ABC Renew/Cancel Watch: The Muppets Likely to be Renewed

Every Friday, I plan on posting an ABC Renew/Cancel Watch column, where I highlight which shows I think will be renewed, which will be cancelled, and which I am unsure of, as well as a brief analysis following. Though there are very few data points so far, that's what makes these opening weeks so much fun.

So, here are my Week 1 Predictions:

Certain to be Canceled Likely to be Canceled Watching Likely to be Renewed Certain to be Renewed

Castle Nashville The Muppets Grey’s Anatomy

Fresh Off The Boat
How to Get Away with Murder Scandal

The Middle

The Goldbergs

Modern Family


I was very impressed with the performance of ABC's Wednesday comedies as well as Thursday's Shondaland drama block. Despite rating higher than three of the four Wednesday comedies, I was least impressed with sophomore show How to Get Away with Murder. Although a 2.6 A18-49 rating is very strong, especially for a 10pm show, that's still a series low and a loss of a good chunk of it's Scandal lead-in. If Scandal dips back down in the low 2s by the spring, it is p
lausible to think that Murder will go there or even lower this season. Sophomore years haven't been too friendly with limited series in recent history (just ask Sleepy Hollow, Under the Dome, and Gotham). So I'm keeping it as "Likely to be Renewed" for now, just until I see how it holds. As an afterthought, The Muppets is Likely to be Renewed because of lackluster reception to the pilot, meaning that we may see a big drop in upcoming weeks to disappointing territory.

After a pre-season prediction of Certain to be Renewed, I was not sure if I should downgrade it one spot to Likely to be Renewed, or two spots to Watching. Honestly, I expected better than a 1.9 A18-49 rating for a few reasons:
  1. It's lead-in, the series premiere of the highly-anticipated Muppets, had a 2.9 rating, making for just 66% retention.
  2. ABC gave high promotion to the show this summer and often cross-promoted it with The Muppets. Going forward I think they should expect better retention, especially for a show they don't own.
  3. Counting just the single-cam family comedies on ABC, Fresh Off the Boat, while nonetheless respectable, had the weakest number and didn't benefit as much as it should have off of all those reruns and high exposure from The Muppets.
  4. As of now it's expected to move back to 8pm for Daylight Savings Time, a factor which seemingly hit the show significantly last season.
For these reasons, I have downgraded it to "Watching". This may be an overly cautious measure, but I do think it's important to keep an eye on this one.

Now, you may also be wondering why I have Castle as Likely to be Cancelled and Nashville as Watching, as both premiered to the same lackluster 1.2 A18-49 rating. Simply put, Nashville still gets decent music sales and has stayed at some relatively steady (albeit low) numbers recently. Meanwhile, Castle has been plummeting to the point of no return, and just this time last season you would've thought that the 1.2 rating was a typo that was actually supposed to be a 2.1. There is a chance that both go fractional and get cancelled, but there is a very low chance both are renewed. But right now if you told me only one could be renewed, I would go with Nashville.

Thanks for reading! What are your predictions and thoughts of my analysis. Leave a comment and maybe it will be featured as the Comment of the Week!

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