As I mentioned on Thursday, The CW has been having a rough go of it with their new series this season. Other than Vampire Diaries, none of their new scripted series have been pulling very impressive ratings, including the much ballyhooed Melrose Place remake. I wasn’t expecting a death so quickly, though, but after only two episodes The Beautiful Life: TBL has been given the ol’ heave-ho.
Other than the swiftness, not much about the cancellation is a surprise. The first mistake came with the casting of Mischa Barton. Mistake number two was the bungled PR handling of the show, including the ridiculous nude promotional photos debacle. On the production side, fault lies with the tepid writing, which was predictable and bland. We can’t really expect much more, though, from such a dull and overly-used premise (it girl disappears from the spolight, everyone assumes rehab, actually had a baby, surprise!).
There were pops of excitement, but those fleeting moments were mainly visual and were so few and far between. Watching the show I often wondered why it lasted a full hour. The network is shoveling episodes of Melrose Place in TBL’s timeslot, which I guess means another free hour for my DVR.
But wait! There’s more: A&E has declined to renew (read: canceled) their latest new scripted series, The Cleaner. The show was not exactly a favorite of ours, but many in TV critic circles seemed to enjoy it. We always thought it was a bit too drab and depressing…only not in a good way. We did like Benjamin Bratt, though, so we’re kinda bummed for him.
The decision to not renew the series for a third season means, atleast for now, A&E has no scripted series. Not sure if they have anything in the pipeline for the future, but the network recently merged with Lifetime, which was bought by NBC and blah blah blah. Lot’s of business stuff, but we all know that, with Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva, Lifetime has been doing pretty well with scripted series and NBC sister nets like USA and SyFy have been killing it with so many hits the last few seasons to even list.