Cancelation looms for reverend, dysfunctional family

You can either love them or hate them, but if you don’t watch, there is no one else to blame.

That’s right, with the end of the first half of the television season comes the lineup of canceled shows across the networks.

Besides several that were canceled within the first few weeks of the season (case in point, “Head Cases” on FOX), many have recently announced their cancelation effective at the end of their ordered seasons.

One such show is the WB’s “7th Heaven,” which will end its 10th season with a series finale. The story of the Camden family, namely a minister and his kids, will go out in style, being the longest-running family drama in television history. Although its ratings are still relatively good, averaging about 5.1 million viewers each week, the price of keeping the show on the air has risen too much as the stars have very high salaries after 10 years.

But it seems the show itself has run out of story lines. After watching four of the Camden kids graduate high school and the house hold more ex-boyfriends and girlfriends than can be reasonably understood, it seems the writers may finally be running out of storylines.

According to Brenda Hampton, creator, in an article for CNN, this season is the best thus far for the show and she has big plans for an “exciting and heartwarming conclusion.”

If nothing else, the show will at least be remembered as a highly successful and long-running drama on a network that has had its share of ups and downs in its short existence. There is talk of a spin-off, but Hampton maintains that this is a family show and it would be difficult to take any of the characters completely away from the main Camden clan.

Of course, all viewers should think of “Joey,” the show that was supposed to be the second coming of “Friends” and instead is barely holding its own on NBC’s Thursday night.

Also canceled is the critically acclaimed “Arrested Development” on FOX. After winning six Emmy Awards, the show could not gain enough viewers to justify keeping it on the air.

With only 4 million viewers in the episodes following its four-week hiatus for baseball, the show put FOX in fifth place for the night.

In addition to being canceled, the show’s order for the season has been dropped from 22 episodes to 13. As of January, all the remaining filmed episodes will have aired and the show will vanish into television history.

Supposedly, there is still a slim chance that the show could continue for another season, but, with the lowered order for episodes, this is unlikely to happen. The ratings simply have not been good enough to convince FOX to keep the program among its slim pickings of comedies, among them the also-canceled freshman series, “Kitchen Confidential,” which aired the same night as “Arrested Development.”

Although the network has stuck by “Arrested Development” for two seasons despite low ratings, it seems time has finally run out for this award-winning comedy.

Well, three shows down, how many more to go? Stick by those shows you love – you never know when they’ll pull the plug.