With Numb3rs confirmed as canceled
as of pretty much right now, it puts to end months of speculation among fans and critics alike. What I don't get is why critics, even though they've been giving the show much praise since it first came out, would suddenly turn on the show this
past year, like a dog biting its master? Was it that bad, that they all decided it had to go? Did they just get tired of it and decide to show love to that nice young thing on FOX
Actually, the end of Numb3rs was long coming. It's easy to say that it's all the critics' fault, since they were all pretty much in agreement that the show should be canceled, but there were a few other factors that contributed to it. The critics were just calling it like it is. First of all, like most dramas on CBS's schedule, Numb3rs was expensive to make. The only reason it lasted six seasons instead of five was because Without A Trace was even more expensive when they were considering canceling something last year.
Truth be told, I've always considered every new season of Numb3rs to be a small miracle. It seemed too good to be true that a show about using mathematics to solve crime would have such a wide audience. And after small miracles five years in a row, their luck had to run out sometime. It helped that the show's season finale, now series finale, brought many things to a close in such a satisfying way that it could work as a series finale in a pinch. I just wish I could've seen more of Larry in the last season.
There were also other clues as to what was going to happen to Numb3rs. Generally, when a series is given a shorter episode order, it means trouble. Numb3rs was reduced from a full 22 episodes to 16 episodes
during its last season, and the writers found they had to quickly wrap up the storylines they'd started, just like they did in the interrupted season four. Not only that, but once Numb3rs had finished its season, it was replaced by the brand new Miami Medical, yet CBS teased and tormented fans
by saying they were still considering renewal for Numb3rs (probably to keep fans from organizing a write-in campaign). Incidentally, the new show was canceled as well.
It was reported a while back that the star of Numb3rs, David Krumholtz, was filming a pilot for FOX
and that may have factored into the decision to cancel Numb3rs. But hey, if you're going to cut episodes from a show, you gotta realize that actors have to work, too, if they want to eat. And I'm sure some of the people working on the show weren't too happy with only taking home 8/11 of their usual paycheques when all was said and done.
Not only that, but earlier this week, it was reported that the sets were being taken down
, and even the show's creator was ready to throw in the towel, convinced that the show would not receive a seventh season
Despite those reasons, I'd like to get emotional for a moment.
Thanks a lot, you damn critics. It's your own damn fault my Numb3rs got canceled.
There. I think I feel better, but I'm not sure.
(Incidentally, does anyone want to follow Cheryl
? She's currently at 666 followers, the Twitter of the Beast
In fact, a lot of shows got the chopping block this year. CBS seems to be giving the axe to a lot of dramas that have lasted a few years. Ghost Whisperer and Cold Case are this year's victims as well as Numb3rs; as mentioned above, Without A Trace was dropped last year. It could be that CBS is going to shift its focus away from dramas, or it could be cutting older dramas to make way for newer ones which cost less to make. CBS will reveal its new autumn schedule within the next day.
With CSI still on the air, there is still a science-based crime drama for the geeks to fawn over. It just sucks that Miami's writing sucks, and that the entire CSI franchise regularly fudges a few important details about the equipment they use to help solve crimes. For one thing, fingerprints don't match so quickly in real life, no matter how good a computer you have. For another... well, there's this
xkcd comic strip, which can explain it better than I can.
I've always found Numb3rs to be more realistic than CSI, even during the second season when it seemed like Charlie was relying upon the supercomputer far too much. He'd spout his simple explanation of the mathematics he was proposing to use, and then he would say he's getting the supercomputer to crunch it, or he'd say the supercomputer was already on it, etc. Sure, it was disappointing, but at least he was still using math to solve crime even if the calculations were done in the background. I was happy in season three, when "Call me Millie" decided to limit his use of the supercomputer. I think the writers must've realized that the fans like it when Charlie does his own math.
Even if Numb3rs was granted a seventh season, I didn't think it would ever be granted an eighth season. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the drama, whether it's the crime drama, the medical drama, or anything else, is going to fall out of favour by the end of the 2010/2011 season, and that by autumn of 2012, even CSI is going to be gone. How do I justify this bold statement? Well, I've believed in this grand prediction since January of this year, but I've never had anything strong and solid to back up my belief until this past week, when Law & Order was canceled. Law & Order, which lasted a couple decades and predated the modern crime drama by about half that, is gone. Sure, the two remaining L&O shows will remain on the air for another season, and there'll be a new Los Angeles spin-off, but the original show has been dropped from NBC's autumn schedule.
Even long-running action shows like 24 were canceled this year. So what's going on? Will new, younger shows be considered? Will game shows suddenly revive once more, as people hit hard by the recession desperately do whatever they can to get on these shows and win money, while television studios realize that they can pay out substantially less to contestants than they would to big name stars? After all, Fear Factor gave out $50000 in an episode to the winning contestant, which is a lot cheaper than Charlie Sheen's rather substantial windfall
per episode of Two And A Half Men.
Well, a lot of younger shows will be considered. Turns out each network (so far) has announced their own share of new dramas, including another medical drama
that is bound to fail, a legal drama
that seems to be a new version
of Law & Order: Trial By Jury and which promises to do right what L&O: TBJ did wrong, and a show on ABC that looks like a cross between Lost and Heroes
. Sadly, there seems to be nothing new on the schedule that would appeal to geeks like Numb3rs did, but there's good news. One less television show (two, once Doctor Who wraps up for another year), means that there'll be more time for anime, and more time for this year's big autumn and winter game releases. (Okay, I agree. That's weak, even for me.)
The final season of Numb3rs releases on DVD sometime this autumn.