May means sweeps and finales and the kind of crazy cliffhangers you only see once a year. Most seem to be bunched up over the next week. I've got a list of them in today's column for The Canadian Press. You can read the entire story here.
Some shows, of course, won't be back. We know Boston Legal and ER and Prison Break, which bows May 15, are done like dinner, to quote Tiger Williams. Several might be back with reduced casts and/or episodes. CBC isn't the only one cutting back on show orders. ABC and NBC are rumored to be trimming show budgets, with CBS also looking for ways to reduce the costs of its aging lineup of procedural hits.
Friday night's Dollhouse season finale is likely a series finale, too. This one seemed doomed before it started with a delayed launch, buried on a Friday night. Then again, Flashpoint has flourished on Fridays. Maybe, despite that Joss Whedon pedigree, Dollhouse is just a dumb show, I'm thinkin.
Sunday, Mother's Day, is a big night of finales, with the already renewed The Amazing Race signing off for another season, as is Celebrity Apprentice. Both Cold Case and The Unit bow out Sunday and, according to reports, if both shows don't accept production cuts, they'll bow out for good. The scissors are out at ABC, too, where Brothers & Sisters will return, but the large ensemble cast will take turns and not be in (or paid for) every episode.
Other finale dates: Monday, May 11: Surviving Suburbia, Castle, starring Edmonton's Nathan Fillion and The Big Bang Theory, as well as Fox's biggest scripted hit, House.
Tuesday, May 12: The Biggest Loser and Fringe.
Wednesday, May 13: Lost and Lie to Me.
Thursday, May 14: CSI, CSI: New York, Hell's Kitchen, My Name Is Earl (rumoured to be coveted by ABC), Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and The Office, as well as Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Supernatural and Smallville. Shouldn't Clark Kent have grown up already?
Friday, May 15: Say goodbye to Prison Break, Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint and Numb3rs as well as the show you can't kill with a stick, ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos
Other shows will be signing off later this month, including MADtv, which wraps for good on May 16 after 14 seasons.
Survivor Brazil (another two-hour finale plus one-hour reunion special), Desperate Housewives and The Simpsons all end on May 17. Also done for the season are 24, Two and a Half Men and CSI: Miami (May 18); The Mentalist, NCIS and Dancing With the Stars (May 19); and the big finale for TV's No. 1 show, American Idol (May 20).
Season and series finales are the topic on this week's radio chat with WIMA, Ohio, morning man Mike Miller. There's also some talk about which shows to expect back next fall. Mike's rooting for NBC bubble show Southland. You can listen in here.