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First, the bad news. Are you a Parks and Recreation fan? Sorry, but it's been axed. How about Community? After five seasons, that cult hit has kicked the bucket too.

What about Super Fun Night, The Carrie Diaries and The Michael J Fox Show? You guessed it - they've screened their last laughs as well.

The guillotine has been working overtime as America's biggest TV networks start unveiling their new-look line-ups, and the floorboards are littered with the carcasses of new, old and ailing comedy shows.

That may sound like a problem for American TV fans to deal with, but all of the shows mentioned above have screened in New Zealand - several in prime time slots.


And some, like Parks (seven seasons) and Community (five seasons), have been running for a long time, with vocal fan bases launching hashtags, memes and insta-petitions in a bid to save them.

I won't be signing up - as much as I'll miss Ron Swanson's bristly moustache and manly quips, Parks was getting stale. I just never really got into Community's oddball rhythm, and Super Fun Night and The Carrie Diaries just weren't for me.

Anyway, I've been getting my comedy kicks from different places: TV2's Brooklyn Nine-Nine delivers reliable Lols, Mike Judge's Silicon Valley starts here on Soho at the end of this month and looks several shades of genius, and Jon Stewart's Daily Show is still my favourite TV news source.

But the telly carnage isn't limited to comedy shows. Of much more concern is the demise of several sci-fi series, many of which haven't even had a chance to screen in New Zealand before suffering a fiery death.

Like the new Josh Holloway vehicle Intelligence, which was brutally scrapped after one season in the US but starts screening here next Monday. It sure is hard to invest in a new show when you know they're not making any more.

Or Almost Human, the Karl Urban-as-future-cop-with-cyborg-sidekick vehicle that was rumoured to be landing here soon but has just been axed as well. Let's hope that gives Urban more time to campaign for a Dredd sequel.

Then there's poor old JJ Abrams, who's had a rough few days. The Star Wars director had two new shows carved up: crim-and-child supernatural caper Believe, which lasted one season, and the unplugged apocalypse show Revolution, which lasted two before having the power cut for good.

Some of these shows might just not be very good - I can't judge because they haven't had a chance to screen here. But as a mate of mine likes to say: even bad sci-fi is good sci-fi.

The only thing to do is to sigh, cuddle up to your Battlestar Galactica blu-ray box set at night, and assess some of the new TV shows the US networks are offering in their place.

Like Constantine, a small screen take on the Hellblazer comic series that stars Matt Ryan as a reluctant demon-battler. The excellently gloomy first trailer looks like a cross between Sherlock and American Horror Story - with a Welsh accent.

Or Gotham, the Batman prequel about a young James Gordon that seems to have everyone talking, thanks to a viral trailer that's had nearly seven million views in the week since it hit YouTube.

Even X-Files star David Duchovny is returning to his investigative cop roots in Aquarius, playing a sergeant tasked with tracking a young Charles Manson in the late 1960s.

Let's hope it's given a little more breathing room than just the one season that's been ordered, because I can't take much more of this telly carnage.

- TimeOut