Magazine article Variety

Who Makes the Cut? Nets Ready to Prune

Magazine article Variety

Who Makes the Cut? Nets Ready to Prune

Article excerpt

t's crunch time at the networks, as they take stock of their current crop of shows and map out their needs and plans for fall.

The bubble will burst for a slew of skeins, likely including first-year comedies fronted by Michael J. Fox, Sean Hayes and Rebel Wilson. While these all disappointed in the ratings, Robin Williams' CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones" has fared better, but is among the tougher prospective renewal calls for any net.

Star power can help launch a show, but in the end, a network must decide whether the series has enough potential for growth, and makes proper financial sense, to bring it back.

"Crazy Ones" is the highest-profile attempt at single-camera comedy by CBS, whose eight-laffer roster is otherwise all multicams. The net wants to keep its toe in the single-cam pool, and figures to give "Crazy," which usually has ranked second or third in its timeslot, a longer look.

The net's two multicam rookies from this season, "Mom" and "The Millers," have done well enough to return next season, and the net also figures to bring back "Two and a Half Men" for what would be its 12th season. (A recent timeslot flip of "Crazy Ones" and "Men" fared well, and increased the renewal odds for both.)

Underperforming rookie dramas "Hostages" and "Intelligence" aren't expected back, so all the net's veteran hours may return, with "The Mentalist" probably on the shakiest ground.

At ABC, "The Goldbergs" is a lock to return for a second season, but the odds are very long for Wilson laffer "Super Fun Night." "Trophy Wife" has struggled, but it could pull a "Happy Endings" and stick around longer than one might think.

As for other half-hours, third-year "Suburgatory" and (especially) soph "The Neighbors" could be on the chopping block, but Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing" should return for season four.

ABC maybe inclined to keep "Revenge" and "Nashville" since the net's numerous rookie dramas (save "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD") have struggled mightily.

On the reality front, the down-trending "Dancing With the Stars" certainly isn't a lock to return in the fall, but it could strengthen its case for renewal with stronger ratings for its upcoming spring edition.

NBC won't renew "The Michael J. Fox Show" or "Sean Saves the World," but "Parks and Recreation" is all but sure to return, and "Community" could survive again too. …

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