TV shows get cancelled all the time; it's the nature of the business. Some get pulled unexpectedly (though, in hindsight, not really), others are a long time coming. Whatever the case, for fans, it always blows.
Take "The X Factor," for instance. We always knew it was on the bubble and its weekly trouncing from "The Voice" each week pretty much sealed its fate -- but that doesn't make its cancellation after three seasons hurt any less. It had been long-rumoured that Simon Cowell would be returning to the U.K. format of the series he created, but those rumours became reality on Friday.
"I've had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on 'The X Factor' and 'American Idol,'" Cowell said in a press release. "Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the U.K. version of 'The X Factor' in 2014. So for now, I'm back to the U.K. and I want to thank Fox for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I'll see you soon!"
And since daddy-to-be Cowell is the biggest draw for any show he's a part of, 'The X Factor' was no more. Personally, it was my favourite singing competition, though I was clearly in the minority. It averaged about seven million viewers last season (which was won by Simon's group, Alex & Sierra) but, sadly, it wasn't enough. My editor told me that nobody watches 'American Idol' anymore but, comparatively, 15 million tuned in to its Season 13 premiere. Baffling.
As an aside, the U.S. "X Factor" has managed to put out some decent talent. Sure, Season 1 and 2 winners Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens didn't do very well, but past alums Fifth Harmony and Emblem3 have made names for themselves. I have high hopes for Alex and Sierra, who are currently working with John Legend on their debut album. Will they be as big as One Direction? Probably not. But if they are on par with, or bigger than, Leona Lewis or Cher Lloyd (and I believe they are), then Simon picked the right time to leave and "The X Factor" ended on a high note.
With "The X Factor" kaput, it makes me think of other shows I watch that have even lower viewerships. "Parenthood" immediately springs to mind, as does "Super Fun Night," "Enlisted," "Raising Hope," "Once Upon A Time In Wonderland," "Betrayal" and "Hostages" (OK, OK, "Betrayal" and Hostages" stand no chance of coming back, but the rest? They deserve a chance). "The Mindy Project," "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife" are three more of my favourites, and while the reviews are great for all three, their numbers could be better. I can't see their respective networks pulling them, but I've seen other quality shows get yanked ("Perfect Couples," "Bent," "Happy Endings," "Don't Trust the B," sniff, sniff) so no series -- comedies, in particular -- should feel safe.
A cancellation of a beloved show is like the death of a loved one. OK, perhaps a tad dramatic -- it's more like a red sock getting mixed in with the whites or someone spilling wine on your shoe. It seems like the end of the world. It's shocking and disappointing and it's not hard to be greatly affected. Sure, it may be one less thing to suck the life from our PVRs, but it still sucks. It's like any tragedy (I know, I know, I'm exaggerating again but go with me); the bad news sinks in, there's the initial mourning period, and after grieving our favourite characters and storylines (or the judges/mentors, hosts and acts, in "The X Factor"'s case) and remembering the good times and memories, we can move on to the next show (or devote more time to the rest of the shows that are part of our personal lineups).
And, finally, we can also hope nothing else gets cancelled. But, hey, you never know. American television without Cowell seems wrong. He did imply he would be back. Look at Jack Bauer. His plagued days seemed over, but he's returning to TV in May with 12 new episodes in the reboot, "24: Live Another Day." Hey, if Kiefer Sutherland can return to television, so can Simon, right?
But if you're missing a reality singing show, I suppose there's always "Idol" or "The Voice." Too soon?