With the spate of recent announcements about cancellations and renewals, I thought I'd better put up a scorecard of what we know so far about the status of sci-fi and fantasy TV shows from the 2008-2009 season. The early notices mean that we've already had a few heartbreaks this season (Pushing Daisies, Kyle XY, and Life on Mars were all canceled before their time), and a few surprises as well (Smallville was renewed for a 9th season).
After shifting gears into a more overt expression of Eli being a prophet working on God's behalf, the second season of ABC's Eli Stone suffered from lackluster ratings and was canceled in November. The last episode aired Dec. 30, 2008.
Finding itself at a transition point during its third season, ABC Family's Kyle XY was canceled in February in a move attributed to a shift in focus for the network. The last episode's air date is Mar. 16, 2009.
Yet another ABC fatality: the richly innovative Pushing Daisies was felled as it struggled to recover from the damage done by the writers' strike, which unexpectedly truncated its freshman season. The last episode aired Dec. 17, 2008, but there are three more unaired episodes which the network is contractually obligated to air. ABC eventually scheduled them to air in the summer of 2009.
The CW's bottom-ranked Valentine, about Greek gods attempting to foment love in L.A., was abruptly put out of its misery in November (along with the network's entire Sunday night lineup, which at least made room for reruns of Jericho). The last show aired Nov. 23, 2008.
As with Dollhouse, the ratings for Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles have been less than stellar. The season finale was written as a finale, with lots of action/adrenaline building up to it when the show's fate was still unclear. The show was reported canceled in early April, but writers denied the action was official. At the upfronts, though, Sarah was not on the schedule.
By mideason it was clear there was no good reason to keep airing Knight Rider, an appalling retread of a kitch series that few were watching (its viewership, opposite American Idol, has been 5-6 million, on par with the ratings for the vastly superior but canceled Life on Mars). NBC reduced its order in December from 22 to 17 episodes, holding the five remaining scripts in reserve in case there's a second season. All of these 17 episodes aired, and that was all she wrote.
Reaper came back after a long hiatus on The CW with an uncertain future. Season 2 ends on May 26, 2009. Trade papers reported in mid-April that Reaper had been canceled, but The CW did not confirm. In May The CW dropped the show, but there were reports that the series might move to syndication.
Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica has completed its fourth and final season. The two-hour finale aired Mar. 20, 2009. A TV movie, set shortly after the destruction of the colonies, was filmed and will air later in the year. The pilot for next series in the franchise, Caprica, came out on DVD in April 2009, well ahead of the series itself.
After five seasons, Stargate Atlantis has called it a day. The last episode aired on Sci Fi on Jan. 9, 2009. After the success of two DVD movies for its franchise predecessor, Stargate SG-1, an Atlantis movie enters production this summer. The next series in the franchise is Stargate Universe, currently in production.
Eureka showed season 3.5 during the summer of 2009; Syfy announced at ComicCon that it would return in Summer 2010 for a fourth season.
Fox's Fringe was renewed for a full season May 5.
CBS announced in March that Ghost Whisperer will return for a fifth season. The season 4 finale is scheduled to air May 29, 2009.
After very good ratings, Sci Fi confirmed in December, as expected, that the Amanda Tapping series Sanctuary will come back for a second season. The last episode of season 1 aired Jan. 2, 2009. Production on the second season began in early spring 2009.
HBO's bayou vampire series, True Blood, is going to come back for a second season. The last episode of season 1 aired Nov. 23, 2008.