I haven't spoken of this concept before, it was just too early. You had to get to know me a little, realize that I'm generally a nice, sane person who has some long sighted dreams and short sighted notions.
Now that you've gotten to know me a bit, it's time to reveal a shocking idea I firmly believe in. I believe that television shows should get at least half a season, more if at all possible, to find an audience and become a staple in a network's lineup. It doesn't count if the network changes the time slot every couple episiodes. I know, it's shocking, we can get through it.
On to what I'm really here to write about. Carpoolers. Not the energy savvy, vehicle sharing commuters, but the television show. The series is about four professionals who carpool, each show begins with them, yes; carpooling. They sing along with a random song on the radio, their air guitar and percussion skills barely contained by their sensible cars.
The show also features members of their family, including puritain and real estate agent wives, and most notably a deeply neurotic son named Marmeduke. He's my favorite character. Every episode features a bit with him and at least another family member. This is a formula show and it's a good one. Ahh, formula shows, when they're bad they're terrible. When they're good (like this one), they tend to be hilarious, improving after a season or two. Friends, Gilligan's Island, and Cheers were formula shows and they kept us entertained for decades.
Much like those other shows, Carpoolers is getting funnier as time goes on. The best episode so far was the 10th which focused on handicapped parking and karma. Sadly, ABC doesn't seem very interested in renewing Carpoolers. Like everything else, they're blaming it on the writer's strike. Frankly, that's cheap.
What it really comes down to is a network seeing a chance to cut and run from a series that they never really dedicated themselves to. The advertising was sparse, a lot of people never even heard of it, and frankly they only ever ordered half a season. I wish I could tell you that there was a way to effectively campaign for the return of the show but with the Networks playing the 'The writer's strike did it!' card, they don't feel accountable. The best way to support the show is to watch a rerun if you see one on television, then talk about it online in a visible forum (such as on ABC.com). It might not change anything, but it's a fair effort.
As of this posting here is a list of confirmed cancellations: Cavemen, Eli Stone, Big Shots, The 4400, Anchorwoman, The Dead Zone, Journeyman, On The Lot, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, Traveler, Bionic Woman, Extras, Girlfriends, Jericho, K-Ville, Las Vegas, Life Is Wild, Nashville, Online Nation, Quarterlife, Welcome To The Captain, The Wire.
Keep in mind, this list does not include television shows that were not renewed, or ended as part of a creative decision. Examples of these shows include Life on Mars and Battlestar Galactica that are both going straight to DVD after their last episodes air. In the case of both of these series the show runners wanted to end things strong so the fans would have a solid set of episodes and a good story line to enjoy.
I'm sure that the networks aren't finished shielding themselves behind the writer's strike excuse, just as I'm sure that some of these shows were cancelled because they actually were terrible. Regardless, I'd love to see the networks put some faith behind a few series and actually run them for a whole season, let's face it, not every show finds it's audience right away.