by Julian Spivey
Over the last week the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CW) made their remaining renewal and cancellation decisions for the 2022-23 television season. Many shows got the boot – especially if you’re the CW – and numerous ones got to live on for at least one more season.
Here are my three favorite renewals and three most disheartening cancellations of the last week.
1. Grand Crew (NBC)
“Grand Crew” was the biggest renewal shock for me because I had seen data showing it was either NBC’s least watched comedy of the 2021-22 season or second least watched (I can’t remember which is true). But the fact is it had fewer weekly viewers than sophomore shows like “Kenan” and “Mr. Mayor” and smaller names and those two shows got the ax. But the series following a group of African-American friends through their daily lives and love of wine created by Phil Augusta Jackson was my absolute favorite new comedy of the season (yes, even more than the universally beloved “Abbott Elementary” on ABC and “Ghosts” on CBS) and I desperately wanted to see it get a second chance to potentially gain an audience. The network must really see something in the ensemble comedy starring Echo Kellum, Nicole Byer and others to keep it around. Maybe one or some of the higher ups liked it as much as I did?
2. The Resident (Fox)
I’ve watched three network medical dramas regularly over the last few years: ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” NBC’s “New Amsterdam” and Fox’s “The Resident” and of the three my favorite has been “The Resident” and I believe it to have been the most consistent in quality over that time. On Monday (May 16), Fox renewed “The Resident” for a sixth season and I’m thankful because I’m not ready to say goodbye to the doctors of Chastain Park Memorial Hospital and any show that’s been on the air this long deserves an opportunity to go out on its own accord.
3. Home Economics (ABC)
In its sophomore season on ABC “Home Economics” has been one of the best all-around sitcoms on network television. The ensemble cast (Topher Grace, Caitlin McGee, Jimmy Tatro, Karla Souza and Sasheer Zamata) is one of the best on television and each character is perfectly written and idealized. It’s one of those shows I thought could go either way when it came to renewal or cancellation and I’m happy to see ABC give it another season to continue the good roll it’s been on.
Most Disheartening Cancellations
1. Pivoting (Fox)
I think Fox’s “Pivoting” was one of a decent crop of really funny new comedies on network TV this season (along with “Ghosts,” “Abbott Elementary” and “Grand Crew” – all of which survived), but the network just didn’t give it a good enough chance to live on. The show, which followed three female friends in their late 30s adapting to life after the death of a dear friend, had a hard to get 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was reportedly beloved by the Fox Entertainment brass, but ultimately just didn’t pull in enough viewers to grab a sophomore season.
2. Mr. Mayor (NBC)
3. Kenan (NBC)
I’m going to crop these two together because they were both sophomore series on NBC and both similar to me in that I thought with the talent both behind and on the screen they should’ve been better than they wound up being. “Mr. Mayor” came from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the geniuses behind the all-time great comedy “30 Rock” and starred one of the all-time great TV actors Ted Danson, hot of his Emmy-nominated performance on “The Good Place.” It had all the pieces in place for it to be an Emmy-type show, but just didn’t hit it out of the park. “Kenan” had one of the most affable faces in comedy in its titular role with Kenan Thompson and a great supporting cast featuring Kimrie Lewis, Chris Redd and Don Johnson, but never really lived up to more than a handful of laughs each episode.
So, I admit both of these shows should’ve been better than they were. This would justify cancellation for many. But I still enjoyed both series and think NBC could’ve been loyal to names who’ve made a lot of money for them over the decades in Fey, Danson and Thompson and let them live on for at least one more season.