Saturday, May 13, 2017
LAST MAN STANDING and 2 BROKE GIRLS cancelled
Most of the cancellations are expected. DR. KEN, IMAGINARY MARY (dear God), THE REAL O’NEALS, SON OF ZORN (dear God again), APB, MAKING HISTORY, PITCH, NO TOMORROW (they were asking for it with that title), POWERLESS, and a number of others. And if you’re not reading this until Monday that number has probably grown.
And it can all be explained in one word: ownership.
2 BROKE GIRLS is owned by Warner Brothers, LAST MAN STANDING is owned by 20th Century Fox. If they were owned by CBS and ABC respectively they would both be on the schedule.
And by the way, don’t cry for either of those shows. They’re both doing fantastic in syndication and both bringing in scads of cash for their studios.
But as the seasons pile up so do the costs to produce those series. Actor salaries rise, as do the above-the-line players (writers, directors, producers, and those managers and former executives who attach themselves to these projects and take a cut despite doing nothing).
Networks negotiate with studios on what their license fees will be (networks pay a license fee to the production company/studio in exchange for two airings of the show. If the show costs more to produce the studio pays the overage. Studios lose money on most shows. But a home run like THE BIG BANG THEORY can erase all of that and more.
So networks don’t want to pay big bucks to studios when they can’t participate in future profits. And big studios reach a point where production costs get so high that even in syndication it doesn’t seem worth it. Especially if a network now wants a cut. If studios already have a hundred episodes, how much more important is it to have a hundred and twenty?
So the negotiations get tough. The studios bank on the network’s need for the show and the network banks on the studio’s desire to have more episodes in syndication. It’s a game of chicken and sometimes it goes either way.
In the case of 2 BROKE GIRLS and LAST MAN STANDING the deals fell apart.
But if you’re fans of those two shows, just wait. If ROSEANNE and WILL & GRACE are any indication, they can just come back in two years as reboots and there will be a bidding war for them.