NBC Renew/Cancel Week 0: Pre-Season Predictions for La Brea, Organized Crime, Night Court, New Shows & More!

It's an unprecedented season of TV, as nearly all scripted shows have been left off the networks' schedules amid two ongoing entertainment industry strikes. NBC is the only network with original, non-imported scripted shows on their lineup, with veterans Quantum Leap and Magnum PI and new shows The Irrational and Found making their fall slate after the network made early preparations in the event of a strike. Keep reading for my initial predictions for every scripted show expected to air on NBC this season, while keeping in mind that the lengthy of the strike may impact whether some of these shows even air at all in this upcoming season.

Certain Cancellation:

Likely Cancellation:
La Brea

Leans Cancellation:

Leans Renewal:
Extended Family
The Irrational
Law & Order: Organized Crime
Lopez vs Lopez
Quantum Leap
St. Denis Medical

Likely Renewal:
Law & Order
Night Court

Certain Renewal:
Chicago Fire
Chicago Med
Chicago PD
Law & Order: SVU
Saturday Night Live

Already Canceled/Final Season:
Magnum PI

Chicago Fire, Chicago Med & Chicago PD: The strongest trio of shows that NBC has on their schedule, the One Chicago lineup enters another season looking safe. While it remains to be seen when they'll actually air originals, they will all be repeated during the season on Wednesday nights (sharing the 10 PM slot). It's likely that, whenever they do return, they'll remain the highest-rated scripted block on the network, and even though all three shows are old and likely costly (hence why we have been seeing cast departures for all three of them recently), NBC will keep bringing them back. They're CERTAIN RENEWALS.

Extended Family: Initially on NBC's fall schedule before they had to rethink their plans due to the strikes, Extended Family seems to be in a decent position going forward, in that NBC clearly liked it enough to initially slot it in the fall over Lopez vs Lopez and fellow new comedy St. Denis Medical (which had not been ordered at the time their initial fall schedule was announced). NBC has also been habitually renewing even the lowest-rated new comedies for second seasons, though between new network leadership and the changes in Hollywood that the strikes will cause, that may not be something we can bet on anymore. It LEANS RENEWAL at the start, but it's not as safe as most freshman NBC comedies tend to be.

Found: This is one scripted show that we will get to see on the fall schedule, and it does have the huge benefit of airing behind a top-performing show in The Voice. Still, of the two new dramas, getting the post-Voice slot on Tuesday is probably the less-ideal position to be in. Tuesday episodes of The Voice tend to rate worse, and NBC has had some difficulty at the 10 PM slot in recent years. New Amsterdam was a long-running show for them, but was mostly just a middling performer for them after its first season. The Thing About Pam, The Village, and Law & Order True Crime were all misfires in this slot, and they all had a strong This Is Us lead-in. 10 PM is a difficult slot in general, and Found will have its work cut out for it to stand out as a renewal possibility, especially since the strike will likely eradicate its chances of securing any sort of a backorder. Its performance will be far more telling than my pre-season feelings, but it LEANS CANCELLATION at this point.

The Irrational: The other new show on the lineup this season, The Irrational, got the better scheduling of the two. Monday at 10 on NBC has seen its own problems, but Monday night Voice episodes are stronger and this slot has seen some renewable performers in recent seasons, like Quantum Leap and Manifest. I expect The Irrational to perform the best of the two new shows, and, thus, be the show that NBC gives another chance to, if they do. Both could easily be canceled, and both could conceivably do well enough to be renewed, but as of now, this is the one that I believe LEANS RENEWAL.

La Brea: I was surprised by the quick season three pickup last year, and its terrible ratings after it returned from its hiatus did nothing to convince me that the six-episode third season that NBC greenlit was very likely going to be a final season. Its post-Voice performance left much to be desired, but dropping as low as 0.18 without it is pretty much inexcusable. The season was ordered early in order to get it produced before the strike hit, but it was left off NBC's schedule anyway. While it's possible that they didn't finish in time, and thus NBC has to wait to air it until those six episodes finish filming, it would be a truly terrible sign for the show if it had finished filming and NBC still didn't care enough to put it on the schedule in the fall. Regardless, it's a LIKELY CANCELLATION.

Law & Order: NBC's revival of Dick Wolf's iconic legal procedural has been solid for them, with a 0.45 average in its most recent season. It does, however, tend to weaken a bit in the spring, as we saw sub-league average ratings for it in the spring in both revival seasons. Obviously, dropping in the spring is common across the spectrum, but this show's declines are a bit more pronounced, as the gap between it and SVU widens as the season goes along. Still, NBC seems unlikely to give up on it now, as they're regularly airing repeats this summer and they've scheduled repeats of it on Thursdays this fall beginning in November. SVU and the Chicagos are also being repeated in the fall, but that makes sense, as they are all long-running, highly-rated shows (all four rate among TV's top 10 scripted shows) that NBC has long treated as scheduling priorities. Law & Order being given the same treatment as those shows is a great sign for its future. Though I'm not sure it's a complete lock, it's definitely a LIKELY RENEWAL.

Law & Order: Organized Crime: One show that seems to be in trouble, despite general ratings success, is Organized Crime. While it is serialized, it's the only Dick Wolf show not being repeated this fall, and it was also his only show left off NBC's initial fall schedule, due to it having a thirteen-episode initial order (the other Wolf shows did not have episode counts revealed, but presumably were for full seasons - obviously, the strikes will change that).  That was said to be due to storyline issues, but that felt like a convenient excuse, as the show is known to be a disaster behind the scenes, with frequent showrunner changes. It's hard to imagine that NBC would cancel a show that rates this well at 10 PM, but there are many signs already that the show is in more danger than its ratings would suggest. It LEANS RENEWAL.

Law & Order: SVU: A stated above, SVU repeats have been given a consistent slot on NBC's fall schedule, and it remains a top performer for them, even twenty-four seasons in. Long-running shows are always at risk of the network canceling them due to high costs, but this show is a massive cash cow for NBC, and NBC realizes that. This show will very likely continue on NBC as long as star Mariska Hargitay and creator Dick Wolf desire. That time doesn't seem to be anywhere near her. It's a CERTAIN RENEWAL.

Lopez vs Lopez: I don't know what to think about this show, as NBC has been quick to cancel low-rated sophomore comedies despite giving nearly ever new sitcom a second chance. Lopez was stronger than the typical NBC freshman sitcom, but they still left it off the initial, pre-strike fall schedule, despite it being the rare NBC comedy to be given a full season. It could go either way next season, and its fate will likely be decided by its ratings next season. If it can hold up well, it should be renewed. If it drops a sizable amount, it's probably done. For now, it LEANS RENEWAL. 

Night Court: A surprise hit on premiere night, Night Court quickly lost a lot of steam and ended up looking like close to an average NBC comedy (never a good thing) by the end of its run. The 0.3s and 0.4s it hit for the last seven episodes were a notable decline from the 1.0 it started out, though that was still better than every other NBC comedy, as Night Court's series low was still higher than the average of all four other NBC comedies this season. NBC's also trying as hard as they can to keep people from forgetting about the show over the break, airing repeats behind America's Got Talent on Wednesdays. They seem to be very dedicated to trying to keep this working for them, and given how much of a mess their comedy department is, I'd expect that Night Court will still be the least of there concerns in the comedy department next season. It's a LIKELY RENEWAL, despite that worrisome ratings trend.

Quantum Leap: The first season of this show wasn't really that strong, with a 0.33 average despite strong lead-ins for the entirety of the season. Still, NBC has to see something in this show to have given it such an early pickup, so early, in fact, that they were able to shoot enough episodes of it to get it back on the air for fall. It's moving to Wednesdays this season, where it will start off NBC's night at 8 PM. It'll be interesting to see if it can stay mostly steady with last season due to what is mostly a better time slot, and it seems very likely that it will once again be a priority for NBC, as one of their few fall scripted shows. They've already been increasing awareness for it by airing repeats of it behind America's Got Talent. Its ratings may be a disappointment, but for now, it LEANS RENEWAL.

St. Denis Medical: NBC loves to renew freshman comedies, but it's a new era of NBC, amid big changes in the TV industry. That's why I'm not too confident about guessing this show will be renewed. Still, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, especially as NBC seems to like working with the show's creator, Superstore's Justin Spitzer. It LEANS RENEWAL for now, but its ratings should tell a much clearer story. 

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

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