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Killing Breaking In

Crash, smash, bam. I wasn’t a huge fan of Breaking In or a fan at all, but FOX’s treatment of a promising show was stupid and self-destructive. Obviously FOX was never really sold on Breaking In, they just threw it in there, and maybe throwing a male skewing show on after American Idol wasn’t a perfect idea, but the initial ratings were good and the show had promise. FOX casually killing it to make way for another hour of AbramsCrap that will be cancelled, unless it’s dumped in with Fringe on Friday nights leaves a bad taste.

Breaking In wasn’t perfect, but it appealed to the demos that FOX wanted much more than Alcatraz will. Jettisoning it this quickly was not smart. Especially after giving Matt Miller a whole year to torture Human Target to death in its mutated second season. The only good news is this frees up Christian Slater to do something better. Or something worse. He’s an obvious choice to replace Sheen on Two and a Half Men, but it looks like they’re going higher profile.

I’m not going to send protest whatevers over Breaking In. It wasn’t that good a show. But it could have been a successful one. It’s bad enough when FOX kills shows that are good, but not ratings winners, but when it kills shows like The Sarah Connor Chronicles that perform to make way for shows whose producers it has sweetheart deals with, like Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, then something is really wrong here.

Human Target Canceled

Far as I’m concerned, Human Target was canceled at the end of Season 1. Matt Miller’s Chuckifed Human Target was just adding insult to injury. And this finalizes it. Whatever combination of network notes and production company crap put Matt Miller in charge of turning Human Target into a doily lace version of its old self, failed badly.

And this is why campaigns to save shows are not always a good idea. Human Target made it past the bubble, but only by killing everything good about itself. The cast and crew kept their jobs. But the show was a nauseating shadow of its former self. FOX used its failure as proof that it never worked. When actually it did work.

Human Target aired to decent ratings which began falling off. But not that much. The problem was demographics. You would think an action oriented series wouldn’t have too much trouble in that department. But it did. Season 2 trashed the show to court female viewers, but alienated both genders. The falloff was bad.

So what was Human Target’s real problem? The show kept being moved around. Human Target’s DVR ratings usually boosted the show, but not enough. FOX only aired half a season for its first season, making it a show that was easy to forget about. Then there’s American Idol. Idol draws a desired audience to FOX but cripples the rest of its schedule by building shows around that audience. Human Target was really canceled to make way for the X Factor, another Idol wannabe.

The TV Purges Continue

If 2010 was the year of the mercy bubble renewal, 2011 is the year of the mercy killing. Or the merciless killing. Chuck has been saved, but NBC has killed Law and Order Los Angeles and The Event. And David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman may never air, even though it had all the hype on its side, and it was probably the most covered new series. But most of the talk was bad, that showed interest.

Still NBC wisely chose not to take the chance on an expensive series. But then why put a guy who mainly knows how to do shows about people screaming at each other, in charge of developing a superhero series. Sure Ally McBeal, but that was a terrible show. NBC thought Kelley could give them a superhero series that would cross over well with women. Maybe if it came with a time machine back the 90’s.

What is clear is that the networks are cleaning house in a big and aggressive way. CBS did it last year. NBC and FOX are doing it this year. There’s too much deadwood around and both networks are not where they should be.

Cape Canceled

I can’t mourn too much. After seeing the pilot, I had a soft spot for it, but the show was just too slow, the lead actor too annoying and the material too badly executed. It could have been done better, with some different casting, sharply written scripts and good pacing. But that didn’t happen.

I don’t know what everyone involved was expecting. The Cape looked like a holdover from the Silverman era of Knight Rider and Wonder Woman reboots, except done on the cheap. It was like one of those interminable syndicated action hours that used to be everywhere all the time. Generic hero puts on cape and does stuff. The mythology of the cape wasn’t bad either. But a lame hero and a lame villain didn’t make for great entertainment.

It was a surprise to see something like this even get aired and now its final episode is being burned off online. It’s sad that an opportunity to put a genre show out there got wasted. Now it’ll be replaced either by a Modern Family ripoff, something that J.J. Abrams wiped his ass on and sold as a pilot, or knowing NBC something even worse.

The Stargate Universe cancellation

Like a lot of other things, shocking but not that shocking. Stargate Universe followed the Star Trek formula, complete with a beloved original series and spinoffs of diminishing popularity. Stargate Atlantis couldn’t perform at the level of the original Stargate and wound up canceled. Stargate Universe turned in a darker and higher quality show that alienated a lot of franchise fans. But Stargate Universe was picking up viewers initially throughout the first season. Unlike a lot of doomed shows, it improved on its premiere. But then things went south. The second season never brought back the ratings. Which is a shame. Because Stargate Universe might have imitated Ron Moore’s BSG reboot, but it was many of the things that show wasn’t. After the cancellation of Enterprise, it was also the last major show to focus on space exploration.

Guess we should have known how that would go.

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