13 New Fall Shows That Will Be Cancelled by Christmas

by Corey Chapman @chapmanrunner


UPDATE: Now that Christmas 2014 has come and gone, click here to see how we did with these predictions!


This time last year, I made some predictions as to which new fall shows would be cancelled by Christmas, and what virgin network series would earn a second season. Not having access to screeners like the big time television critics do, I relied on plot synopsis, advanced pilot previews, and my own instincts to make my picks. Although I missed on some, I successfully sniffed out most of the stinkers in the 2013 rookie lineup. Of the ten shows I predicted to get cancelled, only Sleepy Hollow and The Goldbergs made it to a sophomore season.

This year I am upping the doomed series number to thirteen and although the title of this post is catchy, not all thirteen will be gone by Jesus’ Birthday. More accurately, my prediction is that NONE of these shows will make it to a second season- but I do try to guess the death date as closely as possible, and line it up with some obscure American holidays.

Just like last year, show summaries (in italics) are brought to you by TVGuide:

Bad Judge (Thursday 9pm, NBC)

This single-camera comedy stars Kate Walsh (Private Practice, Fargo) as Rebecca Wright, one of L.A.’s most respected criminal court judges. But here’s the catch: While Rebecca totally and completely has it together in her work life, her personal life is the exact definition of a hot mess. She’s flaky, she sleeps around without a care in the world, and she parties like she’s still in college (so we’re guessing she has the world’s worst hangovers).

I want to like Kate Walsh. I really do. By all accounts she has had a nice, just below the radar television career with Greys Anatomy, then leading Private Practice, and a supporting role in the critical darling Fargo. Then I see the preview for Bad Judge and wonder if she bumped her head or The Peacock just offered too much money to turn down. It looks like a tired take on the “Bad” films (Bad Santa, Bad Teacher) and I can’t see even a desperate NBC giving this show more than 22 episodes.

GONE BY: National American Beer Day (Oct. 27th)


Constantine (Friday 10pm NBC) * debuting October 24th

One of many comic book adaptations this season, Constantine is based on the DC Comics series Hellblazer. Welsh actor Matt Ryan stars as the titular John Constantine, a seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult who abandoned his campaign against evil after failing to save a young girl’s soul from hell. However, he’s pulled back into the fight when the balance between good and evil somehow winds up on the line and an angel named Manny (Lost’s Harold Perrineau) tells him to man up and get his act together. True Detective’s Charles Halford also stars.

A few things bother me about this adaptation:

  1. Friday nights on TV are like the January of the film industry. Thats where you put the projects you dont trust. If they are successful, you look like a genius (and in television, you either build around it or move it to a stronger night). If the show tanks, no one bats an eyelash (see Dracula, RIP 2013).
  2. Why try to convert a well received feature film into a television series 9 YEARS LATER? Does anyone even remember the Keanu Reeves-Rachel Weitz flick?

I think I would give this a chance for multiple seasons if it aired on The CW. NBC? No way.

GONE BY: National Chicken Soup For The Soul Day (November 12th)


How To Get Away With Murder (Thursday 9pm, ABC)

Shonda Rhimes continues her push toward world domination with this legal thriller, which stars Viola Davis as a serious-as-the-death-penalty law school professor whose attractive students vie for her approval and a desk at her prestigious law firm. But their biggest lessons are learned outside the classroom, when they get caught up in a murder plot and, presumably, must figure out how to get away with it. Expect Scandal-sized twists and Grey’s-like drama!

Be careful doing a web search for this show, lest you want to keep the IT Dept/FBI off your back

Sounds like a neat idea for a mini-series, but will it be able to build an audience over the course of a season? My guess is this is Rhimes’ first miss, and Viola Davis is back to making movies sooner than she expected.

GONE BY: National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17th)


Madam Secretary (Sunday 8pm, CBS)

Tea Leoni plays a former CIA agent whose former boss, now the president of the United States (Keith Carradine), asks her to take on the role of Secretary of State after an accident claims the life of the office’s previous occupant. Using her no-nonsense, unconventional attitude toward politics, she shakes things up in Washington, D.C. while also juggling her home life as a wife and a mother. Tim Daly and Bebe Neuwirth also star.

I am going against conventional wisdom here, because apparently CBS CAN DO NO WRONG with the Nielsens. I remember a time when CBS would finish third out of four networks and be excited about it! Now they are a world power that can produce what seems like 15 NCIS’ (isn’t there a new one this season taking place in Sheboygan?) and still dominate the ratings in both comedy and dramas. Well good for you! Sometimes the champ needs to be knocked down a peg, and we are going to use this Tea Leoni vehicle to do it. Sorry Tea, nothing personal- it just sounds like this show is gonna blow.

GONE BY: National Sardines Day (November 24th)


Manhattan Love Story (Thursday 8pm ABC)

This new comedy uses the power of voice over to broadcast the internal monologues of a New York City dude (Jake McDorman) and a Midwestern transplant chick (Analeigh Tipton) as they navigate an awkward first date and subsequent budding romance. What you’ll learn early on from the voices in their heads is that guys like sex and women like purses; but as the series — and their relationship &mdash ;progresses, we expect things will get a bit more complicated than that.

Good storytelling should not have to rely on a voiceover, let alone two. Don’t worry Analeigh, even though this show won’t work, I predict a bright future for you.

GONE BY: National Hermit Day (October 29th)


The McCarthys (Thursday 9pm CBS) * debuts October 30th

A loud-mouthed, sports-crazy Boston family (redundant?) is at the center of this multi-camera sitcom based on the life of series creator Brian Gallivan. But what happens when the patriarch asks the resident black sheep — a gay, sports-averse son — o be his assistant basketball coach? Madness! Will there be a “you throw like a girl” joke? Probably! Tyler Ritter, Laurie Metcalf, Jack McGee, Jimmy Dunn, and Joey McIntyre (yes, that Joey McIntyre, of New Kids on the Block) star.

New England based sitcoms have been hit (Cheers) or miss (Boston Common, Costello, Lucky Louie, Goodnight Beantown) Okay, more misses than hits. Of course I’m rooting for NKOTB alum Joey McIntyre, and it does have a strong lead in with Two and a Half Men (in its final season) so it could be a hit, but if it stumbles out of the gate it will be gone quicker than you can say “Pahk Yah Cah in Havahd Yahd” – I had to.

GONE BY: Patriots Day (April 20th)


The Mysteries of Laura (Wednesday 10pm NBC)

Things at NBC are about to get Messing again! This lighthearted drama brings Will & Grace and Smash actress Debra Messing back to the small screen as Laura Diamond, an NYPD homicide detective who spends her days cleaning up the streets and the rest of her time cleaning up after her rambunctious twin sons and soon-to-be ex-husband (Josh Lucas) Laz Alonso also stars.

This takes the cake for worst preview of the fall season. Someone on staff should be fired for that Lady Gaga joke alone. It looks like Debra Messing is trying very hard to shed her spunky sitcom persona for a more gritty, blue collar character. Laura will most likely bring in some curious Will & Grace fans, but will ultimately lose its appeal just like her former costar Sean Hayes’ new show did last fall.

GONE BY: National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day (January 14th)

NEXT PAGE: See which show will be gone by National Crabmeat Day –>

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