Abandoning TV Programs

Van Helsing, MacGyver, The Good Place

It has been a very busy fall TV season, with many new shows premiering and many shows returning. When the new season began, I had eighteen returning sci-fi shows I followed, plus eight new shows I was interested in which I discussed here: What I am Excited About in Sci-fi/Fantasy TV for 2016-2017. In addition, there were twelve new sitcoms that drew my attention, when I already was following five that were returning which were mentioned here: Are You Ready For Some… Sitcoms?. Now, some of the new shows are mid-season premieres, so they have not yet been aired. But, I think you get the idea that not even counting the dramas and police procedurals I also watch I was nuts to think I could keep up with all these shows!

So, for the first time, I have had to make decisions on what programs to abandon earlier than usual. It has helped that several of the shows I watch, in particular the ones on cable networks, have a short season of just ten episodes, so there is some hope of not having to completely abandon them. But, I do have programming on my DVR from January 2016, which I am now wondering if I will ever get around to watching.

When it comes to giving up on shows, I usually heavily favor the returning programs, since I am already invested in the characters. That is not to say I have never ditched existing shows; in fact in recent memory, I have done it a couple of times. But for now, the shows I have discontinued since September have all been new shows. I will likely still give the midseason shows a chance once they do premiere, so I may still pick up some new shows. Plus, some of the shows I watch are in their final seasons so there will be some loss there loosening the viewing chaos a little.

I tend to have an eclectic collection of programs I watch. Some are among the most popular on TV, whereas others are in serious danger of being canceled due to poor ratings. No matter, I know what I like, even if others do not agree! I also made some last minute changes to my viewing plan based on articles I read. For instance, This Is Us was not on my radar originally, but after reading about it I decided to give it a try and just boy am I glad I did! What has surprised me is that for the first time, it has been relatively easy to abandon shows. This is new for me, because in the past I have agonized over the programs and tried to find ways to still watch them!

Sci-fi and Fantasy

Vanessa - Van Helsing

One of the first new shows to fall by the wayside was Syfy’s Aftermath. While it was actioned packed and intriguing at first, it quickly fell into familiar tropes and patterns that I felt were just repeats of other programs I already watch. I then decided to not even start watching Syfy’s Channel Zero primarily because it seemed to be leaning more into horror, and while I do watch some horror programs, it is not a strong preference of mine.

Two new programs that are sitting on the edge for me are Syfy’s Van Helsing and the CW’s Frequency. I like them both, and they are still on my DVR, but I am wondering if I will have time to actually watch them! I also have only watched one episode of USA’s Falling Water, and hope to be able to watch more episodes before deciding whether or not to quit.


The Good Place - Season 1

I tried to give all the sitcoms a fair shake, but I had to make some hasty decisions. It seemed to me like many of the new ones I tried had some premise or recurring theme that really annoyed me. I liked ABC’s Speechless until it seemed they began to overemphasize the fact that the lead family makes horrible neighbors who totally disregard even the basic tenets of consideration. CBS’s Man With a Plan and Kevin Can Wait joined Speechless, despite the fact both had humorous moments which began to become too familiar. Then there was NBC’s The Good Place, which was funny but for me could not sustain the momentum and go bogged down in after-life angst. Likewise, I abandoned Fox’s Son of Zorn, but in this case it was partly because of the fact it is being aired on Sunday night which made it almost impossible to record due to all the competing shows. Seriously – why are 90% of the programs I like on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday nights?

I am already watching CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Fox’s The Last Man on Earth, ABC’s Modern Family, CBS’s The Odd Couple, and CBS’s Life in Pieces, so in order to add something new, it needs to be really different and these programs were not filling any voids for me.



I started watching CBS’s MacGyver, and while I have not as yet abandoned it, it is starting to look very similar to CBS’s Scorpion, so for me it is like déja vu. I have it sitting on my DVR, and it may be that I will watch the episodes I am saving, but that will depend on if I reach the tipping point and am able to find the time.

A show that I really like is the CW’s No Tomorrow, but I read recently that it is in danger of being canceled. That would be too bad, since I am keeping up with it and find it entertaining. Another new show I really savor is ABC’s Conviction, but I read that it has already been canceled. For me personally, these shows were different from other programming, and I think that is what attracted me. I will miss them when they are gone.


Have you abandoned any new programs so far this season? If so, which ones? If not, how are you coping with keeping up with new programs added to your viewing schedule? Please let me know in the comments section below. I love hearing what you have to say!