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411’s TV Renewal Predictions: Taken Starts Solidly, Chicago Justice Looks Good

March 5, 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

After a couple of eventful weeks, we had a mostly-quiet week in terms of TV renewal movement. Due to a series of event programming situations including Donald Trump’s Presidential Address and ABC’s When We Rise, many shows stayed off the air or stuck to repeats meaning that there’s not a lot of change for us.

That being said, there was some news thanks to the debuts of Taken and Chicago Justice on NBC. Both shows had debuts that might be considered troubling had they started off the fall season with them but appear stronger in midseason premieres. Taken started off with a 1.60 demo rating, which sounds distressing when you consider that Timeless started off with a 1.83 and is now in cancellation range at a 1.10. But Timeless, like many fall premieres, had considerably more hype invested in it which usually results in stronger audience drop-offs from week to week. Taken has name value that likely drew some curiosity due to the film franchise connection, many of whom might be turned off by the way it develops into just another an apparent procedural by the end of the premiere. But if it can maintain a stronger level of stability than Timeless it could be in decent shape. It’s sticking in “Too Early to Tell” status until we see how it performs in week two against regular competition.

NBC’s other new show, Chicago Justice is in much better shape with a 1.70. That doesn’t sound all that much better in terms of raw numbers, but you also have to consider that it’s part of a franchise that includes the network’s successful Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Justice’s numbers may be inflated due to its premiere serving as part of a crossover with the other shows, but it’s also notable that said crossover was responsible for boosting its sister series as well, which may have earned it some goodwill. NBC loves their franchise (see: Law & Order) and as long as this one doesn’t tank, it should be fine. We’re still giving it another week before moving it out of “Too Early to Tell” though.

The relative success of these two shows are very worrying signs for those shows looming close to cancellation. The common wisdom of television programming is that you don’t have to beat the other networks’ competition; you have to beat the competition on your own network. Had Taken or Chicago Justice bombed then Blindspot, Timeless and maybe even The Blacklist: Redemption would have had a chance at another season. If Taken drops hard and upcoming series Trial & Error goes down than one of those shows may survive, but even then it’s not a given by any means.

This coming week will be a big one for bubble shows, as several shows make their premiere and much like the above-mentioned NBC situation, their fates may be influenced by how the newcomers perform. ABC has Time After Time tonight, which got a heavy push during the Oscars and When We Rise; the second season of low-rated Shondaland series The Catch comes back on Thursday as well. CBS premieres Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders season two on Wednesday in cancelled freshman Doubt’s old timeslot, while FOX premieres time travel comedy Making History tonight. That show comes from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller — the same minds behind Son of Zorn — and if it’s successful than it could be the final nail in a coffin that is already pretty well sealed for Zorn.

ABC

Renewed:
* Grey’s Anatomy (2.20)
* Scandal (1.76)
* The Middle (1.57)
* How to Get Away with Murder (1.30)

Likely Renewal:
* Modern Family (2.23)
* The Goldbergs (1.82)
* Speechless (1.67)
* Black-ish (1.60)
* American Housewife (1.53)
* Designated Survivor (1.45)
* Fresh Off the Boat (1.24)
* Last Man Standing (1.18)

Bubble:
* Once Upon a Time (1.05)
* The Real O’Neals (0.94)
* Dr. Ken (0.90)
* Agents of SHIELD (0.75)

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

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:
* American Crime (Premieres March 12th)
* The Catch (Premieres March 9th)
* Downward Dog (Premieres TBA)
* Imaginary Mary (Premieres March 29th)
* Time After Time (Premieres March 5th)

CBS

Renewed:
* The Big Bang Theory (3.29)
* NCIS (1.83)

Likely Renewal:
* Kevin Can Wait (1.75)
* The Great Indoors (1.56)
* Bull (1.53)
* Mom (1.45)
* 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 (1.23)
* Blue Bloods (1.20)

Bubble:
* Man with a Plan (1.34)
* Hawaii Five-0 (1.21)
* MacGyver (1.12)
* Code Black (0.97)
* Madam Secretary (0.95)
* Elementary (0.68)

Likely Cancellation:
* The Odd Couple (1.02)
* Pure Genius (0.86)
* Training Day (0.76)
* Ransom (0.47)

Cancelled:
* Doubt (0.68)

Too Early to Call:
* Superior Donuts (1.42)
* Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (Premieres March 8th)

NBC

Renewed:
* This Is Us (2.62)
* 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 (1.30)

Bubble:
* The Blacklist (1.05)

Likely Cancellation:
* Blindspot (1.10)
* Timeless (1.10)
* The Blacklist: Redemption (0.90)
* Powerless (0.84)
* Emerald City (0.72)

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

Too Early to Call:
* Chicago Justice (1.70)
* Taken (1.60)
* Great News (Premieres April 25th)
* Shades of Blue (Premieres March 5th)
* Trial & Error (Premieres March 14th)

FOX

Renewed:
* Empire (3.19)
* The Simpsons (2.12)
* Lethal Weapon (1.61)
* Star (1.37)
* The Mick (1.25)
* Bob’s Burgers (1.13)
* Lucifer (1.10)

Likely Renewal:
* Family Guy (1.40)
* Gotham (1.14)
* Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.03)
* New Girl (0.96)

Bubble:
* The Last Man on Earth (0.97)

Likely Cancellation:
* Son of Zorn (1.29)
* APB (1.03)
* Pitch (0.83)
* Rosewood (0.70)
* The Exorcist (0.68)
* Scream Queens (0.61)
* Sleepy Hollow (0.51)

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

Too Early to Call:
* 24: Legacy (2.17)
* Making History (Premieres March 5th)
* Shots Fired (Premieres March 22nd)
* Prison Break (Premieres April 4th)

The CW

Renewed:
* The Flash (1.12)
* Supergirl (0.81)
* Arrow (0.67)
* Legends of Tomorrow (0.68)
* Supernatural (0.64)
* Jane the Virgin (0.38)
* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0.21)

Likely Renewal:
* Riverdale (0.42)

Bubble:
* The 100 (0.39)

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

Cancelled:
* The Vampire Diaries (0.37) – Previously-Announced Final Season
* Reign (0.22) – Previously-Announced Final Season

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