May 09--The news is coming fast and furious today regarding renewals, cancellations and additions to the TV network new schedules. There's a lot to sift through, but here are some thoughts about some of the moves so far.
NBC cancels underperforming comedies: It's not surprising, but now it's official -- NBC has canceled its struggling sitcoms, "1600 Penn," "Guys with Kids," "Whitney" and "Up All Night," which had already lost most of its cast. It's too bad that "Up All Night" didn't quite get its act together, since talented people were involved. But I bid no tears saying goodbye to this crew.
NBC renews "Parks and Recreation": Not a big surprise, but a nice relief. This sitcom has never felt more necessary. At a time when much of pop culture is steeped in easy cynicism about politics and government, and too many comedies go for the cheap insult zinger for laughs, the character-based comedy of "P & R" is sweet without being cloying.
Meanwhile, back in cancellationville: As expected, NBC axed "Deception," which never managed to be more than a thin imitation of "Revenge."
CBS renews "Criminal Minds": I don't watch this show, but enough people do that it's coming back.
NBC new shows: HitFix has an early look at some series NBC is adding to its schedule. What have we got? "About a Boy," a TV adaptation of Nick Hornby's book, which was made into what is probably Hugh Grant's best movie. The star is David Walton, who appears in so many series that he's bound to get on a hit sooner or later.
Also headed for the fall schedule is "Believe," from Alfonso Cuaron and executive producer J.J. Abrams, described as a "sci-fi tinged drama"; "Crisis," starring Dermot Mulroney and Gillian Anderson in, as the HitFix post says, a drama involving "the kidnapping of a group of kids from an elite Washington prep school and the subsequent political ripples"; "The Family Guide," a family saga with Parker Posey and J.K. Simmons; and "Sean Saves the World," with Sean Hayes (whose company produces "Grimm") as, the HitFix post says, "a gay divorced dad with a pushy mom (Linda Lavin) and a 14-year-old daughter (Sami Isler) who moves in with him full-time."
The CW renews all its existing series: Vote of confidence or white flag of surrender? As Deadline reports, the CW renewed all its series, including "The Carrie Diaries" and "Nikita." As Deadline's Nellie Andreeva had earlier reported, while CW shows weren't all tearing up the Nielsen ratings, they were finding audiences on Hulu. So "Hart of Dixie," "Beauty and the Beast," as well as the network's hits, "Arrow," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Supernatural" are all coming back.
-- Kristi Turnquist
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