Wednesday, May 22, 2024

TV: “Smash” Among Terrible Shows Finally Cancelled


“Smash,” one of the worst and most expensive TV series, is cancelled at last after two miserable seasons. Indeed, a huge chunk of broadcast prime time will be new this coming fall and winter–which is good news, because this has been a fallow time for television. NBC says goodbye to most of its roster including the perplexing “New Normal” and Matthew Perry’s “Go On.” CBS is finally axing “Rules of Engagement.” (No one even knew this show was still on the air–and for 7 seasons apparently). “CSI New York” is also gone after 9 seasons. (Was Gary Sinise still there?)

ABC is almost as stable as CBS, with lots of renewals. But NBC’s disasters include Brian Williams’ unwatched news show “Rock Center.” For some reason, NBC did renew “Community,” although without its creator Dan Harmon. NBC is losing both “The Office” and “30 Rock” to retirement. And while “The Voice” started strong this season, it’s now in declining health.

All the shows people talk about are on cable, from Mad Men and Walking Dead to Homeland to Game of Thrones to True Blood and Nurse Jackie. Now Netflix is making incursions with House of Cards, and Arrested Development, and Amazon is coming into the game. Cable TV seems to be about the actual shows. Broadcast TV is about the politics among executives. And I don’t think that’s going to change.

The biggest news: Robin Williams is coming to CBS in a series with Sarah Michelle Gellar. If Williams is allowed to be himself, then watch out. If the show fails, I do hope HBO or Showtime will step in right away with something for him. Williams is one of our real true comic geniuses. A buttoned down Robin Williams — Mork as Jessica Fletcher– is a terrifying thought.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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