If you are a television watcher, it’s a bad time of year because lots of familiar TV series are being booted from the air.
Yesterday, of course, there was word that ABC had cancelled The Muppets. But it’s actually a lot more than that because all the networks have been casting shows overboard in the last couple of days. Among the big-name shows not returning are Castle (which was going to lose co-star Stana Katic anyway), Nashville, Agent Carter (!), CSI: Cyber, Grandfathered starring John Stamos, and The Grinder starring Rob Lowe, among others.
I guess the other big news is that Supergirl is moving from CBS over to the CW, which is almost the same thing as being cancelled because, let’s face it, nobody watches the CW.
These moves are all in advance of the upfronts and rollout of a new batch of new series to replace all of them. But the cancellation slaughter seemed quite marked this year, and I suspect it is because less people are interested in watching network TV anymore. More and more, people are getting their entertainment elsewhere – from cable TV, from Netflix, from mobile devices, and so on. That is where all the action is these days.
It makes me yearn for the old days of the 70s and 80s when network TV really was exciting and worth watching every week. Now that I think of it, wasn’t The Muppet Show on way back in the Seventies and early Eighties, during the network glory days? I suppose that is another issue for network TV in 2016: stale ideas.