Summer Renew/Cancel Week 5: The Hustler May Not Hustle Up a Third Season

Summer programs continue to return, with three new arrivals this week in the form of game shows The Hustler, Card Sharks and Capital One College Bowl. Keep reading for my initial take on all three of these shows.

Certain to be Canceled:

Likely to be Canceled:
Card Sharks (0.3*)
Emergency Call (0.4*)
Mental Samurai (0.3)
Small Fortune (0.3)

Leans Cancellation:

Leans Renewal:
Capital One College Bowl (0.5)
The Celebrity Dating Game (0.4)
Crime Scene Kitchen (0.5)
HouseBroken (0.3)
The Hustler (0.3)
Kids Say the Darndest Things (0.4)
LEGO Masters (0.5)
The Republic of Sarah (0.1)

Likely to be Renewed:
The $100,000 Pyramid (0.4)
Beat Shazam (0.5)
Press Your Luck (0.5)

Certain to be Renewed:
America's Got Talent (0.8)
American Ninja Warrior (0.5)
Celebrity Family Feud (0.8)
The Chase (0.6)
Hell's Kitchen (0.6)
MasterChef (0.6)
To Tell the Truth (0.5)

Fate Determined:
The Bachelorette (Renewed)
Burden of Truth (Final Season)
Duncanville (Renewed)
Dynasty (Renewed)
Holey Moley (Renewed)
In the Dark (Renewed(
Legends of Tomorrow (Renewed)
Riverdale (Renewed)
Roswell, New Mexico (Renewed)
Stargirl (Renewed)
Supergirl (Final Season)

Yet to Premiere:
Bachelor in Paradise
Big Brother
Dead Pixels
Fantasy Island
Family Game Fight!
Good Girls
Love Island
Making It
The Outpost
Ultimate Slip 'n Slide
The Ultimate Surfer
Wellington Paranormal
When Nature Calls with Helen Mirren

The Hustler: In season one (which aired just this winter), this show surprised by rating quite decently as part of a very respectable Thursday night game show lineup. While it was the lowest-rated part of the block (something expected from a 10 PM show), its 0.52 average was better than the far more expensive scripted shows A Million Little Things and Rebel did in that slot. It was a clear renewal That's why it's so disappointing that its second season premiere could only muster a 0.3 behind a 0.5 from Holey Moley. 0.3 is renewable in this ratings era, but it's certainly not a rating that ensures that the show is safe. The moment of truth is coming this week, when we see how it holds up with When Nature Calls with Helen Mirren leading off the night. If that show starts off on shaky ground, the entire night could be brought down, and The Hustler could slip to some truly ugly territory. It's a renewal favorite for now, but the tide can easily change. It only LEANS RENEWAL.

Capital One College Bowl: As always with new shows, particularly in the summer, it's hard to gauge this show on its premiere rating alone. In a vacuum, that 0.5 is a guaranteed slam dunk renewal for a summer show (a concept I'd laugh at even two years ago). However, its lead-in was one of the best lead-ins on TV, America's Got Talent, so it's hard to truly say that the 0.5 was entirely on its own merit. Fans of AGT who only watched College Bowl because of its time slot may tune out rather quickly if they didn't like the premiere. In other words, it's easy to imagine it dropping to levels that would lead to a cancellation despite starting strong, and therefore I'm being cautious. It starts in LEANS RENEWAL, and hopefully the coming weeks will paint a clear picture as to whether it's a reliable summer player or another in a long line of summer one-and-dones.

Card Sharks: Somehow, some way, 0.3 has come to be a pretty normal rating to see in the summer, and even in-season. The Hustler, a show that I said just above I expect to see renewed, premiered to that same rating. Why am I so sure this show will be canceled? ABC clearly doesn't care about it. After some truly abysmal performances in the fall (it went as low as 0.2), they benched it for its last handful of episodes, despite having available space on the schedule. That was a sign that they weren't very enthused by its performance (no one possibly could be). Then, last week, they pulled its midseason premiere from the schedule just two days before it was set to air, in order to air a repeat of the Celebrity Dating Game, despite having a repeat of it also scheduled for that upcoming Saturday. When you're less of a priority than a repeat, your future is dim, at best. These last few episodes of Card Sharks' second season will very likely be the last. It's a LIKELY CANCELLATION.

What do you think of my predictions? What are your predictions? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll of the week!

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