After the mass purging of freshmen series that was last Friday afternoon, network executives made one last, grim round yesterday to see that the job was done, only to discover a few CBS leftovers cowering in the barn. The Jim Belushi/Jerry O’Connell legal dramedy The Defenders had disguised itself in rags and a purloined bonnet, hoping to pass unnoticed for an ordinary milkmaid; the deception only made its offing easier. Upon seeing it fall, $#!* My Dad Says dropped to its knees and began to beg openly, appealing to the network’s memories of when the Twitter-based sitcom was its impish, bad little boy, and how exciting that made CBS feel, clutching at its sleeves and promising that it could make it feel that way again if CBS would only give it a chance. Disgusted by its blubbering, CBS put it down, barely breaking stride.

Finally, after following a tapped water line, it discovered the Jason Biggs-Judy Greer Mad Love comedy in a makeshift shanty, where it had been blissfully hiding off the grid ever since its debut, believing that as long as no one noticed it was alive it could go on this way forever. Seeing the dirty, malnourished hermit it had become, CBS felt the first stirrings of pity in its heart: Was its current state the network’s fault for never giving it a proper home, and essentially starving it out? Perhaps. “But harvest is coming,” CBS thought as it lit a match, and with it an autumn crop of police procedurals, lawyer dramas, Ashton Kutchers, and others that would also need to live off this land. Yes, in its own way, this was mercy.