ABC Renew/Cancel Watch: New Predictions As We Wait On Castle

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, May 08, 2016
Canceled Cancellation Predicted Renewal Predicted Renewed
Blood & Oil Agent Carter

American Crime Blackish

Of Kings and Prophets The Catch Castle Fresh Off The Boat
Wicked City The Family Dr Ken The Goldbergs

Galavant Last Man Standing Grey’s Anatomy

The Muppets Nashville  How to Get Away with Murder

The Real O’Neals

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

The Middle

Modern Family

Once Upon a Time



ABC: The Hardest Network to Predict
ABC has 11 shows with their fates left up in the air right now, and there are only 3 shows--Agent Carter, The Family, and Galavant--that I feel are locks for cancelation, while none of them are locks for renewal. But let's look at their chances as it stands right now.

Last Man Standing and Dr Ken
After a Shark Tank rerun hit a 0.8 for a RERUN in the 8pm time slot last week, trouble was spelled for Last Man Standing and Dr Ken; many believe that the latter's fate will go hand-in-hand with the former, especially because there hasn't seemed to be much buzz for their only multi-cam project, The Fluffy Shop (though it could still be picked up, remember Cristela?). But with Beyond the Tank premiering in the 8pm time slot to a 0.6 demo rating, it would probably be in ABC's best interest to negotiate with Tim Allen and renew both Last Man Standing and Dr Ken. It will most likely come down to the wire again, with with good-for-Friday first-run ratings and the fact that Last Man Standing is heavily syndicated, I'd say these two are officially the safest of the shows with fates left up in the air.

American Crime
It seems like American Crime's chances go up and down every time an entertainment site like Deadline or Variety sends out a bubble watch or pilot buzz article. Just a few days ago John Ridley's new procedural Presence was looking good, thus spelling the end of American Crime. Now, Deadline is reporting that Presence isn't looking as good as before and that a renewal for American Crime would be the more likely outcome. I'd rather keep my American Crime prediction as a likely renewal like I've had it for months. I would rather have been wrong on it the whole time than panic and predict it as a cancelation, only for it to be renewed after all. As for Presence, it really looked like the next Castle. But maybe there won't be a new Castle next season...

It has been reported that star Nathan Fillion has signed on for a potential ninth season of Castle, which may come at a lower licensing fee and a shorter order. Then it was reported that ABC had until the end of the day Friday to make a decision, but they pushed the decision for later (how, I do not know). Contrary to what some tell others, not every decision for every show has been made. Castle is one of those shows. The fact that they went through all the trouble to get Nathan Fillion back indicates to me that they plan on renewing it, but maybe they are also considering the fan backlash. This could be one of those situations where a show would be renewed based on past performance, but looking ahead to future performance comes as a bleak outcome. I assume they are weighing the fact that the show probably makes a lot of money for them against the fact that many have said they would boycott a ninth season. If it is indeed canceled though, that may be good news for a procedural in development like Presence. Which is bad news for American Crime. Or it could be good news for The Catch. It's impossible to know if you don't work for ABC. Predictions would probably be WAY easier with a Castle decision out of the way, but I'm sticking to the information I have available. All I know is Castle has two episodes left, so they have to make a decision soon. I'm guessing if its a final season it won't rate as well as a series finale would have, since they'll have virtually one week to promote it. 

The Catch
What The Catch has going for it is a 16 episode order for Scandal. Another thing it has going for it is stable ratings. What it doesn't have going for it is the fact that it loses a lot of its Scandal lead-in, and unlike American Crime last season, nobody is really talking about this one. In fact, it even managed to tick down to a 1.0 demo rating when it aired out of Grey's Anatomy's 2.1. Not good for a freshmen show that isn't making any backend money and won't for a while. Not to mention how absurdly high ABC is charging advertisers for a spot on the show, showing how massive a disappointment its ratings are (then again, its lead-in is wildly underperforming as well). I've moved it down to a likely cancellation because it doesn't make any backend money and would make significantly less money in ad revenue next season. Plus, Shondaland has Still-Star Crossed looking decent for midseason, as well as comedy Toast being in the running. If Shonda Rhimes created the show herself, we may be having a different conversation.

Nashville is a heavily serialized drama that has struggled in the ratings its entire lifespan, and is doing so now more than ever. It's stable, but at a 0.8 A18-49 rating. It's one of the lowest-rated shows on all of ABC at the moment. It loses a lot of its Blackish lead-in. The show does have a couple things going for it, though none of them are probably huge deal-breakers. This includes money funded from the state of Tennessee ($8 million sounds like a lot but it really isn't), music sales (though the music flies severely under the radar), tours, and syndication (though its a serialized show, a genre that tends to fare very poorly in syndication). If ABC can bring it back at a low enough licensing fee, maybe they will. I'm much less confident in its prospects now that ABC has new management, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say they'll renew it, either to take a hit against awards/event season on Sundays in the winter, or for a summer run. But considering how bad its first-run ratings are, it doesn't have a ton else going for it.

The Real O'Neals
I've previously explained that ABC doesn't need The Real O'Neals in order to expand their comedy lineup, if they even choose to do so. It's easily their weakest comedy, and went fractional with or without its Fresh Off The Boat lead-in. Like The Catch, it's not making any backend revenue, and considering how it dropped like a rock after its premiere and failed to improve upon its lead-in, I don't think there's a ton of potential here. It's not well-talked-about or highly-publicized like Fresh Off The Boat was last season, nor nearly as well-rated. Unless ABC opts to not bring back the Friday block yet still wants to schedule 8-10 comedies next fall, I don't see this one surviving. Especially because reportedly ABC likes their comedy development. They'd be better off rolling the dice on something new and/or getting Fresh Off The Boat to slightly better numbers. Now that's a show with potential.

Agent Carter
It averaged a 0.79 A18-49 rating. It's down 47% year-to-year. Its lead joined a new ABC pilot that seems like a lock to be picked up. They're developing another Marvel spinoff. Need I say more? This one is a confident cancelation. 

The lowest-rated scripted show, scripted or unscripted, of ABC's season, at a 0.63 A18-49 demo rating. Down a whopping 52% year-to-year, and even then many were questioning the renewal for a second season. Bye, Galavant.

The Muppets
The Muppets was definitely one of the biggest disappointments of the season. It premiered high like everyone expected (2.9 demo), and was supposed to be the fix to propping up Fresh Off The Boat without having to disrupt the successful Wednesday comedy block. But it dropped like a rock. Massive promotion and a retool couldn't save it. But you know what could? The Muppets is a brand for Disney, who owns ABC. If they continue on with bridge season and want an experimental-like comedy to replace Galavant, The Muppets is the obvious choice. It would probably perform even worse there, but how much would it matter if ABC/Disney is only concerned with international revenue and promoting the brand? In my humble opinion I think they should kill it before it tarnishes the brand, as people have rejected it in the masses, but in short time we will know if this one lives on or not.

The Family
The Family has shown a tiny bit of promise in rising each week; well, if you count the three-digit unrounded numbers. It has been stuck in the 0.8 range for some time now, and unlike Nashville, doesn't have much going for it outside of the first-run ratings part. With Secrets & Lies already confirmed for the fall, I don't think we'll be seeing The Family back on the schedule.

What do you think? What are your predictions? Leave them in the comments below, and don't forget to keep checking The TV Ratings Guide for updates on upfronts coverage. 

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