ABC Renew/Cancel Week 2: Will Trent Has No Willpower

This week on the ABC Renew/Cancel, two dramas return from hiatus to join the fray. Keep reading to see what the outlook is for Will Trent and The Rookie!

Certain Cancellation:

Likely Cancellation:

Leans Cancellation:

Leans Renewal:
The Conners (0.39, 0.36-41)
Not Dead Yet (0.28, 0.24-0.32)
Will Trent (0.33)

Likely Renewal:
The Rookie (0.38)

Certain Renewal:

Already Canceled/Final Season:
The Good Doctor (0.26)
Station 19

Already Renewed:
Abbott Elementary (0.44, 0.36-0.48)

Coming Soon: 
Grey's Anatomy

Will Trent: Last week, ABC premiered a revamped Tuesday night lineup, shuffling Will Trent to 8 PM and The Rookie to 9. The results weren't quite as ABC was hoping for. While Will Trent saw a minor boost, and rose about a half-tenth from its first season finale, the boost from moving to 8 PM was nowhere near the one that The Rookie enjoyed the previous season. In fact, the Rookie even managed to build on Will Trent, making Will Trent look truly weak. Airing at 8 PM isn't a guarantee that a show will do well, but it's a huge advantage for any show, and Will Trent didn't benefit all that much from it. It looked much stronger last season, despite weaker raw ratings, because it was in a troublesome slot behind a massive flop and still put up respectable ratings. Now, it's a show with modest ratings in a great slot, after a huge promo push. We haven't seen the show's L+7 multiplatform ratings yet, which was a metric it did well in last year, so perhaps it will look better there. However, it's off to a slow start in this new slot, and it's likely that it'll just get even lower as time goes on. I expected it to benefit more from its time slot upgrade based on its promise from last season, and I thought it would be a pretty easy renewal considering that ABC has already canceled two veteran dramas and had zero new shows this season, meaning it has minimal competition for slots next season. However, I'm questioning now whether the show is really worth a continued investment in. After this season, it will have only released twenty-three episodes, so it has a long way to go until it would reach enough episodes for syndication or have enough episodes built up for a strong streaming deal. If ratings go low enough, I do think it would be easy enough for them to cancel this show and replace it with something else - either a new drama or even a reality or game show, like we saw in the fall. It LEANS RENEWAL to begin the season.

The Rookie: The surprise breakout of last season - rising from 0.3s to 0.6s as it moved from Sundays at 10 to Tuesdays at 8 - The Rookie shifted to 9 PM this season, resulting in the show losing a ton of momentum. While it did build on Will Trent, showing that it's still the strongest show in this lineup, gone are the 0.5s and 0.6s of last season. The 0.38 for its highly-promoted premiere was lower than all but one episode from its winter/spring 2023 run at 8 PM, though it was still higher than all but two episodes from its Sunday run. Considering the state of ratings, that should be enough to keep The Rookie safe for now, especially considering its strong delayed ratings gains. However, the declines, and the fact that ABC de-prioritized the show to begin with, cause me to be concerned about its longevity. It shouldn't have much of a problem being renewed this season, but with other ABC veteran dramas ending after seven seasons, next year will be a true test for the show. ABC doesn't fully own it, and it's surely more expensive than a freshman procedural would be. It's a LIKELY RENEWAL this season, in spite of the uncertain future.

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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