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411’s TV Renewal Predictions: 24: Legacy’s Chances Get Worse, The Exorcist Not Done?

March 12, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Welcome to 411’s official renewal predictions for the 2016 – 2017 television season! I’m Jeremy Thomas and this is a thing we’re going to try for this season. The beginning of the year is about the time that viewers and TV executives alike start wondering which shows will survive to see the next season, and we’re going to take a weekly look at what’s likely to get renewed as well as what you’re not very likely to see come back in the fall.

This is going to be a pretty short and sweet column each week. I’ll be updating my predictions every Sunday if there’s anything that warrants a move.

How It Works

The categories are pretty self-explanatory: Renewed, Likely Renewal, Bubble (could go either way), Likely Cancellation and Cancelled. It is worth mentioning that some shows will be moved into “Cancelled” status before an official announcement; networks are generally loathe to announce cancellations but there are clear signs when a show has been cancelled. These include a lack of additional episodes ordered for a first season, main cast members joining other shows or pilots and statements made by members of the cast or crew.

A show’s rating in the 18 – 49 demographic generally determines renewal, as that is the demographic that advertisers pay for (and thus determines the show’s profit margin). The 18 – 49 demo rating will be included after the show in the list. However, it’s not as simple as “X show has a higher rating than Y show, so it will be renewed.” There are certain expectations regarding a show’s timeslot; a 10 PM show can easily survive with a lower rating than a 9 PM show. Fridays tend to have lower ratings expectations and a show that is produced by the network’s production company is more likely to be renewed than one that the network has no stake in. International and streaming distributions can influence some shows to survive, but that is by no means a saving grace.

This Week’s Highlights

This past week saw a lot of new shows debut and some other news that provided changes in our predictions. The first and most clear-cut developments came in The CW handing out renewals to two of their shows in Riverdale and The 100. Neither of these come as a particular shock; Riverdale has been performing decently for a show on the smallest of the broadcast networks and the recent deal for further development between The CW and Archie Comics was a pretty sure sign that the show would probably be coming back. The 100 was less of a sure thing — it was sitting on the Bubble in my predictions last week — but the network loves catering to their 18 – 34 fan base and the series has been stable, if not great.

This leaves a question regarding the fates of the yet-to-be premiered iZombie and The Originals, of course. All of the network’s shows have now been renewed with the exception of the functionally-dead No Tomorrow and Frequency and with some new shows sure to be ordered, one wonders how many more shows can get a second go. However, it’s also worth noting that two series are not coming back in The Vampire Diaries and Reign, and the network has shown interest in the past in expanding their summer slate by moving some shows to the warmer months. Only two shows new to the network from last season are coming back (Supergirl and Riverdale) so don’t write those two off by any means.

Moving on to the new shows that premiered, there wasn’t a lot of great news…unless, of course, you’re a bubble show on those networks praying for the competition to fail. ABC found another disaster in Time After Time, which despite heavy promotion (including during the Oscars) failed to register with only a 0.65 rating across its two-hour premiere. There is no positive way to spin that, and the show is likely to fall further as however many weeks it has left before getting yanked progress. The net’s returning Shondaland show The Catch was also weak, coming back at a 0.8 demo rating. That’s a series low and doesn’t bode well for the show’s chances, which along with Time After Time’s flopping means that danger zone series like Agents of SHIELD and Once Upon a Time may have a tiny bit more breathing room. The net premieres the third season of American Crime tonight but that show has also never been a ratings performer, instead garnering awards and critical attention as a “prestige show.” ABC has been loathe to rock the boat with Shonda Rimes so I’m not ready to count out The Catch yet but assuming it falls further, it could well be a goner.

Hawaii Five-0 is doing well enough on Fridays that it’s safe to predict a renewal for the series and while MacGyver could follow suit, I’m not making that call yet. As a freshman show it generally gets less leeway than shows that have been on a while because of the volatility of first seasons. By comparison, Five-0 has stuck between a 1.35 and a 1.01 for this, its seventh season, while MacGyver started at a 1.67 and in its most recent episode pulled a 1.0 — and that was for a crossover with Five-0 where the other series did a 1.1. Logic dictates drop-offs from season to season early in shows’ lifespans, so CBS will have to consider whether the show will drop too low in a second season to make it worthwhile. The last thing of note with CBS is that Training Day’s officially in burn-off mode, as the network moved the series to Saturdays. That’s generally a sure-fire sign that a show has been cancelled and with the combinations of low ratings and Bill Paxton’s death, it’s not a surprise.

Over at NBC, things were marginally better as Chicago Justice had an okay premiere in its regular Sunday timeslot and fared decently in a third episode on Tuesday. That’s a sign the network has to be happy with, as they have a lot invested in their Chicago universe and while it’s still early things seem on the right path. Taken fell harder than your average series but not too much and if it can stabilize will still be sitting okay. On the other hand, the Jennifer Lopez cop drama Shades of Blue premiered its second season with a sketchy 0.98, almost a series low, and it was never a great performer to begin with. Right now it’s a Bubble Show because of how many series NBC is looking at potential cancellations for, but that may not stick in successive weeks.

FOX had their own new series come in with Making History, from Son of Zorn’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. History premiered last Sunday with a 0.9 demo rating — which is bad, to be sure, but when viewed in comparison to the 0.56 and 0.69 that Zorn ended on seems much better. Signs are not good for History right now but if it has no real drops — a challenge, to be sure — than it could squeak by with a renewal.

FOX’s other news came not in ratings necessarily, but in comments made by the network’s Chairman Dana Walden. Walden spoke at with Deadline at the INTV conference and discussed the futures of several shows, saying that the low-rated Pitch and The Exorcist are “very much in the conversation” and that she was “a little sad” about 24: Legacy’s performance. After praising the series, she said, “We’re just going to have to see how our pilots come in, how it continues to perform and weigh all of the information we have in May.”

Now keep in mind, you have to view these comments through a PR translation filter, which puts rose-colored glasses on everything. While The Exorcist had some stability to it, it’s also the third-lowest rated show on the network behind Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow, and it was placed on Friday to be a genre fit with the latter show. Considering Sleepy Hollow is probably toast, it’s hard to imagine that the net would want to use The Exorcist as a platform to launch a new show off of. And Pitch did poorly in its Thursday timeslot, which should be a more competitive night. They may always end up coming back, but that would be doubtful. The more indicative quotes are regarding 24: Legacy. The series got a major promotional push with the cushy post-Super Bowl premiere and if you don’t include that massive rating, the show has done a 1.12 in its regular timeslot. I won’t be stunned if it does come back somehow, but at this point it’s definitely on the bubble and cancellation is a definite possibility.

ABC

Renewed:
* Grey’s Anatomy (2.18)
* Scandal (1.68)
* The Middle (1.56)
* How to Get Away with Murder (1.30)

Likely Renewal:
* Modern Family (2.21)
* The Goldbergs (1.82)
* Speechless (1.66)
* Black-ish (1.59)
* American Housewife (1.53)
* Designated Survivor (1.43)
* Fresh Off the Boat (1.24)
* Last Man Standing (1.17)

Bubble:
* Once Upon a Time (1.04)
* The Real O’Neals (0.93)
* Dr. Ken (0.89)
* Agents of SHIELD (0.75)

Likely Cancellation:
* Secrets and Lies (0.76)
* Quantico (0.73)
* Time After Time (0.65)

Cancelled:
* Notorious (0.86) – Essentially Cancelled (no new episodes ordered)
* Conviction (0.65) – Essentially Cancelled (no new episodes ordered, cast members have joined other pilots)

Too Early to Call:
* The Catch (0.8)
* American Crime (Premieres March 12th)
* Downward Dog (Premieres TBA)
* Imaginary Mary (Premieres March 29th)

CBS

Renewed:
* The Big Bang Theory (3.27)
* NCIS (1.82)

Likely Renewal:
* Kevin Can Wait (1.75)
* The Great Indoors (1.55)
* Bull (1.53)
* Mom (1.46)
* Criminal Minds (1.40)
* NCIS: Los Angeles (1.41)
* 2 Broke Girls (1.37)
* Life in Pieces (1.30)
* Scorpion (1.23)
* NCIS: New Orleans (1.22)
* Hawaii Five-0 (1.20)
* Blue Bloods (1.19)

Bubble:
* Man with a Plan (1.34)
* MacGyver (1.12)
* Code Black (0.97)
* Madam Secretary (0.94)
* Elementary (0.68)

Likely Cancellation:
* The Odd Couple (1.02)
* Pure Genius (0.86)
* Training Day (0.75)
* Ransom (0.47)

Cancelled:
* Doubt (0.68)

Too Early to Call:
* Superior Donuts (1.38)
* Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (0.90)

NBC

Renewed:
* This Is Us (2.64)
* The Good Place (1.35)
* Superstore (1.21)

Likely Renewal:
* Chicago Fire (1.61)
* Law and Order: SVU (1.47)
* Chicago PD (1.43)
* Chicago Med (1.29)

Bubble:
* The Blacklist (1.05)
* Shades of Blue (0.98)

Likely Cancellation:
* Blindspot (1.10)
* Timeless (1.10)
* The Blacklist: Redemption (0.85)
* Powerless (0.83)
* Emerald City (0.72)

Cancelled:
* Grimm (0.81) – Previously-Announced Final Season

Too Early to Call:
* Taken (1.47)
* Chicago Justice (1.46)
* Great News (Premieres April 25th)
* Trial & Error (Premieres March 14th)

FOX

Renewed:
* Empire (3.19)
* The Simpsons (2.06)
* Lethal Weapon (1.59)
* Star (1.34)
* The Mick (1.25)
* Bob’s Burgers (1.09)
* Lucifer (1.10)

Likely Renewal:
* Family Guy (1.38)
* Gotham (1.14)
* Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.03)
* New Girl (0.96)

Bubble:
* 24: Legacy (1.96)
* The Last Man on Earth (0.98)

Likely Cancellation:
* Son of Zorn (1.29)
* APB (0.98)
* Pitch (0.83)
* Rosewood (0.70)
* The Exorcist (0.68)
* Scream Queens (0.61)
* Sleepy Hollow (0.50)

Cancelled:
* Bones (0.80) – Previously-Announced Final Season

Too Early to Call:
* Making History (0.90)
* Shots Fired (Premieres March 22nd)
* Prison Break (Premieres April 4th)

The CW

Renewed:
* The Flash (1.10)
* Supergirl (0.80)
* Arrow (0.67)
* Legends of Tomorrow (0.67)
* Supernatural (0.63)
* Riverdale (0.42)
* The 100 (0.39)
* Jane the Virgin (0.38)
* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0.21)

Likely Renewal:
* None

Bubble:

Likely Cancellation:
* Frequency (0.27)
* No Tomorrow (0.26)

Cancelled:
* The Vampire Diaries (0.38) – Series Finale Aired
* Reign (0.22) – Previously-Announced Final Season

Too Early to Call:
* iZombie (Premieres April 4th)
* The Originals (Premieres March 17th)

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