TV upfronts are an important and large meeting for both the television networks and their advertisers. It is a fancy way of saying a place and time where big decisions are made and these normally occur right now, during the end of May sweeps in preparation for next year. So many pilots get their orders, or don't, and so many existing shows get cancelled that it can get confusing. Breaking each news piece down into separate stories could have been easy but it didn't really feel right. So instead this will be your source of the biggest orders, biggest cancellations, and biggest anything that came out of upfront meetings.
Community Renewed - Possibly the biggest news for some users around here, and for me personally, was the renewal of Community. Always seemingly on the edge of cancellation this year the show did as well as usual, which is to say good within the the 18-35 demographic. Season 5 won't see the return of Chevy Chase to the show who was missing for a variety of reasons towards the end of season 4 which has sparked speculation of a Dan Harmon return. While I doubt that wishful thinking there are some rumors that if the show had been cancelled other outside sources were ready to pick it up. So it seems for now Community may just get all six season and we can just hope for that movie. This also leaves only Community and Parks and Recreation as the only returning NBC comedies.
Cancellations Galore - As happy as this time of year can be for new pilots and returning shows it is also paired with some getting shoved out the door. NBC cancelled the following: Go On, Up All Night, 1600 Penn, Smash, and Deception. Fox cancelled Touch. TNT cancelled Southland. CBS cancelled CSI: NY, Golden Boy, and Rules of Engagement. ABC cancels Happy Endings, Body of Proof, Malibu Country, Red Widow, and Don't Trust The B in Apartment 23.
For a more full understanding of every show on every network check out this full report card.
Pilots - With so many shows leaving, the networks need to both fill the void and attempt to reinvent themselves in hopes of winning the never ending ratings war. Now competing with services like Netflix, the internet, video games, and so much more, it is more important than ever for networks to find something that works. A lot of the pilots mean nothing on name alone but those behind them can place a lot of potential on some of these shows. You can find a whole list here of every show ordered and I'll cover some of the bigger additions.
ABC ordered Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which is no shocker since ABC and Marvel are both owned by Disney. Whedon, the director of the Avengers, helped put the show together and will help write the pilot and will stay on to executive produce the show. Based on the agents of Shield we'll have to see if the comic book movie goers follow it to the small screen. NBC is looking to bank on Chicago Fire, an alright success for them, with Chicago PD. NBC seems to be in the weirdest spot since most of their comedies have now ended or been cancelled and they're banking on a comeback with shows like The Michael J. Fox Show and Undateable. It will be interesting to see how they recover with the loss of so many shows and the introduction of so many new ones.
Upfronts are still happening and the networks still have their presentations to give so don't be surprised if more things change. Keep coming to Screened for any important upfront news.