May sweeps used to indicate that the television industry saved the best for last. The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging story lines every night of the week hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would be receiving pink slips. Times have changed, and today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return, and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.
Recent years prove that no show is safe: many shows are done after only one season, “One & Done”; some shows make it through the toddler years, a minimum of two or three seasons; some programs have aired for years, even decades with multi-generational loyal followers; and, some are still awaiting their destiny. Television’s broom was very busy this year….
One & Done
$H*! My Dad Says, 18 to Life, Better with You, Boston Med, Breaking In, Chaos, Chase, Chicago Code, Dating in the Dark, Law & Order: Los Angeles, Mad Love, Mr. Sunshine, My Generation, No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Outlaw, Perfect Couples, Persons Unknown, Scoundrels, Skating with the Stars, The Cape, The Defenders, The Event, The Gates, The Good Guys, The Paul Reiser Show, The Whole Truth, Traffic Light, Undercovers
Terrible Twos & Threes
Dark Blue, Human Target, Life Unexpected
Big Love, Brothers & Sisters, Entourage, Friday Night Lights , Last Comic Standing, Smallville
And the Answer is (Updated 5/18/11):
Criminal Minds (RENEWED), Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CANCELLED), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (RENEWED), CSI: Miami (RENEWED), CSI: NY (RENEWED), The Good Wife (RENEWED), Hell Cats (CANCELLED), The Mentalist (RENEWED), NCIS: Los Angeles (RENEWED), Nikita (RENEWED), One Tree Hill (RENEWED),
Still Awaiting their Destiny: Flashpoint and Wipeout
On a positive note, not all chivalry is dead: some shows have earned advance notice that next season will be their last. Thank you networks; thank you for allowing the writers to close out a series appropriately for the loyal fans. This doesn’t happen all that often, just ask Law & Order.
All My Children – Last episode September 2011
Chuck – 13 episodes 2011/2012
The Closer – Final season begins July 11, 2011
Law & Order: Criminal Intent -Currently airing on USA
One Life to Live – Last episode January 2012
Seems a bit insane, doesn’t it? What are the morals of today’s Tele-Tuesday? Don’t get too attached to freshman television series, and no television show is safe from May sweeps.
The TV world’s information is so very scattered right now, and the networks will undoubtedly continue announcing changes in the days to come. In the meantime, here are a few websites to check out for more information:
TV Series Finale
Which of these cancellations came too soon? Over the years, what television series has been cancelled that you still mourn? Which network do you think sweeps the most shows in the trash before giving the audience a chance to watch week in and week out? I’d love to hear from you!