As May Sweeps Approach, Cancellations Continue

By Michelle
April 7, 2004 - 8:03 PM

With May ratings sweeps fast approaching, television networks are making decisions about the remainder of their spring lineups and which series won't be back for the fall. Three recent casualties have been former Star Trek writer Bryan Fuller's Wonderfalls, which received good reviews but mediocre ratings on FOX, and two UPN shows, Game Over and The Parkers, which will follow The Mullets and Jake 2.0 into cancellation.

Executive producer Tim Minear broke the news about Wonderfalls to fans. In an item at Ain't It Cool News, Minear was quoted as saying that the show had been cancelled and that the producers were hoping to find some venue in which to air the remaining unaired episodes.

"The thirteen taken as a whole tell a story and go to a place, so a run of this 'limited' series would not be unsatisfying elsewhere," Minear said, thanking fans for their support.

The Washington Post was critical of FOX's decision to move the series from Friday night to Thursday, the most competitive night of the week on television already with CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and NBC's The Apprentice bringing in tens of millions of viewers.

The change put Wonderfalls "into cardiac arrest with just 2.9 million -- the smallest audience for any program on one of the Big Four networks last week."

Meanwhile UPN announced that the game is really over after a move from Wednesday nights to Fridays for the animated comedy Game Over, though the series still has one segment unaired.

The Futon Critic noted that back-to-back new episodes on Friday delivered an embarrassing 0.9 rating/2 share. UPN had planned to return to movies on Fridays later in April, but has chosen instead to begin airing features a week early.

UPN executives claim the series is still under consideration for next season's schedule, according to The Futon Critic, which also announced the end of UPN's The Parkers in its presentation of the network's sweeps month schedule.

The Futon Critic staff compiled the network's schedule from press releases, one of which announced a "series finale wedding" for the five-year-old comedy series.

Since Game Over moved to Friday nights, Star Trek: Enterprise reruns have aired back-to-back on Wednesday nights. The reality series I'm Still Alive! will debut in the 9 p.m. Wednesday slot next week, following a rerun of Enterprise's "Azati Prime".

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