Grades for the 5 major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and The CW) during the 2014-2015 television season
Scoring system (based on shows I TiVo’d; The Mentalist, Cougar Town, and Parks and Recreation are not counted because this season was already known to be their last):
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
Greyed-out titles represent a cancelled series.
From Worst to First, here they are:
NBC: 1.4 (5th place)
- This is what I wrote last year; “They introduced 5 new comedies this year (that I watched). None made it to a second season.” Change that “5” to a 4 this year, and… ditto. They’re still morons who have no patience whatsoever, and that’s why they continue to be the worst of the 5 basic networks
- Some may counteract my first bullet point with a “Well, these weren’t very good comedies.” I agree on Marry Me and One Big Happy. The former had its moments, but not enough, and the latter had horrible writing. A to Z was the one I felt would get better once it found its groove, as it was the most consistently funny. I thought Bad Judge had the funniest moments of any of the freshmen, but it was largely inconsistent.
- Although About a Boy wasn’t joke-a-second funny, it was still the funniest show on the network. It just never had the support it needed to thrive because it’s on an awful network. Which you would think would make it all the more renewable, given that NBC actually needs to televise programs and it keeps canceling everything on its schedule!
- State of Affairs should’ve been given a second season. That’s one cancellation that tells me that the network is run by someone who has at best a adolescent mindset, wanting everything to be awesome nownownow! Beggars can’t be choosers, and NBC is doing both—and burning itself down in the process.
- If NBC kills these shows before they even get a chance to develop, why in the world did they even pick up the pilots to begin with?? How did they think something was good from a pilot (which is often the worst episode for a sitcom) and then not think it was good later? You know whom you should be axing? Your scouting team.
Fox: 3.3 (4th place)
- In an indictment of The Mindy Project’s cancellation, Hulu immediately snapped up the rights to air the sitcom. This marks the second time in as many years as a cancelled-too-soon sitcom has been resurrected by the internet (Community, by Yahoo! last year)
- Although it certainly deserves a proper sendoff given its longevity and excellence through most of its run, Bones should not have made it to an 11th season: the 10th was already weak enough.
- I’d be interested to know if Fox was in discussions with Sleepy Hollow’s producers to bring the show back for a third season under the conditions that it lower its budget. Two-sixths of the lead actors were removed at the end of season two.
- The quality of Family Guy and Brooklyn Nine-Nine declined heavily this season to poor and average levels, respectively. It may be time to archive the former before it tarnishes its own reputation.
ABC: 4.0 (3rd place)
- I’m a bit surprised that Agent Carter was renewed. It was not a particular interesting series, which can hopefully be remedied in its second go-around. An 8-episode “season” doesn’t help, as that’s far too few episodes to build any momentum in a televised story. I suspect the fact that ABC owns the show ((by way of its parent company, Disney, which bought Marvel last year) ensured its renewal.
- Another show owned by Disney/ABC, Once Upon a Time, continued to underwhelm, but it’s not going anywhere, given the brand awareness the show gives the company.
- Although it’s not really a surprise, Forever was cancelled. It was obvious from the get-go that it had cloned Castle with the potential romance between the two leads—one a detective and the other an outsider with insights that helped cases. I’d hoped the clever premise of immortality—and the arcing storyline with Adam—would keep the show alive.
- The biggest surprise to me here was Revenge’s cancellation. For such a brilliantly constructed series, four years doesn’t seem like a fair shake. The fact that it only needed 11 more episodes to reach 100 (the magic syndication number) makes the lack of a fifth, final season all the more puzzling.
CBS: 5.0 (2nd place)
- It’s still the number-one network in terms of ratings, but it’s not number one in my books. The blatant nepotism in their 13-episode “renewal” of Person of Interest (the only renewed series not owned by the network) is a serious black mark in my opinion. Given the similar situation with The Mentalist last year (renewed for 13 episodes, followed by an announcement a few months later that season 7 would be its last) is worrisome news for a show that easily maintains the best storyline on television.
- How does a show that’s been successful for eighteen years not get the courtesy of having a pre-announced final season?? CSI was unceremoniously cancelled without any prior warning that I’d heard of. Plus, its cast shake-ups over the years have kept it more vibrant than the other procedural veteran on the network, NCIS, which should start to think about shutting down. It’s just not that good anymore.
- I still don’t have a clue how Scorpion survived to a second season. It’s first two episodes were so horrible that I figured it wouldn’t last until winter. But it was given a full-season order almost as soon as it aired. And the sappy commercials? They made the onslaught of Game of War commercials seem tolerable. If my scoring tally allowed me to deduct 30 points for renewing this monstrosity, I would.
- The one good thing the network did: jettison two dead-weight sitcoms. Both The Millers and The McCarthys were rightfully axed. The former probably shouldn’t have even been given a second season, despite my hopes that it would succeed with its stellar cast.
CW: 10.0 (1st place)
- NBC should take a page out of The CW’s playbook. Only one show on the entire schedule was cancelled, and both freshman series (The Flash and iZombie) easily earned second seasons.
- I don’t know how The Vampire Diaries is going to survive the departure of one of its central characters––if not the central character. I’d be surprised if the producers don’t decide to make this upcoming season its last and focus their full attention on The Originals.
- Although The Flash had some great plot twists and an interesting backstory, I still don’t think it’s as good as Arrow—especially when comparing their first seasons. I’m really confused by the newbie becoming such a runaway smash; maybe because it didn’t become that good a show until the second half of the season? Or maybe it’s because I find darker superhero tales more realistic than golly-gosh-gee ones.