News for Next Year

So it’s that time of year again when decisions start being made about which on-the-bubble shows are going to definitely become part of the fall line-up. Not much word yet, but here’s some points of interest that I’ve stumbled across recently.

As of TODAY, Chuck has been renewed by NBC for a fourth season – no word on how many episodes, but for now I think we can assume a full twenty-some.

I have mixed feelings about this. Because I have mixed feelings about Chuck. On the one hand, I love this show. But on the other, analytical-gloved hand, I have to admit that it is a pretty inconsistent performer. I have constant worries about Chuck’s ability to keep itself moving, because its plotline M.O. is a constant stream of two steps forward, one-and-a-half steps back. Don’t get me wrong – I AM glad that Chuck has been renewed. Like, REALLY glad. But I have to question my own feelings a bit – is it because I honestly want another season of Chuck, or is it just because I’m worried this season’s finale is going to be epically un-epic?

My other piece of news is a two-parter from the FOX end of the universe. I’ve heard differing versions – a one-or-the-other situation or both. The main jist of it is, Human Target and Lie to Me are both under consideration for renewal or permanent cancellation.

In terms of ratings, both of these shows have underperformed (Human Target had it’s lowest recorded audience for the season finale which is just embarrassing). And, let’s be honest, it’s not only the ratings that fall short. Neither of these is a perfect show by any stretch of the imagination.

Lie to Me is in the same family as two of FOX’s major heavy-weights Bones and House. However, it hasn’t reached nearly their success. I attribute this to several elements. While the cast is spectacular, the characters excellent, and the writing of a very high caliber, the premise of the show is incredibly limited. As my father (a reluctant fan) notes, “There are only so many times I can watch Tim Roth go ‘Oh! Did you see his face twitch?!'” (paraphrase). And it’s true. Microexpressions are just not as interesting to watch as the spewing blood and mangled corpses you can see on House and Bones respectively. Not to mention, though the characters of Lie to Me are charming, they are significantly lacking in scandalousness. In a nutshell, the show is well-done. But that’s really as much as can be said for it. Other than the presence of Tim Roth and the occasional fun guest star, there is just nothing spectacular about it.

I will not be broken-hearted in the least if Lie to Me is cancelled. Probably not even upset. Possibly not even resigned. I haven’t missed it while it’s been off-air and I actually don’t feel very obliged to go watch the end of the season (which I fell behind on).

Human Target is a totally different ballgame. There really isn’t anything else quite like it on television. It’s very…cinematic in breadth and content. Unfortunately, it’s also very expensive to make and severely lacking in several departments, which are major counts against its chances of renewal.

Ridiculous as it is, I actually kind of love Human Target. There are several things I wish would get drastically changed – among them, new (better) writers, a make-up artist who can keep beautiful women classy and not turn them into huge hot messes, a coach for Mark Valley so he’ll stop mangling foreign languages beyond a Canadian accent, and significantly more attention to the overarching storyline…and, while I’m at it, more Guerrero! and new opening credits. HOWEVER, Human Target is just damn enjoyable the way it is. Other “flaws” like the overall disinclination to remember the laws of physics can be easily forgiven with the action-movie genre mentality in mind. And there are some real strengths to the show like the cast (three excellent leads and a who’s-who of sci-fi alumni that get my fangirl heart dancing) and, well, sheer awesomeness. This show I would definitely miss if it went away forever…especially since there is so much the need to explain! Least of all, the Danny Glover teaser from the pilot.

Unfortunately for my druthers, of the two shows Lie to Me is less expensive, already longer-running, a slightly better ratings performer and, yeah, better by a lot of measures. But (interjecting personal opinion) it’s just not fun. I don’t care about it. And I can’t see it continuing for seasons on end.

No word on the future yet. If it’s One v. The Other, I’m guessing Lie to Me will probably win out. But they could possibly be renewed. Or, hell, they could both get cancelled.

Only time will tell.

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  • Fellow Heroes Fan  On May 14, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Hey, heroes is cancelled:

    Just thought someone should let you know…

    • meltedbrain  On May 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM

      Thanks so much for the thought!
      You totally would have been the first to tell me if I hadn’t oddly decided to check IMDB updates before my email.

  • Fellow Heroes Fan  On May 14, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    No problem. There’s talk of a TV movie finale. If you want more info, it’s being posted here:

  • forensicfanatic  On May 14, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    While I like both shows, if I had to choose between Lie to Me and Human Target, my vote’s for Human Target.

  • Lena  On May 14, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    I personally would be MASSIVELY bummed if they cancelled Lie to Me. Really, I’m pulling for both to make it through.

  • Fellow Heroes (Chuck, and Human Target) Fan  On May 22, 2010 at 4:09 AM

    Human Target has been renewed. Btw, I’ll eat my left shoe if they don’t give Morgan Grimes an Intersect as this season’s twist.

    • meltedbrain  On May 22, 2010 at 9:14 AM


      Oh my god that would be hysterical.
      But I actually kind of disagree.
      That is just one degree too ridiculous.

      Personally, I’m hoping that Jeffster (managed by Big Mike) will mysteriously be granted a Big Break and we will be blessedly able to leave the Buy More behind forever. Because now that Morgan and Ellie and Awesome are clued in (or about to be, in Ellie’s case), that could actually be a possibility.

      But I really don’t think that’ll happen.

  • Fellow Heroes (Chuck, and Human Target) Fan  On May 23, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Okay, but all this “progress” brings the question, “What can they do from here?” My spoiler: Morgan.

    • meltedbrain  On May 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM

      …can’t argue with that logic.

  • Fellow Heroes (Chuck and Human Target) Fan Says  On June 1, 2010 at 3:21 AM

    Ok, you were right, I was wrong. But, holy crap, that finale was awesome. Kinda mad they killed the coolest guy on the show (Stephen), but it looks like he’ll survive in flashbacks.

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