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It Feels Too Early For Network TV To Start Canceling Shows, But NBC Just Got The Ball Rolling

 NBC's logo.
NBC's logo.

The TV season looks a bit different this year, given that the since-resolved SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes had an impact on programming this year. With most shows returning in February this year, we’re truly still in the thick of 2024 network programming. Delays or not though, it’s a bit early to be thinking about cancellations at this point. However, such decisions have already been made over at NBC, it seems. The company got the ball rolling by dropping the ax on two series that fell under the umbrella of unscripted content.

NBC has officially canceled both LA Fire and Rescue and Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge. The news comes by way of Deadline, which laid out the network’s plans for games shows during the coming summer. Both of the discarded shows made their debuts in 2023, and each only had one season. A formal reason for their exclusions from the 2024 TV schedule have not been given by the entertainment conglomerate.

In most cases, TV cancellations like these come around the month of May, as it’s around that time that networks have their upfronts and reveal what will and won’t be returning. Of course, there’s likely one key reason to explain why the demise of these two series are coming out right now. The key factor has to do with the time frame in which they’d be airing. Both shows aired during the summer of 2023 and, given that we’re close to that season, it would make sense to make these moves now. As for the aforementioned upfronts that happen in the spring, those showcases are usually meant to reveal what’s happening for the main programming season that begins in the fall.

For those who are unfamiliar, LA Fire and Rescue was a reality series created by revered producer Dick Wolf. The purpose of the program was to provide viewers with an in-depth look at the daily occurrences that firefighters face as they attempt to protect the citizens of their community. Needless to say, this was a bit more raw than the dramatic cliffhangers present on Chicago Fire or the other procedurals that are part of that franchise. Fire and Rescue premiered in June 2023, and eight episodes aired during its sole season before it concluded.

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Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge raced onto the small screen back in May 2023. A competition series, it saw contestants taking cars that hold sentimental value to them and giving them Hot Wheels-inspired makeovers. In doing so, the participants also sought to win a grand prize of $25,000. 10 episodes aired during the show’s one and only season. This cancellation comes amid Mattel’s attempts to branch out within the entertainment sphere. That includes the HW movie that’s in the works and is currently in need of a director.

These programming moves aside, it’ll only be a few months before NBC and other networks will announce what lies ahead for the 2024-2025 season. When it comes to the peacock-branded channel, tried-and-true dramas like the Law & Order shows are likely safe. Viewers may want to keep an eye on the scripted comedies like Night Court and freshman offering Extended Family.

It’s tough that new titles have been added to the list of shows ending or canceled in 2024. If it’s any consolation though, NBC has returning shows for fans to look forward to like America’s Got Talent, Weakest Link and American Ninja Warrior. So, while LA Fire and Rescue and Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge are gone, try not to get too discouraged. And, of course, don’t over worry yourself about how the ax might come down during May sweeps.