With less than a month until the big five networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) descend on New York City for their Upfront Presentations, the key decisions on which shows will be coming back for the 2014-2015 season and which will be cancelled are in the process of being made. So which of this season’s current show’s will make the cut. TVWise presents the latest edition of this year’s Broadcast TV Buzz column, which lists, by network, the latest industry intel (buzz if you will) on which shows will be back next year and which shows are set to get the ax.
There has not been an awful lot of movement at ABC. The network has yet to renew a single series, but between strong ratings and support amongst ABC brass Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Castle, Resurrection, Modern Family and Once Upon A Time are all considered locks for renewal. Of the network’s bubble shows, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now looks set to swing a second season, largely thanks to the internal politics of Marvel within Disney. The Middle has been a fairly consistent player and is one ABC topper Paul Lee, who recently inked a new deal to stay on as President, is a big supporter of and as such is expected to return. The same is true of The Goldbergs, which has been an OK player on Tuesday nights. On the flip side of that, Trophy Wife wont be coming back. The series does enjoy support at ABC, but the ratings just aren’t good enough. Critical darling Nashville has had some soft ratings this season, but is still considered a shoo in for a pick up, as is Revenge, which is close to the numbers needed for syndication. On the comedy side, Last Man Standing is looking good for a renewal as one of the only comedies that has been able to draw a decent audience for ABC in the Friday night slot. Things are not as clear for Suburgatory. The comedy narrowly avoided cancellation last season and has struggled in the ratings, but sources suggest that it could swing another pick up. Friday night series The Neighbors is considered dead with no chance of coming back. The same is true of Mixology, a fact hinted at when some cast members started booking pilots. By all accounts Super Fun Night is also a goner, though there has been a suggestion of retooling the comedy for a second season. Meanwhile, Betrayal and Killer Women are both set to be officially cancelled, joining the likes of Back In The Game, Minds Games, Lucky 7, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and The Assets.
CBS has already renewed most of their line up, leaving very few question marks before their upfont presentation. The network has already renewed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Elementary, 2 Broke Girls, The Millers, Mike & Molly, Mom, Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory; and has cancelled comedy We Are Men. Despite its cast and pedigree, Hostages failed to sustain a decent sized audience and won’t be returning next season. The same is true of Intelligence, which also failed to find much of an audience. The only other remaining drama not to have heard if it is coming back is The Mentalist. Warner Bros are pushing for a seventh season, especially given the retooling the series underwent this season. But from what I’m hearing, CBS wont be brining it back – there are a couple of pilots considered to be better companions to The Good Wife than Patrick Jane and co. On the comedy side, CBS is expected to renew one more series. Its not entirely clear which of the three remaining comedies will swing the renewal. Bad Teacher doesn’t premiere until next week and will need to do well to secure its place on the 2014-2015 schedule. Friends With Better Lives started well but sank to ratings levels akin to The Crazy Ones in its second week. So between all that, as well as the star power on the David E. Kelley series, I’d give The Crazy Ones the edge as the one likely to return next season.
Over at the youth-skewing CW, there has been some minimal movement. The network has already handed renewals to Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Reign and The Originals. As the only network yet to cancel a single series there are a number of dramas on the bubble. Newest entry The 100 has been a big performer for the network and is considered a lock for a second season order. Despite sources calling it DOA mere weeks ago, there has been chatter of late that Beauty & The Beast could earn a renewal. I’m not convinced of that outcome, but if it happens you can thank strong international sales for CBS Studios International. Another show that was considered dead only weeks ago that now has a shot is Star-Crossed. Ratings have been soft but its a political situation and at least one CBS Television Studios produced series is expected to get a pick up, be that Beauty & The Beast or Star-Crossed. Talk has been of a 13 episode pick up for Star-Crossed, possibly paired with The 100 next season. As for the remaining series, The Tomorrow People, The Carrie Diaries and Hart Of Dixie are all considered dead. Their slots on the network’s schedule next season are likely to be taken by iZombie, The Flash and Supernatural: Bloodlines, all of which have strong buzz right now.
Fox has already decided on most of their current line up. The network has handed renewals to The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Sleepy Hollow, The Following and Glee. While they have also cancelled Us & Them, Rake and Raising Hope. That only leaves Almost Human, Enlisted, Surviving Jack and Dads on the bubble. Things are heating up with Almost Human. The sci-fi series ratings were always decent and hinted at a likely renewal, but word is that Fox will now be renewing the WB produced series for a 13 episode second season. As far as comedy goes, Fox’s entire line up has suffered from soft ratings. Enlisted failed to find an audience in its Friday night slot and, despite strong support amongst execs there, will be cancelled. Also not returning for next season is Dads. The comedy from Seth MacFarlane was a favourite of Fox topper Kevin Reilly, but like Enlisted failed to find much of an audience. Meanwhile, sources say, Fox looks set to pick up a second season of Surviving Jack. The Chris Meloni fronted sitcom has, like the rest of Fox’s comedy line up, struggled a little in the ratings but enjoys strong support at Fox and perhaps more importantly has had a warm critical reception and is considered a shoo in come awards season.
Over at the peacock, a lot of the series are still in play with NBC having handed renewals to only 5 shows (The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grimm and Parks & Recreation), and cancelling a further four (Sean Saves The World, Welcome To The Family, Ironside and The Michael J. Fox Show). New comedy series About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher have both been strong players for NBC, especially when looked at in comparison to the other new comedies from the network this season. Given that both are considered locks for renewal and will be back next season. Chatter over the past few weeks has been that Community will make it to a sixth season – is a movie next? Family drama Parenthood has been an ok player this season and with its strong support is also expected to return. Things are more complicated for Law & Order: SVU, with financial and contractual issues in play. That said, sources are optimistic that these issues can be resolved and as such the series should be retuning for a 16th season. With its move to Friday nights, Hannibal has struggled in the ratings, losing a good 50% of its lead in from Grimm. But between decent DVR gains and the relatively cheap licensing fee that NBC has with series producer Gaumont International Television, Hannibal looks set to swing a third season. The future is not nearly as bright for JJ Abrams. The veteran producer currently has two series on NBC, Revolution and Believe, and both have been struggling in the ratings. Revolution‘s audience has dropped significantly from season one (blame the lack of a The Voice lead in) and NBC is ready to cancel the series. WB will do what they can to keep it on air as it make the studio a lot of money internationally, but given “strong drama development” its more or less a goner. Believe on the other hand has struggled to re-launch NBC’s Sunday night line up. The ratings aren’t good enough and the series is also looking at cancellation. The same is true for fellow Sunday series Crisis. The Gillian Anderson starrer has also struggled on Sundays but pulls in marginally better ratings. Sources suggest it has a shot, but the truth is cancellation is more likely, regardless of how much NBC wants to stay in business with Gillian Anderson (that said, I’ve been hearing rumblings of a potential new development deal between Anderson and NBC which would see the X-Files alum TOPLINE a new prime-time drama). It’s hard to get a clear read on Dracula which, like Hannibal, cost NBC relatively little. It has a shot at renewal depending on what NBC execs decide to do with their Friday night block.