Grades for the Big 4 networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) as well as The CW during the 2012-2013 television season
Scoring system (based on shows I TiVo’d; 30 Rock and Fringe are not counted because they had already been told that this was their final season):
Network renewed a show that it should have: +10
Network renewed a show that it shouldn’t have: -5
Network didn’t renew a show that it should have: -15
Network didn’t renew a show that it shouldn’t have: +10
First @ the Upfronts, NBC (3.1 – 4th place)
- They introduced 5 new comedies this year (that I watched). None made it to a second season. Proving once again that NBC deserves to be in last place, because they’re morons. Wanna know some shows that weren’t hits their first year? Friends, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family, to name a few. Comedies generally need time to develop into heavyweights.
- Go On definitely deserved a 2nd season, and I actually enjoyed watching Animal Practice to most out of all of them.
- Community suffered heavily from its new showrunners, who have ruined the show by shmaltzing up the stories. Go figure: NBC renewed it (though only for another 13-episode season–I HATE 13-episode seasons).
- Speaking of revamps, Up All Night tried to switch things up (why?? it was fine the way it was!), and its ratings crashed along with its watchability.
- I enjoyed the first three episodes of Smash. Then NBC moved the show to Saturdays, which made cancellation virtually inevitable. So I stopped watching. It wasn’t as good as the 1st season, but it was still decent television.
Next, Fox (5.8 – 2nd place)
- The single dumbest cancellation of the season belongs to Fox: Ben and Kate was awesome. I’d vote it the best sitcom ensemble of the 2012-2013 season.
- The status of The Cleveland Show seems to be in limbo right now–I’ve read that it’s been cancelled, but it shows up on Fox’s spring schedule. So….? [The chart and calculations above presume it's been cancelled. It's average score would jump to a 7.9--and put the network in 1st place--if it's actually returning.]
- What was it with this season and makeovers that were just horrible?? Fox tried to spice up Touch by turning it into 24. It didn’t work, and Fox just ended up adding the show they actually wanted to the schedule: 24. Coming (back) in 2014.
- Family Guy and Bones had subpar seasons; hopefully, they’ll rebound next season. New Girl started off horrendously, but it re-found its mojo a third of the way through the season and was the network’s best sitcom (although Mindy and Hope were on their games, too).
- The Following did deserve to be renewed, but the sicko characters make me nauseous watching it.
- Weird decisions abound for Fox: they plan on going to a full year-round schedule, with the tail end of Glee‘s fifth season and 24 next summer, Raising Hope not returning until the spring (?!?), and only ONE drama (yes, 1) scheduled to appear in both the fall and spring (Bones). What’re they planning–13-episode seasons for all the rest?? They’re wasting the 9-10 hour Fridays rerunning the 9-10 Monday show in the fall as well. Um… I’d like to pass on these options?
Tuesday, ABC (1.8 – 5th place)
- Not the bloodbath that NBC was, but ABC did rank last in my viewer appreciation ratings–by a landslide. 666, Last Resort, and Happy Endings started to peak–and then ABC cancelled them. I got to watch 1 episode of Zero Hour before they pulled it from the schedule.
- Continuing with the theme of revamping shows, Body of Proof tried it (for some unknown, moronic reason) and completely ruined the foundation of the show. Very similar to Community: absolutely loved all the prior seasons, very disappointed by this season.
- I could only get through about 3 episodes of Nashville before the characters all became despicable and therefore unwatchable. But I guess America likes despicable, because it did fairly well in the ratings.
- I was one of the relatively few people who watched The Neighbors–and I loved it. It was easily the freshest show of the year.
- Next year, it’ll be paired with Last Man Standing, which had a relatively awful season compared to its freshman year. The original Baxters remain great, as does Hector E, but the recasting of Kristin was a mistake (Alexandra made the character much more likable), and the addition of the Ryan character and the politicization of most of the episodes was nauseating. Literally–and I’m not joking about that.
- There was apparently lots of backlash against Revenge for its first half, but I had no problem with it whatsoever.
Wednesday, CBS (5.0, 3rd place)
- With the exception of 2 mistakes, which cost CBS the crown this year, the network probably did the best job of all 5 in keeping the correct shows.
- Vegas was far superior to the bland Hawaii 5-O (whose only saving grace is the banter between McGarrett and Danno) and should have been the crime-solver CBS kept. The Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis CSI-remix was actually the first original take on crime solving since CSI came along. All the others–good or not–are all formulaic; Vegas had the extra pieces that made it unique. It’s probably no consolation, but it wins the best show to be cancelled award for the 2012-2013 season.
- Rules of Engagement never got the credit it deserved. A very funny show, CBS basically used it as baseball teams would keep a great hitter on standby for pinch-hitting duties. Given that it’s final episode was it’s 100th (the magical syndication number), CBS apparently thought its only worth these past couple years was financial. But it was still the 2nd funniest show on the network.
- Two and a Half Men? It’s time is up, as is its title (next season: Two Men?). I loved it throughout the Sheen era, and it wasn’t half bad with Ashton, but the shark-jumping musical episode halfway into this season caused me to not watch any further episodes.
- Can someone explain to me how Made in Jersey even made it onto the schedule?? In my opinion, ripping a show from the schedule after only 2 or 3 episodes is a mistake by the network. CBS’s mistake here was letting it get to 2 or 3 episodes. I was able to get through 2.
Finally, The CW (7.0, 1st place)
- How the bleep did The CW rank first, you ask? Because it had the fewest amount of shows I watched. A tiny total score divided by a tinier show-count equals a high average.
- Nikita was definitely not as good as in its first two seasons, mostly due to the first half–there wasn’t a ‘big bad’ for the good guys to fight. An apparent course correction in the second half helped right the ship, but, as I haven’t finished all the episodes yet, I’m not sure where they’ll be going in their final “season” (a whopping 6 episodes…), but an abbreviated final year certainly didn’t work for Fringe.
- Despite making only 1 mistake in its cancellations, the mistake it did make was the worst by any network this season. Beauty and the Beast gets the dubious distinction of being the worst (by far) show to be picked up for next year. I was barely able to get through the 2nd episode. If my scoring system penalized returning-shows-that-shouldn’t more, the network wouldnt have finished 1st.
- It was just as painful to watch as Emily Owens, which was thankfully euthanized after the 2 episodes I tried to get through.