IT'S perhaps the most tumultuous few days each year in the world of American television. This week in New York, the executives and stars of all of the big US networks have gathered advertisers, stakeholders and media to announce the fate of last year's crop of shows and proclaim the year's new series.
Yes, it's upfront season. While American content is not as significant in the estimation of the Australian networks' programmers as it once was, it still holds some significance to a channel's prospects for the year ahead.
A handful of shows on air locally, for example, have been axed. Nine's stalwart CSI: Miami was cancelled this week; however, the lower-rating CSI: NY and the original CSI series, set in Las Vegas, survived. Poppy Montgomery's crime-drama Unforgettable was abruptly terminated.
Also at Nine, The Mentalist, Person of Interest and 2 Broke Girls live to fight another day. The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men will also, obviously, return. Alcatraz, which made its debut to huge buzz and low ratings in February, has bitten the dust. As has the Kathy Bates dramedy Harry's Law.
With its third season now screening on GO!, the ratings-challenged cult-hit sitcom Community has been given a shortened, 12 episode, fourth season run.
On Ten, the disappointing A Gifted Man has been dumped. Hawaii Five-0, remarkably, will continue. The Good Wife has (thankfully) escaped cancellation. Terra Nova, Ten’s Queensland-made dinosaur blockbuster, is officially extinct. Powerhouses NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Modern Family, New Girl and Glee are returning. As is Law & Order: SVU, for its 14th year.
Last year, Ten promoted The Finder, a Bones spinoff, as a strong addition to its 2012 line-up. It never made it to air locally. Hugh Laurie's House is also gone. Ten will finish screening its final season on Saturday nights from June. Sarah Michelle Gellar's soapy comeback vehicle Ringer has also been cancelled.
Despite losing much of its on and off screen creative team, The Office will return with yet another season to screen on Eleven next year.
At Seven, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Happy Endings and the as-yet-unseen-locally Scandal will all get second seasons. The Ashley Judd thriller Missing will not. The yet-to-be-screened horror series The River is also dead.
Somewhat surprisingly, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice will return, as will Castle and Bones, while Desperate Housewives will finish its final season in a few weeks' time.
Parks and Recreation and Parenthood have been given a stay of execution, while 30 Rock has one more 13-episode run left next year before it ends.
Several buzzworthy shows from last year's upfront sessions Pan Am, The Playboy Club and Allen Gregory did not make it to Australian screens.