What’s Cancelled … What’s Coming Back?

I don’t watch much network television. CSI, Criminal Minds, that’s about it. This past season CSI had CSI: Cyber which was excellent. This coming season they’ll be switching up between regular Vegas CSI and the CSI: Cyber.

Here’s an up-to-date list of some of what the cable networks have cancelled and renewed so you can start marathon watching what’s on your DVR and begin making room.

Hell on Wheels: Season 4 to debut Aug. 2
The Killing: Season 4 to debut Aug. 1 on Netflix (all six episodes)
Mad Men: Part 2 of Season 7/finale season to debut summer 2015
TURN: Season 1 finale aired June 8; Season 2 renewal could go either way.
The Walking Dead: Season 4 finale aired March 30; Renewed for Season 5

BBC America
Copper: Cancelled.
Doctor Who: Season 8, now starring Peter Capaldi, to debut August 2014
Orphan Black: Season 2 debuted April 19; Season 3 renewal a safe bet
Ripper Street: Renewed for Season 3 The last I heared Ripper Street may be on a new network. 

American Horror Story: Renewed for Season 4 – AHS: Freak Show
The Americans: Season 2 finale aired May 21; already renewed for Season 3
Anger Management: The 90-episode Season 2 premiered Jan. 17, 2013
Archer: Season 5 finale aired April 21; renewed for Season 6 and Season 7
The Bridge: Season 2 to debut July 9
Chozen: Officially cancelled
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Renewed for Season 10 (FXX); already renewed for Seasons 11 and 12
Justified: Season 6 will be show’s last
The League: Renewed for Season 6 (FXX)
Legit: Season 2 finale aired May 14 (FXX); Officially cancelled
Louie: Season 4 debuted May 5
Married: Season 1 to debut July 17 (FX)
Sons of Anarchy: Renewed for Season 7
The Strain: Season 1 to debut July 13
Tyrant: Season 1 to debut June 24
Wilfred: Fourth and final season to debut June 25 (FXX)
You’re the Worst: Season 1 to debut July 17 (FX)

Call the Midwife:
 Season 3 finale aired May 18
Downton Abbey: Renewed for Season 5
Mr. Selfridge: Season 2 finale aired May 18
Sherlock: Season 3 finale aired Feb. 2; Season 4 a sure thing

Dallas: Season 3b premieres Aug. 18
Falling SkiesSeason 4 to debut June 22
Franklin & Bash: Season 4 to debut Aug. 20
King & Maxwell: Officially cancelled.
The Last Ship: Season 1 to debut June 22
Legends: Season 1 to debut Aug. 20
Major Crimes: Season 3 to debut June 9
Mob City: Officially cancelled
Monday Mornings: Officially cancelled
Perception: Season 3 debuted June 17
Rizzoli & Isles: Season 5 debuted June 17
Southland: Officially cancelled

Burn Notice: Series finale aired Sept. 12, 2013
Covert Affairs: Season 5 to debut June 24
Graceland: Season 2 debuted June 11
Necessary Roughness: Officially cancelled.
Playing House: Season 2 could go either way.
Psych: Series finale aired March 26
Royal Pains: Season debuted June 10
Sirens: Season 1 finale aired May 1; Renewed for Season 2
SuitsSeason 4 to debut June 11
White Collar: Renewed for shortened sixth and final season.

WGN America
Renewed for Season 2

Suicide … Read This First.

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.  His name was Kyle.  It looked like he was carrying all of his books.  I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?  He must really be a nerd.”

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends the next day), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.  As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.  His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.  He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him.  So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses and I saw a tear in his eye.  As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks.  They really should get lives.”  He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!”

There was a big smile on his face.  It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.  I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.  As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.  He said he had gone to private school before now.  I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.  We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.  He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.  I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends and he said yes.  We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.  I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!  He just laughed and handed me half the books.”  Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.  When we were seniors we began to think about college.  Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.  I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.  He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class.  I teased him all the time about being a nerd.  He had to prepare a speech for graduation.  I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.  On graduation day, I saw Kyle and he looked great.  He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.  He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.  He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.  Boy, sometimes I was jealous!  Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech.  So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!”  He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.  “Thanks,” he said.  As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began: “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.  Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends.  I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.  I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.  He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.  He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.  He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.  “Thankfully, I was saved.  My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.”

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.  I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.  Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.  With one small gesture, you can change a person’s life.

Summer Shows – Where are They?

Longmire, The Bridge, Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles … those are just a few of the one-hour dramas that have returned for the summer. There’s a list of new shows that will be joining those in the coming weeks. . . you should be checking to see if you have room on your DVR.

And there are some that won’t be returning. One that I guessed wouldn’t be coming back, even as I watched the season finale was The Glades. In case you don’t remember (spoiler alert) Matt Passmore was “killed” in every sense of the word, on his wedding day.

You can see him in his new USA Network drama Satisfaction coming up July 17. Kiele Sanchez moved on to the new DirecTV drama Navy St. 

The Bridge on FX has a new showrunner, which is probably a good thing. It lost it’s way slightly toward the end of the first season. The new season begins Wednesday, July 9. It is set in and filmed in El-Paso, Texas.

Major Crimes on TNT is two episodes into its new season and promises to be just as gutsy and thought provoking as its two previous seasons. Jon Tenney will make some recurring appearances this season as Agent Fritz Howard and Tom Berenger will again guest star as Capt. Raydor’s estranged husband.

Rizzoli & Isles is one episode into its fifth season and will use the second episode to dramatically say goodbye to Lee Thompson Young (Det. Barry Frost), the actor who committed suicide in 2013.

Michaela Gray Wolf (Faye Viviana) demonstrates the best way to dress a deer as part of the Miss Cheyenne pageant.

Michaela Gray Wolf (Faye Viviana) demonstrates the best way to dress a deer as part of the Miss Cheyenne pageant.

Longmire on A&E has picked up where it left off, with Henry Standing Bear in jail and Branch recovering from being shot. Ever wonder how they get everything “right?”

In episode 3, Henry asks Walt to sit in as a judge at the Miss Cheyenne pageant, which is interesting as all hell. Hulu has a 6 minute web exclusive video about The Cheyenne World and Marcus Red Thunder, who is the advisor to the show.

Shows are always better when they do their homework, and Longmire would never be accused of not staying up all night studying. It’s one show that makes coming in the house on a summer evening worth it.

Do You Believe in the Death Penalty? Watch HBO’s The Cheshire Murders

HBO: The Cheshire Murders: Synopsis.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the Cheshire murders? It was a home invasion of the Petit family that took place in Cheshire, Conn. in July 2007 that sent the mother to a bank to withdraw funds while the rest of the family was being held hostage at the home.

The mother and two daughters were killed, the father was brutally beaten in the head with a bat and their house was fully engulfed in flames when the police arrived on the scene.

As the suspects were making an attempt to flee they were stopped by the police and taken into custody: Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky.

Both suspects agreed to plead guilty for life without parole (LWOP) but the prosecution rejected their offers and pursued death sentences; under Connecticut law, the death penalty cannot be imposed without a trial.

At the time, Connecticut’s legislation was debating to abolish their death penalty but when this particular case came up, that debate stopped. In 2009 the legislation voted to abolish the death penalty. Citing the Cheshire case, Governor Rell vetoed the bill.

However the Connecticut legislation did vote to end the death penalty again in 2012, and it passed, so the Hayes and Komisarievsky will probably never be put to death.

Which means the Petit family and the families of Hayes and Komisarjevsky sat through the trial, day after day and heard everything. Every horrible thing, for nothing.

To make things even worse, there was serious doubt about the competency of the Cheshire police. Family members wanted answers and didn’t get them. But when the defense received the police logs they discovered that the police were on scene for almost 30 minutes, watching the house, setting up their perimeter.

During that time, the strangulation of Jennifer Petit occurred, the rape of Jennifer Petit occurred, the pouring of gasoline occurred and the setting of the fire occurred.

The HBO documentary originally aired in July of last year but it’s available On Demand anytime. I recently watched it and was stunned by the feelings I had regarding the death penalty.

Recently there’s been coverage in the national news about some executions that have gone wrong. The most recent was in Oklahoma where Clayton Lockett died not from an execution but from a heart attack 43 minutes after his actual execution began.

A new and previously unused drug combination had been used and the UV line made the vein collapse, causing the drugs to either be absorbed into tissue or leak out or both. Apparently there wasn’t another vein available nor were there enough drugs available to start over, which didn’t really matter because Lockett died eventually.

He had been given the death penalty for shooting Stephanie Nieman and then watching as two others buried her alive in 1999. Groups who feel the death penalty should be abolished were up in arms because they felt the botched execution of Clayton Lockett was cruel and inhumane. But shooting Stephanie Nieman and burying her alive wasn’t cruel and inhumane?

The drug used was midazolam and it’s tied to two other cases that were botched, in addition to the Oklahoma execution. It’s made by several drug companies in the U.S. Oklahoma used midazolam to render Lockett unconscious and then attempted to inject another drug to paralyze him and a third to stop his heart. He suffered “vein failure” making it hard to administer the rest of the drugs.

Florida and Ohio have also had cases where midazolam caused problems. Usually executions use thiopental and pentobarbital. The makers of these two drugs worried about them being associated with “capital punishment” so they cut back their availability for executions, leading some states to turn to midazolam. This has caused the makers of midazolam to change their distribution agreements and bar sales to correctional departments.

On Death RowMainly because the companies who make midazolam would prefer to … “make it to enhance and save the lives of patients …” and they …”object to the use of their product in capital punishment.” Which brings up the definition of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which the Supreme Court bans procedures that pose “serious harm” when compared with “known and available alternatives.”

But others will argue the Constitution doesn’t outlaw pain in executions or demand that execution methods always be foolproof.

What are the facts? What about Life Without Parole (LWOP)? Life without parole is swift, severe and certain punishment. Sentencing people to death by execution is three times more expensive than sentencing them to die in prison. And if we make a mistake by sentencing an innocent person to death, it can’t be fixed.

Victims’ families prefer LWOP. Unlike death penalty cases, LWOP sentences receive no special consideration on appeal, which limits the possibility they will be reduced or reversed. A person sentenced to die in prison receives only one automatic appeal, not several, and is not provided any court-appointed attorneys after this appeal is complete, usually within two years of the initial sentence. (ACLU)

Want some certainty? Watch the documentary The Cheshire Murders. Listen to Joshua Komisarjevsky confess about sexual assaulting Michaela Petit; not once but three times. Michaela was the youngest Petit, she was 11. Put yourself in the shoes of the family.

How many other states has the same law that Connecticut does; that the death penalty cannot be imposed without a trial? This trial found both of them guilty when they wanted to plead guilty. Then there was another phase where their lawyers pled for life in prison instead of the death sentence.

The death penalty process for Hayes and Komisarjevsky will cost more than $7 million, and is projected to last over a decade. If the State of Connecticut would have accepted the guilty pleas of Hayes and Komisarjevsky when it happened they would have been locked up 3 weeks after the crime and would have never been heard from again.

What a bunch of crap, considering the outcome. In April 2012, shortly after the trials, Connecticut abolished the death penalty for all future cases, making it unlikely that Hayes and Komisarjevsky will ever be executed.

Dr. William Petit started the Petit Family Foundation out of the tragedy of the murders. In August of 2012 Dr. Petit remarried, to Christine Paluf, and moved to Farmington River, Conn. In August of 2013 they welcomed a baby boy and named him William Petit III.

Canceled – But Rated High? Shows Returning in June.

From The Wrap

From The Wrap

How is that possible? Well it happens all the time, especially in that golden 18-49 demographic. Here is a chart of the 20 highest rated but canceled broadcast shows of 2013-2014 in that magic 18-49 demographic.

Robin Williams return to the small screen brought some bittersweet ratings. His show Crazy Ones was number 1 on the list with a 2.7 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, but it was still canceled.

It tied with FOX’s Almost Human which took up space on my DVR and I never watched a single episode. I usually watch anything with Karl Urban in it. Oh well.

But that 18-49 demo isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. For example, FOX’s Bones‘ runs around a 2.4 but it’s an enduring show that has proven its value to the network.

The Mentalist on CBS is another show earning a 2.0 but it also survived the cut. So it’s easy to say that numbers aren’t the only thing taken into consideration when shows are on the chopping block.

Here’s a list of what’s returning this month (June):

Longmire (Season 3) — A&E (June 2)

Mistresses (Season 2) — ABC (June 2)

Major Crimes (Season 3) — TNT (June 9)

Royal Pains (Season 6) — USA Network (June 10)

Graceland (Season 2) — USA Network (June 11)

Suits (Season 4) — USA Network  (June 11)

Dog and Beth: On the Hunt (Season 2)  — CMT (June 14)

Perception (Season 3) — TNT (June 17)

Rizzoli & Isles (Season 5) — TNT (June 17)

Rookie Blue (Season 5) — ABC (June 19)

Defiance (Season 2) — Syfy (June 19)

Wipeout (Season 7) — ABC (June 22)

True Blood (Season 7; final season) — HBO (June 22)

Falling Skies (Season 4) — TNT (June 22)

Teen Wolf (Season 4) — MTV (June 23)

Covert Affairs (Season 5) — USA Network (June 24)

Big Brother (Season 16) — CBS (June 25)

Unforgettable (Season 3) — CBS (June 29)

Last Tango in Halifax (Season 2) — PBS (June 29)

Under the Dome (Season 2) — CBS  (June 30)

Some canceled shows I know of include Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Mind Games (ABC) and Greg Kinnear’s Rake (FOX) which seemed to end before it even began.