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411’s TV Renewal Predictions: Agents of SHIELD Upgraded, iZombie On the Bubble

April 16, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Agents of Shield

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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

There’s a little bit of movement in the predictions this week, and we’ll hop right into the big one that 411 readers are interested in: Agents of SHIELD. ABC’s Marvel series has been sitting on the Bubble pretty much all season — certainly since this column began a couple of months ago. That changes this week as it’s been bumped up to a Likely Renewal status. During the spring “Agents of HYDRA” pod over the last couple of weeks, the show has maintained its ratings during a time of the year when drops are regularly expected. Daylight Savings Time generally causes bigger slips in the spring for a variety of reasons and while its still not a ratings star, it has been holding its numbers while its closest network competition in Quantico and The Catch have slipped. Combined with Once Upon a Time’s hitting barely-better numbers at 8 PM on Sundays (a much hotter viewing timeslot than Tuesdays at 10), it seems likely that the show will be returning for at least a limited run next season…perhaps in pairing with Marvel’s Inhumans which will run for eight episodes in the fall.

Meanwhile, while Quantico has had a couple of very troubling moments including a dire 0.56 demo rating on April 3rd, it’s been moved to the Bubble ahead of The Catch. This may seem like a puzzling move, except when you consider a new report that the show is making big money through its distribution deal on Netflix and internationally. Remember: ratings are key, but they aren’t the end all/be all. Hannibal survived for three low-rated seasons in part because it made up the difference in overseas money and was a co-production with another studio, allowing NBC to split those costs. That’s not enough to guarantee Quantico a renewal, but it may not be dead yet.

International and streaming VOD profits may also save low-rated shows on two other networks in The Exorcist and Elementary. The dramas rank near the bottom of FOX and CBS’ series listings, respectively, and even with their timeslots (Fridays for Exorcist, Sunday at 10 PM-plus for Elementary) they aren’t good signs. But reports state that both are bringing in good money in their overseas deals and some negotiations could allow them to come back.

FOX has bigger problems than worrying about The Exorcist anyway. In addition to 24: Legacy’s continued descent, Prison Break followed up its strong start with a moderately rough 26% drop in week two to a 1.1. That’s not a death knell and the network likely expected that considering how shows tend to drop off after heavy hype, but it still isn’t encouraging news and the show officially moves to the Bubble this week. Shots Fired ticked down again and with the showrunner having previously expressed ambivalence about the idea of another season anyway, another donward tick will lead to a likely cancellation.

Meanwhile, CBS has cause to be concerned about The Great Indoors, which has now dropped to the Bubble. The show has been bouncing up and down in the ratings and losing a hefty amount of lead-in from The Big Bang Theory, which will make executives wonder how it can perform on its own. Big Bang is traditionally used to launch new series in its aftermath and so if Indoors does come back, it would likely have to move. The fact that it fell all the way to a 1.0 in a Monday airing last month combines with its recent trevails for problems.

Over at NBC, there isn’t a lot of news to report. Trial & Error is getting perilously close to the wrong side of the Bubble as its numbers continue to fall, and Taken has officially fallen below Timeless’ numbers. I’m more confident in the idea of Blindspot or Timeless returning than Taken due to stronger DVR viewing, though none of them have great odds. There’s not much left to say about Blacklist: Redemption or Powerless othetr than “goodbye.”

Finally, The CW still has their two shows in a horse race to renewal, The Originals and iZombie. The latter show dropped to a 0.3 this week, albeit without a new episode to lead into it, while Originals stuck at a 0.4 to keep its average a bit stronger. But it’s still in the post-Vampire Diaries ending honeymoon period and those numbers probably won’t hold. The network will have to decide if both can come back (conceivable) or if they make a call on one (or neither) of the two depending on the strength of their pilots.


* Grey’s Anatomy (2.11)
* The Middle (1.54)
* Scandal (1.50)
* How to Get Away with Murder (1.30)

Likely Renewal:
* Modern Family (2.17)
* The Goldbergs (1.79)
* Speechless (1.63)
* Black-ish (1.57)
* American Housewife (1.48)
* Designated Survivor (1.32)
* Fresh Off the Boat (1.20)
* Last Man Standing (1.15)
* Once Upon a Time (0.97)
* Agents of SHIELD (0.75)

* Imaginary Mary (1.04)
* The Real O’Neals (0.93)
* Dr. Ken (0.88)
* Quantico (0.71)

Likely Cancellation:
* Secrets and Lies (0.76)
* The Catch (0.73)
* American Crime (0.40)

* 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:


* The Big Bang Theory (3.17)
* NCIS (1.78)
* Kevin Can Wait (1.68)
* Bull (1.53)
* Mom (1.43)
* Criminal Minds (1.38)
* NCIS: Los Angeles (1.36)
* Man with a Plan (1.29)
* Life in Pieces (1.27)
* Superior Donuts (1.25)
* Scorpion (1.21)
* NCIS: New Orleans (1.20)
* Hawaii Five-0 (1.17)
* Blue Bloods (1.16)
* MacGyver (1.08)
* Madam Secretary (0.93)

Likely Renewal:

* The Great Indoors (1.48)
* 2 Broke Girls (1.33)
* Code Black (0.97)
* Elementary (0.67)

Likely Cancellation:
* The Odd Couple (1.02)
* Pure Genius (0.86)
* Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (0.85)
* Training Day (0.65)
* Ransom (0.44)

* Doubt (0.68)

Too Early to Call:


* This Is Us (2.68)
* The Good Place (1.35)
* Superstore (1.18)
* Shades of Blue (0.80)

Likely Renewal:
* Chicago Fire (1.58)
* Law and Order: SVU (1.41)
* Chicago PD (1.40)
* Chicago Med (1.26)
* Chicago Justice (1.18)

* The Blacklist (1.06)
* Trial & Error (0.94)

Likely Cancellation:
* Timeless (1.10)
* Taken (1.08)
* Blindspot (1.07)
* The Blacklist: Redemption (0.76)
* Powerless (0.73)
* Emerald City (0.72)

* Grimm (0.82) – Series Finale Aired

Too Early to Call:


* Empire (2.96)
* The Simpsons (1.89)
* Lethal Weapon (1.57)
* Star (1.34)
* The Mick (1.14)
* Lucifer (1.10)
* Bob’s Burgers (1.00)

Likely Renewal:
* Family Guy (1.33)
* Gotham (1.14)
* Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.00)

* Shots Fired (0.99)
* New Girl (0.93)
* The Last Man on Earth (0.93)
* The Exorcist (0.68)

Likely Cancellation:
* 24: Legacy (1.45)
* Son of Zorn (1.29)
* Pitch (0.83)
* APB (0.81)
* Making History (0.73)
* Rosewood (0.67)
* Scream Queens (0.61)
* Sleepy Hollow (0.50)

* Bones (0.81) – Season Finale Aired

Too Early to Call:
* Prison Break (1.30)

The CW

* The Flash (1.07)
* Supergirl (0.78)
* Arrow (0.64)
* Legends of Tomorrow (0.64)
* Supernatural (0.61)
* Riverdale (0.40)
* Jane the Virgin (0.37)
* The 100 (0.36)
* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0.20)

Likely Renewal:
* None

* The Originals (0.38)
* iZombie (0.35)

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

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

Too Early to Call:

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