• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
JUN
3
4 YEARS

A Season's Literal Finale: Time To Kill Off Some Shows

You can't watch that many series. It's decision time. Winnow out the weak, people.

Desperate Housewives
Courtesy of ABC

Sure, a number of people are still distracted by Game of Thrones on HBO or The Killing on AMC, but there’s no denying the small lull we all feel in the TV season right now. With the broadcast season finales played out in the past couple of weeks and nothing but summer burn-offs and reality shows ahead, maybe you should just make some of those decisions you’ve been putting off.

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. You know there’s a window right about now, before a new slate of cable series crank up their runs, before you head off on summer vacation somewhere. It’s time to crunch the numbers, make the cruel cuts, start the separation process.

OK, I’ll spell it out: Shows get dropped every year. You pick up a few freshman series, drop a couple of veterans, cut a little slack to the underperformers before seeing if something fantastic will launch in the cable summer season. Before you know it, September will be here and you could be adding a whole new slew of potential series.

But it’s like grocery shopping without a cart. You can’t carry all of that stuff to the checkout line, and you know it. Gotta drop some product, keep a grip on the essentials.

So, which shows go? Law & Order: SVU? House? The Office? Desperate Housewives? Come on, they’re all getting long in the tooth. All of those changes? Maybe now is when you call for the time of death. Here’s where you sit down with Survivor and tell a very sad Jeff Probst that, hey, it’s a numbers game. If it makes him feel better, tell him you cut ties with those docs on Grey’s Anatomy as well.

The beauty of television is that series are a living, breathing work in progress, unlike the finality of a two-hour movie. Characters grow on you, stories evolve, you embrace that world season after season. But this is also the dark side of the medium – when you’ve got to put down the old horses. Sorry, Gossip Girl.

Right now, before the light days of summer make you too soft to do it and before – gasp! – the first fall shows are leaked online, tell us which series you’re going to drop. Make a list if you so desire. Maybe the season finale proved the spark was gone, maybe the last episode couldn’t save a sorry season. Maybe it’s just time. But you know what you've got to do. Here’s a knife. Go to work.

Email: Tim.Goodman@THR.com

Twitter: @BastardMachine