ABC has announced its fall season. Among the notable news (meaning, the status of shows I currently watch), ‘FlashForward’ has been canceled. Meanwhile, ‘V’ has been renewed, but will appear as a mid-season replacement in early 2011. Personally, I think the network got this precisely backwards.
I like both shows enough to have continued watching them thus far, but have to admit that neither has lived up to its potential. I actually expected both to get canceled. If only one can survive, as far as I’m concerned, ‘FlashForward’ is clearly the better show. But that’s strictly based on how interesting or entertaining I find the storyline, and has nothing to do with ratings.
When this past season started, ABC obviously knew that this would be the last year for ‘Lost’. Rather than wait until the following season to promote a new series as a possible successor, the network started early by cultivating two new shows aimed at the same audience. Both started promisingly, and had fairly good ratings at first, but were hurt by the long hiatus between early December and late March. Audiences simply forgot about them, and weren’t interested enough to get caught up again.
‘FlashFoward’ is the most directly in imitation of ‘Lost’. Even so, the show has an intriguing premise and has been unraveling some nifty sci-fi concepts. Some of its plot developments feel too contrived, however. I’ve never really bought into the “Janis is a double agent” twist, and Olivia cheating on her husband is patently forced just to suit the needs of the plot. But I think the show had the potential to iron some of those problems out if it were to continue. Unfortunately, according to actress Sony Walger, it sounds like the finale will provide some resolution but won’t necessarily offer complete closure to the storyline.
I wrote about ‘V’ a little while back. My feelings about that haven’t changed. It’s solid sci-fi entertainment, but kind of generic. I honestly don’t see much room for growth or improvement beyond this season. Of the two options, this one is better suited as a one-season-and-done series, in my opinion. I suppose the ratings must be telling the network a different story, though.