Chuck? Saved. Dollhouse? Activated for another season. Cold Case? Very warm. Better Off Ted? Much better than dead. Yes, the television gods were indeed benevolent this weekend with news that several on-the-bubble shows were renewed for another season.
I feel like leaving offerings in front of my TV in thanks in particular for the return of Yvonne Strahovski and Eliza Dushku. Both actresses play strong, complex, kick-ass central female characters who help make the television landscape richer and more interesting. Also, they both look really hot in leather.
Of course, all the news wasn’t good for in limbo series. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was officially terminated meaning no more weekly doses of Lena Headey or Summer Glau. Amber Tamblyn’s freshman crime drama, The Unusuals, received unusually low ratings and didn’t get a second season. And it looks like the missing persons drama Without a Trace might disappear itself. Plus, don’t forget the previously announced axing of Life and Pushing Daisies. Oh, Olive Snook, I think I’ll miss you most of all.
Still the pickups of the low-rated Dollhouse and Better Off Ted and lowish-rated Chuck can be seen as triumphs of the little guys. The shows all had dedicated, organized and very vocal online fan campaigns to rescue their shows from extinction. The “Save Chuck” campaign had fans send letter and buy Subway sandwiches. And Dollhouse fans started a “Save Dollhouse” project before the show even aired.
Though Chuck’s hard-won renewal comes with a catch. According to Michael Ausiello from Entertainment Weekly the 13-episode order comes with an agreement to make “significant budget concessions” including reducing the screentime for some of the supporting cast and possibly eliminating one actor as well as writing staff. Dollhouse has also been asked to slash its budget, but there’s no indication that the cuts would mean any cast losses.
So, which show’s return has you most excited? Which loss will you mourn? And does this mean I can finally stop buying Subway sandwiches?
Monday afternoon update: At a press conference today announcing their next season, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly explained, “Terminator had a nice little run. We did see it trailing off a bit, and ultimately we made the bet on Dollhouse. That’s it for Terminator. If we canceled Joss Whedon’s show I would have got 110 million emails from his fans today.”