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411’s TV Renewal Predictions: Agents of SHIELD Looks Good, 24: Legacy May Have a Chance

May 7, 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

With the upfronts starting next week, I’ve made good on my pledge to move everything out of the Bubble and make a fixed prediction on whether shows will likely be renewed or cancelled. It must be noted that I’m not confident in all of these; as with any season, there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes regarding last-minute negotiations and consideration of productions costs vs. international/SVOD/et cetera. This is my first year doing my own predictions so I expect to miss a few, probably even some high-profile picks. For the most part though, I’m feeling pretty good about the way my predictions are headed.

Let’s go through them network by network. ABC has had a pretty brutal year, all considered. Many of their high-profile freshman outings have failed to deliver and once-strong shows like Once Upon a Time and Quantico have dropped off considerably. That leaves the network in the difficult spot of deciding which low-rated shows will continue while they look to rebuild. On the drama side, I consider Once Upon a Time and Agents of SHIELD as relative locks to come back; while they’ve certainly fallen off, there has been a certain level of stability and SHIELD will pair with Inhumans well. After some waffling back and forth, I’ve slipped Quantico into Likely Canceled. I’m fully ready to be wrong on that, because the show brings in a lot of money in terms of international and SVOD rights, but it’s so far below the other shows that I just don’t feel comfortable predicting its renewal.

On the comedy side, despite some reports of difficult negotiations I can’t possibly imagine that Modern Family won’t be back. The series is not only the network’s best-rated series, it’s an awards juggernaut even while it’s looking long in the tooth. ABC will need something to help launch some new series and they can’t afford to let that one go. However, I have moved Dr. Ken down to Likely Cancelled as it is the net’s lowest-rated comedy and performs noticeably below that of fellow Friday series Last Man Standing. Standing has been down to the wire in almost every season that it’s aired, and that’s the case again this year. It’s a 20th Century Fox TV production and shows produced by third parties tend to have a harder time with renewal since the network’s parent company is splitting profits. I’m going to keep Standing at Likely Renewed, but I’m not confident about that. The Real O’Neals and Imaginary Mary are both likely cancelled and,

On CBS, the only shows left to predict were Bubble dramas Elementary and Code Black, along with their comedy counterparts in The Great Indoors and 2 Broke Girls. I know some people are going to call me crazy on this one, but I’m predicting a renewal for both dramas. Again, Elementary makes a lot of money on other licensing deals and word is that the show is in full planning for a return. Code Black’s ratings aren’t great but it’s an okay performer in its timeslot. As for the comedies, I’m putting 2 Broke Girls down for a likely limited final season and moving Great Indoors to Likely Cancelled. I’ve talked about this before, but it only performs well when propped up by Big Bang Theory and this week it dropped to a painful 0.8 when aired on Monday.

On FOX, we have one confirmed cancellation from this week as Pitch was put to pasture. That’s no surprise at all, considering the show’s heavy promotion and poor performance. I’ve moved The Exorcist to Likely Renewed because, to be frank, it’s well-received and Fox has so many other shows they need to cancel. That latter reason has also inspired me to nudge 24: Legacy into Likely Renewed. That’s one of my least certain predictions, but the show’s name value and the failure of so much of the network’s other schedule make it slightly more likely to squeak by — albeit with a lot of creative changes — than the competition. Prison Break is DOA — yes, it’s being called an “event series” so one could say it was never in the cards for renewal, but exhibit A: The X-Files. And finally, I’ve adjusted Last Man on Earth into a renewal vein. That one will be down to the wire but again, something needs to come back and it won’t be Making History or Son of Zorn.

NBC is the toughest to predict, because they have so many dramas on the bubble. The network historically cancels the most shows but have the least in Likely Cancelled. At the moment, I have Blindspot slightly in Likely Renewed and, after some consideration, added Taken there as well because the show is doing well internationally. That’s a revenue stream that saved Hannibal on NBC for three seasons’ worth of TV and it had lower ratings in season two than Taken did — back when the network average was much higher. On the other hand, the network officially gave the expected axe to Emerald City this season and I expect Timeless and The Blacklist: Redemption to follow. For some it might be a coin flip between Blindspot and Timeless, but the former show has more star power and about the same ratings but is in its second season, so it would likely drop somewhat less if it returned.

On The CW, I’m now pretty confident in predicting a renewal for iZombie. It’s not a great performer but there is no real reason for it not to come back considering its held up okay during the period when its lead-in was Flash reruns. Word is that The Originals is on shakier ground and its fate depends on the network’s pilots. I’m going to predict a shortened final season because the network generally likes to give its shows a last send-off, although a cancellation wouldn’t surprise me either.

ABC

Renewed:
* Grey’s Anatomy (2.08)
* The Middle (1.51)
* Scandal (1.47)
* How to Get Away with Murder (1.30)

Likely Renewal:
* Modern Family (2.15)
* The Goldbergs (1.75)
* Speechless (1.59)
* Black-ish (1.52)
* American Housewife (1.46)
* Designated Survivor (1.27)
* Fresh Off the Boat (1.18)
* Last Man Standing (1.15)
* Once Upon a Time (0.95)
* Agents of SHIELD (0.74)

Bubble:

Likely Cancellation:
* The Real O’Neals (0.93)
* Imaginary Mary (0.92)
* Dr. Ken (0.88)
* Secrets and Lies (0.76)
* Quantico (0.69)
* The Catch (0.68)
* American Crime (0.39)

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)
* Time After Time (0.55)

Too Early to Call:
None

CBS

Renewed:
* The Big Bang Theory (3.12)
* NCIS (1.75)
* Kevin Can Wait (1.63)
* Bull (1.46)
* Mom (1.43)
* Criminal Minds (1.38)
* NCIS: Los Angeles (1.33)
* Man with a Plan (1.27)
* Life in Pieces (1.26)
* NCIS: New Orleans (1.20)
* Superior Donuts (1.20)
* Scorpion (1.20)
* Hawaii Five-0 (1.15)
* Blue Bloods (1.13)
* MacGyver (1.08)
* Madam Secretary (0.91)

Likely Renewal:
* 2 Broke Girls (1.31)
* Code Black (0.97)
* Elementary (0.65)

Bubble:

Likely Cancellation:
* The Great Indoors (1.44)
* The Odd Couple (1.02)
* Pure Genius (0.86)
* Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (0.84)
* Training Day (0.59)
* Ransom (0.43)

Cancelled:
* Doubt (0.68)

Too Early to Call:
None

NBC

Renewed:
* This Is Us (2.68)
* The Good Place (1.35)
* Superstore (1.13)
* Shades of Blue (0.77)

Likely Renewal:
* Chicago Fire (1.55)
* Chicago PD (1.38)
* Law and Order: SVU (1.37)
* Chicago Med (1.24)
* Chicago Justice (1.13)
* Blindspot (1.05)
* The Blacklist (1.01)
* Taken (1.00)

Bubble:
None

Likely Cancellation:
* Timeless (1.10)
* Trial & Error (0.92)
* The Blacklist: Redemption (0.75)

Cancelled:
* Grimm (0.82) – Series Finale Aired
* Emerald City (0.72)
* Powerless (0.71)

Too Early to Call:
None

FOX

Renewed:
* Empire (2.84)
* The Simpsons (1.85)
* Lethal Weapon (1.57)
* Star (1.34)
* The Mick (1.10)
* Lucifer (1.09)
* Bob’s Burgers (0.97)

Likely Renewal:
* 24: Legacy (1.40)
* Family Guy (1.33)
* Gotham (1.12)
* Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.94)
* New Girl (0.93)
* The Last Man on Earth (0.91)
* The Exorcist (0.68)

Bubble:

Likely Cancellation:
* Son of Zorn (1.29)
* Prison Break (1.05)
* Shots Fired (0.91)
* APB (0.78)
* Making History (0.70)
* Rosewood (0.66)
* Scream Queens (0.61)
* Sleepy Hollow (0.50)

Cancelled:
* Pitch (0.83)
* Bones (0.81) – Season Finale Aired

Too Early to Call:
None

The CW

Renewed:
* The Flash (1.06)
* Supergirl (0.75)
* Legends of Tomorrow (0.64)
* Arrow (0.63)
* Supernatural (0.60)
* Riverdale (0.39)
* Jane the Virgin (0.35)
* The 100 (0.35)
* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0.20)

Likely Renewal:
* The Originals (0.34)
* iZombie (0.32)

Bubble:
* None

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

Cancelled:
* The Vampire Diaries (0.38) – Series Finale Aired
* Reign (0.21) – Previously-Announced Final Season

Too Early to Call:
None