Let the TV Death Watch begin. Yeah, it’s that time of year again — the time when broadcast networks are mulling over which shows to keep or kill — for next season.
Ratings haven’t exactly been stellar this season, so brace yourself. Things could get bloody.
I’ve compiled a list of shows that, as of now, are considered to be on the proverbial “bubble.” These shows aren’t all sure goners, but let’s just say that they aren’t sleeping easy.
ABC • “Body of Proof”; “Malibu Country”; “Red Widow”; “Happy Endings”; “How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).” Already gone: “Don’t Trust the B-- in Apartment 23”; “Private Practice”; “Zero Hour.”
CBS • “Vegas”; “CSI: NY”; “Golden Boy;” “Rules of Engagement.” Already gone: “The Job.”
NBC • “Smash”; “Community”; “1600 Penn”; “Deception”; “Guys With Kids”; “The New Normal”; “Up All Night”; “Whitney.” Already gone: “30 Rock”; “Do No Harm.”
Fox • “Touch.” Already gone: “Fringe”; “Ben & Kate.”
The CW • “Hart of Dixie.” Already gone: “Gossip Girl”; “Cult”; “90210” (ends May 13).
THE END IS NEAR • One show that we know for sure won’t return is “The Office” (8:30 p.m. Thursdays, NBC), which wraps up a nine-season run with an hourlong episode May 16.
I still believe “The Office” should have ended in 2011, when Michael Scott (Steve Carell) said goodbye to Scranton. After that, the sitcom simply lost much of its mojo.
Even so, I’ve enjoyed much of what has gone down this season, for which original showrunner Greg Daniels returned to the fold. The show has regained some of its hilarity and heart, and I like how we’re starting to find out about the work being done by the documentary crew that has invaded Dunder Mifflin for all these years.
That said, if the writers break up Jim and Pam, they better be ready to endure a storm of scorn.
‘IDOL’ THOUGHTS • So where do you assign blame for the ratings woes of “American Idol” (8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Fox) this season?
Is it the polarizing presence of Nicki Minaj? The inane utterings of Mariah Carey? The bland ballads and dumb theme nights? Is it simply old age?
You could answer “all of the above” and be right, but there’s one more thing to consider: the lack of a talented male heartthrob. Yes, “Idol” has been so consumed with finding another female champ that it alienated perhaps it most vital fan base: teen girls who crush on cute young guys.
The closest thing it had to a legitimate heartthrob was the recently ousted Lazaro Arbos, but there was one small problem: He couldn’t sing. As for his male counterparts, they not only lacked that certain swoon-worthiness, they just weren’t that good.
And for that, we can blame the judges, who blundered badly during their audition choices.