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Shows We Want Saved From The Axe: Friday Fiver

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Joel McHale as Jeff in 'Community'

© NBC Universal

The US TV networks might not firm up their 2013-14 schedules until May-time, but news has already begun to drip regarding the fates of our favourite shows - Bones has already been renewed, for example, while the likes of Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue have been given the boot...

Some series are already a dead cert for renewal - The CW's ratings hit Arrow is yet to be officially picked up, but a second season is a sure thing. But what of those shows with more uncertain futures?

This week's Friday Fiver takes a look at a quintet of ratings-challenged series and attempts to make a strong case for their continued existence - let us know which shows you'd like to see stick around in the comments section below!

> Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet: Gerry Anderson classics - Friday Fiver
> Arrow, Elementary: 2012's Best New Shows - Friday Fiver

Happy Endings
After three terrific seasons, ABC's sitcom - one of the strongest comedies on network television right now, with one of the best ensemble casts - is under serious threat. Recent episodes have seen the show hit a series ratings low and while network prez Paul Lee has insisted that the show's future is yet to be decided, things certainly don't look good for Happy Endings...

But this show absolutely deserves a fourth run. It's possibly the first example since Friends of a comedy where we find it tricky to pick a favourite - to have a cast of characters as rich as Eliza Coupe's controlling Jane, Elisha Cuthbert's dim but loveable Alex, Zachary Knighton's affable Dave, Damon Wayans Jr's laidback Brad, Casey Wilson's hapless Penny and Adam Pally's snarky Max is rare. Don't squander something special, ABC.



Ben and Kate
Before this season began, Ben and Kate was pretty low down on our list of shows we were excited about. A comedy about a single mum and her kooky brother? We've seen it all before, and it's never been good. But boy, are we glad we gave this show a chance. It's slowly become one of our favourite sitcoms on TV right now, with a great cast chemistry, a child actor you don't want to strangle, and my favourite new discovery, Echo Kellum, who plays the frankly adorable Tommy.

Ben and Kate does the little, quiet moments brilliantly and has such a warm heart that after watching we feel like we've had a bubble bath, a hot chocolate and a cuddle in one little package. Don't let this gem slip away, Fox!



Chicago Fire
We're heartened to see Chicago Fire receive something of a ratings boost of late - after veering dangerously close to 'sure to be axed' with a ratings low of 4.87m in December, the show bounced back in 2013, attracting a new high of 8.54m viewers.

But this NBC drama isn't out of the fire yet - those ratings need to keep on burning bright to guarantee it another day in the sun. Alright, enough puns - we're serious. Keep Casey, Severide and the rest on our screens - Chicago Fire is a big ball of cheese but it's also enormous fun.



Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
Another ABC comedy that hasn't been officially axed, but that we don't hold out much hope for - this oddball sitcom is enjoyably bonkers, admirably filthy and boasts a terrific cast, with James Van Der Beek's self-parodying being the undoubted highlight each week.

From his Beek Jeans debacle to his drug-fuelled Dancing with the Stars disaster, the Beek has become a comedy legend in our eyes - throw in the odd cameo from the likes of Frankie Muniz and Dean Cain ("Second is just the first loser!") and you're onto a winner. Please don't evict Apartment 23 from the schedules, ABC.



Community
Any list of this sort has to include NBC's perennially under-threat cult comedy - audience disinterest might not even be the biggest obstacle that Community has to overcome this season, with a new showrunner team and creative revamp threatening to alienate even the show's most hardcore fans.

But keep the faith, Community aficionados - Dan Harmon may be gone, but the show's loveable cast of characters - suave Jeff (Joel McHale), pop-culture-obsessed Abed (Danny Pudi) and the rest - are sticking around for at least 13 more episodes. Let's just hope that we'll get to spend a little more time at Greendale in 2014.



Which under-threat shows do you want saved from the axe this year? Share your own picks below!
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