Renew/Cancel Odds for TV Shows Still on the Bubble

  • Publish Date: April 4, 2019
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Renewal predictions from TV industry followers

With just over a month remaining before the five broadcast networks announce their 2019-20 lineups, just over 50 shows from the current TV season still await their fates.

To determine which of those shows are likely to return next year, and which are in danger of cancellation, we have surveyed a variety of experts:

Their predictions (for scripted shows only) are grouped by network in the tables below.

ABCABC

Already renewed: The Conners, The Good Doctor, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., A Million Little Things, Modern Family

Already canceled (or ending this year): Take Two

ABC has more shows remaining on the bubble than any other network—though that's not out of the ordinary. It also doesn't mean that a large number of ABC programs are in danger of cancellation. On the contrary, only four programs appear to be in danger of not returning next season: first-year titles The Fix and Whiskey Cavalier, plus second-year shows Splitting Up Together and For the People. It would not be a surprise if all four programs are canceled next month.

Remember, for any network, shows that are produced in-house (in this case, at Disney, which owns ABC) are a bit more profitable for the network that airs them than programs produced by an outside company, giving the former a slight advantage when a network is making its renewal decisions. That's good news for many of the ABC bubble shows—including Fresh Off the Boat, Single Parents, and Speechless, which are Fox productions now owned by Disney after its recent acquisition of most of Fox. In fact, there's just one iffy bubble title with outside ownership: Splitting Up Together.


Key to predictions:

5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

ABC Shows Still on the Bubble, 2018-19 Season
Expert Predictions AVERAGE
BTN GR HR SP THR TVL WUS
American Housewife S3
4 5 n/a 4 3 3 5 4.0 - safe
Black-ish S5
4 5 n/a 4 5 5 5 4.7 - a lock
Bless This Mess S1
Premieres April 16 (too soon to tell)
The Fix S1
2 1 n/a 1 2 n/a 3 1.8 - doomed
For the People S2
2 1 n/a 1 n/a 3 1 1.6 - doomed
Fresh Off the Boat S5
4 4 n/a 2 3 3 5 3.5 - safe(ish)
The Goldbergs S6
4 5 n/a 5 4 5 5 4.7 - a lock
Grand Hotel S1
Premieres June 17 (too soon to tell)
Grey's Anatomy S15
5 5 n/a 5 5 5 5 5.0 - a lock
How to Get Away With Murder S5
4 4 n/a 4 5 3 5 4.2 - safe
The Kids Are Alright S1
2 5 5 3 3 4 5 3.9 - safe
The Rookie S1
4 4 3 3 n/a 3 4 3.5 - safe(ish)
Schooled S1
4 5 n/a 4 4 3 5 4.2 - safe
Single Parents S1
2 4 5 4 4 3 4 3.7 - safe(ish)
Speechless S3
4 4 n/a 1 4 3 5 3.5 - safe(ish)
Splitting Up Together S2
1 1 n/a 3 2 3 4 2.3 - not looking good
Station 19 S2
4 5 n/a 4 2 4 4 3.8 - safe(ish)
Whiskey Cavalier S1
2 1 n/a 3 4 n/a 1 2.2 - not looking good

Key to predictions:
5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

CBSCBS

Already renewed: Criminal Minds, F.B.I., God Friended Me, Magnum P.I., Mom, The Neighborhood, Young Sheldon

Already canceled (or ending this year): The Big Bang Theory, Elementary, Salvation

Like ABC, CBS has also withheld renewal decisions on the bulk of its current lineup, though the future of many of these shows is less clear-cut. That said, the fate of several CBS bubble shows could not be clearer. Newcomer Happy Together, for example, is certain to be canceled, and the revival of one-time hit Murphy Brown will be a one-season experiment. On the other end of the spectrum, long-running procedurals like Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, and the NCIS trilogy look fairly certain to return next season.

Of the others, Madam Secretary has the worst ratings by far, but experts feel that with CBS's well-established history of not canceling fifth-year dramas, the show could survive for one more season. Bull's future is complicated less by its so-so ratings than by the recent charges against star/producer Michael Weatherly. Note that with the exception of S.W.A.T. (and Saturday series Ransom, which is effectively dirt cheap to produce, rendering ownership irrelevant), all of the remaining bubble shows are owned by CBS. That factor—plus the CBS tendency in recent years to renew most of its shows—should ensure the survival of many (or most) of the shows listed below.

CBS Shows Still on the Bubble, 2018-19 Season
Expert Predictions AVERAGE
BTN GR HR SP THR TVL WUS
Blood & Treasure S1
Premieres May 21 (too soon to tell)
Blue Bloods S9
4 5 n/a 4 5 4 5 4.5 - safe
Bull S3
3 4 n/a 4 n/a 1 5 3.4 - on the bubble
The Code S1
Premieres April 9 (too soon to tell)
Fam S1
2 4 n/a 4 1 3 4 3.0 - on the bubble
Happy Together S1
1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1.3 - doomed
Hawaii Five-0 S9
4 5 n/a 4 5 4 5 4.5 - safe
Instinct S2
Premieres June 16 (too soon to tell)
Life in Pieces S4
Premieres April 18 (too soon to tell)
MacGyver S3
4 5 n/a 3 4 3 5 4.0 - safe
Madam Secretary S5
3 4 n/a 2 5 3 5 3.7 - safe(ish)
Man With a Plan S3
4 5 n/a 3 3 3 5 3.8 - safe(ish)
Murphy Brown S11
1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1.1 - doomed
NCIS S16
4 5 n/a 5 n/a 5 5 4.8 - a lock
NCIS: Los Angeles S10
4 5 n/a 4 5 5 5 4.7 - a lock
NCIS: New Orleans S5
4 5 n/a 4 2 5 5 4.2 - safe
Ransom S3
3 n/a n/a 1 n/a 3 4 2.8 - in danger
The Red Line S1
Premieres April 28 (too soon to tell)
SEAL Team S2
4 5 n/a 3 5 3 5 4.2 - safe
S.W.A.T. S2
4 5 n/a 4 3 4 5 4.2 - safe

Key to predictions:
5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

CWThe CW

Already renewed: Arrow, Black Lightning, Burden of Truth, Charmed, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Dynasty, The Flash, Legacies, The Outpost, Riverdale, Supergirl, Supernatural

Already canceled (or ending this year): Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, iZombie, Jane the Virgin

The CW ensured that there would be little mystery regarding the status of its shows this spring when it renewed several programs last October and almost all of its remaining lineup on January 31st of this year. There was one show absent from both batches of renewals: first-year high school football drama All American. (And most experts think that its absence was telling—and that the show is doomed—though the network insists that a final decision has not yet been made.) The only other remaining CW bubble show is Roswell, New Mexico, which got a late start on its debut season. Experts give that show a decent chance at returning for a second season, though a recent (albeit slight) drop in viewership suggests that renewal isn't quite a certainty yet.

CW Shows Still on the Bubble, 2018-19 Season
Expert Predictions AVERAGE
BTN GR HR SP THR TVL WUS
The 100 S6
Premieres April 30 (too soon to tell)
All American S1
2 1 3 3 n/a 3 1 2.2 - not looking good
In the Dark S1
Premieres April 4 (too soon to tell)
Roswell, New Mexico S1
4 4 n/a 4 3 3 4 3.7 - safe(ish)

Key to predictions:
5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

FoxFox

Already renewed: 9-1-1, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, The Resident, The Simpsons

Already canceled (or ending this year): Gotham

It still isn't entirely clear what strategy Fox will pursue going forward following its deal with Disney to shed most of its assets (including its television production arm—which means that Fox no longer owns any of its shows). Network executives have suggested that Fox will increase its reliance on reality and live programming, which could mean that many of the bubble shows listed below won't return next season—though the network isn't abandoning scripted fare altogether.

That said, Last Man Standing and Empire appear to be locks for Fox's 2019-20 season, while Rel, The Gifted, Proven Innocent, and Lethal Weapon could be in their final days. The future is much cloudier for the network's other bubble shows, though Star and The Cool Kids are probably the safest among that group.

Fox Shows Still on the Bubble, 2018-19 Season
Expert Predictions AVERAGE
BTN GR HR SP THR TVL WUS
The Cool Kids S1
4 4 3 3 5 3 4 3.7 - safe(ish)
Empire S5
4 5 n/a 4 5 5 5 4.7 - a lock
The Gifted S2
2 1 n/a 1 3 1 1 1.5 - doomed
Last Man Standing S7
5 5 5 4 5 4 5 4.7 - a lock
Lethal Weapon S3
2 1 n/a 1 3 1 2 1.7 - doomed
The Orville S2
3 4 n/a 1 4 4 5 3.5 - safe(ish)
The Passage S1
2 1 n/a 3 4 3 5 3.0 - on the bubble
Proven Innocent S1
2 1 n/a 1 n/a 1 1 1.2 - doomed
Rel S1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.0 - doomed
Star S3
4 5 n/a 4 2 1 5 3.5 - safe(ish)

Key to predictions:
5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

NBCNBC

Already renewed: The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., The Good Place, Law & Order: SVU, New Amsterdam, Superstore, Will & Grace

Already canceled (or ending this year): Marlon, Midnight Texas, Reverie, Shades of Blue, Trial & Error

The lack of a renewal announcement for This Is Us so far appears to be a merely formality; the hit show will return in the fall. But the same can't be said for most of NBC's other bubble shows, with the possible exception of first-year drama Manifest, which experts think will get a second season despite shedding viewers nearly every week it has been on the air. It would be a major surprise if any of the other shows listed below return next season.

NBC Shows Still on the Bubble, 2018-19 Season
Expert Predictions AVERAGE
BTN GR HR SP THR TVL WUS
Abby's S1
2 1 n/a 1 n/a n/a 3 1.8 - doomed
A.P. Bio S2
2 1 n/a 1 2 3 2 1.8 - doomed
Blindspot S4
2 1 n/a 1 4 3 1 2.0 - not looking good
The Enemy Within S1
2 1 n/a 3 3 n/a 4 2.6 - in danger
Good Girls S2
2 1 n/a 2 3 3 2 2.2 - not looking good
I Feel Bad S1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.0 - doomed
The InBetween S1
Premieres May 29 (too soon to tell)
Manifest S1
4 5 5 4 4 4 5 4.4 - safe
This Is Us S3
5 5 n/a 5 5 5 5 5.0 - a lock
The Village S1
2 1 n/a 1 3 n/a 3 2.0 - not looking good

Key to predictions:
5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

What do you think?

What bubble shows would you like to see return, and which deserve to be canceled? Let us know in the comments section below. And be sure to check our 2018-19 Renew/Cancel Scorecard for daily updates on the above shows (and the current status of hundreds of cable and streaming programs, too).

Comments (1)

  • Plazman  

    Shame about A.P. Bio, I really like that show. For the rest, I'm fine with their predictions, as long as The Orville makes it.

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