Bubble Bustin’ Friday

bubble burstOver the last few years, the Friday before upfronts became quite crazy, with the announcement of pilot pickups – and a huge batch of cancellations. 2013 was no different: Friday afternoon and Friday evening with social media abuzz with the latest pickups and cancellations, as those “bubble shows” fate were finally decided.

Well, the bubble burst for a whopping seventeen shows on Friday – the most in recent memory. In two days, a total of 22 primetime shows have been canceled, straddling both the broadcast network and cable universe. Talk about clearing out the deadwood!

The pilot pickups we’ll go through next week during upfronts, where the networks officially unveil their 2013-14 schedules (one of the big pickups was Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. with ABC ordering it to series.)

Here are the shows whose bubble burst as they won’t be back next season:

– Two veteran series were cut from the networks’ schedules as CBS canceled Rules Of Engagement and CSI: NY, the latter after nine seasons. CBS also canceled freshmen series Vegas and Golden Boy.

– After cancelling several series Thursday, NBC kicked more to the curb on Friday: expensive newsmagazine Rock Center with Brian Williams, drama Smash, and comedies Go On and New Normal. At the risk of sounding like we’re back in 1980, NBC has now canceled its entire freshman sitcom slate from this season. In fact, just eight series – in total – survived into next season, including critically-acclaimed veterans Community and Parks And Recreation, both now eligible to be sold in off-network.

– Early Friday evening, ABC decided to join in the fun by announcing the cancellation of several shows with Red Widow, Family Tools, How To Live With Your Parents, Body Of Proof, Malibu Country, and Happy Endings all axed- though the latter show may have a long shot at USA cable network.

Of note is Parents improving the time period demo rating of also-canceled Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23, but it wasn’t enough to save it.

At the same time, ABC officially picked up several series for renewals, including Nashville, and red-hot Scandal.

– Cable decided to get into the act, too: USA announced it was ending Burn Notice this summer, after seven seasons, while TNT pulled the plug on dramas Monday Mornings and Southland. This is the second time the L.A.-based crime drama has been canceled; NBC pulled the plug on the series (some said prematurely) a few years ago.

In the mist of all this activity on Bubble Bustin’ Friday, ABC did not elaborate on the status of freshman comedy The Neighbors. After a hellish week dealing with American Idol drama, Fox had no announcements Friday, other than yet another Gordon Ramsey show (Junior MasterChef.)