To renew or cancel, that is the question. TheWrap is ready to stick its neck out with its predictions of which series will survive to see another year and which will go down in the hunger games we call the fall season.
The first casualty of the fall season was ABC’s “Manhattan Love Story,” which was cancelled on Friday. The half-hour romantic comedy starring Jake McDorman and Analeigh Tipton debuted to a sad 1.3 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and couldn’t quite keep itself from slipping further into the abyss of a 1.0 rating, a mark of death for broadcast networks (save The CW perhaps).
“Manhattan Love Story” will soon be joined by other series, which for some reason viewers didn’t quite accept into their appointment television or DVR queue, critics trashed and networks decided weren’t pulling their weight.
See photos: Fall TV Preview: 85 New and Returning Shows
There are also early signs that a show won’t make it to another season. ABC, for example, went on an episode buying spree late last week, but “Manhattan Love Story” wasn’t in the mix. And there’s new comedy “Mulaney,” which Fox decided to reduce its episode order of, basically cutting it off at the episode it was shooting at the time. Bad sign. And Fox’s ambitious reality series, “Utopia,” was pulled from its Tuesday run ahead of schedule and left to air only on Fridays.
TheWrap considered all of the above when making its predictions of which shows will return and which shows won’t live to see another season. For each broadcast network, we highlight the few shows we’re most definite about and then offered probable renewals and shows on the bubble.
Here’s TheWrap’s early renewal/cancellation predictions for fall:
ABC will renew…
“How to Get Away With Murder,” “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy”
Shonda hits paydirt again with Viola Davis-starrer “HTGAWM.” Not only is it the highest-rated new drama of the fall, but it’s even higher-rated than sister Shondaland shows “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” which will both return for another season, on Thursday nights.
“Modern Family” and “Black-ish”
Duh. The Emmy-winning show is holding its own on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. and its audience is sticking around for “Black-ish” — the highest-rated new comedy of fall and definitely getting a renewal, as well.
The investment series’ stock is rising. It more than proves that Friday nights are no longer the place where shows go to die. Plus, ABC’s recent order for a spinoff series shows the network is all in.
Other probable renewals: “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” “Forever,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Castle,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Last Man Standing,” “Cristela,” “The Goldbergs”
ABC will cancel…
Not even an extreme makeover will be able to get audiences to like “Selfie.” Left out of ABC’s recent episode buying spree, the show starring “Doctor Who” alum Karen Gillan and “Harold & Kumar’s” John Cho is not even close to trending.
ABC’s surprise midseason hit last season will probably not get another chance at life. Its ratings have been consistently falling week-over-week along with double-digit drops in total viewers.
The Emily VanCamp drama’s latest creative upswing is probably too little, too late. Both its ratings and total viewers are making like a body tied to cement blocks – they’re sinking fast.
On the bubble: “Nashville”
Also read: 11 TV Shows We’re Excited About This Season
CBS will renew…
The “NCIS” franchise
No mystery to solve here: This latest offshoot of CBS’s “NCIS” franchise, “NCIS: New Orleans,” started out strong with its September premiere, logging a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demo. The show’s numbers have held up — its most recent airing posted a 2.4, its highest rating since the premiere. Meanwhile, “NCIS: LA” has faltered in the ratings so far this season, but will likely earn another season. And there’s no questioning the powerhouse that is the mothership series, “NCIS,” which earlier this year was crowned the most-watched drama in the world.
Other probable renewals: “Scorpion,” “Madam Secretary,” “Survivor,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Good Wife,” “CSI,” “The Amazing Race,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Blue Bloods.”
Also read: 11 TV Shows We’re Excited About This Season
CBS will cancel…
“Person of Interest”
While the Grim Reaper hasn’t put its icy grip on this J.J. Abrams-produced drama, its numbers aren’t what they used to be. The show premiered its fourth season in September with a lukewarm 1.8 rating, down 22 percent from the previous season’s premiere, and settled into a 1.5 with its most recent airing. With interest appearing to wane, CBS might see fit to call it a day after Season 4 wraps.
On the bubble: “Stalker”
The CW will renew…
“Jane the Virgin”
The freshman drama’s ratings haven’t been quite as miraculous as immaculate conception, but the buzzy show is a critical darling and, having debuted at 9 to a 0.6/2 and 1.6 million viewers, gave the network its most watched Monday night in almost 3 years. It would be a surprise if the CW didn’t give “Jane” a bit more room to grow.
The Fastest Man Alive delivered superhuman ratings for The CW, debuting to 4.54 million total viewers, making it the network’s most-watched series premiere in more than five years. Only the dastardly plans of a DC supervillain can keep Barry Allen from getting a second season to save Central City
“The Vampire Diaries”
Good thing vampires stay young forever, because even after six seasons, “The Vampire Diaries” is showing no signs of aging. It’s still one of The CW’s highest rated shows, and rumor has it stars have already started signing contracts to return for Season 7. Even if the show is looking to wrap things up for Elena and her undead love triangle, they should get at least another season for her to change her mind just one more time.
Other probable renewals: “Arrow,” “Supernatural,” “The Originals” and “America’s Next Top Model.”
On the bubble: “Reign”
Fox will renew…
Lock it up: this Batman prequel will continue to fly — or at least coast sans superpowers — into a second run. “Gotham” is exactly what Fox needed — a ratings hit — and the network recognized that, upping the series to a full season order last week. Currently, “Gotham” is the No. 2 new fall series (save of course, CBS’s Thursday Night Football), behind only ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” in the key 18-49 demographic. While “Gotham” dipped a bit on the Nielsen sheets this week, it is still immediately more bankable than any other scripted show Fox has on at the moment. Plus, it’s got the fanboy and fangirl factor — if only it could provide a bigger boost for …
Last fall’s cult hit rides again, only this time to lower ratings. Even the Monday “Gotham” lead-in doesn’t appear to be doing too much for Ichabod Crane and company — maybe Halloween will help. Still, “Sleepy” is a big show in the Fox universe, and the network has not given up on shows that hit a sophomore slump — just ask “The Following.” Last season, not many saw “Sleepy” riding into town, but this year it’s resting comfortably in its franchise series status at Fox. The so-called “Sleepy Heads” can feel pretty good about a third season.
Speaking of surprises, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” shocked the TV world last year when it took home the Golden Globe for best comedy in its first season. Star Andy Samberg also earned the hardware for lead actor, stunning many. But anyone who actually watched the show – which, unfortunately, wasn’t many — would have not been surprised at all. This season, the show that moved to Sunday is proving the early success is no fluke. “Brooklyn” is a great comedy with a great ensemble: individual awards could easily go to Joe Lo Truglio, Stephanie Beatriz and Andre Braugher as well — the latter of which was deservedly nominated for an Emmy — and the lauding of the entire production ought to continue. As will the production itself.
Probable renewals: “Bones,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Mindy Project,” “New Girl,” and “The Simpsons.”
Fox will cancel…
John Mulaney is a great stand-up comedian and joke writer. Acting-wise, he’s no Marlon Brando. That said, neither was Jerry Seinfeld, and his eponymous network sitcom seemed to work out. This one probably will not, despite the undeniable talents of Mulaney, Nasim Pedrad and, of course, Martin Short. The “Mulaney” ratings are flat-out bad in the early going, the critical reception has been cold, and the show — which was originally intended for NBC — has hit more than its share of roadblocks from a scheduling standpoint. Earlier this week, the “Mulaney” order was trimmed to 13 episodes. That’s never a good sign, even though an insider told TheWrap the decision had more to do with how far ahead in production the sitcom was then whether or not it was worth bringing it back for three episodes if not a full season. Either way: “Dads” last fall, “Mulaney” this one — stop trying to make the multi-cam sitcom happen, Fox.
Even Fox has given up on trying to convince people that this show isn’t dead. The only questions now is how much money will have been spent by the time “Utopia” is officially canceled; also, what comes of the pioneers, who signed up to live (sort of) off-the-grid for a calendar year? The answer to both of those is “Who cares?” which is when you really know a show — or a relationship – — has run its course. Even this prediction has nothing left to say.
On the bubble: “Red Band Society”
NBC will renew…
“Law & Order: SVU”
This show is untouchable on the Peacock Network. From producer Dick Wolf and starring fan favorite Mariska Hargitay, “SVU” is still bringing in solid viewership and is bound to get a 17th season.
“Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.”
Let’s hear it for Wolf, he’s definitely keeping the lights on at NBC with “Chicago Fire” still rating high and spinoff “Chicago P.D.” not far behind it.
“The Blacklist” and “The Voice”
The James Spader crime drama is certainly not as buzzy as NBC hoped it would be. Regardless, it’s a critics’ fave and has been performing well with its “Voice” (also set to return) lead-in on Mondays.
Other probably renewals: “The Biggest Loser,” “Marry Me,” and “About a Boy.”
NBC will cancel…
The “Grey’s” and “Private Practice” alum Kate Walsh should’ve waited around for Shonda Rhimes to call her again. This freshman comedy is guilty of not clicking with audiences and will probably get sent to cancellation prison with no option for parole.
“A to Z”
We may never find out where Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda’s (Cristin Milioti) courtship will lead to as “A to Z” is probably getting dumped. Viewers are just not committing to the romantic comedy.
On the bubble: “Mysteries of Laura”