In May, the four major broadcast networks, and the one with Gossip Girl, will announce their fall lineups—which, only by omission, will reveal what they’ve canceled. The Only TV Column That Matters™ is going out on a limb with this mash-up of already-reported facts and pure speculation as to what will happen in the next few weeks:
Already renewed: Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice and Ugly Betty. Blecch. Only Lost and Ugly Betty are remotely tolerable here; the rest are just soap operas for the interminably stupid—apparently, ABC’s core audience. Hence …
Dead: Boston Legal, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Life on Mars and Pushing Daisies. With the exception of Eli Stone (don’t e-mail, just accept it), these all deserved better. Life on Mars in particular deserved a better ending than a forced “it was all a dream” rush job—on Mars! Will Pushing Daisies go out as literally?
Circling the drain: According to Jim, Better Off Ted, Castle, Cupid, In the Motherhood, Samantha Who?, Scrubs, Surviving Suburbia and The Unusuals. You haven’t seen any of them, so move along …
Already renewed: The Big Bang Theory, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI:NY, Flashpoint, Ghost Whisperer, How I Met Your Mother, The Mentalist, NCIS, Numb3rs, Survivor and Two & a Half Men. The only sorta-surprise here is Flashpoint, a cheap-o Canadian import seemingly tailored to those who can’t follow the subtle nuances of NCIS. Or Sudoku.
Dead: Eleventh Hour, The Ex List and Worst Week. Uh … look ’em up.
Circling the drain: Cold Case, Gary Unmarried, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Rules of Engagement, The Unit and Without a Trace. CBS is so ratings-fat, they can toss away even successful shows—Without a Trace alone pulls more viewers then The CW network has had in its entire existence, and The Unit is a turgid, throbbing tent pole on Sundays … but only for an hour.
Already renewed: Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Office and 30 Rock. Swell— but imagine SVU without Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni, as their expensive contracts are still pending. I say just replace ’em with Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi of Life, NBC.
Dead: Crusoe, ER, Kath & Kim, Knight Rider, Kings, Life, Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy. Did I mention that Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi of Life need work?
Circling the drain: Chuck, Medium, My Name is Earl, Parks & Recreation and Southland. With the exception of Earl, these are all near-locks to be picked up—Jay Leno can’t carry the entire damned schedule. My Name is Earl, however, could possibly move to …
Already renewed: American Dad, American Idol, Bones, Family Guy, House, Fringe, Lie to Me, The Simpsons, ‘Til Death and 24. That’s right—‘Til Death! Seriously!
Dead: Do Not Disturb, Dollhouse, King of the Hill, Prison Break and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Hey, at least you have that ‘Til Death/My Name is Earl block to look forward to.
Circling the drain: Sit Down, Shut Up. Proving that America won’t accept a new animated series unless it’s 12 minutes long and scheduled at 2 a.m. between Family Guy reruns. It also helps if it doesn’t completely suck ass; weed can only help so much.
Already renewed: Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill, Privileged, Smallville and Supernatural. Thus ensuring at least one more season to circulate that “Get Supernatural on a Real Network” petition.
Dead: Everybody Hates Chris, The Game and Reaper. Just cross out Reaper and fill in Supernatural on your other petition.