Don't be surprised if the hits - the bad kind - keep on coming as other networks weed their schedules over the next few days.
After months of early renewals that sometimes made it seem as if television had gone to a rolling-admissions policy, the last few days before the week of pitches and parties known as the upfronts - because this is when media buyers purchase commercial time for next season - have become a time for getting the word out, often unofficially, about what shows didn't make the cut.
Late Tuesday night, Shawn Ryan, executive producer of "The Chicago Code," was holding a wake of sorts on Twitter after telling HitFix.com writer Alan Sepinwall that he'd just heard from Fox that it was canceling the Jason Clarke-Jennifer Beals police drama.
To a fan who'd tweeted, "It is a good show, the Fox suits just don't see it," @ShawnRyanTV replied, "Fox suits loved the show, but have a business to run," an allusion to "Code's" disappointing ratings.
"I think this is example 882 of how the Internet has changed everything," Josef Adalian, West Coast editor for New York magazine's Vulture.com, told me Monday as we talked about the way fans who once might have been out of the loop until the fall schedule announcements about which shows were coming back - and which new ones would replace them - sometimes now follow the news (and the hype) as closely as reporters for the Hollywood trades.
Especially, perhaps, the hype.
"It's become a little more like the movies," Adalian said, noting that people will sometimes become so swept up in the buzz for shows they've only read about that they'll begin beating the drum themselves online.
"It's like the white iPhone," he said. "It's like everything in TV is the white iPhone."
But then, of course, Apple finally releases the white iPhone and it turns out that white not only makes it look chunkier than its noirish sibling - it actually is chunkier.
And so it's on, perhaps, to the next slightly out-of-reach object of desire.
That's a model the networks, which don't get to sign their viewers up for two-year commitments, probably can't afford. Because it's one thing to sell someone on the idea of a show and another thing to get them to remember to watch it every week (and to stick around for the commercials that pay the bills).
The saddest thing about Fox's clear-cutting is that it took down some shows that generated enough passion that the people who did watch them are going to notice they're gone.
It's also the happiest. Passion suggests progress for Fox, which has come a long way with its non-animated scripted programming (and mollified me, I'll admit, with early renewals for "Fringe" and "Raising Hope").
But while you might not guess it from the intensity of some save-this-show campaigns, passion's not an infinite resource. People who have their hearts broken a few too many times learn to wait for the DVDs.
They also think about sticking with cable, where they expect "their" shows to have an easier time. Not that that's a slam-dunk, either. The "Code's" Ryan earlier this season saw his splendid series "Terriers" canceled by Fox's cable sibling, FX. Where there are advertisers, there will always be a demand for ratings.
I'm going to miss "The Chicago Code," which struck me as a clever compromise between the cable grittiness of Ryan's "The Shield" and all those bigger-than-life procedurals on CBS.
If only those hoofers on "Dancing with the Stars" hadn't kept stepping on it.
I'm sad about "Traffic Light," the smartest of this year's crop of rom-com clones, and sad (and, OK, nervous) that Christian Slater - whose "Breaking In" was co-created by Jenkintown's Adam F. Goldberg - is once again at large. That show was growing on me in a way "Lie to Me" never did and Slater was one reason.
And, yes, "Human Target" fans: I liked that one, too. When I could remember to watch it.
Next week, having resisted the buzz about what's in the pipeline in favor of what's already on the air, I'll begin to focus on fall, as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the CW unveil their plans.
Call me crazy, but I'm hoping for at least a few shows good enough to be worth missing even if (or when) they're too soon gone. *
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