We're deep in what the TV biz calls "Upfronts," the week when the broadcast networks unveil their new fall lineups to advertisers. For most TV viewers, the most important part of the Upfronts is learning what current shows aren't coming back in the fall.
Here's a list of shows that aren't coming back (it doesn't include shows that died earlier in the season):
ABC: "Better With You," "Brothers & Sisters," "Detroit 1-8-7," "Mr. Sunshine," "No Ordinary Family," "Off the Map," "Supernanny" and "V."
CBS: "Chaos," "The Defenders," "Live to Dance," "Mad Love," "Medium," and "$#*! My Dad Says" and "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior."
NBC: "America's Next Great Restaurant," "The Cape," "The Event," "Friday Night Lights," "Law & Order: Los Angeles," "Outsourced," "The Paul Reiser Show" and "Perfect Couples."
Fox: "Breaking In," (although there are efforts to save the show), "The Chicago Code," "Human Target," "Lie to Me" and "Traffic Light."
CW: "Life Unexpected" and "Smallville."
I don't see any big surprises in the cancellations (although fans of individual shows will look at it in a different way.)
The show I'm saddest to see go is "Outsourced," which is a rare network program that admits that a world exists outside the U.S. But these are business decisions, and I've learned long ago not to get too emotionally attached to TV shows.
The show I'm happiest to see die is CBS' "$#*! My Dad Says." From its ridiculous title, to William Shatner's unpleasant portrayal of a Twitter-based character, it was among the season's worst shows.
I'm most surprised that ABC's "Happy Endings" didn't get canceled. This formulaic and forgettable "Friends"-like sitcom has been airing back-to-back episodes in the 9 p.m. hour on Wednesdays. The cast isn't likable, the comedy isn't funny and it looked like the network was just burning off episodes. Still, it'll be back on Wednesday nights, with a single episode airing in the 8:30 p.m. slot.
The networks are releasing their new schedules throughout the week, and they include such challenging shows as an ABC remake of "Charlie's Angels," and a Fox animated version of "Napoleon Dynamite" due in mid-season.
One heavily hyped remake that didn't make NBC's list was a new version of "Wonder Woman" with Adrianne Palicki, formerly of the soon-to-be-departing "Friday Night Lights." There's a little bit of chatter that the CW Network could pick up the show when it announces its lineup on Thursday.
On TV: The newest reporter on Channel 4 is Cody Holyoke – with the station offering the pronounced "WHOLE-yoke" for his last name. He starts June 6 as a general assignment reporter, coming from WFSA-TV, the NBC station in Montgomery, Ala., where he's been a a weekend anchor and reporter.
- It's not coming to Fox until 2013, but "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane is retooling "The Flintstones," which debuted in prime time on ABC way back in 1960.
- The Wrap reports we won't find out the new boss on NBC's "The Office" until the new season starts next fall.
- With Fox cutting "America's Most Wanted" from a weekly series to quarterly specials, John Walsh is shopping the show around for syndication.
A big, big farewell: Next Wednesday's final "Oprah" show – if you're tuning in for the first time, the show airs weekdays at 4 on Channel 12 – is shaping up to be a huge deal. ABC News has even done a story on something called "empty Oprah syndrome."
Oprah's own people have put together this promo comparing her departure from broadcast TV to other big TV finales:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.