With so many shows coming and going, 2011 has been a bumpy year for broadcast and cable television. Arguably, given the number of male-oriented cancellations, this has been a tough year to be a guy on TV.
"2 Broke Girls" and "New Girl," for instance, are going into mid-season with decent ratings and serious buzz, but CBS pulled the plug on "How to be a Gentleman" after only two episodes. Networks look for instant gratification in the ratings, which means a freshman sitcom has to come out of the gate smoking to secure its spot in the line-up. The girls need to keep the momentum through 2012, but for these two gentlemen, it's game over.
Ashton Kutcher versus Charlie Sheen
During the first few weeks of 2011, Charlie Sheen morphed from skirt-chasing Charlie Harper into a warlock who claimed he was "Winning!" Sheen's off-screen antics prompted a premature end to production on "Two and a Half Men," CBS' long-running Monday night comedy. As Reuters recently pointed out, Ashton Kutcher's entry into the series was accompanied by strong ratings and then a large dip, but the show has regained its footing. Kutcher's love life may be on the skids, but as a sitcom star, he's winning again.
Shows with guy appeal make a quick departure
It's no secret that shows like "The Playboy Club" and the reboot of "Charlie's Angels" had definite guy appeal, but both underperformed and were quickly canceled. "Pan Am," the 1960's retro series featuring attractive young stewardesses who fly to exciting places, is either on hiatus or canceled, depending on who you talk to. Entertainment Weekly reports that the wonderful Karine Vanasse from the show tweeted that there is only one more episode left, but ABC hasn't officially canceled this flight.
Guys of all ages sent to the showers
"Men of a Certain Age," one of the few shows designed with middle-aged men in mind, didn't have strong enough ratings to earn a third season, despite series star Andre Braugher's Emmy nod last summer. Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing" is heading into mid-season, but ABC's "Man Up!" got the axe late about a month ago. The latter show focused on guys trying to stay macho while dealing with their various romantic relationships.
Is cross-dressing the solution?
Thirty years ago, Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari starred in the innovative sitcom "Bosom Buddies." Hanks and Scolari played two advertising employees who dressed as women to land an apartment in an inexpensive hotel for women. The show lasted two years and served as a launching pad for Hanks' stellar movie career.
In 2012, history will sort of repeat itself with "Work It," an ABC mid-season replacement in which two friends have to dress as women to become pharmaceutical sales reps. Based on some snippets of the show, series stars Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco can't hold a candle to Buffy and Hildegard from "Bosom Buddies."