This season of Prime Time TV will see a number of highly successful and popular shows coming to a close, but also a few new ones start; here’s a look at where some notable programs are at in their run.
On the way out
Of all the shows playing out their final season, without a doubt the most anticipated finale belongs to AMC’s Breaking Bad, the drama about a high school chemistry teacher gone crooked. With just three episodes left (as of this issue’s print date), one of this generation’s greatest televised dramas is ending in a manner similar to it’s predecssors (The Wire, Sopranos), with only five seasons. But worry not fans, the legacy of this show won’t allow it to end now, as AMC and Sony are currently considering the development of a spin-off series featuring shady lawyer Saul Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk).
Keeping with the dramatic tone, Dexter – the story of a serial killer who only goes after criminals – is calling its eighth season the last. With only four episodes left, fans will soon be saying goodbye to Dex and his dark passenger forever. While there is no spin-off in the works yet, fans should note that there is a comic series of the same name published by Marvel.
In terms of comedy, this season has seen the end of cult-followed Futurama, and will see the highly anticipated end of How I Met Your Mother.
Futurama, no stranger to cancellation, has ended their production once again, this time on a somewhat more prepared note in its seventh season. Comedy Central had announced that it would not be commissioning any further episodes past this season, but show creator Groening has stated that he will try to get it picked up by another network. With the dedicated fanbase that Futurama has amassed over the air, it’d be surprising if this was the last to be seen of the program.
On the other side you have ABC’s How I Met Your Mother, a show that has longer overstayed its welcome (or at least, its premise). Being a story based around a single simple event (two people meeting) its surprising that the producers felt 9 seasons was appropriate amount of time to tell the story. While the show still has a strong and committed fanbase, there is no doubt a small part of it that is only holding on to see the end. Luckily, those in charge seem to understand brevity a bit, if only better than those running Two and A Half Men.
Moving on, there are a few programs notable for being in their middle-years, that is, not so new that they’re still getting their footing, and not so old that we’re tired of looking at them.
On the younger side of this, you have Comedy Central’s year-old stable of comedian-hosted shows. These include Key & Peele, Kroll Show, The Jeselnik Offensive, Nathan For You and Inside Amy Schumer. Essentially, if you enjoy the comedy of the person(s) hosting the show, you’ll probably enjoy the show itself. The programming is quick and fleeting with small episode counts per season, but this type of show worked very well for them last year, capitalizing on these (relatively) rising stars within areas of the comedy scene.
Fox’s New Girl will enter its third season on September 17, and is definitely worth a watch if you haven’t bothered yet. On paper, the show sounds like a HIMYM/Friends/2 Broke Girls type show with sub-par jokes and canned laughter. In reality, its a show with impeccable editing and a cast of supporting characters that consistently outshine star Zooey Deschanel. The writers have done a good job of playing with but not falling to the “Sam and Diane” type relationship with the main interests, but its worth noting that this may not last. With such a standard premise for the show (literally, “a comedy about the sexual politics of men and women”) New Girl rises above many tried tropes, or subverts them effectively.
On the way in
Most worthy of note is without a doubt ABC’s Agents Of Shield. Starring Clark Greg as the Avenger’s Phil Coulson, the show will feature the operations of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistic Division (Shield).
Spinning out of the Marvel cinematic universe, AOS is Marvel’s first live-action television show in a long time, and has a lot riding on it. Produced by Joss Whedon, it will (unfairly) hold the expectation of being as good as shows that he has run and written. Furthermore, it will be tirelessly compared to DC’s current live action programming, Arrow, as well as shows with similar settings (24, for one). It is definitely one of the most anticipated premiere’s of the season, so be sure to catch it, September 24 on ABC.