NBC Renew/Cancel Week 6: NBC Finally Chicago Fires Up Their Strongest Lineup

Though NBC put in more of an effort than their rivals in terms of scripted programming, this fall was still sorely lacking high-rated scripted shows that people are actually interested in watching, with every scripted option on NBC's fall schedule failing to match the successes of their Chicago and Law & Order franchises. Luckily, this week will see both return, with ratings for the Chicago shows already in. Keep reading to see how likely these shows are to return.


Certain Cancellation:

Likely Cancellation:

Leans Cancellation:

Leans Renewal:
Quantum Leap (0.29, 0.25-0.32)

Likely Renewal:
Chicago Med (0.59)
Extended Family (0.39, 0.25-0.71)
Night Court (0.38, 0.35-0.46)

Certain Renewal:
Chicago Fire (0.61)
Chicago PD (0.55)

Saturday Night Live (0.77, 0.60-0.96)

Already Canceled/Final Season:
La Brea
Magnum PI

Already Renewed:
The Irrational

Coming Soon: 
Law & Order
Law & Order: Organized Crime
Law & Order: SVU
Lopez vs Lopez

Chicago Fire: NBC's firefighter drama that birthed one of modern TV history's strongest franchises returned this week with a marvelous 0.61 in the preliminary ratings. That's the highest rating for a scripted series thus far this season (aside from some post-NFL airings of the Fox cartoons and NBC's own Extended Family, but those don't really count). That 0.61 puts it only behind Survivor - by far TV's #1 show - and ties it with Dancing With the Stars for the #2 show overall (again, behind a few NFL-boosted shows that wouldn't be anywhere near that high on their own). Of course, the scripted competition has been limited thus far, and the Chicago shows are among the first scripted staples to return after the SAG/WGA strikes caused industry shutdowns that pushed back production on shows by months. However, that 0.61 is likely to remain one of the highest ratings for any scripted show this season even after the rest of the shows begin to return, making it all the more impressive. There is no scenario in which NBC doesn't bring back a show that is both so highly-rated and so profitable for them, especially given their longstanding relationship with Dick Wolf. It's a CERTAIN RENEWAL.

Chicago Med: The only Chicago I don't feel is a 100% lock is Chicago Med. Though it returned just as strong as the other parts of the lineup this week, this show has a few less factors working in its favor than its fellow Chicagos. While Chicago Fire is syndicated on MyNetworkTV and Ion and Chicago PD is syndicated on both of those networks in addition to USA Network and Oxygen. In other words - they both make NBC a lot more money than Chicago Med does. Of course, it's still unlikely that it's going anywhere this season, but the cancellations of other high-rated shows like Station 19, or The Good Doctor, or Blue Bloods (none of which rated as strong as Med - Station 19 coming the closest) has made it clear that renewals are getting harder and harder to achieve in this TV landscape. Chicago Med is a top-rated show, and its 0.59 premiere was very impressive, but even that isn't enough to 100% guarantee a pickup, even if it should be. Ratings still play a big part in renewals - it's why networks are still willing to shell out the big bucks to keep ancient shows like NCIS and Grey's Anatomy and unowned hits like FBI and Abbott Elementary on their schedules - but it's no longer the sole driver of renewal decisions. Eventually, the Chicago franchise will have to begin winding down, and while I don't necessarily think that'll be anytime soon, Chicago Med is likely to be the first one discharged, as NBC has always treated it as the lowest priority of the surviving shows in this franchise. It's a LIKELY RENEWAL.

Chicago PD: TV's strongest 10 PM show also returned this week, as Chicago PD notched an incredible 0.55. 0.3 has been considered a strong showing for 10 PM shows as of late, so a 0.55 is definitely the cause for celebration. That's also the exact rating it averaged last season, and a full tenth above what it got for its tenth season finale. Considering its many syndication deals and its strong ratings, it's probably the safest of the Chicago shows, and one of the most valuable shows that NBC has in its arsenal (of their current scripted slate, only SVU can boast a more lucrative syndication package). There's not much of a question here, it's a CERTAIN 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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