ABC 2020-21 Season Renew/Cancel Wrap-Up: Thoughts on American Housewife, The Goldbergs, Rebel, For Life, The Conners and More

Well, it's time to truly say goodbye to the ABC Renew/Cancel for the season. Every renewal's been handed out. Every cancellation has been delivered. In this edition of the Renew/Cancel, I'm looking over my prediction record for every show. In an unusual season, every renewal and cancellation decision on ABC was handed out in an eleven day period this May, so I have a lot of recapping to do! KEep reading for my thoughts on the fates of bubble shows like American Housewife, Home Economics, Rebel and more!

Certain Cancellation:
Call Your Mother (Canceled 5/14)

Likely Cancellation:
For Life (Canceled 5/14)

Leans Cancellation:
American Housewife (Canceled 5/14)
Mixed-ish (Canceled 5/14)

Leans Renewal:
Home Economics (Renewed 5/14)
Rebel (Canceled 5/14)

Likely Renewal:
Big Sky (Renewed 5/4)
The Conners  (Renewed 5/14)
The Goldbergs  (Renewed 5/14)
Grey's Anatomy (Renewed 5/10)
A Million Little Things  (Renewed 5/14)
The Rookie  (Renewed 5/14)

Certain Renewal:
Blackish (Renewed 5/14)
The Good Doctor (Renewed 5/3)
Station 19 (Renewed 5/10)

American Housewife: After five seasons, the decently-rated sitcom was canceled by ABC in what was perhaps their most ruthless cancellation of the season. Sadly, it wasn't exactly unexpected. ABC's treatment of this show over essentially its entire run showed that it, truly, was never a priority for them. It was thrown into whatever slot they needed to fill and given short orders twice despite being a veteran (season 4 was later expanded after a 13 episode initial order). Ratings this season were barely down from last season, but were still noticeably weaker than both the show before it and after, and it passed 100 episodes. All of that created the perfect storm that allowed me to be confident that season five was going to be the end. In the end, it was. This was a hit for me.

Big Sky: Already renewed ahead of last week. A hit for me. 

Blackish: In last week's final renew/cancel of the season, I suggested that while Blackish was safe from cancellation, its low ratings made it seem like the end was nigh. Well, it certainly was. While ABC renewed the long-running acclaimed sitcom for another season, they concurrently announced that it would be the final season. That syndication deal sure worked wonders, and helped it get an incredible run that any sitcom would envy. Another hit.

Call Your Mother: Kyra Sedgwick's return to TV will be short-lived. The freshman sitcom, which never  showed much promise, was put out of its misery last week. I downgraded it to a certain cancellation in the final update of the season, because it had nothing going to it whatsoever. ABC agreed since they canceled it on Friday. Another hit.

The Conners: The big season-to-season decline this season had me doubting how certain it really was to return, but I always held the belief that The Conners would score a fourth season. It remains to be seen how long it will last given the expensive cast and sliding ratings, but let's take things one step at a time. This time around, renewal was relatively clear. This is a hit for me.

For Life: Executive prodcer 50 Cent was pretty sure this show was coming back, but that was about the only sign of life for For Life. It was dead-last in 18-49 ratings among ABC scripted shows (even lower than Call Your Mother!), and it wasn't owned by ABC. While reports of it being "on the bubble" made me less confident that it would be canceled, I was still quite sure that's how it would end up. A hit for me.

The Goldbergs: Unlike CBS, ABC actually seems to respect its veteran series. Cancellations for shows running as long as The Goldbergs are extremely rare, and I was always expected a season nine pickup for the show, even as the ratings fell. As I expected, ABC renewed the show and it's another hit.

The Good Doctor: Previously renewed and a hit for my renew/cancel

Grey's Anatomy: Also renewed ahead of last week's Renew/Cancel. A hit for me.

Home Economics: There was very little confidence in my prediction here, since I didn't think the ratings showed that it deserved renewal. While I maintain that belief, ABC's frequent promotion for it and repeat airings made it clear that they really liked it, and made me feel like its odds of renewal were certainly above 50/50. That belief paid off for me, as they did renew it, giving be another hit.

A Million Little Things: Ratings slid as the show moved to Wednesdays, but I remained decently sure that the shwo would be back. Its streaming performance seems to be quite solid, and it has seemed like an internal favorite at ABC even if the ratings have never been big. Reports of the show being on the bubble gave me some mild worry, but in the end, it got a renewal, just as I expected. Another hit.

Mixed-ish: While I knew the love ABC has for the Ish franchise is large, about halfway through the season, renewal began to seem unlikely. Blackish has a massive syndication deal. Mixedish did not. That allows Blackish to get renewal even while pulling 0.3s, while Mixedish needed to do better than that to justify another run. It was a steep ask for a spinoff airing at 9:30 to grow from its lead-in, but that's what it needed to do and it didn't. Its cancellation is not a terrible surprise and is a hit for me.

Rebel: I'll never not kick myself over this one. My only miss was a show that I initially thought would indeed be canceled. My thoughts on the show improved as it held mostly steady in coming weeks, and I thought its connection to Grey's Anatomy and Station 19's showrunner would be enough to get it renewed. By the time its preliminary 0.3 on Friday morning rolled around, it was too late to change my prediction, but I had a bad feeling about it. ABC canceled the show just hours later. I should've stuck with my initial belief here, but i didn't, and it's my only miss.

The Rookie: While its performance isn't anything huge, The Rookie remained a solid rater for ABC, and it's looked better in the past few weeks than it did in those early post-Idol weeks. There were some weeks I worried about the show, but for the most part a renewal seemed like a mere formality. This one's a hit.

Station 19: Renewed before last week's update, a hit.


In the end, I'm quite proud of my prediction record here. With multiple shows that very easily could've gone the other way, I managed a 14-1 prediction record for the season. The cancellation of Rebel, my only miss, is not likely to keep me up at night, as there were so many signs pointing to a "pity renewal" despite the weak ratings. Correctly predicting American Housewife's downfall was bittersweet, but I'm glad I saw the signs of cancellation coming, a far cry from my initial belief that it'd be a relatively easy renewal. It was the same for Mixedish, though that show's downfall was more obviosuly earned. A last second change of heart for Home Economics also helped me get a correct prediction. In all, a good season for my predictions and an improvement on last season, where I missed two of seventeen shows. I'll be back next year to see if I can top my performance once again!

What did you think of ABC's decisions this year? Which cancellation was a mistake? Let me know in the comments and vote in the final poll of the week!

Which canceled show deserved a renewal the most?
American Housewife
Call Your Mother
For Life

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