2014-2015 In Review: Cancellations, Renewals, and Surprises

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2014-2015 has been a year of change. In October, I moved to a nearby town with another of my sisters, and both of us being TV fans, we synced our to-watch lists. So far, we watch upwards of 75% of the same shows, and we tried out many of the same new shows. The sheer volume of what we have left to watch is boggling. I have more than 900 episodes on my to-watch list. So it’s not surprising I haven’t devoted time to blogging about TV – I spend too much time watching it!

Fall 2014 brought a bumper crop of new shows to broadcast networks, many of which I tried and many of which were canceled.

 

ABC

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Forever – this show will be greatly missed. I’ve never seen such unanimous disappointment over the cancellation of a new show. At least things wrapped up fairly well in the last episode.

Selfie – Karen Gillan made this a guaranteed watch for me. The humor was probably a bit too niche to garner needed ratings, but I loved the My Fair Lady/Pygmalion parallels.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

Galavant – a fun, crazy musical medieval comedy. It was a big surprise to everyone that this was renewed, but I’m glad it was, especially since season one ended on a cliffhanger. It seems like ABC is going with a lot of shorter season shows to fill in gaps and provide more original content over the year.

Agent Carter – another “gap” show that was easily one of my favorites this year. Can’t wait for more of Peggy and Jarvis!

Other notes:

Agents of SHIELD followed up its amazing end of season one with an uneven season two, though the unevenness was between episodes that were amazing and some that were merely good. No matter – I’ll be watching it until the end because I love these characters. Castle is showing its age, but still tells a decent story each week. I fell behind on Once Upon a Time, so I still have half this season to watch.

 

CBS

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Battle Creek – I probably wouldn’t have tried this if my sister hadn’t been watching, and I ended up dropping it after a few episodes. It was too similar to other crime shows and the team didn’t gel. Five years ago, I probably would have kept watching.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

Scorpion – we watched the first few episodes and loved this, but with the busyness of all the returning and new shows and moving, we fell behind on watching and because CBS hates Hulu, we weren’t able to catch up easily and let it go. We’ll be watching the rest of season one this summer.

The Odd Couple – Matthew Perry was the main draw for watching this, but I preferred his characters on Friends and Go On. The humor is too forced for me to really enjoy it, but I’ll probably keep watching, especially since I have only a handful of returning comedies to watch next fall.

Other notes:

The Hulu-lessness of CBS made on-demand the best option for catching up, but wait too long and the episodes were gone from there too. So I have quite a few episodes of NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles (which has had a rash of terrible episodes lately – get new writers!), and Elementary to watch. I watched Person of Interest by myself, and I’m enjoying the more serialized nature it has taken. I hope that the 13-episode renewal doesn’t signal a final season. The Big Bang Theory has been its usually excellent self, which may be why The Odd Couple failed to shine when paired with it.

 

FOX

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Backstrom – this one I watched because of Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson. I’ll watch the final 4 episodes, but I think the main character was too unlikable for this show to catch on. We almost stopped watching several times. But Needlemeyer is awesome.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

The Last Man on Earth – I tried this one because of the weird premise, and the main actor is pretty funny. But a couple episodes in, it was getting pretty skeezy. I might try an episode or two more to see if it improves.

Other notes:

Fox has burned me way too many times with shows, so I’m always wary to try their new ones. Empire was buzzy, and I might have tried it out because of Taraji since I liked her on Person of Interest, but the premise didn’t appeal to me. Gotham looked too dark, and while I have enjoyed the recent Batman movies, I’m not invested enough in the characters to be overly interested in their origin stories. Gracepoint (the American remake of Broadchurch, which I love) didn’t get great ratings so I expected its outcome. I thought of watching, but I couldn’t get past David Tennant’s American accent. It was just too weird. The Mindy Project’s cancellation was a shock, less so Hulu’s pickup of the show. We fell behind on Sleepy Hollow and only watched one episode this season of New Girl, but plan to catch up on both this summer.

 

NBC

New shows I tried that were canceled:

A to Z – cute premise, loved that it had the Mother from How I Met Your Mother, but Abbi seemed to always want to watch something else, so we fell behind but will watch the rest of the show later.

Marry Me – a watered-down Happy Endings that was still decent. Liked the main couple (which was a surprise since I only knew the guy as the sleazy PI Vinnie Van Lowe from Veronica Mars) but the supporting characters weren’t as great. Still, was sad to see it go. (Can we get Happy Endings back instead? Please?)

New shows I tried that were renewed:

None.

Other notes:

NBC has gone from being one of my most-watched networks to least-watched. I only have Grimm to watch as a returning show next year, and that’s only if I catch up on it during the summer (wasn’t a fan of what they did to Nick at the end of last season, so have only watched one episode so far this past year). We did start watching Parks and Recreation recently (which ended this season), and after a rocky first season, it has grown to be one of my favorite comedies as we start season 4. Where are your shows like this, NBC?

 

The CW

New shows I tried that were canceled:

None.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

The Flash – a great reminder of how FUN superhero stories can be. As an Arrow spinoff I was guaranteed to watch this, and I liked the characters in the planted pilot.

Jane the Virgin – this sounded like the stupidest show ever, until I watched the promo and loved it! Based on the over-the-top soap-opera style of telenovelas, this show knows its plotlines are ridiculous and embraces that fact fully. It balances that with grounded characters with whom you can both laugh and cry.

iZombie – I usually dislike anything zombie-related, but definitely wanted to try this new show by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. It’s more zombie-lite, with characters affected able to pass as human as long as they have a steady supply of brains. Said brains give the zombies who eat them personality traits of the person who used to own them as well as vision-like bits of memory that pop up when triggered. The result is a darkly hilarious show with a case-of-the week format, voiceovers by the main character, and a strong overarching mystery (much like Veronica Mars).

Other notes:

The CW is the network I watch the most, which is surprising since I didn’t start watching it until Nikita’s debut, what, six years ago? I’ve seen at least one episode of every scripted show airing on the CW this year, with the exception of the DOA The Messengers (with the entire fall lineup renewed and iZombie getting the plum post-Flash spot, the terrible ratings the premiere got only sealed the deal). While Hart of Dixie failed to impress (me, Abbi watched every episode), The 100 was too gruesome, and Reign was mostly dropped because of time, all the other shows keep me watching regularly. I’m caught up on all of those except for Supernatural, which sits on season five.

 

What canceled and renewed new shows did you check out last year?

Zombies Cannot, And Will Not, Be Stopped

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Guest Post

In case you haven’t been paying attention, zombies are pretty much everywhere. In fact, they’re so widespread in the entertainment portion of our culture that one famous actor even thinks we’re on the brink of an epidemic. In an interview with the HuffingtonPost.com, living legend Morgan Freeman said that he believes “[we] may already be in the midst of a growing zombie apocalypse.” Fair enough. He also said that we have all become so obsessed with these undead creatures because of “our desire for immortality.” He may have a point there, though it’s one more existential than simply stating what may be the obvious at this point: zombies cannot, and will not, be stopped.

Seriously, let’s take a quick look back at the television side of things, where these brain-noshing jerks have invaded a number of networks. The most prominent and well-known example, of course, is The Walking Dead, the acclaimed series that centers on survivors making their way through a zombie apocalypse. That’s an obvious example, though, and one that neglects to mention, say, Castle‘s run in with these particular monsters. They also showed up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which Katie Hart discussed in an article on the episode “Dead Man’s Party” a few years back.

The zombies outbreak goes well beyond the small screen. In terms of feature films, it would be a thankless task to even simply list the zombie movies that have been released in the past decade alone. That’s partially because there are a plethora of B-movies out there that cashed in on the craze surrounding these monsters. That being said, there have been plenty of notable releases with zombies at the center of it all. They include the Brad Pitt-starring World War Z (2013), the fantastic kids’ movie ParaNorman (2012), and the flat-out hilarious Zombieland (2009) that featured Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg. If this sort of thing tickles your cinematic fancy, you should probably check out Boston.com for their list of the best zombie movies ever released.

There are then the various zombie-themed franchises running rampant through both cinema and another branch of entertainment: video gaming. You’d probably have to be living under a rock (for at least 10-15 years, at this point) to not have heard of the Resident Evil series and its many games, books, movies, etc. But it’s not the only zombie-heavy gaming content to sweep over the industry. One can simply look to arcade hub Intercasino.com for several examples of the undead further crossing over into mainstream popularity. Namely, they host a goofball, family sitcom-inspired game, “The Zombies,” in addition to a survival horror-leaning experience, “Zombie Rush.” The latter falls somewhere between what you’d expect from Resident Evil if it had less of a we-want-to-scare-the-pants-off-you vibe.

So what, then, does this mean for the connection between entertainment and the undead moving forward? Plenty, it would seem. Given the popularity of The Walking Dead and everything else mentioned here, it’s extremely doubtful that we’ve seen the last of the zombies for, at the very least, the next several years. That’ll be particularly true if that Walking Dead spinoff can capture the same fire as the original.

Rick Sanchez is a longtime zombie enthusiast who’s constantly researching what to do if the undead actually do take over the world. He lives in New York with his girlfriend and two dogs, Frank and Gizmo.

May Madness Final: Castle vs. M*A*S*H

Final

And here we are, the final match of the tournament! Our drama winner, Castle, faces our comedy winner, M*A*S*H! Vote for which show you think is best, and worthy of the title tournament champion!

May Madness - Final Round

  • Castle (97%, 813 Votes)
  • M*A*S*H (3%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 837

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This poll will only be open 72 hours, so vote and share the link!

May Madness: Friends vs. M*A*S*H

Comedy final

We’ve reached the comedy final match! M*A*S*H defeated How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Golden Girls, and I Love Lucy to make it this far, while Friends took out The Middle, The Cosby Show, The Mindy Project, and Will & Grace to get to this faceoff.

This poll will be open for 72 hours, and the winning comedy will face the winning drama for tournament champion!

May Madness - Comedy Final

  • M*A*S*H (53%, 65 Votes)
  • Friends (47%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 123

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May Madness: Castle vs. Beauty and the Beast

Drama Final

We’ve reached the drama final match! Castle narrowly beat White Collar in one of our most-voted-on polls of the tournament, and Beauty and the Beast overtook Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the final few hours of the poll!

This poll will be open for 72 hours, and the winning drama will face the winning comedy for tournament champion!

May Madness - Drama Final

  • Castle (50%, 1,417 Votes)
  • Beauty and the Beast (50%, 1,399 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,806

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May Madness: Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Beauty and the Beast, Will & Grace vs. Friends

Round 4.2

Round four of the tournament concludes with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who pulled out a last-minute win yesterday, facing social media savvy Beauty and the Beast. Also, Will & Grace has their toughest battle yet against still-popular Friends.

These round four polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! After this round, only 2 dramas and 2 comedies will remain to compete, first for the top drama/comedy, and then for the May Madness champion! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 4.2

  • Beauty and the Beast (66%, 184 Votes)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (36%, 100 Votes)

Total Voters: 279

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 4.2

  • Friends (83%, 132 Votes)
  • Will & Grace (18%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 159

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These round four polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness: White Collar vs. Castle, I Love Lucy vs. M*A*S*H

Round 4.1

Round four of our tournament begins with fan favorites White Collar and Castle battling each other, while I Love Lucy faces M*A*S*H!

These round four polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! After this round, only 2 dramas and 2 comedies will remain to compete, first for the top drama/comedy, and then for the May Madness champion! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 4.1

  • Castle (52%, 1,046 Votes)
  • White Collar (48%, 955 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,993

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 4.1

  • M*A*S*H (56%, 487 Votes)
  • I Love Lucy (45%, 393 Votes)

Total Voters: 875

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These round four polls will launch every other day, and be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness: Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Supernatural, Will & Grace vs. The Dick Van Dyke Show

Round 3.4

Update: This poll has ended, but you can vote for Buffy here!

For our last matchups of round three, genre favorites Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural do battle, while Will & Grace faces The Dick Van Dyke Show!

These round three polls will launch every other day, and be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 3.4

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (87%, 469 Votes)
  • Supernatural (36%, 196 Votes)

Total Voters: 539

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 3.4

  • Will & Grace (73%, 214 Votes)
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show (56%, 163 Votes)

Total Voters: 292

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll. Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: Once Upon a Time vs. Beauty and the Beast, Friends vs. The Mindy Project

Round 3.3

For our next-to-last matchups of round three, cop romance with an altered DNA twist Beauty and the Beast faces the reimagined fairy tales (which include both a beauty and a beast) of Once Upon a Time. Also, redefining comedy Friends takes on newbie (and only current comedy left) The Mindy Project!

These round three polls will launch every other day, and be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 3.3

  • Beauty and the Beast (59%, 105 Votes)
  • Once Upon a Time (41%, 74 Votes)

Total Voters: 179

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 3.3

  • Friends (67%, 65 Votes)
  • The Mindy Project (33%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 97

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll. Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: White Collar vs. House, M*A*S*H vs. Golden Girls

Round 3.2

For these round three matchups, fresh off a difficult round two victory, White Collar goes up against House, while comedies M*A*S*H and Golden Girls do battle!

These round three polls will launch every other day, and be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 3.2

  • White Collar (58%, 360 Votes)
  • House (42%, 266 Votes)

Total Voters: 626

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 3.2

  • M*A*S*H (63%, 176 Votes)
  • Golden Girls (37%, 104 Votes)

Total Voters: 280

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll. Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: Castle vs. The X-Files, I Love Lucy vs. The Andy Griffith Show

Round 3.1

For our first matchups of round three, two will-they-or-won’t-they couples face off as Castle battles The X-Files. We also have two black-and-white classic comedies facing each other, I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show!

These round three polls will launch every other day, and be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 3.1

  • Castle (60%, 32 Votes)
  • The X-Files (40%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 3.1

  • I Love Lucy (62%, 23 Votes)
  • The Andy Griffith Show (38%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll. Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: Supernatural vs. Sherlock, The Dick Van Dyke Show vs. Gilligan’s Island

Round 2.8

For our final matchup of round two, fandom juggernauts Sherlock and Supernatural do battle, while classic comedies Gilligan’s Island and The Dick Van Dyke Show face each other!

These round two polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 2.8

  • Supernatural (65%, 67 Votes)
  • Sherlock (36%, 37 Votes)

Total Voters: 103

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 2.8

  • The Dick Van Dyke Show (59%, 38 Votes)
  • Gilligan's Island (41%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 64

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll! Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Criminal Minds, Will & Grace vs. Hogan’s Heroes

Round 2.7

In our next-to-last post of round two, we have two teams who fight the creepy (whether supernatural or human), Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Criminal Minds, do battle, while Will & Grace goes up against Hogan’s Heroes!

These round two polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 2.7

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (68%, 30 Votes)
  • Criminal Minds (32%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 44

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 2.7

  • Will & Grace (53%, 20 Votes)
  • Hogan's Heroes (47%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll! Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: Once Upon a Time vs. Agents of SHIELD, The Cosby Show vs. Friends

Round 2.6

Our next two matchups pit ABC favorites Once Upon a Time and Agents of SHIELD again each other, while The Cosby Show battles Friends!

These round two polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 2.6

  • Once Upon a Time (55%, 29 Votes)
  • Agents of SHIELD (45%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 2.6

  • Friends (63%, 32 Votes)
  • The Cosby Show (37%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 51

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll! Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

May Madness: Beauty and the Beast vs. NCIS, Suburgatory vs. The Mindy Project

Round 2.5

For this round, Beauty and the Beast faces NCIS, while our only present comedies in round two, Suburgatory and The Mindy Project, battle each other!

These round two polls will be open for about 72 hours, so be sure to spread the word quickly if you want your favorites to make it to the next round! As always, you can find the links to all the current matchups on our main post. Please try to vote in all the polls, not just the one with your favorite show!

May Madness - Drama, Round 2.5

  • Beauty and the Beast (86%, 326 Votes)
  • NCIS (14%, 52 Votes)

Total Voters: 378

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May Madness - Comedy, Round 2.5

  • The Mindy Project (53%, 42 Votes)
  • Suburgatory (48%, 38 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

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Feel free to leave a comment about which show(s) you voted for and why! I may quote your comment in a Facebook post or tweet promoting this poll! Also, there may be a bit of a lag if a lot of people are voting, so make sure the first poll finishes loading your results before submitting your vote for the second poll!

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