Because the rest of the shows will be mid-season, debuting in January or later.
As the Hollywood Reporter points out, there’s been an interesting trend this year where no show is officially “canceled.” Instead, the order is cut. Most shows that bombed straight out of the gate were cut to 9 or 10 episodes – because that’s the script the writers were working on when the announcement was made. The network was trying to get every last dollar, even though it meant producing and airing a show they didn’t think would repay them with ratings. They can still sell DVDs later, or syndicate the show to one of the smaller cable networks or a streaming service. I have friends on a couple of those “not canceled” shows, and they are exactly as unemployed. It’s hard on them. You spend 40-100 hours of your week living in the world of the show, thinking of the characters you love and stories about the great adventures they’re going to go on. You’re not objective. You know the show is great, and if not, you know you can make it better, and if not, you at least really like all the other people you work with and you don’t want that to end. But that’s simply how TV works. Shows are in constant rotation. Even amazing, fabulous shows typically only run 5-7 years. (Yes, there are exceptions. But even on those shows most of the writers aren’t likely to stick around for the run of the show.) TV is fleeting. And although in that moment of cancellation it can feel like you’ll never work again, there’s almost always a next gig. Speaking of…
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Everybody who watches this show loves it. The problem is, not many people are watching it. Or buying the songs on iTunes. It’s a resource-intensive show. And the Hollywood Reporter is blaming Crazy Ex for Jane the Virgin‘s numbers being low. There’s no way the CW will let anyone harm their precious Jane, which receives awards. (Similar to The Good Wife on CBS, awards CAN save a show on the bubble.) I’m close to this one. I know one of the writers. And honestly, I like the show a lot more than I thought I would. The songs are ridiculously catchy and usually funny. It doesn’t treat the audience like idiots. The main title theme is designed to argue criticisms of the title (cartoon sun: “She’s a crazy ex-girlfriend!” Rachel Bloom: “That’s sexist!”) but it may be too little, too late.
Supergirl: This show walks a fine line, but is mostly erring on the side of a worthwhile watch. There’s just that one Calista Flockhart speech every week that makes you go, “wait a minute.” I think I’ve mentioned before how most sci-fi shows have an “of course” moment. Fringe was the master of this. Walter would be talking about some scientific theory, which is true, and then would say “of course” (or “naturally,” or “it follows,” or some variation) and then deviate into wild fiction. “Light exists in different wavelengths. A red wavelength is long, blue is short, etc. Of course, between those visible wavelengths there could be beings that live entire lives that we’re unaware of…” (I made this up, but you get the idea.) Supergirl is doing a version of this where Calista Flockhart gives a speech that’s supposed to be feminist, but there’s one thing that’s wildly off. “What’s wrong with being a girl? I’m a girl. And I’m successful, and sexy…” So why are you infantalizing yourself? And sexualizing children in the same breath? “Women have to be twice as good and work twice as hard to be taken half as seriously as a man.” Okay, but you’re the one who owns the media. You could just… not do that. Take her seriously, at face value. But the show does a fantastic job of making Kara and Supergirl into two distinct characters, so it’s not so bizarre when someone doesn’t recognize Kara without her glasses.
Wicked City: This show does 1982 really well. Including the part where young girls deserve to die for the crime of being naive. And serial killers make the best babysitters. There are no characters here that I want to see succeed, even in a really sick way (like Don Draper who was by all accounts a terrible person, but was incredibly smooth and charming about it). The ratings have been terrible, so there’s also not a lot of incentive to look for the good. I’d like to encourage everyone to judge for themselves and not just go with the flow, but the fact is that niche markets almost never save a network show, so sometimes it’s just better to follow the crowd.
Added to the season pass: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Supergirl