It is cancellation week in the US tv world. By now most know that Zero Hour or Private Practice or 90210 won’t be back in September with new episodes so this is, at least for now, omitting the months-ago-announced cancellations from this season. Probably the most shocking cancellation announced this week has been that of Southland, the critically acclaimed police drama that is like nothing else on tv for its blunt realism.
Among the renewals this week are Defiance (Syfy/Showcase), Criminal Minds (CBS/CTV), Nikita (The CW/CTV two), and yes even The Carrie Diaries (The CW/City).
So far still stuck on the proverbial fence is are most of the ABC schedule, Hannibal (AXN/City), The New Normal (NBC/CTV), and The Cleveland Show (FOX/Global) . When word on the fate of Hannibal will be known is uncertain since it isn’t exactly an NBC series though NBC is the American broadcaster of the show which is set in America. In recent years Sony has started to commission original programming for their AXN network of channels that cover much of the planet excluding Canada and USA. This year their show is Hannibal; last year it was The Firm, which was also picked up by NBC.
Somewhat noticeably absent from the list of new shows picked up is the latest spin-off in the JAG family, the somewhat disappointing NCIS: Red or whatever they were going to settle on as the title. Shows in that fictional universe have a habit of lasting at least 10 seasons and being quite popular. NCIS: Red just didn’t seem like it could survive even 10% of that. This doesn’t mean it won’t be picked up. It just means there has not yet been an early announcement in advance of CBS’s 2013-14 Up-front announcement on 15 May.
|Out – shows cancelled this week|
|US Channel||Programme||CA Channel|
|TNT||Southland||Super Channel 2|
|Body Of Proof||City|
|Family Tools||CTV two|
|How To Live With Your Parents For The Rest Of Your Life||City|
|CBS||CSI New York||CTV|
|Golden Boy (cancelled 4 days before series finale broadcast)||CTV|
|Rules Of Engagement||City|
|Vegas (cancelled hours before series finale broadcast)||Global|
|Guys With Kids||Global|
|Rock Center With Brian Williams||n/a|
|The New Normal||CTV|
|Up All Night (never did make the multi-cam eps)||CTV|
|FOX||Touch (series finale day after cancellation announced)||Global|
|The Cleveland Show||Global|
|usa||Burn Notice||Super Channel|
|In – new shows, spin-offs, and one revival|
|US Channel||Programme||CA Channel|
|ABC||Agents Of SHIELD||tbd|
|Super Fun Night||tbd|
|Back In The Game||tbd|
|Once Upon A Time In Mexico Wonderland||tbd|
|Intelligence (not the brilliant CBC series)||tbd|
|We Are Men||tbd|
|Rake (remake of Aus. orig.)||tbd|
|Surviving Jack (previously I Suck At Girls)||tbd|
|Us and Them||tbd|
|NBC||Chicago PD (spin-off of Chicago Fire; such a pathetic title)||Global|
|Welcome To The Family||tbd|
|About a Boy||tbd|
|Sean Saves the World||tbd|
|The Michael J. Fox Show||tbd|
|The CW||The 100||tbd|
|The Tomorrow People||tbd|
|Canadian – new shows and renewals|
|US Channel||Programme||CA Channel|
|ABC||Motive (renewed for s2)||CTV|
|BBC America||Orphan Black (renewed for s2)||SPACE|
|Reelz||Bomb Girls (feature-length final third season)||Global|
|Syfy||Lost Girl (renewed for s4)||Showcase|
|CBS||Beauty & The Beast (renewed for s2)|
While it is not a surprise that it was done it is surprising that it took until yesterday, four days after the broadcast of the fifth episode of the show (fourth to be broadcast by the NBC) for KSL to decide to drop Hannibal.
After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show “Hannibal” on Thursday evenings.
This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. The timeslot will be replaced with a special edition of KSL 5 News at 9pm.
NBC remains a valued partner to KSL TV. KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so.
This is the most recent in a grand tradition of refusing to broadcast the more controversial programming from the network the station is affiliated with. Hannibal joins the distinguished group which of late includes The New Normal and The Playboy Club. When more than a few of NBC’s affiliates refused to broadcast The Book Of Daniel, a show about a drug-addicted Episcopalian priest who believes he regularly converses with a physically present Jesus, it was KSL who took the odd stance of insisting upon broadcasting it.
With The New Normal KSL announced they they would not be broadcasting the show weeks in advance of its scheduled premiere on NBC. Something about a gay couple and surrogacy and pre-watershed time-slot was just too much for KSL. With The Playboy Club KSL likewise announced that due to (perceived) subject matter and corporate brand they refused to broadcast the show, some 3 months in advance of its scheduled premiere on NBC. How is it that a show about Count Dr Hannibal Lecter VIII, a psychiatrist working with the FBI who is also a serial killer and cannibal, wasn’t obviously or probably beyond the comfort-zone of KSL? Had noone at KSL ever seen any of the films or read the novels that Hannibal is based on? The Silence Of The Lambs is 22 years old now but it was one of the biggest names in Hollywood film from the late 20th century. Did station management not preview the first episode and notice its extensively graphic nature?
The station announced in June 2011 that they would not be broadcasting The Playboy Club per their “long-term policy to screen programming for material which significant portions of our audience might find objectionable.”
Where is KSL’s line for acceptable/objectionable content drawn? Overtly homosexual content is not acceptable. The potential for rampant promiscuity is not acceptable. Certain brand names are unacceptable. A drug-addicted religious leader is acceptable. Rape and murder are acceptable. A cannibalistic serial killer working for the FBI initially was ok but no longer is. But wait! How does KSL reconcile broadcasting the 194 episode / 8 season NBC comedy Will & Grace with its overtly homosexual content and promiscuity? KSL seems to hope you don’t remember the show. From over here it looks like KSL’s moral stance is about as ambiguous as the word “sometime”.
In news that was expected here and in few other places Beauty And The Beast has been renewed for a second season earlier today by The CW. So far there hasn’t been any word from Shaw regarding whether they will pick up the second season for Showcase.
What so few really considered when crunching the numbers was that Beauty And The Beast is actually a Canadian show. CBS made the pilot in Toronto. When it was picked up for series CBS partnered with Take 5 Productions of Toronto to make a formal international co-production. Take 5 also brought in Whizbang Films. How exactly CBS managed to make a show that qualifies as Canadian Content is a bit of a mystery but they did put all of the puzzle pieces together to achieve just that. How do we know that Beauty And The Beast is really CanCon? The licence for Showcase doesn’t allow non-Canadian programming to be shown between the hours of 7 and 10 pm ET and Beauty And The Beast is on Thursdays at 9 pm ET.
Why does it matter that Beauty And The Beast qualifies as CanCon when considering its renewal prospects? The money. CanCon carries a premium. Shaw doesn’t have a piece of the production pie. That means what Shaw pays for the rights to each episode is ‘new money’ on the books rather than money moved from one pocket to another. What exactly Shaw is paying per episode isn’t available but if CBS was wise they charged market rate for CanCon. That has the potential to off-set the lower advertising revenue the show brings in in the US.
The other reason that has been tossed around a bit more frequently is that Beauty And The Beast is the only CBS production (in any configuration) currently on The CW, which CBS co-owns with Warner.
Also renewed today for a third season is Hart Of Dixie, the small-town medical drama starring Rachel Bilson, Wilson Bethel, Scott Porter, Jaime King, and Cress Williams as Mayor Lavon Hayes. Hart Of Dixie is available in Canada on Hamilton’s CHCH and Victoria’s CHEK, the only employee-owned station in North America, as well as Chicago’s WGN, Los Angeles’ KTLA, and New York’s WPIX if your service provider offers The CW (check the movie channels bundle). CHCH and CHEK are indie stations that used to be part of the CH network and still sometimes pick up shows together which the Canadian networks pass on, such as Hart Of Dixie and the past few years of Supernatural.
The other renewals of the day include CBS’ Two And A Half Men, sans the half-man, for an 11th season. Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer have signed on for another year but Angus T. Jones has not. Beyond that there are the NBC renewals of Revolution, Chicago Fire, Parenthood, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Grimm for 22 episodes each.
With the censoring of Hannibal on NBC and City in the USA and Canada a little something funny has happened. The title of the censored episode made available in quasi-sanitised snippets on NBC.com and Hulu.com is Œuf. Most Americans use character sets for websites and language settings on their keyboards which exclude the character Œ from being rendered properly or being typeable. Most Americans have probably never encountered the character prior to its usage in the title of this episode of Hannibal and presume the latter half of that character which is an upper-case E is its own character and should be lower-case. The former half of that character is an upper-case O not C. The characters œ, Œ, æ, Æ are archaic in contemporary American but are still used in European and Canadian English and even more so in French and some other languages of Europe.
If using a character set that does not support Œ the proper rendering would be “Oe” as in Oeuf, which is French for egg. What someone at NBC has done is take Œ and make it “Ce” and Americans have blindly and obediently followed as it has appeared on all manner of blogs and newspapers and even the likes of IMDb have changed to embrace the typo after previously having it correct. Ceuf is all over Hulu.com and NBC.com, which are the “official sites” for the information and it is all wrong. It is a mega massive perpetuation of a typographical error.
The titles of the episodes of Hannibal are all relating to food and are all in French. Ceuf is French for not a damn thing and only exists as the American bastardisation of the title of this episode of Hannibal. It is such a unique word that if you type it into Google.com or Google.ca it returns nothing but results for the show Hannibal. Americans have apparently accidentally, inadvertently, and ignorantly created their own word which has no meaning at this time.
Anyone who is vaguely familiar with French knows that Americans have grossly messed this up. On all of the AXN websites it is either Œuf or Oeuf depending on the character set used for whatever the language of the website allows for. The City website has recently added the cannibalised remnants of the episode and it unsurprisingly follows the American lead on this. Could this be the largest typo ever?
Œuf, the episode of Hannibal which has had so many spelling mistakes in the media simply because it makes use of a character that is somewhat otherwise obsolete in contemporary English, has been removed from the broadcast schedules of NBC in the US and City in Canada at the behest of the creator of the show in response to the mass murder of first-graders in Connecticut four months ago.
Some people have said it was due to the bombings of the Boston Marathon that the episode was removed from the schedule but the bombings came afterward. The 102nd episode of Castle has been delayed a week due to its plot involving a bombing and in its place the 103rd episode of the series will be shown this coming Monday. The 102nd episode is now to be shown on 29 April 2013.
There are bombings almost every day somewhere. There are murders every hour somewhere. If the US broadcasters were genuinely concerned they would pull each episode of Law & Order SVU every time a woman was raped. They only do it for the free media coverage it gets them and their shows when they do it ‘out of respect for the victims’ which need be sufficient enough for a massive amount of attention to be focused on the incident. And that incident need happen within the borders of the USA (or involving US military abroad). Otherwise it is totally business as usual and who cares what happens elsewhere.
When the town of Slave Lake in northern Alberta was destroyed by forest fire a few years ago NBC thought nothing of broadcasting the episode of Law & Order Los Angeles in which a part of Malibu was threatened by wild fire. The episode was shown in Canada on CTV but it was prefaced with “In light of recent events… viewer discretion is advised.”
Africa was full of brainwashed child soldiers years before Mr Fuller decided to write an episode of Hannibal which included brainwashed children killing children. Then the mass murder at a school in Connecticut happens and four months later Mr Fuller decides the episode won’t be broadcast. To me it looks like Mr Fuller is saying the murder of children in Connecticut matters whilst the murder of children in some country of Africa many people couldn’t even name is irrelevant and maybe even ok. The mass murder in Connecticut happened whilst the first season of Hannibal was in production. If Mr Fuller really were wanting to be respectful he would have scrapped the episode and done whatever it took to replace it with a different episode while the show was still being filmed so as to avoid this publicity stunt now. I had been a fan of Mr Fuller for many, many, many years but today am absolutely disgusted by him and the gross double-standard he is embracing ‘out of respect’.
Œuf, the fourth episode of Hannibal, is still scheduled for broadcast on the various AXN channels around the world. The episode will be shown in Mexico on Wednesday 1 May 2013 at 10pm. At this time that is about as close to being shown in the US that the episode will get.