We have a couple of results to post. First up we know know the identity of the first drama to be cancelled this season. And the winner...for being the first loser... is FOX`s Lonestar. The series, which received a grand total of one vote in our previous poll was cancelled after two episodes and will be replaced by FOX`s Lie To Me, which held down the Monday second hour slot for most of the summer. Bye-bye Lonestar; you were hailed by the critics as one of the best new shows of the year but the public didn`t bother to watch.
Moving to the current poll, despite the fact that I don`t normally write much about comedies in this blog, the category of the first Comedy to be cancelled in the new TV season has turned out to be one of the most popular that we`ve had. Seventeen votes were cast and with one exception, CBS`s Mike & Molly, all of the series got at least one vote. In fifth place with one vote (6%) was $#*! My Dad Says, from CBS. In fourth place with two votes (12%) was NBC`s Outsourced, while in third place with three votes (18%) was FOX`s Running Wilde. In second place with four votes (24%) was the other new FOX sitcom, Raising Hope. But the winner that you think is going to be a loser, with seven votes (41%) is ABC`s Better with You.
We had one real comment on the shows mentioned in the poll (there was a second comment that didn't make a whole lot of sense in light of the shows that were mentioned). Ben wrote: "I'm gonna guess Raising Hope. The premise of a guy raising a child after the baby's mother gets executed is just begging to get cancelled." Was it executed or just incarcerated? Either way, for reasons that I get into, I'm inclined to agree with you.
Now the first thing that you have to know is that the only one of these sshows that I`ve actually seen is the first episode of $#*! My Dad Says so as always I'm not on top of the comedy line-up. That said, I don't really think that this is a particularly good year for comedies. Mike & Molly is a standard "couple getting together" show with a gimmick – in this case the gimmick is that the couple are overweight. This could be good or a disaster depending oon how they deal with the weight issue. $#*! My Dad Says is following the sort of formula that was made most famous by The Odd Couple – two basically incompatible guys living under the same roof – combined with an "old guy who is free to say anything he wants because he's old" element. It works but it's hardly original. Better With You is another show that is hardly going to set the world on fire with originality. But that doesn't make it a bad show. In fact I like the two lead actresses, Jennifer Finnegan and Joanna Garcia, quite a bit. Even Outsourced isn't that innovative. Think of it as The Office with a fish out of water quality added. It is, dare I say it, reasonably innocuous.
That leaves us with the two FOX comedies. Strike one on these shows is that they're on FOX. How long has it been since there's been a really successful live action comedy on FOX? I'm thinking back to Married With Children. And no, I don't count Arrested Development. It may have been artistically brilliant but it stayed on the air despite ratings that would have had most shows cancelled in under thirteen weeks. There've been other shows that stayed on FOX for more than a single season, but those have also had people scratching their heads. Of the two shows, Running Wilde seems the more attractive show to me. It does have some ties to shows that have gone before in that you've got a basically unsympathetic protagonist, but the concept is reasonably fresh. With the right lead-in and the right nurturing I think it could do well enough, or at least become a show that the network would want to keep around despite less than strong ratings. The problem is that the show has Raising Hope as a lead-in, and everything that I've heard about that show has me wanting to run the other way hard and fast, starting with the presence of Cloris Leachman. I didn't like Leachman in Mary Tyler Moore, I didn't like her in Phyllis and I didn't like her in Dancing With The Stars. The premise of the show makes me cringe and some of the things that I've heard about the show (the vomiting scene) are just too gross. In a battle between unoriginal and gross-out people tend to watch unoriginal. I think the first comedy to be cancelled is going to be Raising Hope. The real question may be whether or not it takes Running Wilde with it.