We are the FBI. You will obey.

Publicity photo of Robert Stack as Eliot Ness ...

Garry has an undying devotion to old television series, amongst them “The Untouchables.” Robert Stack as Elliott Ness. Dum-de-dum-dum. The FBI enforcing … (ta-da) The Volstead Act. Prohibition! Holy Moly!

What a great show. When the cops are annoyed with you, they can beat the living crap out of you and if that doesn’t get you to spill your guts, they’ll toss you off the moving train. You have a problem with that? You too are disposable. They don’t pretend you have rights. You know you are dirt under their feet and they treat you accordingly. Like dirt under their feet.

This is a show that never made the slightest apology for being racist or pretended to have any interest in fairness, truth or justice. Violent and single-minded, they pursued people who broke a stupid law: a constitutional amendment to tell people they shouldn’t drink. We needed that.

Compassionate and restraint were for sissies. Nor were they overly worried much about legalities. They said “We are G-men. You will obey!” And everyone did. This is the FBI at its purest. They are not merely above the law. They are the law.

My favorite moment in tonight’s show was when the boys, ignoring even a nod to international law, take the FBI bus into Mexico to track down the guys who kidnapped their witness. “The bus broke down three times and the trip took 10 hours,” said the stentorian voice of the narrator.

“So what?” I said to Garry. “We live in the country. That could describe my last trip to the grocery store.”

Simple solutions to complicated problems. I love television. Especially 1950s television.

Renewed or Canceled? Your TV Cheat Sheet on the Fate of Your Favorite Shows!

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Spoiler Chat

TV, you fickle, fickle mistress.

There’s been a whole lot of small-screen news going down this week (And a lot of Diet Coke going down our throats as a direct result—but we digress!), with networks renewing and canceling shows left and right before touting their new series and lineups at their upfront presentations in New York City.

To help you celebrate or mourn the loss of a beloved show, we’ve compiled a list of which series the five big networks renewed and canceled from the 2012-13 TV season!

ABC

Renewed: ScandalGrey’s AnatomyRevengeOnce Upon a TimeCastleModern FamilySuburgatoryThe MiddleThe NeighborsLast Man Standing and Nashville

Canceled Happy EndingsBody of ProofMalibu CountryPrivate Practice (final season), Red WidowThe Family Tools, How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23,Zero HourLast Resort and 666 Park Avenue

Undecided: Mistresses (premieres May 27)

CBS

Renewed: CSINCISNCIS: LAThe Big Bang Theory,Two and a Half MenElementaryHow I Met Your Mother(renewed for a final season), Criminal MindsThe Amazing RaceBlue BloodsHawaii Five-0The Good WifeThe Mentalist, Mike & Molly,Person of Interest2 Broke Girls and Survivor 

Canceled: CSI: NYVegasGolden BoyRules of EngagementMade in JerseyPartnersand The Job

The CW

Renewed: ArrowBeauty and the Beast,The Vampire DiariesSupernaturalThe Carrie DiariesNikita (a shortened final season), Hart of Dixie and America’s Next Top Model

Canceled: Emily Owens, M.D.Cult andGossip Girl (final season) and 90210 (final season)

Fox

Renewed: BonesGlee (renewed for two seasons), The FollowingNew GirlThe Mindy ProjectRaising HopeThe X Factor,American IdolKitchen Nightmares, MasterChef and Hotel Hell

Canceled: TouchBen & Kate and The Mob Doctor

Undecided: The Goodwin Games (premieres May 20)

NBC

Renewed: Parks and RecreationChicago FireLaw & Order: SVUCommunityGrimm,ParenthoodThe Voice, Celebrity Apprentice and Revolution

Canceled: Smash, The Office (final season), 30 Rock (final season), Go OnThe New NormalWhitneyUp All NightRock Center with Brian WilliamsAnimal PracticeDo No HarmDeceptionReady For Love1600 Penn and Guys With Kids

Undecided: Hannibal

Marilyn Armstrong‘s insight:

What’s still there, what’s gone. Survivors and losers. Not necessarily any logic or reason, either.

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