ABC Renew/Cancel - September 28: Single Parents is a Toss-Up

Welcome to the return of ABC renew/cancel! In this first week, we will take a look at the scripted shows that premiered on ABC during premiere week, which includes two new shows, comedy Single Parents and drama A Million Little Things.

Certain to be Canceled

Likely to be Canceled

A Million Little Things (1.1)
Single Parents (1.3)

Likely to be Renewed
How to Get Away with Murder (0.8)
Modern Family (1.6)

Certain to be Renewed
American Housewife (1.2)
The Goldbergs (1.4)
The Good Doctor (1.3)
Grey's Anatomy (1.9)

Single Parents: This is a tough show to predict at the moment for many reasons. First, this premiere rating doesn't really indicate that Single Parents is a hit, but it doesn't look like a failure either. Then, a lot is still unknown on the ABC comedy front. Modern Family may be in its final season, but we don't know. Splitting Up Together may continue to perform well, or it could suffer a sophomore slump. If Fresh Off the Boat disappoints in the ratings on Fridays, we don't know if Disney's upcoming acquisition of 20th Century FOX will keep the show living on or not. And, ABC has another new comedy coming this fall (well, two more really, but The Conners is a spin-off of Roseanne and I'd be shocked if it didn't perform well at least for its first season), with The Kids are Alright premiering on Tuesday, October 16th. Too much is unknown right now to be able to predict Single Parents one way or another without a clear indication of its strength.

A Million Little Things: With the way things are going with ABC's dramas, it shouldn't be too hard of a feat for a new drama to score a renewal. Still, a 1.1 isn't the most promising premiere rating, so I don't want to label this as likely to be renewed yet. I have to see what kind of ratings are coming for this show, whether it holds up well or not. There will also be more clarity when ABC's other new drama this fall, The Rookie, premieres on Tuesday, October 16th.

Modern Family: With what was ABC's top comedy for most of its run still doing strong ratings, and no cast members seeming to be ready to quit, the question of whether or not Modern Family will return for an eleventh season comes down to the amount of money the show makes in syndication compared up against the cost of paying for this large, expensive cast for another season (the cost of which will likely go up this season with contracts being up). I'm thinking that the show gets an 11th season because renewing for that season doesn't necessarily mean paying each of the six adult cast members for twenty-two more episodes (plus the cost of the younger actors for however many episodes they are in). The show could do a shorter season, or have each cast member not appear in every episode (like the final season of another large cast show, Parenthood). A 18-episode season where the adult cast members only appear in 13 episodes each could be a way for a less expensive, likely final, eleventh season.

How to Get Away with Murder: While its season premiere number certainly isn't impressive, I have a hard time not seeing ABC give How to Get Away with Murder a final season send-off. It really helps the show's chances that ABC continues to struggle in the drama department, and that they have a night (Sundays) that they have to fill before American Idol comes on the scene in the spring. How to Get Away with Murder could move there next season, either with its regular 15 or a shorter episode order.

The Good Doctor: Tying its series low isn't a good look for the series premiere of The Good Doctor, but the rating wasn't very concerning when all factors are looked at. This premiere went up against the large series premiere of Manifest (2.2), had a weak Dancing with the Stars lead-in (1.0), and was pre-empted somewhere in the country for Monday Night Football. But with all context taken out, 1.3 is a perfectly fine number for an ABC drama. This show will definitely return.

American Housewife: Is there anything better for your renewal chances on ABC than being an ABC Studios-produced comedy one season away from having a number of episodes where you could enter syndication? American Housewife will be back for season four, guaranteed.

The Goldbergs: When Modern Family does end, whether that's this year or not, The Goldbergs will be incredibly important to ABC's Wednesday comedy line-up. So, don't expect this show to go anywhere. It'll be back here on Wednesdays once again next fall.

Grey's Anatomy: ABC's number one drama has its lead actress locked into a contract for another year, so there's no reason that the show won't return next fall.

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

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