As mid-season shows debut over the next three months, it will be crunch time for a number of series that haven't been tearing up the Nielsen charts. Here's what network insiders say are the shows on the bubble as execs look to set their schedules in May.
A second-year ratings fade may mean it's time to pull a sheet over the Dana Delany-led Body of Proof. While the network ordered an extra episode of Pan Am in order to keep a hold on the cast until May, its chances of returning next fall are as likely as an airport going a full day without a flight delay. Comedy Happy Endings doesn't do a great job retaining the lead-in from the mighty Modern Family, but ABC parent Disney has an ownership stake in the show and it's a favorite within the network's entertainment division — so a pickup for another season is considered a lock. And fan fave Cougar Town will get a final shot for renewal if it performs well in its new Tuesday time period starting February 14.
Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty
Resist the urge to pigeonhole or, worse, dismiss NBC's Smash as a "Glee for grownups." It's more original and exciting than that, bringing a thrilling charge of bold creative energy to network TV's mid-season that the fall largely lacked. Smash (premiering tonight at 10/9c, and maybe you caught wind of it during the Super Bowl?) is a musical show-stopper, a lavish and dishy wallow in the glittery yet ...
House, Jeffrey Wright
Monday's pivotal episode of House shines a light on perhaps the most crucial question of the series: Do Dr. House's life-preserving ends justify his usually outlandish means?
House First Look: Jeffrey Wright puts Dr. House on trial!
For nearly eight seasons, Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) has been able to pull almost any stunt he pleased at Princeton-Plainsboro, simply because he's a brilliant diagnostician who saves lives. But in Monday's episode (8/7c, Fox), House's methods end in a catastrophe that threatens one of his team member's future at the hospital. Enter Dr. Walter Cofield (guest star Jeffrey Wright), the head of neurology at a nearby hospital and a former mentor to Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps) — and the man who will determine whether House or his team is to blame for the accident.
"Jeffrey's character really decides the fate of the series — he puts House's process on trial," director and executive producer Greg Yaitanes tells TVGuide.com...
Jeffrey Wright and Hugh Laurie
Just how important is Jeffrey Wright's upcoming guest role on House?
"Jeffrey's character really decides the fate of the series — he puts House's process on trial," executive producer Greg Yaitanes tells TVGuide.com of Monday's episode, "Nobody's Fault."
Get more scoop on your favorite shows in our Winter TV preview
Wright plays Dr. Walter Cofield, the former mentor of Omar Epps' Foreman and current head of neurology. When one of Princeton Plainsboro's patients is involved in a violent incident, Cofield questions House (Hugh Laurie) and his team about their particular style of practicing medicine....
Zooey Deschanel, Brad Pitt
Awards season kicks off Sunday with the 69th Golden Globe Awards (8 ET/5 PT on NBC). Who will emerge victorious? We don't know yet, but we can have fun predicting — and so can you. Download your ballot here, make your picks and compare them to ours below.
Question: As we approach the annual barrage of year-end Top 10 lists, I'm dreading the fact that one worthy, excellent TV show will be overlooked by most critics: The Vampire Diaries. Don't get me wrong, I love Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones as much as any sane person, but I also think TVD is one of the most expertly paced, perfectly plotted shows on TV right now. Unfortunately, I don't think many professional critics bother to watch it, though they'll analyze lesser shows like True Blood and The Walking Dead just because of the networks they air on. Even if critics don't think The Vampire Diaries is Top 10 worthy, I think it at least deserves to be part of the year-end conversation. Why is it so hard for a show like this to be taken seriously? — Donnie
Matt Roush: I like Vampire Diaries and probably give it more consideration than ...
House, Hugh Laurie
When House eventually wraps its run, it won't just be the end of a long-running series, it will be the end of a 30-year TV career.
Star Hugh Laurie tells Scotland's The Daily Record that he plans to leave television acting when House concludes. "I think I have been rather spoiled here," the 52-year-old actor told the newspaper. "I can't imagine there will be another one quite like this. ... I wouldn't go...
Is it lights out for House? Executive producer David Shore is set to meet with execs from Fox and Universal TV (which produces the show) in the coming days to decide if this is indeed the last season of the long-running medical drama.
The band is back together.
On Monday's House (9/8c, Fox) Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) finally lures Drs. Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Taub (Peter Jacobson) back to Princeton-Plainsboro to rejoin his team of diagnosticians.
Ashton Kutcher, Ted Danson, James Spader
Ever feel like your favorite TV shows are sharing the same brain? Thanks to contract negotiations, pilot trends and similar cliff-hangers, we've seen several shows treading similar story line territory already this fall. CSI, Law & Order: SVU, The Office and Two and Half Men all replaced lead characters while NCIS and Castle both saw characters on a shrink's couch. But which shows did it better? Below, we pit them against one another and pick a winner...