ABC Pre-Season 2024-25 Renew/Cancel: How Much Longer Can The Rookie and Grey’s Anatomy Survive?

The 2023-24 season is over, so it's time to look ahead at the next season, including new dramas Doctor Odyssey and High Potential, as well as veterans such as The Rookie and Grey's Anatomy.

Certain Cancellation:

Likely Cancellation:
The Rookie

Leans Cancellation:

Leans Renewal
High Potential

Likely Renewal:
Doctor Odyssey
Grey's Anatomy
Will Trent

Certain Renewal:
Abbott Elementary

Already Ending:
The Conners

9-1-1: The #1 scripted series on TV (tied with fellow Thursday series Young Sheldon), 9-1-1 has been a welcome addition to ABC's lineup after its cancellation by the quickly-cratering Fox. Though the series is entering its eighth season, making it one of the network's oldest series, it's nearly impossible to imagine ABC letting this show go after just two seasons on the network after how big of an asset it has been to the network. The network is already treating the show as their tentpole series, using it to launch a new show from creator Ryan Murphy next season. While its expense may catch up to it eventually, I'd bet on at least ten seasons of ABC's newest crown jewel, especially with given its value in both streaming and syndication for parent company Disney. It's a CERTAIN RENEWAL next season.

Abbott Elementary: ABC's comedy lineup is in ruins - only Abbott and The Conners survived this season, after both The Goldbergs and Home Economics were canceled the season prior - but Abbott Elementary is not. It was, undeniably, the weakest season yet of ABC's acclaimed sitcom, dropping 26% from season two once you filter out the rating of its Oscars-boosted episode. The show was frequently hitting new lows,  and went as low as 0.27. The jury's still out on whether that was the result of its horrendous Not Dead Yet lead-in, the new competition from expanded episodes of CBS juggernaut Survivor, or people simply losing interest, but the show did manage to rally in an impressive way towards the end of its season, nearly matching the ratings from early in the season. It also is seemingly extremely popular on streaming. Considering that Disney owns Hulu, being such an asset for the service is going to go a long way towards its renewal. Disney put the show front and center during this year's Upfronts presentation, and clearly understands its value, even if its L+SD ratings aren't always overwhelmingly impressive. Given its young age, this is a slam-dunk to return, even if the future of ABC comedy is up in the air. It's a CERTAIN RENEWAL. 

Doctor Odyssey: One of only two new scripted series confirmed for next season (decisions are still nowhere close for their two comedy pilots, which have yet to even be filmed), Doctor Odyssey seems to be the favored show of the two. Not only is it getting to air at 9 (a rarity for a freshman ABC drama), it also displaced Grey's Anatomy in order to give it the plum post-9-1-1 slot. It's easy to see why they're high on it: Ryan Murphy has long been a celebrated creator in the TV world, including their very own 9-1-1. Giving this show the most compatible lead-in (and lead-out) they can will go a long way towards making it a ratings success. Due to the faith they've already placed in it, and the increased rarity of seeing internal favorite freshman series canceled after a single season, it starts as a LIKELY RENEWAL, though an underperformance can certainly change that outlook.

Grey's Anatomy: ABC's longest-running series, and one of TV's longest-running series overall, Grey's Anatomy has had an incredible run. Unfortunately for it, it does really seem like we could be nearing the end. I've said this many times, and it's stuck around, but it just feels a bit different this time. For the first time since season two (all the way back in 2006!), Grey's has been pushed to a 10 PM slot. In recent years, 10 PM has been something of a disastrous slot. It's one of only two scripted series airing at 10 PM next season, with unscripted programming (or movies, in the case of Sunday) airing at 10 PM on the other five nights. To be perfectly clear, I don't think ABC is canceling Grey's Anatomy next year. I do, however, feel as if they're beginning to phase it out. It's still a massive show for them on streaming and internationally, but that hasn't stopped ABC from trimming its budget this season. While I don't expect it to end next season, as I would anticipate that a final season of Grey's would be announced hand-in-hand with its renewal and allow for ABC to make the final season a big event, I don't think it's a complete lock at this time. It's a LIKELY RENEWAL.

High Potential: The other of ABC's two announced freshman is the Kaitlin Olson comedy-drama High Potential. While Doctor Odyssey got the better time slot, High Potential still got a strong lead-in with Dancing with the Stars. Not all post-DWTS launches have worked, but it's still one of ABC's highest-rated shows, and a much better lead-in than it would've gotten if it had aired in the 2023-24 season, as was initially the plan. Though Tuesday at 10 is a "death slot" for ABC, High Potential has the, ahem, "potential," to perform well enough for renewal, and it starts in the LEANS RENEWAL category. Like with Doctor Odyssey, it will have to match my expectations for it in order to keep that categorization once the season officially begins.

The Rookie: The Rookie has been a reliable performer for ABC for six seasons now, but it's entering season seven next year, and that is not a great time to be an ABC show with middling ratings. Both The Good Doctor and Station 19 got the axe this season - both with higher ratings than The Rookie. In Station 19's case, it was even fully owned by ABC. The Rookie isn't, and is a co-production with Lionsgate. The Rookie does have one argument that those two didn't, as it still sees large gains in delayed viewing. Nevertheless, it's been said that negotiations for this year's renewal were difficult, and I don't know if it's even worth ABC's while to undergo these talks now that cast contracts will be up at the end of this year. With scripted programming clearly taking a backseat at ABC at this point in its history, I find it hard to believe that all of ABC's scripted shows will be renewed, and an aged, expensive veteran with weak ratings that they only partially own seems like the first cut they would make. It's a LIKELY CANCELLATION.

Will Trent: The Rookie's surviving partner from the Tuesday night drama lineup, Will Trent is by far the more likely of the two to survive the next season as well. The show isn't that much stronger than The Rookie in L+SD ratings, and is much weaker in delayed viewing, but it's still a solid delayed performer, and it's much, much younger than The Rookie. I was hoping to see how ABC would schedule it before assessing just how likely it is to be renewed, as keeping it in an earlier slot would have been a great show of support, while a demotion to a later slot would have been a sign that they were disappointed with its performance this year. As it was pushed to midseason to make room for Dancing with the Stars, there's no way to know where they will schedule it. Its performance this season was fine - nothing incredible, but not awful - and it looks like the sort of show that will last for a while as a utility player. It is a LIKELY 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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