Fall TV deathwatch: After 'Lone Star,' what's next to go?
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The ax fell on the first unfortunate show of the 2010-11 TV season this week. "Lone Star" is no more (give or take a burnoff of the remaining finished episodes).
And given the unpleasant ratings for some of the fellow members of TV's freshman class, "Lone Star" could have some company in the not-very-distant future. Several new shows have performed well, but nothing is an out-and-out smash. And on the other end of the spectrum, a few series have been real disappointments so far.
It's hard to tell, though, what kind of leeway the networks will give their new shows. Last season "The Beautiful Life" was gone after two weeks, but weak performers like "Trauma" and "Eastwick" were left alone for most of the fall. ("Trauma" even returned in the spring to fill a hole for NBC following the cancellation of "The Jay Leno Show".) So while we're not going to predict which show will be the next to go -- we'll let you have your say in the poll below -- we have identified a few of the contenders. In alphabetical order:
"My Generation." A weak opening (5.2 million viewers, 1.6 in adults 18-49) doesn't bode well for ABC's twentysomething mockudrama. The network put a good amount of effort into promoting the show, and it's produced by ABC Studios, so it may be given some time to find a niche. It will be interesting to see what happens with ABC's struggling shows, which were developed and scheduled before new network head Paul Lee took the job.
"Outlaw." More than 10 million people watched the NBC drama's pilot after the "America's Got Talent" finale on Sept. 15 ... and more than half of those people didn't follow the show to its Friday home last week. Ratings expectations are lower on Friday, but the show also shed a good bit of its lead-in last week.
"Running Wilde." The comedy from several people who were involved in "Arrested Development" has, like that show, not drawn a very big audience in its first couple weeks -- nor has it racked up the kind of critical praise and rabid fans that "Arrested" did. Working in its favor is the fact that lead-in "Raising Hope" is doing reasonably well and FOX has little else in the way of half-hour comedies to fill that spot.
"Undercovers." The J.J. Abrams-produced spy show drew a decent-sized audience (8.7 million people) for its premiere, but dipped by 1.5 million viewers this week. It's also scored pretty softly in the adults 18-49 demographic, which is what NBC looks at first when the ratings come out. Its 8 p.m. Wednesday timeslot isn't hugely competitive, yet it's finished fourth in its demo both times out.
"The Whole Truth." After "Lone Star," ABC's legal drama is the least-watched new show on any of the Big Four networks, and its demographic ratings are shaky as well. ABC has had enormous difficulty in this time period in the past couple years, so at least the network is kind of used to it.
One last note: We don't think "The Defenders" is in much danger right now, although its audience did drop by a good amount (12.2 million to 10.4 million) in its second week. If that continues -- and if "Blue Bloods" continues to draw as well as it did on its premiere last Friday -- we could see the two shows swapping timeslots before the fall is out.
Which show do you think is next on the chopping block? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.
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Photo credits: NBC, ABC, FOX