Summer Renew/Cancel Week 4: ABC Won’t Break Up with The Bachelorette

Three new shows enter the fold this week, as ABC continues to roll out its summer schedule with the return of an old staple and a promising sophomore, plus a new Dick Wolf unscripted show on NBC. Keep reading for my first thoughts on all three new reality entries.

Certain to be Canceled:
The Wonder Years (0.22, 0.18-0.25)

Likely to be Canceled:
HouseBroken (0.15, 0.11-0.18)

Leans Cancellation:
Beat Shazam (0.21, 0.17-0.26)
Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge (0.29, 0.25-0.33)
Stars on Mars (0.19, 0.17-0.24)

Leans Renewal:
Crime Scene Kitchen (0.20, 0.18-0.24)
Don't Forget The Lyrics! (0.23, 0.20-0.25)
Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars (0.27, 0.26-0.29)
LA Fire & Rescue (0.29)

Likely to be Renewed:
Claim To Fame (0.40)
Weakest Link (0.27, 0.20-0.32)

Certain to be Renewed:
American Ninja Warrior (0.37, 0.34-0.43)
America's Got Talent (0.65, 0.63-0.68)
The Bachelorette (0.35)
MasterChef (0.39, 0.33-0.42)

Yet to Premiere:
The $100,000 Pyramid
Big Brother
Celebrity Family Feud
The Challenge: USA 
The Chase
Generation Gap
Mysteries Decoded
The Prank Panel
Tough As Nails

Fate Determined:
Gotham Knights (Canceled)
Superman & Lois (Renewed)

The Bachelorette: What once was a summer powerhouse returned this week in a severely diminished state, down over 50% from its season eighteen premiere. Its 0.35 premiere rating is a new low for an original Bachelor Nation series, and is poor enough to rank the show fifth among all summer series thus far, with a few of summer's other highest-rated series yet to premiere. That start is about as poor as anyone could have imagined for it, and is part of a worrying trend for the franchise as a whole. However, despite this, there is no reason to believe the show is in any danger. Even as franchise fatigue sets in for the Bachelor shows, ABC is doubling down on it, having expanded the franchise to a year-round affair by making Bachelor in Paradise a central part of their fall lineup last year and ordering a new spinoff for this fall. While its heyday is clearly in the past, The Bachelorette's ratings are still decent for summer standards, and give ABC two hours of summer programming that can consistently rate well enough for them, even if it's no longer blowing the competition out of the water. The show is down, but far from out, and is a CERTAIN RENEWAL in spite of that ugly 50% year-to-year drop. 

Claim to Fame: While its former lead-in and current lead-out dropped 50% from its premiere, Claim to Fame did something very impressive: it hit a new series high. Its 0.40 start is up roughly 10% from its series premiere. While that may not sound like much, and its season one ratings were mediocre to begin with, it's still extremely rare in this ratings environment to see shows rising any amount from their previous seasons. The rise can mostly be attributed to a huge time slot upgrade, as the show moved from 10 PM behind the Bachelorette (notorious for being a terrible lead-in) to 8 PM behind local programming, but benefitting from a time slot upgrade is not something that every show is able to do. 0.40 is also enough to make the show the #2 summer series so far. The time slot change makes me wonder how well it will hold up over the season, as many viewers were exposed to the series for the first time this week, and may not stick around like longtime fans of a veteran show would. That's why, despite the strong start to the season, it only starts as a LIKELY RENEWAL, though a prediction upgrade is certainly possible if it holds up well.

LA Fire & Rescue: Of this week's new entries, this is the one I'm most unsure about. Its 0.29 premiere was just OK, and so was its second-week 0.25. The concern here is how much lower it will go in the future. 0.25 is probably renewable for a cheap summer reality filler program (especially one produced by Dick Wolf), but will it actually be able to hold there consistently? I don't know if NBC will bother picking this back up if it starts to post results below 0.20, which is certainly possible. Add in the fact that this is unlikely to be a strong streaming player for them, and it becomes a bit harder to see a renewal. This may not be a fair comparison, but the show is very similar in premise to several short-lived ABC summer reality shows in the past, and is even closer in premise to Fox's short-lived First Responders Live (also produced by Dick Wolf!). In other words: this is a concept that is familiar, and often short-lived. I don't know if this will be the show to change that, but its ratings are enough for me to think they'll give it another shot. It LEANS RENEWAL.

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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