Getting canceled is a television rite of passage that dates back to the early days of the medium. But you're not likely to hear the word often in executive suites these days. As viewership fractures and the bar between success and failure becomes more blurred than ever, broadcast networks have become more gun-shy of outright yanking a show off the air.
Hence the rise last season of wishy-washy buzzwords such as "trimmed" or "reduced" as unproduced episodes foretold a slow death for several shows. That trend has continued this season. ABC dud Notorious was reduced from 13 to nine episodes, and on Nov. 8, the network said it would not order more of Hayley Atwell's barely watched Conviction, but it wouldn't be pulled from the schedule (at least not immediately).
What's more, ABC is keeping options on the cast - including network president Channing Dungey's sister, Merrin Dungey - as the legal drama remains in consideration for next season. Suddenly, ABC dumping remaining episodes of Selfie on Hulu and ABC.com a few years ago doesn't sound so bad.
THE NEW TERMS OF (NOT MUCH) ENDEARMENT
'Order Has Been Trimmed'
Making History (Fox)
Imaginary Mary (ABC)
'Unscheduled but Will Air at a Later Date'
Angel From Hell (CBS, 2015)
Wicked City (ABC, 2015)
The Assets (ABC, 2014)
'Remaining Episodes Will Air on Hulu'
Selfie (ABC, 2014)
Manhattan Love Story (ABC, 2014)
Don't Trust the B - in Apt. 23 (ABC, 2013)
'Actually … You're Canceled'
Of Kings and Prophets (ABC, 2015)
Welcome to the Family (NBC, 2013)
We Are Men (CBS, 2013)
This story first appeared in the Nov. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.