Hope Springs Eternal in Television

The months leading up to May is a time for much hand wringing among the casts and crew of many shows across the broadcast networks for the third week of May is judgement day for show’s whose ratings are less than stellar.  At the upfronts, a song and dance presentation put on for the benefit of the advertising agencies that hold the purse strings on their client’s ad money, the networks release their schedules for the next season meaning there are winners and losers.  Of course the fates of some shows are decided much earlier being cancelled or renewed as the season progresses.  While cancellations often occur throughout the season, it is March that often brings good news.

For three shows on my list of top series of last year, the good news was delivered last week.  While the renewal of Parks and Recreation was no surprise thanks to its cushy post-Office timeslot, the return of Community and Fringe was a positive sign for quality television.  Community, lowly rated but critically lauded, thankfully resides on NBC where the show’s anemic ratings still rate among the upper half on the network.  Fringe, on the other hand faced a long uphill struggle to renewal after being banished to Friday at midseason where predictably its ratings declined.  However the decline was not enough to dissuade FOX Entertainment Prez Kevin Reilly to bring back a show he has constantly championed throughout the years.  Score one for the little guys this year.

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