Mailbag: Why Hasn’t TNT Renewed ‘Falling Skies’ and ‘Franklin & Bash’ Yet? + Will USA Renew ‘Fairly Legal?’

Categories: 2-Featured,Cable TV

Written By

June 30th, 2012

from the mailbox, questions about shows that begin with the letter "F."

I saw TNT renewed Dallas and Rizzoli & Isles on Friday. Why haven’t they renewed Falling Skies and Franklin & Bash yet?

Sue W
Atlanta, GA

I don’t generally make predictions about cable shows, but if their current ratings hold I’ll be plenty surprised if Falling Skies and Franklin & Bash are not renewed.  As to why Rizzoli & Isles and Dallas have already been renewed but Falling Skies and Franklin & Bash haven’t been yet, I can only guess. But among things fans usually don’t think about is “who makes the show?” and “who owns the network where the shows aired?” and “does the big corporation who owns the network also happen to own the studios who make those shows?”  My guess is negotiations are just a bit easier when the network and the studio are owned by the same parent company. That’s the case with Rizzoli & Isles and Dallas.  TNT is owned by Time Warner and so is the studio that makes those shows.  So at the corporate level it’s just a bookkeeping transaction.

On the other hand, the studios that produce Falling Skies (Dreamworks) and Franklin & Bash (Sony) aren’t owned by Time Warner.  Since those negotiations aren’t “all in the family” it’s not surprising if they take a little bit longer to work out those deals.


I love, love, love me some Fairly Legal!  Will it be renewed for a third season?

Boise, Id.

Sadly, that’s not something I can predict with any confidence. Its ratings weren’t amazing, but on the other hand it was on Friday. I won’t be very surprised if it gets canceled, but I’d probably be slightly more surprised by cancellation than renewal. It hasn’t been in USA’s DNA to cancel shows without giving fans time to grieve, so based on past history I’d lean towards guessing USA will announce a third and final season, perhaps with fewer episodes.

But USA is going with more and more originals with less places to put them and financially will probably have to get into the mode of cancelling their lower-rated shows just like the broadcast networks to make room for new shows that might rate better.  One thing I’m sure of is that at least to some degree USA’s “fan-friendly” DNA will have to change a little bit.

My guess is the Modern Family repeats that begin airing on USA in 2013-14  will best all USA originals and that the TV media establishment will notice. That’s not a horrible problem for USA to have and it will help USA stay competitive with TBS who airs The Big Bang Theory reruns. But if it goes down like that it may speed up a mutating DNA at USA. If I’m a Fairly Legal fan I’m rooting for USA to decide its fate before the Modern Family reruns begin to air.

If you’re really a tea leaf reader one thing that caught my was that USA has all these shows with great theme songs and/or opening sequences (Covert Affairs, Suits, Psych and Burn Notice among them) and after seeing the opening sequence for the second season of Fairly Legal I did wonder “how did that happen on USA?”

  • The End

    Woops, not following The Killing, just assumed it had 22 episodes a season. Feel free to ignore my syndication comment.

    Mentioning as I know someone will pick at that comment I made in error.

  • Red Jane

    I hope Fairly Legal gets at least one final season but please do kill that opening sequence – it is silly… People, look at Suits or Common Law for how that’s done…

  • AlcoholicsAnonymous

    The Killing is dead. Might as well since they found the killer for the season one-two story arc.

    Fairly Legal will get renewed.

    Falling Skies will get renewed.

    Frankin & Bash is an “unknown” as SONY and TNT have to work out a deal. If not, canceled.

  • Justtunedin

    Many of the international distribution is on TNT brand channels. Does TNT America benefit from that somehow? It seems like there must have been some distribution deal with dream works that it has been licensed to so many different TNTs.

  • iggy.

    USA is going with more and more originals with less places to put them

    USA could continue to expand its hours. After all, Raw is expanding into the 8pm hour.

  • panda22

    My two pennies: Falling Skies 100% renewed, next week or the following week. There are pre and post production reasons for early renewal.

    FFranklin & Bash….i think TNT will wait until end of season to decide, too early right now. The Killing is 100% DEAD!…the reason is too much bad blood and loathing for Venna Sud, she HAS to go!

    She’s a red herring hack and AMC lost alot of good PR with that season 1 finale, the show has too much negative PR attached to it.

    Fairly Legal….it’s cheap to make, it did OK on Fridays, not great…but ok. Not sure of it’s chances, at the very least Sarah Sashi will get a talent holding deal with USA and she’ll guest star in other USA shows or maybe the lead in another show.

  • Jon

    TNT also has to see how Leverage, Perception and Major Crimes do in July, I can see MC being renewed not so sure on Leverage as that has been given an 8pm slot rather than 10pm after Falling Skies which has been given to The Great Escape. TNT has Monday Mornings coming to the slate in summer 2013 and LA Noir is close to a pickup so I think one TNT show will be cancelled as they’re only two slots available which are Sundays at 10pm and Wednesdays at 10pm.

  • Darryl

    Modern Family, a dsifunctional family and a disgrace to the american family, vs great USA shows that families can watch?

  • John S

    @ Darryl

    Huh? Have you even watched Modern Family?

  • Ricky (formerly tvfreak)

    @Darryl: Modern Family is far from dysfunctional. It’s just…eccentric. You want a dysfunctional family, try Shameless.

  • Brad

    Universal or Paramount releases DreamWorks’ movies. Depending on who they are making TV shows for, in this case Time Warner, then Warner Bros. distributes the TV series on DVD. Smash on NBC will be distributed through Universal.

  • Hugh

    Wow the fairly legal S1 titles are bad. Why not just film it in real life. The worst ever CG

  • Anthony

    USA is going with more and more originals with less places to put them

    USA could continue to expand its hours. After all, Raw is expanding into the 8pm hour.

    Yes they could do that, but you have to consider whether it is worth them doing that. It is hard to tell, but which is going to make the network more money, a syndicated repeat that rates a .7 or an original production that scores a .9? It all depends how much it costs the network for those shows (and we don’t have those numbers to know for sure). The other way it could be worth while is if they were able to use that as leverage for higher carriage fees from cable providers. I don’t know that that accomplishes that goal though because reruns can score in the same general ratings range and that is the main factor for the carriage fee negotiations (channels with better ratings will get paid more, so unless adding more originals will raise their ratings higher it wont really help).

  • preetha

    F&B was renewed at end of the season 1last year. So I am expecting the same this year. Also the show has gained more viewers this year. Fingers crossed hoping for renewal of Franklin bash.

  • Labrey

    Falling Skies looks safe but the numbers need to stay up because as Maurice was saying TNT can’t make money off of it overseas but they still make money off of it through home video.

    Fairly Legal I can see coming back because as someone mentioned before it is produced in Vancouver which is cheaper to film at than stateside.

    F&B is the one probably not coming back but you never know since it was a surprise to everybody that it came back for season 2 so anything is possible.

  • Ricky

    @Robert Seidman Falling Skies isnt co-produced by Warner Bros, but by TNT Productions (just as DEK’s Monday Mornings will be) That’s why WB has International and DVD rights – all inside Time Warner.

    It is noted as such in early press releases from last year, such as this one:

  • Pip

    I invested 2 years in the KIlling and feel cheated. Kept watching after the first year fiasco with us not finding out Rosie’s killer and as I recall they then stated we would learn halfway through the 2d season (I assumed they would then start a new case to carry over to the 3 season). Foolish me, they got me again, and I was only watching to see would did it, and that turned out to be ridiculous. No way she could have held it together like she did! I for one will not return for a 3d season and most of my friends that watched feel the same.

  • Nadine

    after seeing the opening sequence for the second season of Fairly Legal I did wonder “how did that happen on USA?”
    The same way the opening sequence to Royal Pains happened! RP’s opening sequence — I can say this with considerable confidence — is the very worst anywhere on TV.

  • Nadine

    It’s true that Suits has maybe the best opening sequence on TV, after TBBT theory of course, with that great BareNakedLadies song. I also absolutely adored “Journeyman”‘s opening sequence, but that’s been gone for several years.

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