ABC Renew/Cancel Week 4: 9-1-1, There’s No Emergency + ABC Renew/Cancel March Madness Begins

ABC wrapped up the rollout of their scripted originals in this late-debuting new season this, as 9-1-1 moved to the network and Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 returned for their twentieth and seventh seasons, respectively. Keep reading for my initial thoughts on all three shows. Plus, we begin a fun new tournament game featuring ABC's scripted shows!

Certain Cancellation:

Likely Cancellation:

Leans Cancellation:

Leans Renewal:
The Conners (0.38, 0.36-0.41)
Not Dead Yet (0.27, 0.24-0.32)

Likely Renewal:
The Rookie (0.35, 0.32-0.38)
Will Trent (0.36, 0.33-0.38)

Certain Renewal:
9-1-1 (0.60)
Grey's Anatomy (0.56)

Already Canceled/Final Season:
The Good Doctor (0.22, 0.18-0.26)
Station 19 (0.37)

Already Renewed:
Abbott Elementary (0.55, 0.33-1.43)

9-1-1: In my pre-season renew/cancel, I expressed my concerns that 9-1-1 would shed some of its audience as it moved to ABC. A move from one network to another is risky, as audiences have already spent six seasons watching the show on one network, and are used to it airing there. It takes a lot of promotion to get out the word about the move, and it's not a guarantee that that audience will follow, especially since it also moved from its longtime Monday night time slot. It was also off the air for ten months, having last aired in May 2023, and its return came after the start of Daylight Saving Time, which has taken its toll on ratings year after year. Nevertheless, 9-1-1 returned with one of the season's strongest premieres, with a 0.60 debut that probably slightly dinged by weather promotions in the midwest, as well as sports preemptions in Dallas, a major media market. That was up a half-point from its season six finale on Fox, steady with its season six average, and a decline of about a tenth from its season six premiere nearly two years ago - its second-smallest premiere-to-premiere drop of its run. While the show was promoted as heavily as a new show would be, it's still quite a strong return for the venerable procedural, rating below only four other premieres this season, all of which had the benefit of airing earlier in the winter, a more desirable time of the year for ratings. No network is going to pick up a show with the intent of canceling it immediately, and with 0.6s becoming a rarity - no other ABC series premiered to that rating before this week - it's clearly a valuable ratings asset for ABC. Yes, it is expensive, but a major part of why it was too expensive for Fox (besides them clearly looking to fill their schedule with the cheapest shows imaginable, as evidenced by their many inexpensive reality shows) was because Fox didn't own it - ABC does. Ownership's not the end all, be all, but it does help, and it's going to make 9-1-1 a much more feasible option for ABC to keep on the air than it was for Fox. Not only will Disney profit fully from its live+same-day ratings, they'll also continue to enjoy the benefits of the show's streaming performances, international sales, and syndication. All that together means the expense to produce the show is still worth it for them, and it'll likely continue to be so until those ratings come down. Seven seasons in, it's still doing very well, and I don't envision it having many concerns in the near future. It's a CERTAIN RENEWAL.

Grey's Anatomy: A milestone twentieth season is something we don't often see, but that's what Grey's Anatomy celebrated as it returned for a new season last week. Despite that mighty age, there still doesn't seem to be any end in sight for ABC's long-running medical drama, even after having lost its longtime leading lady. The show returned up year-to-year last week, with a 0.56 premiere. That's its highest rating since its season 18 finale, and the second-highest ABC premiere of the season. I say this every year, and by this point sound like a broken record, but: every show must end eventually, but this particular show isn't showing any signs of slowing down just yet. It's lost nearly its entire original cast, including its titular star, and it keeps on going. I feel that ABC would've ended it when Ellen Pompeo dropped from the main cast to recurring guest status if they were planning on ending the show anytime soon, so I think it's here to stay for the foreseeable future. This won't be the final season, and I doubt next season (or the season after that) will be, either. Like with 9-1-1, the expense of making it is offset by other factors. In this case, though, it's not even the strong same-day ratings that make it so valuable - the show has one of the most lucrative streaming deals of any show on TV, and is a big international player as well. It's the most-profitable show of any on ABC, and one of Disney's most profitable series overall, as well. It's a CERTAIN RENEWAL.

Station 19: Though ABC's veteran firefighter drama was canceled ahead of its current season, it returned in pretty solid fashion last week, with a 0.37 in the key demo - higher than the most recent rating of two-thirds of ABC's scripted programs. That would be more than enough for a renewal prediction if the show hadn't already been canceled, but, unfortunately for Station 19, networks have gotten a bit more ruthless with ending older, more expensive shows after the strike, with ABC and CBS both canceling numerous shows rather than undergoing contract renegotiations. Station 19 was not on the level of Grey's Anatomy or 9-1-1 when it came to streaming performance, and its first-run ratings weren't quite strong enough to overcome the expenses that an eighth season would have entailed.

ABC Renew/Cancel March Madness begins!

In lieu of our traditional polls of the week, this week will begin a four-week series in which readers can vote for their favorite ABC shows in the ABC Renew/Cancel March Madness Tournament, with one ultimately taking home the win in the end. As ABC has an uneven number of scripted shows this season (nine), the two canceled shows - The Good Doctor and Station 19 - will compete in a preliminary round to make the Elite Eight, facing off against 9-1-1 in that round.

Due to a technical error limiting the number of poll responses, the poll below is no longer accepting responses. For data purposes, it will remain in the article, and its responses will be used for the results of ABC Renew/Cancel March Madness.

What do you think of my predictions? Let me know in the comments! To vote in the NBC March Madness, click here, and to vote in the CBS March Madness, click here.

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