These days, the network executives have decided that they don’t need to build audiences for shows anymore. Unless 10 million people start watching a show immediately after it premieres–oh, and it doesn’t need any publicity, does it?–and continue to watch it as it bounces from time slot to time slot, that show clearly needs to be canceled right away. It doesn’t matter how well the show is written or acted, or how clever or original the storyline– if it doesn’t have the numbers RIGHT AWAY, it goes into the trash. (Okay, I’m specifically thinking about Wonderfalls here, but it’s a story that’s repeated itself with disturbing regularity nowadays.)
And when the dust settles, all you have left are generic police dramas, a few carbon-copy sitcoms, and “reality shows” (which is certainly the most evil television genre ever invented, and quite possibly a sign of the apocalypse). So it feels good to support the few good shows that are left, in the only way that TV executives apparently understand.