TV Networks just cancelled 20 shows in 24 hours. Industry analysts have not seen something like this since the 2008 writers strike and you’d be hard pressed to find anything similar decades after that. The shocking upset outraged fans around the world. Yet, as people mourned for their favorites, funny man Tim Allen nudged his way back onto TV with another season of Last Man Standing. The perfect name for this unfortunate scenario.
He’s already getting blamed for Fox’s cancellation of all their other comedies. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mick, and The Last Man on Earth. Plus who knows what his salary is. Nine-Nine was being shopped around other streamers, but it’s looking less and less likely that it will find another home elsewhere at places like Hulu.
- Fox has also cleared house of two edgy dramas as well: Lucifer and The Exorcist.
- ABC has cancelled the following shows: Alex Inc., Inhumans, Quantico, Designated Survivor, Deception, The Crossing, and Kevin Probably Saves the World.
- NBC has cancelled the following shows: Taken, Great News, The Brave, Rise
- The CW has cancelled the following shows: Life Sentence and Valor
- CBS has cancelled the following shows: Instinct and Living Biblically
- And of course Syfy has cancelled The Expanse
If this massive bloodbath of original series is any indication of the fractured future of TV. It says that not only are extended connected franchises or spinoffs the way to go, but that the execs are realizing that their users are getting older and indeed as I predicted after Roseanne’s ratings, more conservative. The streamers are realizing that they have young passionate fanbases and they can renew shows that the networks cancelled.
TV in 2018 finds itself in this predicament even as most companies are merging with each other. Due to this consolidation of media, intellectual properties and big name franchises (Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR) doing their own thing, the division may not even be completely realized yet. TV networks are often optimistic about their projects or the directions of new initiatives. That’s the entire point of the upfronts next week.
However, what if the fragmentation gets worse? What if it prevents people from trying out new shows? Or networks from taking risks? Is that what’s happening here already with the targeting of the freshmen shows? Is 2018 the beginning of the end of not just peak TV but of cable itself?
It could be, or this could just be the case of too many TV shows on TV right now, so that’s why it feels like a lot of TV shows are getting cancelled. Either way, it’s a new age. Youtubered, CBSAA, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and new comers Disney and Apple are all hungry. They might want to save your favorites.