ABC Renew/Cancel - May 5: Final Predictions 2016-17

The end of the season is in sight, and even sooner is ABC's upfront, and the decisions made leading up to that. Based on past seasons, many of the decisions will be made late next week. Thursday, May 11th is likely to be the biggest day for decisions. This is the last Friday before that, so these are my final predictions for the season. Since this is the final one, I will talk about every single one of the undecided shows, and why I think they will be renewed or canceled. They will be sorted based on how likely I think it is that they go the way I expect them to go. The shows I am most confident on will be first, and the shows I am least confident on will be last. Now, let's get to it.

Format for predictions:
Show title (average 18-49 rating, season low-high)

Certain to be Canceled

Likely to be Canceled
American Crime (0.4, 0.3-0.5)
The Catch (0.7, 0.6-0.8)
Dr. Ken (0.9, 0.7-1.1)
Imaginary Mary (0.9, 0.7-1.4)
Quantico (0.7, 0.5-1.0)
The Real O'Neals (0.9, 0.8-1.2)
Secrets & Lies (0.8, 0.6-1.0)

Likely to be Renewed
Agents of SHIELD (0.7, 0.6-1.1)
Last Man Standing (1.2, 1.0-1.5)
Modern Family (2.2, 1.7-2.6)
Once Upon a Time (0.9, 0.7-1.3)

Certain to be Renewed
American Housewife (1.5, 1.1-1.9)
Black-ish (1.5, 1.2-2.0)
Designated Survivor (1.3, 0.9-2.2)
Fresh Off the Boat (1.2, 1.0-1.6)
The Goldbergs (1.8, 1.4-2.0)
Speechless (1.6, 1.2-2.0)

Fate Determined
Conviction (CANCELED)
Grey's Anatomy (RENEWED)
How to Get Away with Murder (RENEWED)
The Middle (RENEWED)
Notorious (CANCELED)
Scandal (RENEWED)
Time After Time (CANCELED)

Black-ish: There are a few locks here, but the biggest lock is Black-ish. ABC Studios is going to want the show to get a fourth season due to a syndication deal, so it doesn't even need the solid ratings that it has to score a renewal. Certain to be renewed.

American Housewife: ABC will certainly bring back both of their new fall comedies since they both performed so well. American Housewife doesn't even need the benefit that it has of being produced by ABC Studios. Certain to be renewed.

The Goldbergs: With Modern Family's end likely not too far away, ABC will need The Goldbergs, which currently leads off Wednesday nights. There's no way they will let it go. Certain to be renewed.

Speechless: Like American Housewife, Speechless has been successful in retaining much of its lead-in throughout its first season. Along with the critical acclaim (it can boast being the new broadcast comedy with the highest Metascore this season), there is no way that ABC gets rid of Speechless. Certain to be renewed.

Designated Survivor: ABC has been struggling in the drama department this season. However, they had one success. Designated Survivor has performed well this season, and held up surprisingly well after the long mid-season break. Certain to be renewed.

Fresh Off the Boat: Its ratings aren't all that strong, but Fresh Off the Boat is still a solid performer, as well as being important in terms of diversity. Certain to be renewed.

Modern Family: It's no longer the ratings and awards monster that it used to be, though its popularity and large cast size have driven the costs up. It seems like too important of a series to not get a proper ending, so I would be very surprised if it were canceled, but the costs are high. Likely to be renewed.

Secrets & Lies: Low ratings this fall almost make Secrets & Lies certain to be canceled. However, since it is a limited anthology series, ABC could use it to fill schedule space, or they could try to make it work with a new co-lead in season three. However, these scenarios are incredibly unlikely. Likely to be canceled.

Last Man Standing: Holding up so well year-to-year should make Last Man Standing certain to be renewed. However, every year the renewal ends up being one of the last ones, due to negotiations. Any year could be the year where negotiations fall through, but I find that unlikely considering how well Last Man Standing holds up each year. ABC will want it to launch a new multi-camera comedy, of which they have two in development (Carol Burnett-starrer Household Name, and an untitled project centering around a single dad). Additionally, it performs well in syndication, so 20th Century FOX will want it to continue. Likely to be renewed.

American Crime: The ratings for American Crime are abysmal. However, we can't count out a renewal for it. While not this bad, the ratings were poor in its first two seasons, but it was renewed due to critical acclaim, and later awards. Additionally, it's an anthology series, so a new concept could be tried in season four with a more broad appeal. But, those ratings are really low, so I have to bet on a cancelation. Likely to be canceled.

Agents of SHIELD: Of ABC's dramas with less-than-stellar but not terrible ratings, Agents of SHIELD and Once Upon a Time are the strongest. Considering that both shows are valued by ABC, we can look deeper to see which show they will favor. Agents of SHIELD will not be concluding its story this season, while Once Upon a Time will be. Additionally, Once Upon a Time will be bringing few of its cast members back next season, making it riskier than Agents of SHIELD. Due to these factors, Agents of SHIELD is the most likely of ABC's veteran dramas not already renewed to get renewed. Likely to be renewed.

Quantico: This fall, Quantico's ratings were low, so ABC tried to help the show out, because ABC Studios produces it, and they make a lot of money on the show from international sales. One timeslot upgrade and two reboots, each accompanied by a huge promotional push, later, there is no improvement. I believe that ABC wants to renew Quantico, but now has decided that they can't. Likely to be canceled.

Imaginary Mary: Last week, I was pretty positive about Imaginary Mary. Its situation looked very similar to that of The Real O'Neals last season, so I was prepared to move it to likely to be renewed this week. Then, this week's ratings came in. I still don't think that a renewal is out of the question. I believe that ABC was considering a renewal two weeks ago. Could this one bad rating have convinced them otherwise? As much as I don't like to base predictions off of one rating, I think it may have. If it does get renewed though, then next season I will not be doubting the renewal of mid-season new shows that don't completely fail. Likely to be canceled.

The Real O'Neals: I think that a renewal for The Real O'Neals is slightly more possible than one for Imaginary Mary. It has twenty-nine episodes under its belt, and is produced by ABC Studios. Cast members that signed onto pilots is alarming, do they know something we don't? I don't believe that we can make that assumption, as actors have signed onto pilots and then had their original show renewed in the past. For example, Damon Wayans, Jr. signed onto the pilot of New Girl while on the cast of Happy Endings, which ended up getting renewed (thanks to Disqus user omabin for that example). At the end of the day, ABC could choose one of Imaginary Mary or The Real O'Neals if they feel that they need one more returning comedy on their fall schedule. But I don't think that they will need that, so I am predicting cancelation for both. Likely to be canceled.

Dr. Ken: We are now on the edge of the true bubble. Dr. Ken has been a complicated show for me this season. To sum it all up, Dr. Ken's retention has been not great (though not that bad either) while Last Man Standing continues to be a better lead-in year after year, looking at February and March ratings, it is down a lot more than Last Man Standing year-to-year, but it is cheap and Sony produces it, the production company known for fighting for their shows, and with 44 episodes, it would make sense for them to really fight for this one, but ABC has two multi-camera pilots, which indicates they intend to replace something on Fridays, and it's probably not Last Man Standing (for why, read what I wrote about it above). Ultimately, I think Dr. Ken will get canceled. Am I confident about that prediction? No. But it's my prediction, and I'm sticking to it. Likely to be canceled.

Once Upon a Time: We are in the true bubble now, and this is the point where I feel lost and confused and wonder what in the world ABC will do next week. When it comes to Once Upon a Time, I already established that Agents of SHIELD is more likely to get a renewal. But I believe there's room for at least one more, and the next one more would be Once Upon a Time. Yes, it doesn't need to be renewed since the story is wrapping up. Yes, it's risky because only a few cast members will be returning (a situation which screams Scrubs, which failed in its ninth season). But its ratings aren't too weak, so I think that ABC will bring it back. Likely to be renewed.

The Catch: Exactly how much power does Shonda Rhimes have at ABC? That's the biggest question in determining whether The Catch will be renewed or canceled. The network would not like to upset the person giving them their two highest-rated dramas, and they gave The Catch a second chance. Will they renew it no matter what due to Shonda Rhimes producing it, or did that name just get the show a second chance? It's unclear. Now that it's hitting 0.6s, I'm leaning in the direction that The Catch will be canceled, but ever so slightly. With the pilot Black's Law, also produced by Shonda Rhimes, very likely to be a part of TGIT next season, I think that she won't mind ABC getting rid of The Catch after two seasons very much. Likely to be canceled.

What do you think of these predictions? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Are you ready for upfronts? The TV Ratings Guide will keep you up to date and let you know what's going on. Be sure not to miss us on Pop Culture Cosmos this week (recording on Sunday), and tune in to our live stream on Thursday and Friday May 11th and 12th.

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