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TV's merciless spring clear-out

It’s been a veritable bloodbath in the Hollywood.

This is the season of programming cuts and fall show promotions from the networks.  Originally, only industry advertisers, local stations, and critics got to see previews for the new shows this early.  The rest of us mere mortals had to wait for the launch of the new fall season.

But in recent years, new show trailers started popping up online for everyone to see, Tweet, and discuss for the next four months.  A few of the pilot episodes might even be aired during the summer months to tease viewers further before the official network fall launch.

However, given the number of shows that have recently been axed, some of this may be just to avoid audience backlash.  When it was announced last week that the CW had taken a pass on the excessively-hyped Supernatural spinoff Wayward Sisters, social media users started a letter writing campaign asking the network to reconsider.

And who wants to deal with that?

Of course, some shows have to be cut.  Unless someone wants to create another workday in the existing 7-day week, how else will viewers get new shows without dropping something from the primetime schedule?

So it was little surprise that low-rated comedies such as 9JKL, Alex Inc., Great News, Superior Donuts, and Me, Myself & I were given their marching orders.  However, CBS surprised everyone by also cancelling its number four comedy, Kevin Can Wait.

On the drama side, viewers must say goodbye to The Brave, Lucifer, Scorpion, Taken, and The Exorcist.  Also cancelled are the once critically-acclaimed Rise, Quantico and Designated Survivor.

Surprisingly, the low-rated Elementary, who only just began a shortened season six, has already been greenlit for a season seven.  Furthermore, Shonda Rhimes’ baby, For the People, was also renewed despite having lower ratings than the now-defunct Deception, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, and The Crossing.

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of politics in Hollywood.  So some networks giveth after others taketh away.  ABC dumped Last Man Standing last year only to have Fox pick it up for Fridays this fall.  Then Fox dropped Brooklyn Nine-Nine only to have NBC swoop in to add it to its schedule.

Meanwhile, Lethal Weapon has riled up its fans by dismissing its star Clayne Crawford, who played the titular role of Martin Riggs.  After on-set complaints about the actor, Seann William Scott (American Pie’s Stifler) was hired as a new partner for Detective Murtaugh.  But if there’s no Riggs, can there be a Lethal Weapon?

And then there are the hotly pre-promoted reboots of Cagney & Lacey, a Bad Boys spinoff led by women and a Greatest American Hero with a black female in the lead role!  The studios gave them all a pass despite star-studded casts and timely girl-power themes.

So the networks had better come through with some stellar programming this fall.  With this kind of carnage, they going to need a good redemption storyline.