NBC Renew/Cancel 2019-20 Wrap Up: A Look at the Hits and Misses

NBC has finally made their final renewal decision of the 2019-20 season, with the cancellation of Council of Dads coming earlier today. That means it's time for my 2019-20 season Renew/Cancel wrap-up. It was a long season, with final decisions arriving nearly two months later than usual, but it's finally over. Keep reading to see what my record for the season is, and read my thoughts on the season that was. Below is my full chart of predictions for the season, with every show placed exactly where I last left them before their fates were decided.

Certain Cancellation:
Bluff City Law (Canceled 6/15)
Council of Dads (Renewed 6/25)
Indebted (Canceled 6/15)
Sunnyside (Canceled 10/15/19)

Likely Cancellation: 
Perfect Harmony (Canceled 6/10)

Leans Cancellation:
The Blacklist (Renewed 2/20)
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt For the Bone Collector (Canceled 6/10)
Manifest (Renewed 6/15)

Leans Renewal: 
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (Renewed 6/11)

Likely Renewal:
Good Girls (Renewed 5/15)
New Amsterdam (Renewed 1/11)

Certain Renewal:
Chicago Fire (Renewed 2/27)
Chicago Med (Renewed 2/27)
Chicago PD (Renewed 2/27)
Law & Order: SVU (Renewed 2/27)
Saturday Night Live (Renewed 6/16)
Superstore (Renewed 2/11)

Renewed Before the Season Began:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
This Is Us

Announced as Ending Before the Season Began:
The Good Place
Will & Grace

The Hits:
I had a perfect record with NBC's flop newbie class. The hardest to predict here was which of the flop shows they'd give a pity renewal to. As I predicted, that show ended up being Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. Though the show was a pretty terrible ratings performer for NBC, going as low as 0.3 with a timeslot high of just 0.46, digital ratings were strong enough to justify another season for Zoey's, which NBC brass clearly love. Heavy promotion stressing this big digital performance caused me to predict a renewal.

I also correctly surmised that Lincoln Rhyme, despite respectable-enough ratings for Friday night, would be canceled, with its co-ownership by Sony being the chief reason for this belief. I also correctly predicted that Perfect Harmony, Bluff City Law, Indebted, Sunnyside and Council of Dads (just canceled!) would be dispatched. All are arguably in the running for the biggest TV flops of the past decade.

In veteran news, I was able to predict that Dick Wolf dramas Chicago Fire, Med and PD, as well as Law & Order: SVU, would certainly be picked up for additional seasons. I wasn't, however, able to guess that those renewals would be for three seasons each. Comedy Superstore was also a correct "Certain Renewal" prediction, as was veteran sketch show Saturday Night Live.

The renewal for second season medical drama New Amsterdam was expected, but I didn't see it as a certainty so early into the season. It was picked up for three more seasons, so I won't have to struggle with whether to place it in likely or certain renewal for quite some time.

I also saw Good Girls as a likely pickup for season four, even with the low 0.3s it had dropped to. The show has a lucrative Netflix deal that I saw as a key to its renewal, and it did end up being enough for another season.

The Misses:

Unlike with ABC, where I was too kind to the shows, I was a bit too ruthless this season with NBC.

The more regrettable and avoidable miss was The Blacklist. All season, I saw the show as an underdog. It's a pretty tepid performer for Fridays, is late in its run (surely it has to end eventually?), and can't be very cheap. However, there were signs that the show would be back, and I had planned to upgrade the show to a renewal prediction once it returned from hiatus. NBC couldn't wait that long to renew it and it became a miss.

Manifest was my other miss, where my gut feeling simply proved wrong. There were mixed signs with this one. Its embarrassing drop in L+7 from season one, plus being co-owned and distributed by Warner Brothers, made me feel good enough in predicting a cancellation, but a combination of new shows being unable to film due to COVID-19 and acceptable ratings for 10 PM led to the show pulling off a renewal.

Reflection and Looking Forward:

In the end, I predicted fifteen of seventeen shows correctly. I'm content with this record, since there were multiple shows I predicted correctly that could've gone the other way. NBC had a successful season veteran-wise, renewing every veteran besides those that were already announced as ending before the season began. It was their newbie class that was a bit of a mess (okay, a huge mess), and they mostly cleaned that up with only one new show returning. We have no idea what next season's new show slate looks like, as they have yet to pick up a single pilot. Four new shows were ordered before pilot season, and are their only orders so far. I'm interested to see what else they'll order, and how these shows will perform (for NBC's sake, hopefully it'll be better than this year's crop). I'll be back next season to predict all of their shows, whenever next season ends up starting up again.

What were your predictions for NBC's 2019-20 shows? How do you think their 2020-21 season will go? Let me know in the comments and make sure to vote in the polls below!

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