The 2010-11 network TV season officially ended Wednesday night at 11 p.m. It was not, to put it plainly, a good one for new shows.
Of the 44 shows to debut at some point during this season, 34 of them will not be back for a second season. In fact, 36 of the 46 that were supposed to air this season won't be back, but NBC's "Love Bites" got bumped to summer for a burn-off theatre run, while NBC doesn't seem likely to ever air "Friends with Benefits." And of the 10 that survived, the only one that qualifies as a genuine hit is NBC's "The Voice," while the others ranged in ratings performance from solid but disappointing (CBS' "Hawaii Five-0") to marginal at best (FOX's "Raising Hope," which is funny but had bad ratings all year).
Creatively speaking, there wasn't a real watercooler show among either the canceled shows or the returning ones. "The Voice" is an effective twist on "American Idol," and a few of the comedies show promise, but anyone expecting the next "Lost," "Modern Family" or "Community" would have been seriously disappointed.
But before we get seriously into the idea of summer TV, let alone the 2011-12 TV season, let's bow our heads in memory of the 34 dead (again, leaving those 2 NBC shows aside) and look back on the laughs, the tears and, for the most part, the boredom they gave us.