CW doesn't have the same standards as the others. Its competition? Go On, NCIS: LA, Happy Endings, and New Girl.

Family Tools will be gracing the airwaves on Wednesday, May 1st at 8:30pm. It's only getting ten episodes instead of thirteen, but there are a lot of great actors who could make magic. I'm still looking forward to it!

The Following begins tonight, and I originally found it to be procedural and too crime-solving for me. After the pilot, I was astonished at how much I disliked it, and I'm not sure that Kevin Bacon is enough. That said, my husband liked the beginning of the series and is planning to cover it for TheTalkingBox, so if you think an FBI agent in the midst of serial killers is cool, stay tuned.
Friend Me has been up in the air since the co-creator committed suicide last fall. Unfortunately, the premise might need to change if the series is to continue, as it was to be based on two guys moving to LA to work for Groupon, which has not been doing that great.

Golden Boy begins Tuesday, February 26th at 10pm, though it will actually be a Friday night series for CBS. It's a cop show that originally had Ryan Phillippe attached, though Theo James is the new star. It's a biography to a certain extent, and is set to chronicle the life of a police officer from detective to commissioner. Not my cup of tea.

Go On is in the middle of its first season, and despite some early popularity, it's been below 5M viewers since 2013 began. I don't know if it can pull out of its dip, but many hope so. I'm still watching, but it's not my favorite comedy.

The Goodwin Games is still to come. With no start date in sight, the initial order was cut from thirteen to seven back in early November. The veteran writers and decently-known actors might still draw a crowd when FOX finally decides to air it, so don't panic yet! 

Guys with Kids
has been getting a bad reputation since the beginning, with critics mainly complaining that it brings nothing original to the table. Its first season has six episodes left to air, but it has struggled to pull 4M+, succeeding only once since October. I actually think the show is funny and interesting to watch, but I need to start preparing myself for the fact that its renewal is not very likely.

Hannibal does not yet have a date to premiere, but follows the theme of prequels & adaptations, being based on the Hannibal character from the Thomas Harris novels. Not a fan of serial killers or creepiness, I won't be tuning in when it does air.

How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life has Brad Garrett playing Sarah Chalke's father, coming Wednesday, April 3rd at 9:30pm. Though the shorter title will certainly help, but Chalke as a divorcee with a close male BFF still isn't going to reel me in to watch.
Last Resort didn't receive a full-season order, and the final episode will air later this week. I thought that the exotic South Pacific was a strange locale for a show that would primarily take place on a submarine, and I guess I'm not the only one. The pilot drew 9.3M pairs of eye but the drama has dipped as low as 4.9M.  

Made in Jersey was an early cancellation, with only two episodes airing before it was pulled from the Friday night schedule. It actually got 7.8M and 6.7M viewers for those episodes, respectively, but it has already burned off the other six episodes that were completed. I hardly had time to really compose a stance on the series before it ended, so no skin off my back. 

Malibu Country did not last long in my book - I gave up after just two episodes. For a Friday night, the numbers aren't terrible... though the TGIF block needs more substance if you ask me.

The Mindy Project received a full-season order after just two episodes aired. Its ratings have since fallen from 3.68M to 2.76M, but it is up against Apt. 23 and NCIS: LA. The critics tend to like the series, though there has been plenty of speculation as to its staying power. Personally, I'm not a fan of Mindy Kaling nor this show's approach to medicine.

Mistresses is expected to begin in May, though it may begin airing in just a couple of weeks in New Zealand. It's a take off of a British series by the same name, and the more I learn about the series, the less interested I am. Still, I might give the pilot a go.

The Mob Doctor was canceled after eight episodes, but many wondered why it took so long. All thirteen episodes did air, albeit the final few often to only just over 2M people (the pilot only drew 5.1M anyway). My gripe with it was that it offered nothing original, and I guess I wasn't alone.

Nashville never interested me because of my dislike in country music. I wondered how it would do in a 10pm slot, but it's been great. Critics like it, the actors have been receiving award nominations, and its only halfway through its season. It has not fallen below 5.9M yet, so it's probably going to stay around a bit.

The Neighbors is halfway is halfway through its first season, staying above 6M in its slot between The Middle and Modern Family. The marketing seems to suggest that critics are coming around to the series, but I recently abandoned it for its failure to incorporate all of the characters and keep a cohesive storyline.

The New Normal has been a bit of a gamble since it was announced, but I like it. I'm not sure if it has a long and prosperous future, and it seems that the general public feels the same: It hasn't hit 5M viewers since the fourth episode, and the latest two have been under 3.5M.

Next Caller is dead in the water. The Dane Cook series never aired, and only four episodes were filmed. I didn't think it had a great premise - two radio hosts having to share the air - but it doesn't matter now.

Partners had a short life. Only six episodes aired, and though it never had more than 6.5M in the live audience, it also never dipped below 5.4M. I liked it but didn't think it was gold. How I Met Your Mother was its lead-in, and it was up against Bones, The Voice, and Dancing with the Stars, so completely different target demos. Oh well!

Red Widow begins Sunday, March 3rd with an eight-episode run. If gangsters are your thing and you want to see how a woman handles things when her mob boss husband dies, check it out. For me, the premise doesn't offer much.

had me going there for a while. At one point I was curious as to how the airwaves would handle another apocalyptic-like show, similar to both Falling Skies and Terra Nova. After the pilot, I was hooked. I wanted to see where things were going to go. A few episodes later, however, I was more frustrated than anything else. NBC choosing to air ten episodes in the fall and hold the other ten until March has been a choice questioned by many, but the show has never had fewer than 7M viewers, so they must be doing something right!

Save Me is still in the pipeline, with no updates in quite a while. You may recall that this is the show where Anne Heche can channel God. If not, don't worry, as I'm sure Anne Heche will be the big marketing factor when this one returns to light.

Vegas has surprised me. I'm not one for the 1960s mob scene, but it's been great for CBS, starting with nearly 15M viewers and still over 11M after 12/21 episodes. This is certainly an accomplishment, as it's up against Parenthood and Private Practice, among other things.

Zero Hour will first air on Valentine's Day... creepy for a series that is about the paranormal and conspiracy theories. Nobody wants to learn about a spouse abducted on the most romantic day of the day, so although I'm unsure about the debut date, I am sure that I won't be tuning in regardless of when it runs.
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