October has always been a make-or-break month for freshman series; as they struggle to build audiences against already-established programs, many falter and eventually fall under the dreaded network cancellation axe. Within the next few days, we’ll likely be seeing a few more cancellations on major networks including ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS. Though the first show to perish this season was ABC’s ill-conceived lottery drama Lucky 7, NBC just one-upped its rival network by killing two freshman flops with one stone: Ironside and Welcome to the Family.
The former, a cop procedural starring Blair Underwood, was a remake of a hugely successful NBC show that aired during the ’60s and ’70s. Centering on a dedicated cop confined to a wheelchair, the new Ironside drew criticism for its heavy tone and monotonous pace. While the original Ironside ran for 199 episodes and a TV movie, NBC’s modern-day take on the show simply didn’t connect with viewers or critics. Only three episodes aired before the cancellation. Ironside‘s fourth and final episode will air this Wednesday at 10 p.m., after which a mixture of Law and Order: SVU, Dateline and Saturday Night Live reruns, in addition to holiday specials, will fill the time-slot. On January 8th, Chicago P.D., a spin-off of the hugely profitable Chicago Fire, will snag Ironside‘s time-slot.
Meanwhile, Welcome to the Family was an original sitcom, starring Mike O’Malley, which focused on the cultural divide between two families brought together by an unplanned teenage pregnancy. Like Ironside, the comedy received middling reviews and awful ratings, making its quick death all but inevitable. Unlike Ironside, it won’t get a chance to say its goodbyes; the last episode of the comedy aired last Thursday. Reruns of veteran comedy Parks and Recreation, in addition to network specials, will fill Welcome to the Family‘s 8:30 p.m. slot.
The two newly axed shows join ABC’s Lucky 7 and CBS’ We Are Men in the cancellation graveyard. Other shows in the danger zone at press time include CBS’ Hostages, ABC’s Betrayal, NBC’s Sean Saves the World and FOX’s Dads.
With the exception of FOX’s despicably racist, sexist Dads, I don’t have strong feelings about many of the new shows. Are you sorry to see Ironside or Welcome to the Family go? Which new shows do you want to see cancelled, and which deserve to reach a second season? Sound off in the comments section!