*Whew*  Man that was a close one.  Had my doubts there for awhile (well, not really, since this is the most cancel-proof show on the network’s line-up considering it’s being self canceled next year).  But thankfully, they’ve been laid to rest now that ABC has just announced a slate of their early pickups for next season.  And yes, Lost was there, as was Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Private Practice and Ugly Betty.  Also renewed were all of the usual reality dreck: Dancing With the Stars, The Bachelor, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wife Swap and (thank God) Supernanny.

The Variety piece also has that of the half-hour shows, Samantha Who, Better Off Ted, Scrubs and Surviving Suburbia are still borderline, as are hour-longs The Unusuals and Cupid.  Pursuant to that, the one line in the entire article that is the best read is that with Cupid not making much noise, that gives Castle now the best shot of the three to return next season.  As far as this impartial journalist (hardly impartial, very hardly a journalist) is concerned, ABC could firebomb half their damn lineup, especially their entire line of non-scripted (the aforementioned reality dreck) programming, as long as Castle comes back.  That’s been pretty much the only new show of the year that I’ve enjoyed.  Better Off Ted looks like it has a sort of Arrested Development vibe going, but the ratings haven’t entirely been there to guarantee anything.  And Cupid was probably better left on Jeremy Piven’s and Paula Marshall’s IMDB pages.