Sending Series Out With Dignity

Cable networks often launch their big, high-profile scripted series with much fanfare, but rarely do they allow those shows to bow out on a high note at the end of their run.

Over the next two weeks, three shows that premiered successfully and generated strong ratings over the years will come to an end. All of them were given the chance to wrap up storylines for the benefit of their fans, the networks said.

VH1’s Single Ladies, the network’s first scripted series when it debuted in 2011, will air its last episode today (March 24), as producer Queen Latifah has decided to move on to other projects. The series about three friends and their relationships with significant others, as well as themselves, drew a then network-high 1.7 million viewers in its first season. It averaged 2.8 million with seven days or replays. In the third and final season, it’s averaging 2.3 million viewers on a live-plus-seven-day basis.

USA Network plans a proper send-off for Psych, the second longest-running series in the the channel’s history. The dramedy, starring James Roday and Dulé Hill as faux detectives, ends its eighth and fi nal season on Wednesday (March 26), falling only a few episodes short of Monk’s lengthy run. Since launching in 2006, Psych has been a staple of USA’s blue-sky, entertaining procedural shows that have propelled its eight-year run as cable’s most-watched network. The show’s ratings have declined over the years, but Psych maintained a loyal following throughout its run, worthy of the video sendoff USA produced to prepare viewers for the finale.

USA also will air a one-hour special after the finale — Psych After Pshow — hosted by Attack of the Show’s Kevin Pereira.

Syfy on April 7 bids farewell to drama series Being Human, based on the BBC series of the same name about a ghost, werewolf and vampire living under one roof. The series is averaging 1.8 million viewers (on a live-plusseven- day basis) in its final season, down from 2.1 million viewers in season three.

Few scripted series on broadcast or cable television last longer than two or three seasons, despite the abundance of successful drama series on numerous cable networks.

When a series does break through and finds longevity and success, then it has earned a chance to say goodbye to its audience on its own terms.

Single Ladies, Psych and Being Human will get to do just that.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.