Joan of Arcadia, about a teenager who talks with God, was a smash hit. Now it is canceled, having lost its audience after toning down its religious themes.
Among other semi-family-friendly shows to get cut were Jack and Bobby, about two brothers, one of whom will grow up to be president; American Dreams, about growing up in the '60s; and Complete Savages, the tough-love sitcom about raising boys that was Mel Gibson's foray into TV production. Some shows that were around for several seasons were not renewed, such as Judging Amy, about a single mom who works as a judge, and Third Watch, a drama about cops, firemen, and rescue workers.
Some shows left of their own free will, still riding high in the ratings. Besides Everybody Loves Raymond and NYPD Blue, the military lawyer show JAG will voluntarily end its run.
Among other canceled shows, Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter could not survive the death of its star John Ritter. The Star Trek saga ends its decades-long voyage with the demise of Enterprise. And some bad ideas get their just deserts: LAX, a series about an airport; Point Pleasant, a prime-time soap about a demon child.
Some shows were on the bubble, but were renewed for another season. Bernie Mac and King of the Hill will be back. West Wing will serve another term. The quirky comedy Arrested Development-beloved by critics but ignored by audiences-will come back despite its low ratings. The gay-themed Will and Grace unfortunately survived.
And in another blow to network news, 60 Minutes Wednesday, the show on which Dan Rather broke the phony story about President Bush's National Guard record, got the ax.