If your favorite television show is on the cancellation bubble, this is the week that matters. General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC and Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC have introduced new shows while axing some of their older, established programming.

The two networks have gone through a bit of a role reversal this time around. In recent years, NBC was riding high and ABC was scrambling to catch up, but that's not the case this time. After losing hit sitcoms like Friends, Seinfeld, and Frasier, NBC languished in the ratings book this season. In a bold move to mix it up, the company is bumping staples like Fear Factor and Scrubs from the fall calendar. (They may return as mid-season replacements.) ABC, on the other hand, is doing so well with hit hour-long shows like Lost, Grey's Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives that it is canceling 8 Simple Rules -- the show Disney once thought would help turn its fate around just a few years ago.

Fox (NYSE:FOX) will reveal its new lineup on Thursday, though it has already confirmed that Arrested Development will be back for another season. The critically acclaimed show was rumored to be on the chopping block after it failed to draw in new viewers. Another show that has resonated with the critics but not necessarily with the Nielsen families -- NBC's The Office -- will also be back for another run with its refreshingly dry and irreverent humor.

That leaves Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) CBS. Even before the network officially announces its new fall schedule today, there are already reasons to worry. CBS is facing the same problem NBC dealt with last year: It's losing its flagship comedy series (in CBS's case, Everybody Loves Raymond), and its bread-and-butter reality series, (for CBS, Survivor) is showing signs of growing stale. So keep an eye on the eye logo as faltering ratings go hand-in-hand with lower sponsor revenues.

What about the new shows? It's a tall order to predict the winners and ferret out the losers at this point. The only one that seems like a shoo-in for high ratings early on is NBC's spinoff of The Apprentice with Martha Stewart. Curiosity should pack in the viewing audiences, and that's good news for both General Electric and shareholders of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE:MSO). But beyond that, good luck picking out the winners. You can spot some trends. For instance, it seems as if every network is rolling out a supernatural drama for the autumn slate.

If those shows don't pan out, just watch how quickly their next plot twist becomes figuring out how the ratings -- and their shows -- disappeared.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz didn't even know there were four different Law & Order shows until NBC decided to cut one out of the mix. He owns shares in Disney. The Foolhas a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.