NBC 2020-21 Renew/Cancel Wrap-Up: Thoughts on Good Girls, Manifest, Zoey’s Playlist, Debris and More

After what feels like an eternity, NBC has finally made renewal decisions on all of its scripted originals from the 2020-21 TV season. Read on to see my thoughts on their decisions and the state of NBC as a whole. 

Certain Cancellation:
Connecting... (Canceled 11/2/20)

Likely Cancellation: 
Debris (Canceled 5/27)
Kenan (Renewed 4/30)
Nurses (TBA)

Leans Cancellation:
The Blacklist (Renewed 1/26)
Manifest (Canceled 6/14)

Leans Renewal:
Transplant (Renewed 12/11/20)
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (Canceled 6/9)

Likely Renewal:
Good Girls (Canceled 6/25)
Mr. Mayor (Renewed 3/22)
Superstore (Canceled 12/3/20)
Young Rock (Renewed 4/30)

Certain Renewal:
Law & Order: Organized Crime (Renewed 5/14)
Saturday Night Live (Renewed 5/14)

Renewed before 2020-21 Season:
Chicago Fire
Chicago Med
Chicago PD
Law & Order: SVU
New Amsterdam
This Is Us

The Blacklist: Already renewed ahead of the Upfronts. A miss for me.

Connecting: Already canceled (and pulled from the schedule) ahead of the Upfronts. A hit for me.

Debris: It still isn't clear why this show, which was low-rated from the start, ended up looking like a bubble show near the end, but based on NBC's prolonged cancellation announcement, there was at least some sort of discussion about bringing it back in some form. Those plans fell through, and my long-standing likely cancellation prediction ended in a hit.

Good Girls: A month ago, when I made my final predictions, Good Girls didn't look that endangered. It was a fourth season show with a big Netflix deal that was growing from its lead-in despite airing at 10 PM. I was confident that it was going to get to end on its own term. When the Upfronts went by without any news on it, things started to look grim. When a month went by, and all of the other bubble dramas were canceled one-by-one, things looked dire. Then, a single day after it returned for its summer run, they dropped the news that it was canceled. By that point, I saw it coming, but my view on it changed quite rapidly in a month's time. It's a miss for me.

Kenan: Previously renewed ahead of the Upfronts. A miss for me.

Law & Order: Organized Crime: While this show was a big success for NBC, it surprisingly never received a renewal ahead of NBC's schedule announcement. It was simply announced as being part of the fall lineup for a second season, perhaps because even NBC forgot that they hadn't already renewed it. This was one of the clearest renewals of the season and was a hit for me.

Manifest: Despite boasting ratings that were enough for many other broadcast shows to score renewals,  I've always had a gut feeling that season three was when Manifest would finally be grounded. Though it premiered in decent-enough shape, the 0.5s that soon followed were easily exceeded by its lead-out show SVU and NBC's 10 PM show, Organized Crime, and that made it look pretty weak. With it not being owned by NBC, and with it having been on the bubble the prior season, I saw little reason to assume it would be back, even if its ratings weren't embarrassing. In the end, NBC ended up canceling the show a few days after its finale aired, ending the show's run after three seasons and giving me another hit.

Mr. Mayor: Already renewed ahead of the Upfronts. A hit.

Nurses: NBC has yet to announce its future plans for this acquired series and it remains TBD.

Saturday Night Live: As anyone could expect, one of TV's longest-running series secured an order for another season upon the announcement of NBC's fall schedule. It remains one of TV's most popular shows and rated as the #1 scripted show of the season this year. It, obviously, was a hit for me.

Superstore: Already canceled after six seasons ahead of the Upfronts. Another miss for me.

Transplant: Already renewed before the Upfronts. A hit.

Young Rock: Renewed before the Upfronts. A hit.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: Ratings-wise, everything here pointed to a cancellation. That's not what I predicted. While perhaps that second season renewal was just a fluke, NBC did seem very supportive of this show, airing a marathon of repeats on E! and giving it a large promotional push and an Emmy campaign. They treated it like a priority, and then they canceled it. Apparently they attempted to move it to Peacock before a deal fell through, but what matters in the end is that they canceled it and for me, it's a miss.


In all, it was a rough season for me, prediction-wise. While I almost nabbed a perfect prediction record for ABC, my 8-5 record on NBC is quite disappointing. I thought they'd renew more shows than they ended up renewing, having incorrectly assumed that Good Girls, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Superstore would all be renewed. It seems clear that NBC's new President is relying more on live ratings to make renewal decisions, as opposed to her predecessors, who were more willing to renew shows with weak live ratings if they did decently on streaming. This is something I'll have to figure into my future predictions. I'll also have to figure the immortality of The Blacklist into future predictions, as well as Lorne Michaels being the most powerful man at NBC, as I thought both The Blacklist and Kenan would be canceled. Both were renewed despite lackluster ratings. I have work to do, but hopefully I can look at NBC's decisions this year to improve my record next season!

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

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