Broadcast TV Buzz: ‘The Messengers’ Facing Cancellation, ‘Castle’ & ‘The Good Wife’ Inch Closer To Renewal & More

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In less than a month, the five networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) will descend on New York City for their Upfront Presentations where they will unveil their programming slates for the 2015-2016 season to Madison Avenue. Shortly before then the network will make calls on which of this season’s shows will be back and which will be cancelled.

To ease (or in some cases exacerbate) fans anxiety before official word comes down, TVWise presents the penultimate 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 we will be saying goodbye to.

There has been some movement since our previous Broadcast TV Buzz column last month, with the fates of several shows such as The Good Wife, The Messengers and The Mysteries Of Laura having been all but decided. If you can’t find the show you’re looking for below, then chances are that it has already been renewed or cancelled. To check on that, you can use our handy scorecard.


Fresh Off The BoatThough the network has yet to renew a single series, things are looking more or less set at ABC. Solid performers Fresh Off The Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Blackish, Modern Family, Once Upon A Time and Scandal are all locks for renewal. Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD is also on track for a third season pick up, while I hear that Last Man Standing, which continues to perform well on Friday nights, will also be back. After some early rumblings from sources that its future was in doubt, Nashville now looks like it will make it to a fourth season. Talk of a second season for Galavant has cooled off in recent weeks, partly because of lacklustre international sales. Secrets & Lies continues to be a strong DVR gainer for ABC and a second season is all but guaranteed. Despite Charlie McDermott having booked the lead on CBS pilot Super Clyde, ABC is also set to pick up a new season of The Middle with WB having signed the rest of the cast to new deals. The network has already axed Selfie & Manhattan Love Story, and it looks like American Crime, Forever, Revenge and Resurrection will soon be joining them on the cancellation heap. That being the case there are not a lot of questions marks at ABC, with only Marvel’s Agent Carter, Castle and Cristela left firmly on the bubble. Getting any source to go on record about a Marvel project is a little like pulling teeth, but scuttlebutt has been that its an either-or situation when it comes to Agent Carter and the proposed SHIELD spin-off, so Carter fans I’d hold out hope that Paul Lee decides not to proceed with the spin-off. Cristela has already wrapped its first season and while initially it was holding its own on Friday nights, the numbers have been slipping. No one has a clear read on this one and its fate may be contingent on comedy development and whether or not ABC sees growth potential in a second season. Last, but by no means least, is Castle. Nathan Fillion has inked a new talent deal for season eight and there is an active search underway for a showrunner (I’m told the shortlist includes, amongst others, Rob Bowman and Dara Creasey). All the focus has been on whether or not Stana Katic will sign a new contract with ABC Studios. That’s still not entirely clear but talks between the studio and Stana’s reps are progressing and a deal is looking more likely than it did last week. So based on what I’ve been hearing Castle will be back for an eighth season with both Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic.


Blue Bloods - Family DinnerAs is the same most years. it is also fairly steady running at CBS. The network has already renewed some seven series (2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, Madam Secretary, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, Mom and The Big Bang Theory) and cancelled two more (The McCarthys and The Millers), while The Mentalist and Two And A Half Men have wrapped their respective runs. Looking at their remaining slate, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Blue Bloods, Elementary and Person Of Interest are all set to be renewed. On the flip side of that, sources at both the network and Warner Brothers have admitted that Stalker is already dead (and there are no immediate plans for WB to shop elsewhere). The same is true of Battle Creek, which will air its remaining episodes but wont be back next season. Hawaii Five-0, which has suffered from sagging ratings this season, will be back next season with TNT’s syndication deal and international sales propping up the show. The Odd Couple has now established itself as a real hit for CBS – something they really needed after The Millers – and as such will be back next season. Solid ratings performer Criminal Minds is also on track for a renewal, assuming deals can be reached with the cast, whose contracts are up this season (progress has been slow so far). CBS’ prestige title The Good Wife is considered a lock for a seventh and final season, with the Kings having already received the nod from Tassler’s team signalling that they’ll be back. The real question marks are CSI and CSI: Cyber. There had been talk of a sixteenth and final season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, but talk has cooled off in recent weeks and it looks like a cancellation is more likely. As for CSI: Cyber, CBS’ special airing to see if the series could perform on a Tuesday proved to be a bust, but a renewal is still very much on the cards.

The CW

iZombieOver at The CW, there are very few series still in play after a mass renewal was announced by President Mark Pedowitz at the network’s executive panel at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour back in January. That mass renewal saw The CW pick up The 100, Arrow, The Flash, Jane The Virgin, The Originals, Reign, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries for next season; and they have also renewed Beauty & The Beast for a fourth season. The already wrapped Hart Of Dixie is considered dead and while reps for the network still deny a decision has been made one way or another, a trusted source at the studio has confirmed that there is no life left in the series, which is the only holdover from Dawn Ostroff’s tenure atop the network. iZombie launched last month to some pretty solid ratings and has been more-or less holding steady, with the most recent episode growing in the demo. As such, it is expected to swing a second season renewal. The network’s only remaining scripted series whose fate has yet to be officially decided is The Messengers. Despite some high hopes, the dystopian drama is effectively dead-on-arrival. The only real question is which pilot will go to series and fill its slot on the schedule?


BackstromThere’s no denying that Fox has had a mixed track record this season. From the highs of Empire, the solid numbers for the Gotham premiere, to Sleepy Hollow sinking fast in the ratings. But the network, under the reins of Dana Walden, Gary Neman and top lieutenant David Madden, looks like its line up will be remaining largely in-tact. The network has already renewed Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, Empire, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, Bob’s Burgers and more recently The Last Man On Earth; whilst Gracepoint, Red Band Society and Glee have been cancelled. Of their remaining series, the ratings collapse of The Following is pointing straight to cancellation, Mulaney is set to be officially cancelled, while Hart Hanson’s Backstrom will not be making it to a second season either. Weird Loners and its soft numbers mean the show is effectively dead. The real question marks here are Bones and The Mindy Project. The numbers for Bones have been solid and the network’s top brass have already publicly stated that they want to bring the show back for at least one more season. Much like Castle at ABC and Criminal Minds at CBS, the real issue is that the contracts for the two leads (Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz) are up this year. Talks have been occurring, but have been lengthy and “difficult”. That said, both camps are optimistic that deals with the studio will close soon, paving the way for an eleventh season order. Meanwhile, The Mindy Project and its poor ratings may mean that we have seen the end of the Mindy Kaling created comedy. Fox is at least open to the idea of a fourth season to keep their Tuesday comedy block in-tact, but the ball is firmly in NBCUniversal’s court and their studio, Universal Television, will need to GREATLY reduce the license fee if they want the show to continue.


State Of AffairsVery little has changed at NBC, with the network in dire straits when it comes to their current slate. Outside of their hits The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grimm and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – all of which have already been renewed for next season – the vast majority of the network’s series have failed to connect with audiences. Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, Allegiance, A To Z, Bad Judge and Mission Control have already been cancelled. Constantine, which was only a modest performer alongside Grimm on Friday nights, wont be back for a second season and there is absolutely no truth to the Syfy rumours (which, inexplicably, seems to be circulating again). Comedy One Big Happy has also failed to reach a sizeable audience and is on its way out, while CIA drama State Of Affairs is also set to be cancelled. Marry Me, which was pulled from the schedule early, wont be back either. American Odyssey has flopped on Sunday nights and will be cancelled in the coming weeks. The only new series with a shot at a renewal is The Mysteries Of Laura, but it’s a long-shot and the network may go for a clean sweep by cancelling every single freshman series instead. The good news is that the two former summer series that were moved to mid-season, The Night Shift and Undateable, have both been performing well in-season and are set to be renewed for third seasons. Unfortunately, comedy series About A Boy, which like Marry Me was pulled early, is also facing cancellation.