Well, it's that time of the year, the time of the year when networks look at the load of random stuff they've dumped on our plates and seeing if we've eaten any of it, or if they're going to have to rummage around in the kitchen and find some new stuff.
And, of course, every year, a lot of promising SF shows come along, only to be dumped in the trash. And, OK, some of them really deserve it.
Let's take a quick look at the explicitly SF and fantasy shows on the air, leaving aside stuff like "Doctor Ghost Whisperer" (apparently it's called "A Gifted Man"; we like our title better), which tends to hang on no matter what because grandmas love the idea of sexy people hanging out with ghosts, and see who's got a chance and who's probably dead.
Are you kidding? A) It's on the CW, which clung to "Smallville" for a decade, and B) for the CW, it's doing pretty well. Granted, it probably isn't going to see more than another one or two seasons, but it's probably absolutely safe for a while longer. See also:
"Twilight" fans have to get their fix from somewhere. The fact that this show has stayed on the air three seasons means it's probably going to last forever, especially since "Supernatural" is coming up on a decade.
Similarly, "The Secret Circle" will probably cling to the CW for eight years. Which is sad since it's basically "Charmed", but we guess witches have fans.
It's not particularly scary, it's not particularly good, but it's on FX, and it's not doing badly by that channel's standards and probably helps pay for shows like "Justified". Also, "Glee" is still making Fox money hand over fist, although we give that particular annoying fad about a year before it dies. But until then, this'll be on the air. But what about the other Fox shows?
"Fringe" could really go either way. It's steadily dropped in the ratings over the last three years, but on the other hand, it's showing on Fridays on Fox. Our gut tells us that Fox will keep it on the air until the end of the first half of 2012, if for no other reason than it's got a dedicated fan base and what else are they going to run on Fridays, "COPS"?
It might go off the broadcast network, but it might be shifted over to FX. If the finale posts lower numbers than last year's, expect that to be the case, if it isn't just straight-up canceled.
SyFy sure loves its McGuffin series, doesn't it?
That said, "Sanctuary" has been struggling a bit in the ratings, but it's been improving viewership lately. That plus the fact that SyFy seems to want to be taken at least somewhat seriously as a network adds up to a renewal to us, but not a sure thing. Still, we miss "Eureka".
How this show has been averaging over ten million viewers has utterly baffled us, but apparently those viewers are finally catching on to how bland this show is: it's been sliding in the ratings. That said, it still had eight million viewers as of its last episode, which is hardly chump change, so it'll at least finish its season. Whether it gets another one will depend on whether that slide sticks.
How this boring cop show managed to get on the air is a mystery, but its ratings have been sliding. A recent move to Thursdays perked them up, but we're guessing this one is going to slide right into cancellation, and good freaking riddance. When you can't even commit to your concept enough to feature actual fairy tale creatures, you deserve to be cancelled.
It costs a fortune, its ratings aren't good, and it's gotten dozens of deserved critical brickbats. Fox is running the last three episodes just so it doesn't have to hear the fans complain, but then it's Old Yeller time.