The Television Cycle of Life: 23 Shows Euthanized

Massacres are scary, brutal things.  No matter what is being led to the slaughter, the end result will usually find a field littered with the bodies of the fallen.  On a Monday in New York City, we find that many of our favorite shows have been drowned in their baths, smothered in their beds, or left to bleed on a studio back lot.  We often realize that many of our favorite shows will not live to see the autumn leaves. 

It is an unfortunate reality of the television industry, but few people expected a bloodbath of this magnitude as 23 shows have been sent to meet their maker. NBC has cancelled the most with Believe, Crisis, Dracula and Growing Up Fisher being drawn and quartered after only one season.  The high-priced and ambitious science fiction drama Revolution was in its second season, but viewers apparently didn’t want to see a third as ratings plummeted week after week due to a story that developed too slowly and characters we stopped caring about.  Community, which starred Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Glover and Chevy Chase, took a slug to the back of the head after five seasons.   

But others followed NBC in a bloodbath. ABC cut down Mixology, Super Fun Night and Trophy Wife feeding them to the hounds after one season each.  Neighbors and Suburgatory were done in after two and three seasons, respectively.

The CW also put out hits on such single season stinkers as The Carrie Diaries, Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People.  CBS joined in on the slaughter as it canned Bad Teacher, Crazy Ones, Friends with Better Lives, Hostages and Intelligence, all after one season.  FOX injected a fast acting poison in Almost Human, starring Michael Ealy, Dads, Enlisted, Rake and Surviving Jack, all of which were in their debut seasons and failed to average above a 2.0 Nielsen rating.

But things aren’t all doom and gloom in TV land.  In nature, herds often shed the old, sick and the dying in order to make room for the living. And television is much the same.  Most of this macabre culling is to make room for shows that are slated to come down the pipe this fall. 

As the first network to announce its new season lineup, NBC’s upfronts Monday showed that they’re bringing back Parenthood and Parks and Recreation for final seasons.  Also returning are The Blacklist, The Voice, and Chicago Fire. Although the timeslot of The Blacklist will eventually be moved to Thursday to make room for a new Katherine Heigl drama State of Affairs. NBC’s new roster also includes a drama with Meagan Good, and the comic book to television adaption, Constantine.

ABC has a slew of new shows coming down the line such as Agatha, American Crime, American Education, Black-ish, Damaged Goods, Far East Orlando, the David Schwimmer starrer Irreversible, and the Ryan Phillipe vehicle Secrets & Lies, among others.  The new slate of shows for CBS features a few spinoffs like CSI: Cyber, starring Patricia Arquette, NCIS: New Orleans and How I Met Your Dad, as well as a staple of original shows.

The CW picked up The Messengers, Supernatural: Bloodlines, iZombie, and the much-anticipated The Flash. Based upon the DC Comics character, it’s scheduled to debut in the Fall.

FOX is banking on the Lee Daniels’ Terrence Howard starrer Empire as well as the highly-anticipated Batman prequel Gotham, starring Ben McKenzie and Jada Pinkett Smith.  Those shows will be joined by Mulaney, Red Bad Society, starring Octavia Spencer, Last Man on Earth, Weird Loners and Sober Companion.  

RELATED: Get a First Glimpse of Gotham

The CW picked up The Messengers, Supernatural: BloodlinesiZombie, and the much-anticipated The Flash based upon the DC Comics character. It's scheduled to debut in the fall.

The Flash, Gotham and Constantine are the latest attempts by network television to bank on America's growing love for comic book inspired cinema and television. Some think it has stinker written all over it as there have been attempts to bring The Flash to television before. In 1990 it failed. We know the character is fast, but what else? Boredom is certain to set in after the third or fourth episode because compared to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman the character is rather bland. But maybe we’re wrong. Time will tell.

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