Finales, cancellations, renewals, oh my!

Dave Bartlett
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It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about a season finale of any network show — probably not since the series finale of “Fringe.”

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in the CBS/NTV drama “Elementary.” The show has been renewed for a third season. — Submitted image

But Thursday I’ll be in front of my small screen at 11:30, and it will be tuned to NTV as the sophomore season of “Elementary” wraps up a story arc that’s already been building for five straight episodes.

The episode in the middle of that run also marked the directorial debut of co-star Lucy Liu. It features little of Joan Watson after a kidnapping, but otherwise is a standout episode action wise as brother Mycroft (Rhys Ifans) joins Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) to crack the case and rescue Joan.

I can’t remember when the first season’s story arc started to take over from the cases of the week, but I think it was also a three- or four- episode stretch as the identity of true Moriarty was revealed.

This season started — and has returned — to the relationship between Watson and Mycroft, much to the chagrin of Holmes, who despises his brother.

I’ve written about this show more than any other since I’ve started this column, and it’s one of the only shows I watch religiously — and live, whenever I can. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn it had been renewed by CBS for a third season more than a month ago.

The curtain falls

But that fate wasn’t shared by a number of other shows. Taking a look at Entertainment Weekly’s TV deathwatch, many new and returning shows faced the axe in the last few weeks, the most notable being “Community,” despite the fact I was surprised it was even renewed for this season, and for every season since it debuted. It was a great show more often that not, though its penultimate season was found lacking.

Joining “Community” on the scrap pile were three shows produced by J.J. Abrams, who is probably a little busy with the next “Star Wars” movie to have much involvement in any of them anyway. I’m surprised “Revolution” survived this long after its horrible mid-season stall last year. The other two, much shorter-lived Abrams’ shows were “Almost Human,” which despite starring Karl Urban was simply OK, and “Believe,” which I have never seen, but the promos looked promising.

Other notable cancellations — among the 23 in the past 10 days or so alone include the relatively decent sitcoms “Trophy Wife” and “Suburgatory,” CW’s sci-fi remake of “The Tomorrow People” and the very short-lived “Bad Teacher.”

Already announced as cancelled: “Raising Hope” (sadly), “The Michael J. Fox Show” and “The Crazy Ones” (unsurprisingly).

Experiment update

For those following my ongoing weekly watchlist experiment, I was surprised a couple of weeks ago to find myself at the end of the second season of “Friday Night Lights,” and have since been using Fridays to catch up on my PVR backlog.

I’m down to a few shows, but multiple episodes of each, most notably the second season of “Vikings.” I did watch the season premiere, but found the pacing kind of chaotic. I hope it redeems itself, as the first season unfolded so nicely, for the first seven episodes at least. I’m planning some fierce “Vikings” time for this weekend.

I’m also enjoying my Sunday rewatch of “Pushing Daisies” — a mere two episodes in — and am curious how the same brain — or is that Bryan —can be handling “Hannibal.” I really have to track down its first season and join the Lecter lecture.

Speaking of J.J. Abrams, I’ve also finished the first season of “Lost” and the second season of “Fringe” and have “renewed” both my Saturday and Tuesday shows.

I have not been disappointed one bit in my rewatch of “Fringe” and will have already started the third season by the time this goes to print.

I’ll watch the first pair of episodes of the second season of “Lost” this weekend and am about to go beyond where I stopped watching when it originally aired. So far, I look forward to waking up on Saturday mornings to the mysteries of The Island.

Bingeing continues

But despite my best efforts to not binge watch, a couple of hectic weeks followed by a rainy pair of evenings during the weekend convinced me to start the 2004 show “Veronica Mars” all over again, now that it’s available on Netflix. A third of the way into its first season and I’m hooked all over again as the teenage sleuth tries to figure out who really killed her best friend.

One of the main reasons to watch the show is Canadian Enrico Colantani as the protagonist’s private eye father Keith. You may know Colantani for his co-starring role, alongside Hugh Dillon, in the very popular CTV show “Flashpoint” that wrapped up a couple of years ago.

If you have never watched this show, check it out and then try to track down this year’s “Veronica Mars” movie, which recently spent too few weeks in theatres for me to see it. I hope by the time I get through Season 3, the movie may also be available to stream.

What show will you miss during the

summer? Correspondence goes to Dave Bartlett at talkingtelevsion@gmail.com.

Organizations: CBS, Entertainment Weekly, Night Lights Netflix

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