Thursday, May 12, 2016

Let's play Be The Cancellation Bear!

Image from, home of the Cancellation Bear!

Ok, so this is around the time of the year where networks have their upfronts, where they announce new programming including completely new shows and new episodes of existing shows for the next television season. It's also, by process of omission, when everyone gets to know if a series has been cancelled or not. It's a practice highly publicized into a TV fanatic's past time thanks to TVByTheNumbers and their Cancel/Renewal index and the "Cancellation Bear" (it's all explained on their website). As it just so happens to be both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel (which they fancily call the "D23 Expo") had their upfronts months ago back in the Feb-March time frame or so (Nick's roughly coinciding with the KCAs) but the upfronts for the "big" networks publicized by the Cancellation Bear tend to be much more visible, hence why it's coming to mind right now, not to mention a few actors on a few of the Disney and Nick shows are asking what's to become of their show and hoping to await word soon. Well, again, and unfortunately for them the first sign of the success or failure of a show is often by omission.

Before going on, I'd just like to specifically point out the true Nickelodeon and Disney Channel's equivalent of the Cancellation Bear and TVByTheNumbers - the excellent site, a site I have been using for a lot of my news and very much one of the inspirations for this very blog. Thanks Bryan, for the hard work you've put into this. 

Anyway you can see in that link what Nickelodeon is planning for the upcoming television season, and it's very much front-loaded with reality programming, which is pretty much an admission that they're in a very deep hole even cheap imports like Every Witch Way and Max & Shred can't get them out of. I don't know if Nickelodeon is just hoping that the reality programming will allow them to ride out whatever's happening in the core demo or if this is just what the future looks like, period, but either way if you ask me it's a pretty bleak picture. While a bevy of live-action programming has been announced, only four are actual Nick originals and one, School of Rock, has already aired (in fact it premiered not too long after upfronts). Two are more imports (and again, one of them, The Other Kingdom, has already aired a healthy number of episodes since) and three are reality programs (on the animation side, one show, The Loud House, has already aired as well - and yeah, we'll eventually get to School of Rock in greater depth and The Other Kingdom and The Loud House in review posts as well).

But we're more interested in, regarding veteran shows, what didn't make it. Again, it's a matter of omission - Henry Danger and Game Shakers have been renewed (almost automatic given Dan Schneider) and Thundermans was approved for that relatively still rare and coveted Season 4. Meanwhile, Bryan gives us this quote:

Nickelodeon will also air new episodes of returning live-action series Bella and the Bulldogs and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.

...which is pretty telling, given that it's likely meant to be taken in the context of the "present" being during upfronts, when both Bell and NRDD were already in the middle of their seasons and thus airing new episodes as a matter of course.

In other words, don't be surprised if this is a tacit admission by omission from the network that both those shows have been canceled.

I've commented on both shows before without giving real reviews per se - I did say the NRDD "movie" was one of the best things on Nick in 2015, and that while Bella's second season had gained serious steam it started to lose it as of late. That said, Brec Bassinger especially is as sweet and as much of a darling as, say, Dove Cameron and I was hoping (and still hope) her career can go far if in the case of Bella being cancelled. Same wishes extend to the NRDD cast.

That's pretty much the biggest news. There's not much going on with Disney as all the shows either have ended their runs naturally or have been approved for additional seasons. Liv and Maddie (now shockingly the oldest show on the network) got its Season 4. KC Undercover got its Season 3 and is just wrapping up on Season 2's production. Everything else is new and currently airing their first seasons, and they all got approved for season 2 (which seems to be the new Disney Channel MO - renew everything new for a second season automatically regardless of how woeful ratings are and hope things get better - and if not, give it the I Didn't Do It Treatment and the axe). The only question is Girl Meets World, which is in the awkward position of having its complete third season unaired and sitting ready to go on the shelf while D23 was happening, and we'll just have to wait and see come next month all the way through next March or April.

Girl Meets World will be ready to go in a couple weeks, which will hopefully liven up the kids live-action scene and get me out of my procrastination lately.

It would be absolutely insane if The Thundermans received a fifth season, but that is very unlikely. The fact that it has been around for the past three years and is still going strong is good enough for me. One thing never seems to escape me though. Nickelodeon has milked animated series like SpongeBob and The Fairly OddParents for more than a decade and a half now, but when it comes to live-action series, they are very trigger-happy and cancel everything at will. Hopefully, they are beginning to grow out of that because it is a very poisonous way to treat your programming. These shows need to gain an audience somehow, regardless of the quality. 

I was pissed off because I recorded a bunch of Loud House episodes two weeks ago but my television was acting up and I had to get a new cable box. I want to watch a couple episodes and review the show as a whole so far because for the first time in a while, we have a Nickelodeon cartoon with potential. A genuinely good Nick show in 2016, animated or live-action, is like seeing a unicorn in 2016 or getting struck by lightning indoors while having your mouth stuffed with chicken wire. Needless to say, I have a good feeling about this show. 

Nickelodeon needs to stop it with the imports. As far as I know, weren't there only two shows that caught on? House of Anubis and Every Witch Way? I don't know, I could use some background information on that but this is not the era where you need to cut costs with these copy-and-paste imports. This is Nickelodeon, give us something we have never even seen before. 

Of course Henry Danger and Game Shakers are coming back. Of course they are. -_-

There's a lot on tap, ladies and gentlemen, so stay tuned for more! 


  1. I don't really care what gets cancelled on Nick for sitcoms. I just beg them to cancel Fairly OddParents and put that sorry excuse of what used to be an excellent show out of its misery.

    1. Agreed. It declined years ago and really has no point in existing anymore. Shame because at one point, it was one of the best shows on the network.


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