We’re getting closer to mid-May, which means we’re getting closer to finding out if your favorite television show will be back next year.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the shows sitting on the cancellation bubble on their chances to return next year:
Argument to keep it: The most smug — and usually funniest — show on TV has never garnered a mainstream audience, instead living in the abstract world of “critical darling” and “Internet sensation.” Which is the equivalent of your mom telling you you’re the handsomest guy in school and all the girls should love you … while you’re sitting at home on prom night. I should probably mention I didn’t go to either one of my proms.
Argument to ditch it: As if the ratings problem wasn’t bad enough, now there’s an ugly dust-up between co-star, comedy legend and reputed crumudgeon Chevy Chase and the show’s creator, Dan Harmon. When NBC is deciding whether it wants Community back, it’s no longer just dealing with the show, but the show’s new-found baggage. Might be too much to handle.
Chances it’s back for 2012-13: I’m saying 80 percent. This new Chase-Harmon fight, no matter what it does to the show, could be the needed publicity over the summer. Will Chevy be back? Is he going to get kicked off the show? Will he ever make Cops and Robbersons 2? At least that’s what NBC might think. The ratings for the rest of the NBC Thursday comedies -- none of which are going anywhere — are just as bad as Community’s. So Community gets one more year before NBC blows up its Thursday lineup.
Argument to keep it: It’s entertaining and smart. Other than that, umm, I got nothing.
Argument to ditch it: Oh, the ratings. The ratings! It’s one of the lowest-rated non-NBC, non-CW shows, a category no TV show wants to be in.
Chances it’s back for 2012-13: The hope is the show gets a 13-episode season to wrap things up for its fans, just like NBC gave Chuck this year. Otherwise, the chances can’t be more than 10 percent it’s back, which borders on miracle territory.
JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ON THE CW
Argument to keep them: The only thing I can think of is that a network wouldn’t want to ax 90 percent of its schedule, would it? At least Vampire Diaries is still a hit! Well, a CW-defined hit, for what that’s worth.
Argument to ditch them: There just hasn’t been any good news for the CW this year. The network prides itself on being the network for young people, specifically young women, and loves when it airs a Twitter darling. This year it got nothing. Bringing Sarah Michelle Gellar back to TV made Ringer was one of the most hyped shows of the new season, but instead it turned out to be one of the most preposterous. Gossip Girl can barely get 1 million people to watch these days, and even if those 1 million people all promised to buy, like, 30 bottles of Revlon lip gloss or something, it probably still wouldn’t be worth it.
Chances they’re back for 2012-13: Vampire Diaries will be back, we can safely assume that. Supernatural is a good bet too. After that? It’s a coin flip on any show.
THE CSI FRANCHISE SHOWS
Argument to keep them: The original CSI is the only one that’s officially been renewed for next year, leaving CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Brodheadsville all up in the air. What, CSI never made it to the West End? Probably just feels that way. Other than those three special letters that clearly don’t mean as much as they did five years ago, there really isn’t an argument to bring back any of them. Except to keep David Caruso working. We all want that.
Argument to ditch them: I’m not sure how anyone can tell the difference between any of the dozen or so murder-case-of-the-week shows on CBS, let alone in the CSI franchise. Maybe the whole thing has run its course and it’s time to cut bait with both of them and start developing another NCIS spin-off or something before that whole franchise gets (more) stale.
Chances they’re back for 2012-13: If it only cuts one show, CBS seems to have quietly made its decision. Miami’s season (series?) finale was on Easter Sunday of all days, and it started around 10:45 p.m. because of the overrun on The Masters. Those clearly aren’t signs of network support, so it seems a pecking order has been established.