Bubble Bustin’ Friday: NBC Cancels shows

Six NBC shows to end.

It seems the TV Gods were more kind on Friday than they were in Thursday: only five shows canceled – all from one network, as the news centered more on pilot pickups and renewals than cancellations.

NBC picked up pilots-to-order from Marlon Wayans (with a show loosely based on his life) and Tina Fey’s new comedy Great News, featuring a woman who joins her daughter at the TV station she works.

In addition to This is Us and Chicago Justice (made Thursday), other pickups include dramas Midnight, Texas; and Timeless, about…what else, time-traveling?

Meanwhile, NBC on Friday gave pink slips to Crowded, Game Of Silence, Heartbeat, Telenovela and Undateable. Excluding Undateable, these were mid-season series.

NBC also canceled The Mysteries Of Laura on Saturday after two seasons.

At other networks meanwhile, Fox renewed Sleepy Hollow for a fourth season, despite co-star Nicole Beharie quitting the show. To no one’s surprise, ABC renewed Last Man Standing for a sixth season given its Friday night companion show (Dr. Ken) was also picked up.

NBC will release its fall schedule on Sunday ahead of its upfront presentation on Monday; the other networks follow suit in the coming days.

* On another note, I would like to take issue with many TV reporters and bloggers using the terms “Carnage”, “bloodbath”, and “bloodshed” when describing the number of canceled TV shows on Thursday. The terms seem insensitive given how many parts of Chicago are plagued with gun violence and those who are affected by it. Remember – these are TV shows, not human beings. No real lives are lost.

Back in 2008, yours truly used a similar headline to describe layoffs at a local radio station, forgetting there was a mass shooting at Northern Illinois University two weeks earlier. The headline was changed.

On the same day ten shows were canceled, a principal figure of CNN’s low-rated and much-criticized documentary Chicagoland – a graduate from Fenger High School, was shot to death in the Far South Side’s West Pullman neighborhood. While there’s always a possibility any of these shows can be “rebooted”, there is no “reboot” for this person, or many others who lost their lives on the streets of Chicago. While it was a tough day for some television people, it doesn’t compare to the loss of life we are seeing in Chicago on a daily basis.