Upfronts 2011 Reality Check: Freshman Series Scorecard

Here's what happened to all the shows touted on the stages last May
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It's easy to believe that the broadcast networks in general had a better batting average this season than in 2010-2011, popping hits like CBS' 2 Broke Girls, ABC's Once Upon a Time and Fox's New Girl. But in all fairness, they also took a lot more swings. While the network presidents touted 24 new series on the upfront stages in spring 2010, in 2011 they boasted 46 -- and that's not even counting off-cycle additions such as Rock Center With Brian Williams, Rob, Fashion Star, Betty White's Off Their Rockers and The L.A. Complex.

As we head into broadcast upfront week, it's never a bad idea to take stock of the season that was. Along with hits, there were as always shows that were canceled quickly (The Playboy Club,How to Be a Gentleman, Work It) and others that were allowed to quietly fizzle out (Pan Am, Prime Suspect). But a general move away from tired formats seemed to help the overall upfront-to-renewal ratio, even if not all the big bets succeeded (farewell, Terra Nova).

In the face of television's increasingly fragmented audience, and NBC and The CW still battling from behind, programming execs would be wise to learn from this year's successes and missteps. Toward that end, below you will find the winners and losers of last year's upfront week. Here's hoping for an even better scorecard, same time next year.

ABC

SHOW

STATUS

HOW THEY SCORED

Charlie's Angels

Canceled

Failed reboot was the network's first booted show

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23

Renewed

This late midseason comedy reaped the benefits of a Modern Family lead-in

GCB

Recent finale

Billed as a soapy successor to Desperate Housewives but couldn't live up to the hype

Last Man Standing

Renewed

Asked to anchor Tuesdays on its own, the Tim Allen comedy's ratings trended downward but star power helped keep it afloat

Man Up

Canceled

Man-in-a-woman's-world comedy fell flat with viewers

Missing

Airing now

Thursday at 8 p.m. claims another ABC series as the Ashley Judd drama is certain to be canceled

Once Upon a Time

Renewed

The season's top-rated new drama is a self-starter on Sundays

Pan Am

Off the schedule

ABC hung on to the period drama through January, but jettisoned it from the midseason schedule

Revenge

Renewed

Sudsy drama is a big buzz hit if not a ratings monster

The River

Off the schedule

Paranormal drama sunk in the Nielsens, will not return

Scandal

Renewed

The Shonda Rhimes drama rated consistently in late midseason

Suburgatory

Renewed

A suitable family comedy bridge between The Middle and Modern Family

Work It

Canceled

Critically despised cross-dressing comedy did not work; was pulled after two episodes

CBS

SHOW

STATUS

HOW THEY SCORED

2 Broke Girls

Renewed

The season's top-rated new comedy is already a bona fide hit

A Gifted Man

Canceled

Earned respectable numbers on Fridays, but not enough to return on the Eye

How to Be a Gentleman

Canceled

Downgraded to Saturdays before being shut down last October

NYC 22

Canceled

Cop drama premiered to just a 1.5 rating among viewers 18-49 and didn't improve

Person of Interest

Renewed

The J.J. Abrams series was the second-highest-rated new drama of the season

Unforgettable

Canceled

Retention out of NCIS: LA could have been stronger, meaning this procedural was forgotten in the network's fall schedule




The CW

SHOW

STATUS

HOW THEY SCORED

 The Frame

Never aired

A planned second midseason reality entry never happened when the net couldn't find a producer for the series

 H8R

Canceled

Viewers (and critics) H8D this reality show, which was canned after four episodes

 Hart of Dixie

Renewed

Earned respectable retention out of a weakened Gossip Girl

 Re-Modeled

Canceled

Modeling reality series earned The CW's lowest-rated premiere ever

 Ringer

Canceled

Despite Sarah Michelle Gellar's star power, the noir drama never found its audience

 The Secret Circle

Canceled

Didn't take off despite the network's strongest lead-in, The Vampire Diaries

Fox

SHOW

STATUS

HOW THEY SCORED

Alcatraz

Canceled

Prison break drama from J.J. Abrams started strong but steadily declined

Allen Gregory

Canceled

Jonah Hill's animated comedy about a precocious 7-year-old came and went last fall

The Finder

Canceled

Bones spinoff was downgraded to Fridays midway through its run

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Canceled

Multiple time slot changes couldn't jumpstart this multi-camera family comedy effort

Napoleon Dynamite

Canceled

Animated reboot had a better midseason showing than Allen Gregory, but not good enough to get renewed

New Girl

Renewed

The Zooey Deschanel comedy had a breakout premiere and helped define Fox's future comedy brand

Terra Nova

Canceled

Big hype but moderate ratings; Fox execs didn't like the upside on the pricey time-traveling drama

 Touch

Renewed

Kiefer Sutherland drama premiered very strong out of American Idol but has steadily fallen off; auspices no doubt helped earn second season

 The X Factor

Renewed

Simon Cowell's return was not the game-changer it was hyped to be; producers are mixing up the judges and format to differentiate the show in season two

NBC

SHOW

STATUS

HOW THEY SCORED

Are You There, Chelsea?

Canceled

...or, Are You There, Viewers? Chelsea Handler's multi-camera comedy proved lackluster

Awake

Canceled

Kyle Killen had worse fortune with Lone Star, but his latest drama effort still got the axe

Bent

Canceled

Despite positive reviews, Amanda Peet comedy was D.O.A. in midseason

Best Friends Forever

Canceled

Friendship comedy shelved after four episodes; replaced with additional episodes of Betty White's Off Their Rockers

The Firm

Canceled

Thursday at 10 p.m. claimed its second victim in February; legal drama is burning off its season on Saturdays

Free Agents

Canceled

Fall's second casualty, pulled after four episodes

Grimm

Renewed

Supernatural procedural was a surprise success on Fridays, and NBC's first renewal

The Playboy Club

Canceled

Fall's first casualty, yanked after three episodes in favor of Rock Center With Brian Williams

Prime Suspect

Canceled

Plenty of encore airings couldn't save this British cop drama remake, which was shut down after its initial 13-episode run

Smash

Renewed

Not the runaway hit NBC was hoping for, but its solid 2.3 adults 18-49 rating earned it an early renewal

Up All Night

Renewed

NBC brass like the show creatively, but a move to the post-Office time slot in midseason didn't dramatically increase ratings

Whitney

Renewed

Rookie was shifted from flagship Thursday to Wednesday but still squeaked out a pickup

It's easy to believe that the broadcast networks in general had a better batting average this season than in 2010-2011, popping hits like CBS' 2 Broke Girls, ABC's Once Upon a Time and Fox's New Girl. But in all fairness, they also took a lot more swings. While the network presidents touted 24 new series on the upfront stages in spring 2010, in 2011 they boasted 46 -- and that's not even counting off-cycle additions such as Rock Center With Brian Williams, Rob, Fashion Star, Betty White's Off Their Rockers and The L.A. Complex.

As we head into broadcast upfront week, it's never a bad idea to take stock of the season that was. Along with hits, there were as always shows that were canceled quickly (The Playboy Club,How to Be a Gentleman, Work It) and others that were allowed to quietly fizzle out (Pan Am, Prime Suspect). But a general move away from tired formats seemed to help the overall upfront-to-renewal ratio, even if not all the big bets succeeded (farewell, Terra Nova).

In the face of television's increasingly fragmented audience, and NBC and The CW still battling from behind, programming execs would be wise to learn from this year's successes and missteps. Toward that end, below you will find the winners and losers of last year's upfront week. Here's hoping for an even better scorecard, same time next year.

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