November 29, 2012

THE SKED: Judgment Day For Fall Series


If you’re a fall series that hasn’t heard any news of your fate by Thanksgiving, the omens aren’t good–at that point, production of the initial 13 episodes is all but done, and for reasons of cost and momentum, networks try to keep shows in continuous production if they’re going to extend throughout the season.  Yesterday, the bell mostly tolled for some lingering hopefuls:

EMILY OWENS MD was canceled by CW after another week of miserable ratings, proof that a series can’t sustain by painting its protagonist as a barely-functioning boob, even if said boob is played charmingly by Mamie Gummer.

THE MOB DOCTOR, as expected, will run out its remaining episodes (in a mix of Saturdays and holiday-week Mondays) and be buried with the fishes, never able to find an audience for its crime-meets-medical-soap premise.

Things were a little better at ABC, where MALIBU COUNTRY and the 2d season of LAST MAN STANDING (which had received a short order) got a limited backorder of 5 episodes each.  There was a theoretical justification for shorter orders on these, since they both debuted late, but make no mistake, this is a half-hearted endorsement by the network, which certainly could have used more fresh episodes and fewer reruns and preemptions if it believed in the shows.

That closes the book on the entering class of Fall 2012.  We’re just a few weeks from the start of the midseason debutante ball…

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."