'Happy Hour' is over: Where are the breakout hits?

9283__happyhour_lHiatus: It’s the kinder, gentler cancellation. It is the undiscovered country, from whose bourn few TV shows return. It is where Fox’s Happy Hour has gone. It’s where Fox’s Justice is going. Is it the shape of things to come?

Both Happy Hour (starring Lex Medlin and John Sloan, pictured) and Justice were about 35 percent off their pilot numbers, but the ratings gloom is hardly restricted to Murdochland. Across the tube-iverse, the outlook is the same: No breakout hits. Sure, there are plenty more frosh hopefuls still-to-matriculate (the promising-looking Heroes, Tina Fey’s 30 Rock), but you can bet that last week saw a lot of network nails chewed down to the second knuckle. There’s no glimmer of the next Housewives, the next Earl, the next out-of-the-gate contender. (Sorry, Studio 60.)

Fox has the rest of baseball season to figure out how to stop the bleeding, but maybe you can save them (and the other networks) some time: What have you liked so far? What deserves to stay on the air? What’s the next brilliant-but-cancelled series? Who’ll get the first high-profile letter-writing campaign? Who’s most likely to perish, only to get a Family Guy resurrection? And, most important,  where can I buy bootlegs of Costello?

addCredit(“Happy Hour: Justin Lubin”)

Comments (66 total) Add your comment
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  • professor74

    I love Justice, but its going to get killed when Lost comes back. Its a shame because Eamonn Walker is such a good actor.

  • Ed

    I just saw “Runaway” last night on the CW and it’s my break away hit. It’s full of mystery and hot guys. Since Darren Star is the producer, I’m thinking it’s going to be good. The biggest mystery is the actor who plays the new neighbor next door – cutie cute cute!
    Out: The Class, it’s alright but not hi-hi hilarious.

  • K

    So far, I’ve liked Shark, Smith, Six Degrees, and Kidnapped. Vanished, Studio 60, The Class, and Happy Hour are my first casualties of the season. I liked Justice originally, but James Woods runs circles around Victor Garber. And incidentally, The Class is the most boring, depressing “comedy” I’ve ever seen. How on earth could people say it was the new “Friends”? UGH!

  • ftworthbabe

    I like “Happy Hour”. Mindless, yes, but isn’t that what it is supposed to be? Must everything be wonderful, inspired? And the same idiots who watch “Family Guy” and “MArried with CHildren” should love this show. (Yes, I know, I called myself an idiot.). We can’t all hope for “Gilmore Girls” writing and witty repartee.

  • Stephanie Travitsky

    Sue Costello is a funny comedian, but come on the show was bland, that’s why it got canned.
    Happy Hour was Harold and Kumar meets How I met your Mother. It never worked, plus it was snooze funny.
    Kidnapped is going to focus on one kidnapping rather than end the season by finding the victim and solving another kidnapping. So by not doing what would make a show run smoothly and what would get the viewers attention, it will get canned because it is a movie plot. Speaking of which the writers of Threshold should have thought of that too. A Sci FI Channel movie would have been cool. Anyway, the same with Smith, it is a movie so it will get canned. The next on my list is 20 good years. Tambor and Lithgow are amazing, but this show looks as if it is on life support already.

  • Miles

    What happenned to Fox this year and who are they going to have to fire to get some creativity flowing, their new shows suck, and I mean, there’s sucking, and then there is succcccking.
    I am actually enjoying the old shows more. Desperate Housewives new season began like a brand new spanking pilot of greatness. And Grey’s Anatomy made me cry from beginning to end.
    On the side of the new ones. I thought Studio 60 seemed awfully familiar. Last nights episode used 2 scenes that I had seen in the west wing before. I liked SMITH, but hated the title, and I enjoyed Heroes enough to give it another try. Loved Six Degrees in theory, but may not want to show up for it every week. The rest of the shows, not really for me. I’m awaiting Ugly Betty and The Nine. Let’s just say my tv schedule this year is ending up looking meager. Which I am thankful for, I could really use the extra hours.

  • JD

    The problem with shows breaking out right now is that there is just too many good shows on TV. Unless you have 2 DVR’s is it impossible to watch all the quality shows. Studio 60 is really good but may be to “smart” for many. Kidnapped was great but NBC isn’t promoting very well. Smith is well done with a A-list cast but can it hold an audience? I enjoyed Heroes last night and I look forward to new shows like The Nine and 30 Rock. But there are only so many hours in the week to watch TV and most people will stay with a safe show they know and like such as a CSI:Miami or Law & Order than give a new show a chance. Especially when after last season people don;t want to get invested in a show to only see it get quickly cancelled (i.e Threshold, Reunion). It’s going to be tough to find a “Breakout Hit” anymore.

  • brandonk

    Out of the new season, I’m planning to watch Studio 60, 30 Rock, Heroes, and 20 Good Years, so hopefully those stick around.

  • Sven

    I will watch one more Heroes, but I suspect Studio 60… will be the only new show on my palette this season. Otherwise, it will be Studio on Monday, House and Veronica Mars Tuesday (is House going to stay at 8 pm, or will it indeed move to the originally announced 9 pm slot down the road after baseballi over?), and CSI on Thursday. Everything else I watch will come from Netflix.

  • dma69

    Two words: Ugly Betty. If that’s not a break-out hit, all will be lost.

  • Jedidog

    So far I too have enjoyed the Monday night shows of “Heroes” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”. That is about it though, and they have tough competition against Monday Night Football. No show this year will be able to replace old stalwarts like “LOST” or “Survivor” however. (I love getting stranded on deserted isles)

  • Mel

    Men in Trees has to go soon, right? It just has to!
    Still waiting on 30 Rock, which I’m hoping will be brilliant. I already can’t get enough of Studio 60 if only because it still gives me my weekly Bradley Whitford fix.

  • Vance

    First off, it’s because mainly it has been Fox and NBC out of the gate, so theres one reason nothing really stands out. Though I have high hopes for Heroes (quite great last night) and Friday Night Lights. Everything though has been a GOOD show but not GREAT. But at least less BAD shows generally speaking. Even Justice is a good show, just that, do we need another lawyer show? (ditto with Shark). I’m most excited for Ugly Betty now. I think that will be this years break out show.
    But I agree with JD. When there are so many quality shows on now, unless you’re running around with VCR’s in every room or Tivo, somethings gonna give.

  • Miles

    I just thought about this while writing about the shows, and I have to point it out. I have seen a total of two premieres actually on Television. That was Heroes last night, and the season premiere of Prison Break. then I discovered something wonderful. STREAMING.
    I have watched all the other premieres on my computer. while Streaming, and with a wireless connection I can stream from anywhere. I caught Studio 60 in Central Park. Desperate Housewives while waiting for a meeting, Six Degrees at five oclock in the morning, Smith saturday afternoon when there was nothing to watch, and I was getting ready to go out for the night.
    Streaming, is the most wonderful thing. I mean, I am in love with it. It allows me to create my own schedule, ratings be damned (I’m even watchign survivor, which I never did before, thanks to something cbs calls innertube.) I consider CBS the cleanest sleeker streamer, ABC is adorable fun sleeker and I love the way they handle their advertising, I have even been draw to advertisor websites to check out, NBC is the one that gives me the slowest connection, and I don’t like the way they break up their show into chapter boxes, but it’s all good, new technology.
    This week I am trading in my older laptop, to allow me to maximize my streaming capabilities. It’s like taking your television out of dates. As a matter of fact, I was out on a date when I caught Six Degrees, my date kept telling me how wonderful the show was, and then we went home, cuddled pulled out the LAPTOP, put it really close to us, and stayed up all night watching the new abc shows (amongst other things.)
    Streaming, it’s the wave of the future and it’s beautfiul.

  • Jason

    Here are the new shows to watch…
    Studio 60
    The Nine
    Friday Night Lights
    30 Rock
    Ugly Betty
    The new shows on FOX (Vanished, Justice, Standoff) are all poor efforts. ABC is no better with Brothers & Sisters and Six Degrees (whatever happened to Sons & Daughters???) CBS doesn’t have much new but NBC is really doing a great job with their new programming (other than 20 Good Years. But with shows like LOST, Veronica Mars, House, Prison Break, ER, The Office, Earl, Grey’s and Desperate Housewives I think we can all find high quality shows 5 nights a week.

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