Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Schedule Five-Spot, WE 11/20/11 - Rules of Engagement, A Gifted Man, Survivor, Dexter, South Park

Phew! The news just seems to come in bunches. This one is mostly about CBS' midseason announcements but touches on a couple other things too. Here's my third and final Schedule Five-Spot for the week ending November 20, 2011:

Rules of Engagement - OK, so I know CBS likes to be particularly retentionista with their comedies, but does Rules of Engagement really deserve to have its episode count trimmed? I don't have any delusions that the show is Truly as strong as its raw numbers indicate, but my metric still has the show a little stronger than most of CBS' second tier of mostly "safe" dramas. If an expansion of comedy is nigh (and it should be), I'd want to have this around.

A Gifted Man - It's nice to get three more episodes ordered, but this is another of those dreaded short extensions (like Pan Am) which might as well be a cancellation. The eternal question for CBS remains "How much better can we do on Friday at 8/7c?" They apparently think they can do meaningfully better than A Gifted Man (and I'm actually sort of inclined to agree), but they really haven't since they let Ghost Whisperer go.

Survivor - CBS also granted another two seasons to Jeff Probst and the ever-resilient Survivor. It's had its worst fall season ever, but it's also had to face some really legit reality competition for the first time in the fall (The X Factor) and has held up relatively well considering. Its next season will premiere February 15. And CBS also announced they will fill the between-The Amazing Race void with third-year reality series Undercover Boss.

Dexter - Showtime has given a two-season renewal to its flagship drama Dexter, whose 0.92 A18-49 average to date continues to pretty handily outshine everything else on its network ratings-wise. It's also still up a little bit from last season and has perked up a bit in the last few weeks. Deadline reports that according to a Showtime exec, these next two seasons are likely to be the show's last.

South Park - It was a good week for multi-season renewals, as Comedy Central's animated program South Park will return for three more seasons. That will take the show through season 20, meaning we're gonna have South Park to kick around for quite a long time (the season that just wrapped last week was only #15). It's actually dropped a bit behind Tosh.0 on the Comedy Central totem pole this fall, but it's still strong by cable standards.

The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

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