Which of your favorite shows could live, which could die

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

With The CW officially renewing Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries for next season, it's time to take a look at some of the shows that haven't gotten as much love this early in the TV renewing game. Several of our beloved sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural shows are "on the bubble"—at risk of cancellation—and may not see another season.

Here's our list of already renewed shows and canceled shows and a report card on how your favorite shows are doing.


The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) Renewed for a fourth season.
Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime) Renewed for a second season to air in early summer.
Eureka (Syfy) Renewed for a fourth season.
Sanctuary (Syfy) Renewed for a third season.
Saving Grace (TNT) Renewed for a fourth and final season premiering March 29.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand (Starz) Renewed for a second season.
Stargate Universe (Syfy) Renewed for a second season.
Supernatural (The CW) Renewed for a sixth season.
True Blood (HBO) Renewed for a third season premiering in June.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW) Renewed for a second season.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy) Renewed for a second season.



Updated:: Past Life (Fox) Canceled
Dollhouse (Fox) Canceled
Eastwick (ABC) Canceled
Lost (ABC) Series finale airs May 23.


24 (Fox) In its eighth season, this popular series could either see another day or end its run with the currrent one. One reason the series might not make the cut is that, by its very nature, 24 episodes must be made to follow the format. Also, it's got a huge cast and doesn't perform well in syndication. What we do know is that a 24 movie has been pitched; it would star Kiefer Sutherland and might be made in addition to or in place of a ninth day and season for hero Jack Bauer.

James Hibberd's Live Feed reported: "24 is pricey to produce and has little syndication value. Producer Twentieth [Century Television] is exploring the option of spinning off 24 into a theatrical movie, signaling that this might be the Bauer's final, real-time day-long adventure. Another long-shot option would be shopping 24 to another network."

Latest ratings: 8.49 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 50-50

Better Off Ted

Better Off Ted (ABC) It's so NOT looking good for our favorite sci-fi mad-scientist office comedy. ABC stuck Better Off Ted on Tuesdays and burned off episodes over the holidays. Why it never got a chance on Wednesdays with ABC's other well-performing comedies is a mystery. What we do know is that two episodes of this hysterical comedy have never aired—and we may have to wait until the DVD comes out to see them.

Another sign of its impending doom: Stars Jay Harrington and Andrea Anders have already signed to appear in new comedy pilots, though they are committed to Ted first if it comes back.

Variety's Michael Schneider stated: "Scrubs and Better Off Ted soon will likely learn that resurrections don't happen twice."
Latest ratings: 2.55 million viewers

Chances of renewal: Less than 15 percent

Chuck (NBC) For once, Chuck is in the Likely-to-Return category. The coolest superhero nerd show ever is actually the top-rated Monday night drama for NBC, and considering the shambles that NBC's schedule has become since The Jay Leno Show was removed, the network needs good reliable performers like Chuck.

Alan Sepinwall interviewed co-creator Josh Schwartz about his thoughts on coming back after being off several weeks for the Olympics: "Every time you go off for a couple of weeks, you've gotta self-start again when you come back. We always knew coming back in January would be great for us, but it also meant other things would be premiering. NBC's been incredibly supportive of the show in getting us launched, but I would not expect to see a lot of promotion for us during the Olympics."

Latest ratings: 6.61 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 80 percent


FlashForward (ABC) Remember all those ratings everyone was all worried about when the series begin last fall? Well, forget about them. They don't matter one bit considering the long, long break for new episodes to return. The good news is that the series has 13 episodes to prove itself. The bad news is that there's been some trouble behind the scenes with rotating show runners. FlashForward is starting from scratch in more ways than one.

TVbytheNumbers.com's Bill Gorman reported: "If FlashForward keeps falling when it returns, it has no future. We'll now have to wait until mid-March to see its next ratings."

Latest ratings: 7.29 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 50-50

Fringe (Fox) Despite low ratings, Fringe has managed more or less to hold its own in the most difficult timeslot on television, Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This has been especially noticeable since Past Life has taken over the timeslot to the tune of 2 million fewer viewers while Fringe takes a break. All things considered—the rabid fan base, the terrible timeslot, the excellent showing in DVR ratings—and it adds up to a solid performance.

James Hibberd's Live Feed wrote: "Boy, this show took a beating on Thursdays this fall, yet along with Bones has given Fox a foothold on TV's most competitive night and recently shown improvement."

Latest ratings: 7.76 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 70 percent

Ghost Whisperer (CBS) Friday's top-rated show so far this season has taken a bit of a hit this year, along with all the Friday shows. But it's very unlikely CBS would be willing to cancel more than one of its Friday shows, and NUMB3RS looks likely to take that hit. It's likely Melinda Gordon will be able to continue her ghostly social work for another season.

CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler stated: "It's clear we have two shows there with Ghost Whisperer and with Medium that have a good flow from one into the other, so we will continue to program there for Friday night. For us, we still see opportunities."

Latest ratings: 8.77 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 75 percent


Heroes (NBC) Believe it or not, despite terrible ratings, Heroes has a chance at fifth season. The ratings have stabilized, and the series gains another million-plus viewers when DVR ratings are counted in. NBC is trying to rebuild its schedule thanks to The Jay Leno Show debacle, and Heroes at least brings in a loyal audience, it does well overseas and it's a high-profile, original series. That said, a very strong case could be made for the show's cancellation as well.

James Hibberd's Live Feed commented: "This season, Heroes continued its decline and is now at a level—around a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating—that would warrant cancellation under most circumstances. The deciding factor here is NBC's internal balance sheet for the production. Don't be surprised if NBC announces a 12-hour 'final chapter' for next fall."

Latest ratings: 4.41 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 40 percent

Human Target (Fox) This new midseason replacement is finally leveling off to some decent ratings. While it's certainly getting a bump from American Idol, the last couple of episodes have been very entertaining, and the series seems to be finding its feet. And considering the series will most likely do well in reruns, given its episodic nature, we're liking its chances for a second season so far.

Media Week's Marc Berman said: "On Fox was recently introduced drama Human Target at a distant second-place finish in both total viewers (7.14 million) and adults 18-49 (2.1/ 6) from 8-9 p.m. Considering Human Target faced The Winter Olympics, this is still a respectable showing."

Latest pre-Olympic ratings: 8.92 million viewers

Latest ratings opposite the Olympics: 7.14 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 45 percent

Medium (CBS) This very compatible Ghost Whisperer companion show has done as well as could be expected on Fridays, capturing almost all of its lead-in audience and sometimes outperforming Ghost Whisperer by a smidge. NUMB3RS looks likely to be canceled at this point if anything goes on Fridays, and it's doubtful CBS will cancel more than one Friday show. But with new series Miami Medical taking over NUMB3RS' slot on April 2, there's the unlikely possibility that Miami could do well enough to make a case for Medium's exit. Still, at this point, we're guessing Allison DuBois will likely have a home for one more year.

Variety's Michael Schneider writes: "With Numbers the most likely to exit—so much so that star David Krumholtz has already been cast in a new pilot—it's doubtful Eye would want to drop a second Friday night series, so Medium (which CBS swiped from NBC last year) is probably safe."

Latest ratings: 9.10 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 45 percent

Past Life

[Updated: Fox has pulled Past Life from the air after just three airings, effective immediately, replacing it with new episodes of Kitchen Nightmares until March 18, when Fringe repeats will take over until Fringe originals are back on April 1, HitFix reports]

Past Life (Fox) It's looking like Past Life might have to reincarnate itself if it wants to survive. With only a handful of episodes left to make its case, it's not looking good for the drama. Before the series even started, it saw its episode order cut to seven, which is never a good sign. And even worse, the ratings have dropped since Past Life took over Fringe's timeslot.

The Los Angeles Times' Joe Flint remarked: "Fox's Past Life made its time period premiere, but the numbers won't exactly boost confidence in the show. Though it probably didn't help that a rerun of Bones—which got 8 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49, was its lead-in—Past Life averaged just 5.3 million viewers and finished fourth in 18-49 with a 1.4 rating. Past Life will get a chance at attracting a bigger audience in two weeks when Fox adds a third night of American Idol to Thursday for elimination shows."

Latest ratings: 5.31 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 0 percent

Smallville (The CW) When The CW moved Smallville from Thursdays to Fridays, it looked like it could be the end of this reliable performer. Certainly Smallville didn't quite seem to fit with the younger-skewing shows the network was banking on, such as The Vampire Diaries. Then something strange and wonderful happened: Apparently the fans weren't ready to let Smallville die. The producers are still doing fine creative work, and the series has finally given The CW some ratings on Friday nights. While Smallville didn't get an early pickup like Vampire Diaries or Supernatural, it's looking very good for a 10th season, with Super Clark and his friends. And BTW, don't be surprised if it does get another season and we see one or two additional Smallville movies along the lines of Absolute Justice.

Media Week's Marc Berman comments: "While Smallville, of course, is down year-to-year from its former Thursday performance, it is unlikely anything else would perform better for The CW on troubled Friday."

Latest ratings: 2.48 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 90 percent

V (ABC) Those beautiful alien invaders are in the same boat as the FlashFowarders. The series returns on March 30, and it's airing after Lost in the 10 p.m. timeslot, which is a good thing. With Lost in its final season, V's likely to grab a few viewers, which should help its bottom line. But V is pretty much starting over, and it will only have eight episodes to get you caught up in the revolution.

TVbytheNumbers.com's Bill Gorman stated: "V's future entirely rests on how its ratings do on its return in March. Its fall episode ratings are meaningless now. No guesses from me."

Latest ratings: 9.20 million viewers

Chances of renewal: 60 percent

Which of these are you most psyched to see renewed?

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