On Thursday, NBC decided that it just wasn't going to work for the freshman series Undercovers, the hot-couple-who-spy-together show from J.J. Abrams that had trouble catching on at 8 p.m. The peacock announced that its initial 13-episode order was all it was going to get, and that the series is a goner in its Wednesday timeslot as of December 1.
This is the time of year when all the networks have to make final decisions on their struggling series: pull the plug now, or give them a full season and see what happens. And of course, a few shows (My Generation, Lone Star) had already met the fate of Undercovers due to extremely weak performance out of the box. Here's a quick status report on the new series of 2010-11, plus an update on a few of the iffier veteran shows. Arranged in order of network:
The Whole Truth: ABC has yanked it for the November sweeps, which isn't an official cancellation. Still, you might want to keep the priest on standby.
Better With You: Received a full season episode order, but it is the lowest rated of ABC's Wednesday comedies and probably needs to pick it up to get another season.
Detroit 1-8-7: Got a few new episodes tacked on to its initial order of 13, but its long term future doesn't look good.
No Ordinary Family: Got a full season vote of confidence by ABC, but it's eating the dust of Glee on Tuesdays, and things aren't likely to get any better once American Idol comes back.
The Event: Its ratings have stabilized a little, and NBC has ordered a full season.
Outlaw: Airs its last episode on November 13.
Law & Order: LA: Not really a hit even by NBC standards, but picked up for a full season.
Outsourced: Critics haven't had many good things to say, but this series has done well following The Office and has received a full season episode order.
Chase: Monday at 10 has been a jinx timeslot at NBC for seemingly forever, but this series has gotten a full season episode order despite its sub-mediocre ratings.
Life Unexpected: Apparently this season's answer to the question "How bad do you have to do before even the CW gives up on you?" Its episode order for this season has been capped at 13, meaning it will almost certainly never get any more than that.
Hellcats: Doesn't get the buzz of the network's other girl-friendly shows, but it's safe for the rest of this season at least.
Nikita: It's not a good fit for its lead-in The Vampire Diaries (or anything else on the network), but it did get its full season order. This might eventually get the Friday slot once Smallville airs its finale.
Hawaii Five-O: It couldn't keep its initial high ratings, but seems safe.
S#*! My Dad Says: All the NBC Thursday sitcoms except The Office would kill for its ratings. It's safe for the full season.
Mike & Molly: Keeps enough of the Two and a Half Men audience that it's safe.
Medium: The one veteran show on this list, CBS has capped its episode order at 13, meaning a likely goodbye after several near-death experiences and one cancellation by NBC.
Blue Bloods: It's the most popular show on Friday nights. That's not saying much, but CBS presumably had low expectations there anyway.
The Defenders: Of the three new shows on Wednesdays at 10, this gets the best ratings, but competition is fierce at CBS and this looks like the most vulnerable of its new shows.
Raising Hope: Fox has ordered a full season's worth of episodes from this rarity for the network, a half-hour comedy with human actors that's actually caught on.
Human Target: Pulled from its original Friday timeslot before it even premiered this season, it finally returns on November 17.
The Good Guys: Doesn't seem to have much of a future on Friday nights, but no announcement from Fox yet either.
Running Wilde: The companion to Raising Hope is not doing well, and is a prime candidate to disappear or get banished to Friday once Fox clears the decks for American Idol.