TV Hospice: Can 11 Shows Cheat Death?

Broadcast networks have aging series facing potential cancellation, each with a case for sticking it out another season (or pulling the plug). With ratings down for everyone, television's Grim Reaper may be a bit confused.
 Illustrations By Wren McDonald

This story first appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Castle  (ABC) Drama 

PRO Its last renewal proved ABC doesn't know how to quit this moderately rated eighth-season procedural.

CON Leads Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are poised for tough renegotiations to board a new season.

The Good Wife (CBS), Drama

PRO CBS' prestige show remains broadcast's lone drama with consistent awards love.

CON Creators Michelle and Robert King are leaving, star Julianna Margulies says she is, too, and season seven ratings are threadbare.

Vampire Diaries (The CW), Drama

PRO The origin of producer Julie Plec's relationship with the network still commands a cult following in season seven.

CON Nina Dobrev is long gone, star Paul Wesley is said to be keen to follow, and it was shipped to Friday.

Bones (Fox), Drama

PRO Fox's longest-running drama still outperforms plenty of would-be successors.

CON Stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel are suing the network and studio for profits, and 12 seasons seems excessive.

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Drama

PRO Chief Bob Greenblatt seems keen to keep Debra Messing on NBC (see last year's odd renewal).

CON It averages a weak 1.6 demo rating, hails from an outside studio (WBTV) and isn't set in Chicago.

2 Broke Girls (CBS), Comedy

PRO The fifth-year Warner Bros. sitcom's ratings are status quo in its Wednesday move, and there's another year on the stars' contracts.

CON Those ratings are the same as the recently canceled Mike & Molly. It's only a matter of time.

New Girl (Fox), Comedy

PRO It's still the highest-rated show on Fox's Tuesday comedy block, and it hails from sister studio 20th Century Fox TV.

CON "Fox's No. 1 comedy" doesn't say much and even producers seem indifferent about a renewal.

Extreme Weight Loss (ABC), Reality

PRO Though ABC has kept mum on the inspirational six-season exercise show's fate, there have been longer breaks between cycles.

CON Ratings have shrunk more than any contestants' waistline.

The Amazing Race (CBS), Reality

PRO An all-YouTube stars cast could bring younger eyes to the Feb. 12 premiere, and the TV Academy apparently still is watching the 10-time Emmy winner.

CON After 28 cycles, the pricey production is now a Friday afterthought.

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), Reality

PRO A kids version (think Dancing MasterChef Junior) is being pursued as one way to keep the flagging franchise alive.

CON Thirteen seasons in, a format tweak still is just staving off the inevitable.

The Biggest Loser (NBC), Reality

PRO Fitness and food brand partnerships help subsidize the cost of the 17-season competition.

CON As NBC's unscripted efforts thrive (The Voice, America's Got Talent), Loser's anemic numbers are looking more conspicuous.

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