Tuesday, May 20, 2014

CBS 2013-14 Sitcoms: Renewals and Cancellations

Two and a Half Men
One of the few sitcoms to last past a decade.  Two and a Half Men, with losing one and a half of its men, will make it to 12 seasons.  I can't remember the last sitcom to make it that long.  CBS announced that next year is the end of the long running series.  Which is for the best.  Despite still doing great in ratings it is just not a fun show and not a relevant one.  At its best the series was entertaining enough for something to have on, but the show has gotten so unlikable and needlessly course.  Amber Tamblyn is now on the show, but while I may check out the finale there is not much that would get me to watch this regularly again.  It has overstayed its welcome, something shows like Parks and Recreation know to avoid.  Curious to see where Jon Cryer goes after playing Alan Harper for so long.

Big Bang Theory
Still a bonafide phenomenon that was was not only renewed for one more season, but three additional seasons.  The show will be airing until at least 2018.  Which to me seems to be way too long for a show about stereotypes and broad humor.  People do love this and it will continue to do well in the ratings.  CBS is a network that people still watch and this is leading the way as one of its main breadwinners.  Not going anywhere for a long time and it will keep cranking out new episodes that will do killer ratings even in reruns.

Mike & Molly
Even though Melissa McCarthy became a film star years ago she is continuing to air on this show.  It is interesting that her stardom hasn't improved the show's profile all that much, but it is pretty comfortable on CBS.  It is not currently on the fall lineup so the next season will either premiere mid-season or as a replacement for a failed new sitcom.  Could air on Mondays again if their Monday night dramas fail too.

2 Broke Girls
This show is going into its fourth season and it is a testament to how many people will just watch CBS. This is one of the more embarrassing comedies that is currently airing.  It will be teaming up with Mom as CBS' one hour of comedy on Monday nights (Thursdays is clearly their new flagship night).  We will see how this does without more popular shows such as How I Met Your Mother as a lead in.  Can see this being its last season, but could keep going.

This was easily CBS's best new sitcom of last year.  The humor is extremely broad and lacks any tact or maturity, but there is at least a lot going on.  The saving grace is its cast with Anna Faris, Spencer Daniels, Matt L. Jones and French Stewart being legitimately funny.  Of course the stand-out is the powerhouse that is Allison Janney, who is made for something like this.  It is conceivable that this show could improve with its second season.  Glad it is getting another chance, but has a long way to go.

The Millers
This was apparently the highest rated new comedy of the season, proving how accessible CBS comedies are.  The pilot I watched was horrendous.  It was painfully unfunny, but it found its audience.  It features a good cast, but the only one I would say rose above the material was Margo Martindale.  Still it must be doing something right to get so many viewers.  With Big Bang Theory as a lead in and the final season of Two and a Half Men following it should do strong enough to get to a third season.  This may be the longest running Will Arnett sitcom to date.


How I Met Your Mother
It is really telling of the television environment that this was the sole sitcom of the season to end on its own terms.  This was planned as the final season, which unfortunately underwhelmed many and had a very frustrating finale.  The series really wrote itself into a corner by basing a show around the promise of the finale.  The show was anticipation for meeting the mother.  This season only showed a short time of Ted actually being with the mother before revealing that the entire series was about his journey to find Robin.  Fans who had supported the series were very vocal about the manipulation.  From what I saw of the season I will say that it had an urgency that was lacking in the past few seasons.  But this is a show that did wear out its welcome with me.  The main characters became too immature and the narrative structure made Ted's various long-term girlfriends pointless and frustrating.  Still a great ensemble though with plenty of clever writing in earlier episodes.

We Are Men
This was the first cancelation of the season.  What is notable is that it was canceled with ratings that were too low for CBS, but would have been satisfactory on any competing network.  This was a clear attempt to capture some of the How I Met Your Mother audience.  It certainly featured capable performers but the material was so weak and pretty misogynistic.  It was just not funny and it did not have a good enough foundation for an entire show.  Picking it up was a mistake to begin with.

The Crazy Ones
Out of all of the series based on a star this is the one that really should have tried harder.  The marketing really pushed Robin Williams' iconic status, but the show really did not serve him.  He was on auto-pilot, improvising things that had nothing to do with the set-up.  Not that the scripts were any good.  I honestly believe that this was a David E. Kelley drama centered at a marketing firm that was sloppily retooled for Robin Williams.  If a comedy with Robin Williams on CBS can't succeed then something must really be wrong with it.

Friends with Better Lives
This premiered after the How I Met Your Mother finale as a clear attempt to transition that audience to a similar show.  Funny how the this and We Are Men were canceled while How I Met Your Dad didn't even get picked up.  This show lacked an easily definable premise and the jokes in the commercials didn't make an impact.  It was just a mid-season replacement that served its purpose to fill some time.

Bad Teacher
I did not realize that this even aired.  I did not hear a thing about it or come across any form of marketing.  The movie it is based on is fun, but as a premise for a sitcom it seems like a real stretch.  This may have left the least impact of any show this season.

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