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Mr. TV: Arrested Development

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As we delve further into development season, the networks have to wonder how many hours of programming they need to replace. And what that means, of course, is some of your favorite (or not so favorite) shows going belly up. Let’s take a look.

NBC: The Cape is a goner. And freshman sitcoms Outsourced (which should never have been moved to Thursday at 10:30 p.m.) and recently introduced Perfect Couples are doomed.  While I can understand the network’s ongoing interest in three-season-old Parks and Recreation (the critics keep crowing), it is time to cut Chuck. Why would the network keep this low-rated clinker in the pivotal Monday 8 p.m. anchor position when so few people are watching?

I would also send freshman addition Law & Order: Los Angeles packing instead of trying to retool this tired franchise. And please, NBC, stop wasting the Wednesday 8-10 p.m. on two episodes of juvenile game show Minute to Win It. If I want to see colorful Guy Fieri, I’ll watch the Food Network.

ABC also has a lot of decisions to make. While I would’ve sent sophomore Cougar Town packing after another season of hefty losses out of Modern Family, it was green lit for season three. ABC should avoid making the same mistake with current time period occupant Mr. Sunshine, which is performing on par with Cougar Town. And I would 86 freshman Better With You, which just hasn’t resonated.

Every year ABC manages to pick up one low-rated freshman drama, and that proved beneficial for once ratings starved Castle. But the network needs to bid adieu to Shonda Rhimes’ Off the Map, which is nothing more than a diluted Grey’s Anatomy set in the jungle.
And ABC needs to dump its entire current scripted Tuesday slate: No Ordinary Family, which never found its identity; V, which never should’ve returned to begin with; and Detroit 1-8-7.
As for ABC’s Brothers & Sisters on Sunday, the diluted lead-in support from Desperate Housewives is hugely detrimental.

At CBS, despite the latest escapades of fired Charlie Sheen, the network should keep Two and a Half Men alive with a new actor in an updated role. Send Charlie Harper packing.
Three of the five new CBS fall entries are likely to return next season (Mike & Molly, Hawaii Five-O and Blue Bloods), and the jury is still out on recent entries Mad Love and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. But there is minimal interest in $#*! My Dad Says and The Defenders, and time-period warmer Rules of Engagement (now in the Thursday 8:30 p.m. spot) has seen better days.

With the CSI franchise on the downside, chances are CBS will end the New York edition and send the mothership to Friday to conclude its decade-plus run next season.

Fox already has two new shows for next fall generating buzz: Simon Cowell’s The X-Factor and Terra Nova from Steven Spielberg. So it has two (or three) less hours of programming to worry about. Recent entry The Chicago Code is posting similar numbers to sophomore Lie to Me, so my prediction is one of the two will return. Traffic Light, no doubt, is a goner, but animated Bob’s Burgers does show promise. And assuming low-HUT Friday will continue to bleed next season, it makes sense to pick up three-year-old Fringe. Nothing else will do better.

The CW, surprisingly, could have a 2-2 record with both Hellcats and Nikita potential returnees. But neither series is a so-called hit, and the net is riddled with low-rated junk like 90210 and One Tree Hill. Unless there is some money to spend on new programming, ratings for The CW won’t improve next season.  

As for recent entry Shedding for the Wedding, well, there won’t be a honeymoon.