ABC Renew/Cancel Watch: Once Upon a Time Certain to be Renewed

Welcome to the 2nd ABC Renew/Cancel Watch post of the season! Below is a table of my predictions for which ABC shows will be renewed and cancelled, followed by some analysis.
Certain to be Canceled Likely to be Canceled Watching Likely to be Renewed Certain to be Renewed

Castle The Muppets How to Get Away with Murder Grey’s Anatomy

Blood & Oil

Fresh Off the Boat

Last Man Standing Quantico

The Middle


The Goldbergs

Modern Family


Once Upon a Time

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Why Is Once Upon a Time "Certain to be Renewed"?

Once Upon a Time's season premiere rating in the A18-49 demo (1.8) wasn't all that impressive. However, there are two major reasons why I believe it will be renewed.
  • It is still the centerpiece of ABC's Sunday lineup, and without it they would have tons of rebuilding to do.
  • Its stories help raise promotion for Disney, who owns ABC, and their characters. This is much like a Marvel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D situation.
So in my mind, I take however many seasons this show should last and then add on one, maybe two. A 1.8 premiere isn't promising (it had a 3.8 for its last premiere, after all), but nonetheless it isn't going anywhere.

Why Am I "Watching" Nashville?

There are two sides I can see here, and here is a list of things I think that show has going for it.
  • It has somewhat strong music sales, which will definitely bring some money to the production company.
  • It will be syndicated on CMT (a channel dedicated to all things relevant to country music), and could potentially grab a few new eyes there.
  • It has a loyal, albeit small, fanbase (100% retention from premiere to Week 2).
  • And most importantly, as mentioned in earlier posts, the fact that ABC hasn't moved it to a weaker time slot yet indicates to me at least that they are going to save that move for next season. 
With that being said, it's ratings are indeed kind of bad, and is currently ABC's lowest-rated drama at a 1.15. It all comes down to making money, and I don't think it's impossible it squeaks out a fifth season. It's just hard to tell at this point.

Why Am I "Watching" Quantico?
  • Quantico definitely had a strong premiere, outing all of ABC's lineup that night as well as head-to-head competition in the CSI series finale. It also posted a three-season high for ABC in that troubled time slot.
  • However, it was a series premiere. It is bound to drop.
If it has a decent hold on Sunday, expect to see a new addition to the "Likely to be Renewed" category, which would be a pleasant surprise.
Why Am I "Watching" Fresh Off the Boat?

Fresh Off the Boat doesn't have as much going for it right now as I thought it would. Its Muppets lead-in proved to be a big disappointment, failing to boost the show's ratings to new levels. Here are a couple points someone who thinks it will be cancelled would probably make:
  • It will have a worse time slot (8pm) in the spring, where ratings are almost bound to slip for this casual-watch due to extraneous factors such as Daylight Savings Time.
  • It won't be able to boost its lead-out (most likely The Real O'Neals per ABC's May upfront session) to renewable levels
  • ABC won't want to put extensive promotion in a show entering its third season just to get it up to par with the rest of the comedies, nonetheless one they don't even own.
And here are a couple points someone who thinks it will be renewed would probably make:
  • It fits with the ABC comedy brand and could become to perfect companion for The Goldbergs.
  • It has helped improve ABC's Tuesday comedy ratings.
  • It will be packaged in a deal for a third season pick-up, either with Last Man Standing at a lowered licensing fee or used to keep a healthy relationship with FOX after inevitably canceling Last Man Standing.
Just two episodes into the season, I can see a valid case being made for all six of the above points. For now, Fresh Off the Boat is in the "Watching" column, and I may move it around a bit, but I'll have a close eye on it all season long.

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