Since the season finales of this, that, and the other have kicked off, there is room to talk about the "other" top story in television. In other words, which shows got a pickup for next season. At least one has gone for good – Prison Break has had its series finale.
A few are finishing up their season but already know they are not coming back, Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money will have their final episodes aired, but won't be returning.
Most shows, though, are already preparing for next season. Fringe and House as two such examples, both appeared in FOX's new fall lineup. Assuredly, the CSI franchise will be coming back as well. The newer shows which entered the lineup fall 2008 do not get any guarantees.
"Bubble" is the term used to describe a show which might not have the best ratings but which may still be renewed. If fans watch these "bubble" shows, other items from the same network just might be paid attention to as well when fans notice the promos. The pendulum swings to both the good and bad, much to fan delight and dismay fairly equally.
Here's the kicker: Castle, starring Nathan Fillion from Firefly and Serenity fame, has been renewed! Sci-fi fans are going to be happy. Now if they could only focus on getting the right guest stars to boost fan enjoyment. Find an actor not attached to something else who has worked with Fillion (or one of the other cast members) and get them on board. This leaves out Adam Baldwin and David Krumholtz. Alan Tudyk has a show in the works, the new edition of V. Uh-oh! BTW, Elizabeth Mitchell is supposed to be a cast member as well. Lost fans should consider Juliet's days numbered (as the season finale of that show may have indicated). Ron Glass? Maybe. Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, and Morena Baccarin perhaps. Gina Torres, but she might not be looking for work. The only other known name on Castle is Susan Sullivan. Someone from Falcon Crest would be a thought.
Dollhouse has also picked up. Alan Tudyk will probably be back at one point to complete his character arc. Any of the above names would work for a guest star slot here too, but I'd love to see Adam Baldwin included as a strong possibility. Now, any Whedon alum who gets another chance to act on another Whedon show tends to play the opposite type character. This means personality. More than one actor has appeared as a villain (or villainess) if they played good the first time. Dr. Simon Tam as a nasty man? Sean Maher is no newbie, but that would be hard to picture, a doll might work better for him. Not all of those have been introduced, so there are plenty left. Let's see – Alpha, Whiskey, Echo, Victor, Sierra, Tango, and Mike. Go watch "Briar Rose" and "Omega," in order, to find out who plays the first two doll names listed. You'll be amazed. Other than the sci-fi alumni of Tahmoh Penikett, Eliza Dushku, and Amy Acker, it's hard to come up with guest star ideas. Dushku was in Tru Calling, though. Fran Kranz, who plays Topher, also had a show called Welcome to the Castle.
Last but not least, Chuck is back! It has a few conditions. Budget cuts mean a few supporting cast members won't be seen as often. This could be everyone except Zachary Levi, but exactly who gets less airtime remains to seen. Someone will actually get fired. The number of episodes is lower,13 instead of a full 22. Another midseason replacement? Guest stars could be many, as long as they are adept at quirky satire. Chevy Chase is out of the picture… for now, anyway. Scott Bakula? I don't see him as critical for season three. Brian Kubach, aka Drew from "Chuck Vs. the Dream Job," deserves a comeback.
Right now is the time for reality to take over for summer. American Idol and Dancing with the Stars will see their winners this week, and new shows are going to be filling time soon.
The new television season is going to be good!