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411’s TV Renewal Predictions: Final Predictions For Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

May 8, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Agents of SHIELD Past Life

Welcome to 411’s official renewal predictions for the 2017 – 2018 television season! I’m Jeremy Thomas and after last season’s late-era run, we’re back to keep predictions going from fall going forward. The fall season is now in full launch this past week 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 next year.

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

We’re in the final week before we’ll know the fates of all of the shows from the past season. The upfront presentations kick off next week, with the broadcast networks revealing their schedules for the upcoming fall season. With that in mind, it’s time for our final predictions. Most of my predictions have been set down over the past few columns, but there are a decent number of shows that were still on the Bubble. That is the case no more and the below predictions are my final calls. I’m sure I’ll be off on at least one or two, because things are very much down to the wire on a few shows, but the vast majority of the shows are ones I’m at least reasonably confident in.

* ABC

While ABC generally doesn’t announce the majority of its renewals until the last minute, most of the network’s shows have been pretty clear as to where they’re going to end up. Shows like American Housewife, Black-ish and Speechless have been clear renewal targets, while few people expect Kevin (Probably) Saves the World or Deception to come back. Quantico joins the latter this week, having gotten off to a rough start in its first two episodes. The show was a borderline renewal last season and it’s been DOA with a double 0.5, losing half its lead-in from Station 19. Even with good international deals, there’s no saving it.

But the borderline shows have been much harder to predict. These are the shows Designated Survivor, Alex Inc., and of course Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Survivor has been a middling performer in its second season, having lost much of its luster from a solid first season. But it’s providing ABC with a certain sense of stability on Wednesdays at 10 PM and while it could definitely go the other way, international distribution should give it the edge to survive another season.

Unfortunately for Zach Braff, Alex, Inc. doesn’t have the same things going for it. The midseason comedy began okay and hasn’t been in the absolute worst shape thus far, but it has bounced back and forth, with a scary 0.6 on its fifth episode and seventh episodes before bouncing slightly back to a 0.8 in its most recent airing. It hasn’t shown any real level of stability at this point and with plenty of comedy pilots to look at, ABC is probably going to go with one of them rather than roll the dice with a second season of this show.

And what of Agents of SHIELD? That’s been the big question mark all season. The ratings are…well, not good. There’s no other way to put it. But those strong DVR numbers and international sales have been buoying its hopes, and Disney probably wants a Marvel show to stay on ABC. While I would not at all be shocked to see this be Agent Coulson’s final season of TV, I’m leaning toward renewal for this one, albeit likely for its final (perhaps shortened) season.

* CBS

There’s been one development at CBS since the last column, which is that the network quietly cancelled 9JKL. This was an obvious move, as the show did not perform well during its run and it only got a small back order off its initial thirteen. That leaves a lot of obvious picks: Kevin Can Wait and Life in Pieces are very likely coming back and Criminal Minds will come back as long as the likely deal can be worked out between the production company and the network.

That just leaves Instinct, Superior Donuts, and Scorpion. While I am not 100% confident on the latter two, I’m predicting cancellation for all three. CBS renewed most of their series last month and that leaves some hard decisions to make. Scorpion has been an unspectacular but solid performer for three seasons, but the bloom is way off the rose and it’s not delivering Monday-worthy numbers. CBS also has a high bar for their comedies and often cancel sitcoms that would have earned renewal on other networks. That should be the case here. An ugly string of 0.8s in recent weeks was capped off with an 0.7 in its most recent episode, which was probably the death knell.

And then finally there’s Instinct. The show started off borderline from the get-go with a 1.0 demo rating for its premiere, and dipped to an 0.6 in weeks three, five and six. (Last week’s was a not-much-better 0.7). There’s no reason to suspect at this point that the show would bounce back and with some good pilots in the pipeline, CBS is probably going to let it go.

* NBC

NBC still has several calls to make, and they should be coming very soon. A decision came down on Monday as Good Girls got the expected renewal. While the crime drama hasn’t exactly been a ratings phenomenon, it has performed serviceably and it has a strong critical following that made its renewal a likely thing. It’s sure to be joined by the Chicago shows, which have all been very solid and provide a reliable source of ratings boosts during crossovers. Law & Order: SVU is obviously coming back as well. As for The Blacklist and Blindspot, I’d say I’m 80% certain on the former and 70% on the latter. Blindspot gets its pass thanks to the syndication value of a fourth season, and Blacklist is no smash anymore but is doing too well to get the axe.

With Good Girls getting a new season, that makes Rise the big drama question mark. The musical drama received a lot of promotion and was well-liked, but it;s fallen to a 0.7 in its last two episodes. That’s not a good number, and it looks worse when you consider it has a cushy post-Voice spot. While I’m sure some at NBC would like to bring it back, it doesn’t make financial sense to make it work. At least Good Girls never dropped below a 0.9 and had a good overseas distribution deal with Netflix to supplement its ad revenue.

NBC’s midseason comedies have been a disaster. Champions has been doomed from its premiere, and AP Bio didn’t look much better. The one advantage the latter show has had is its lower drops. But it still isn’t good enough to survive. There will be plenty of sitcom pilots to pick from (seven to be specific), so there’s no need to keep this one around.

* FOX

FOX has been the hardest network to predict this season, with several shows that stayed on the Bubble until this week. But calls have to be made. One was taken out of my hands as The Resident got a second season on Monday. It’s one I probably should have shifted to Likely Renewed last time, but there were a lot of unclear decisions to be made at the network. Empire also got a renewal, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

That leaves a lot of shows still to go. Star, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, and Lethal Weapon are pretty much sure things. The latter’s status is dependent on whether star Clayne Crawford managed to smooth things over with the network over reports of his on-set behavior, but that seems likely. And The X-Files and The Exorcist have been predicted for cancellation for a while now.

That leaves seven shows: Lucifer, Gotham, The Mick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Ghosted, The Last Man on Earth, and L.A. to Vegas. Lucifer, much like Blindspot on NBC, is testing how a network balances syndication value against poor ratings. I’m still leaning on traditional revenue models winning out there. Gotham has been marking series lows as of late, but it makes a good pairing schedule-wise with genre shows and should get one more season or so.

Meanwhile, things don’t look good for Ghosted, Last Man and L.A. to Vegas. Ghosted has never returned to the schedule after it was taken off the air to be retooled, and there’s no reason to expect it will get a renewal if they never saw fit to bring it back to test said retooling. The best chance it has is a summer run that gives it new life, but that doesn’t seem likely. L.A. to Vegas slid to a 0.5 in its last episode, which is probably the last nail in its coffin. As for Last Man on Earth, it’s hung in there but at the bottom end of the ratings and considering how close of a call it was last season, it’s probably a goner.

And that leaves Brooklyn Nine-Nine. There was a point at the end of last year where the cop comedy seemed doomed. Since coming back in Ghosted’s timeslot though, it’s been surprisingly improved. Recent numbers dropped, but not so much that it will likely get cut with everything else that’s going to get the axe.

* The CW

The CW only really has one call left to make. After it renewed The 100 on Monday, all eyes are turned to iZombie. The supernatural dramedy from Rob Thomas is basically waiting to see if the network chooses a pilot over it and will hope that the network’s expansion to six nights next season will be enough for it to live on.

I’m leaning to CW giving iZombie a pass in this case. The network has traditionally cancelled four shows a season and has three currently (okay, Life Sentence isn’t officially cancelled — but it’s totally done). That would suggest a cancellation normally, but the expansion to Sundays means more shows to fill the landscape. And the network has several pilots, but not that many more than last year. I could see them canceling iZombie, but it’s still leaning toward renewal with all factors considered so that’s my final call on it.

ABC

Renewed:
* Roseanne (3.96)
* Grey’s Anatomy (1.93)
* The Good Doctor (1.79)
* Modern Family (1.62)
* The Goldbergs (1.48)

Likely Renewal:
* Splitting Up Together (1.37)
* American Housewife (1.23)
* Black-ish (1.19)
* Speechless (1.13)
* Station 19 (1.07)
* Fresh Off the Boat (1.02)
* How to Get Away with Murder (0.94)
* Designated Survivor (0.72)
* Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (0.54)

Bubble:
None

Likely Cancellation:
* Alex, Inc. (0.87)
* Deception (0.78)
* The Crossing (0.73)
* For the People (0.69)
* Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (0.67)
* Marvel’s Inhumans (0.61)
* Quantico (0.5)

Cancelled:
* The Middle (1.41) – Final season previously announced
* Scandal (1.14) – Final season previously announced
* The Mayor (0.82)
* Once Upon a Time (0.49)
* Ten Days in the Valley (0.35)

Too Early to Call:
None

CBS

Renewed:
* Big Bang Theory (2.73)
* Young Sheldon (2.21)
* Mom (1.46)
* NCIS (1.41)
* Bull (1.19)
* Seal Team (1.02)
* Hawaii Five-0 (0.97)
* NCIS: New Orleans (0.96)
* SWAT (0.95)
* NCIS: Los Angeles (0.92)
* Blue Bloods (0.91)
* MacGyver (0.83)
* Madam Secretary (0.64)

Likely Renewal:
* Kevin Can Wait (1.19)
* Life in Pieces (1.13)
* Man With a Plan (0.99)
* Criminal Minds (0.99)
* Code Black (0.7)

Bubble:
None

Likely Cancellation:
* Superior Donuts (0.90)
* Instinct (0.81)
* Scorpion (0.81)

Cancelled:
* Me, Myself & I (0.99)
* 9JKL (0.96)
* Wisdom of the Crowd (0.91)
* Living Biblically (0.70)

Too Early to Call:

NBC

Renewed:
* This Is Us (3.07)
* Will & Grace (1.48)
* The Good Place (1.14)
* Good Girls (1.03)
* Superstore (1.01)

Likely Renewal:
* Law & Order: SVU (1.28)
* Chicago Med (1.24)
* Chicago PD (1.20)
* Chicago Fire (1.08)
* The Blacklist (0.94)
* Blindspot (0.62)

Bubble:
None

Likely Cancellation:
* Law & Order True Crime (1.05)
* The Brave (0.92)
* Rise (0.87)
* Great News (0.73)
* AP Bio (0.72)
* Timeless (0.61)
* Champions (0.50)

Cancelled:
* Taken (0.44)
* Shades of Blue (Premieres Midseason)

Too Early to Call:

FOX

Renewed:
* Empire (1.88)
* 9-1-1 (1.65)
* The Simpsons (1.48)
* The Orville (1.25)
* The Resident (1.05)
* The Gifted (1.01)

Likely Renewal:
* Star (1.33)
* Bob’s Burgers (1.15)
* Family Guy (1.08)
* Lethal Weapon (1.00)
* Lucifer (0.83)
* Gotham (0.78)
* The Mick (0.73)
* Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.73)

Bubble:
None

Likely Cancellation:
* Ghosted (1.17)
* The X-Files (0.96)
* The Last Man on Earth (0.79)
* L.A. to Vegas (0.73)
* The Exorcist (0.42)

Cancelled:
* New Girl (0.60)

Too Early to Call:

The CW

Renewed:
* The Flash (0.81)
* Black Lightning (0.57)
* Supernatural (0.56)
* Supergirl (0.53)
* Riverdale (0.50)
* Legends of Tomorrow (0.49)
* Arrow (0.44)
* The 100 (0.35)
* Jane the Virgin (0.24)
* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0.22)
* Dynasty (0.19)

Likely Renewal:
* iZombie (0.24)

Bubble:
None

Likely Cancellation:
* Life Sentence (0.15)

Cancelled:
* The Originals (0.4) – Final season previously announced
* Valor (0.21)

Too Early to Call: