It’s that time of year where network TV executives are preparing to announce which shows they will cancel in order to make room for a new crop of series.
They’re crunching the budgets, staring at the ratings, weighing international sales and considering how many pilots they will want to order for the fall.
But, it isn’t always just about the numbers. A network’s relationships with producers, stars, and critical reception can also factor into the equation.
With all that in mind, we’ve assembled the 15 shows that are most likely goners.*
1.) “Revenge” (1.1 rating/4.49 million viewers)
During its first season, “Revenge” helped to rejuvenate ABC after a string of failed dramas. But its following three seasons have been plagued with declining ratings, creative problems, mini story reboots, and almost nonexistent social buzz. It has now used all of its “we’re back” passes. But, it still holds a sweet place in ABC’s drama rebound, so the network may go ahead and give it a fifth season to wrap up storylines and set it up for syndication.
2.) “Cristela” (1.0 rating /5.23 million viewers)
In a vacuum, “Cristela’s” ratings would be low enough for certain cancellation. But, it also has several things working in its favour. First off, Friday is a typically low day for viewership and ABC has no idea how a new comedy will do on that night. On the other hand, Friday would be a good night to test new shows for the very same reason. But, “Cristela’s” Latino leads fit well into ABC’s diversity push, where its been a leader in broadcast. ABC, though, has several name people backing comedy pilots that offer diversity, including projects with Ken Jeong, Dan Savage, and Whoopi Goldberg.
3.) “Forever” (1.12 rating/4.97 million viewers)
It was a surprise when ABC decided to order a full season of this supernatural procedural. No doubt, it hoped it would find an audience. Plus, it hales from Warner Bros. Television, a partner on high profile Marvel shows “Agents of SHIELD” and “Agent Carter.” It never did find its audience and WBTV should be happy that ABC gave it a fighting chance.
4. “Battle Creek” (.81 rating/6.49 million viewers)
There was so much excitement surrounding “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan’s new series. But, the buzz didn’t turn into ratings and CBS can’t have this drama pull its ratings average down.
5.) “Stalker” (1.4 rating/6.04 million viewers)
Kevin Williamson’s (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Scream”) gory stalker thriller hasn’t become an obsession with viewers. It’s also never a good sign when a network pulls a show off the schedule to make room for another series. It returned on a new night on Monday and was able to pick up more viewers,. But, it’s probably too late to save itself.
6.) “CSI” (1.3 rating/8.26 million viewers)
Can CBS actually cancel “CSI” after 15 seasons and three spinoffs? It may be the show’s time to go. After all, “CSI: Cyber” is still around to carry on the name (though it isn’t doing a whole lot better in the ratings).
7.) “American Odyssey” (0.74 rating/3.86 million viewers)
NBC’s lowest-rated show has only been on for a few weeks, but its actually earning lower ratings than “Allegiance,” which NBC pulled from the schedule after just five episodes.
8.) “Constantine” (0.92 rating/3.34 million viewers)
Despite a groundswell of activism among fans in support of a second season of the comic-based show, there’s very few reasons NBC would give the show another season. It wouldn’t even air the totality of its first. The network’s inability to announce the show’s official cancelation could be the result of a few things: embarrassment over jumping on the comic book adaptation craze and failing, as well as maintaining its relationship with executive producers Daniel Cerone (“Dexter”) and David S. Goyer (“Batman” trilogy). NBC is known to make silly decisions for relationships.
9.) “About a Boy” (1.03 rating/3.53 million viewers)
NBC’s highest rated sitcom in its first season, “About a Boy” has plummeted in its second season. With a healthy amount of comedy pilots waiting in the wings, it can afford to let “About a Boy” go, even if it means cutting ties with Jason Katims (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”)for a bit. See above regarding NBC and relationships.
10.) “Weird Loners” (.63 rating/1.55 million viewers)
Fox’s attempt to re-create the early seasons of “New Girl” was a bust. The comedy is the lowest-rated show on Fox’s roster and can be easily plucked out and replaced with a new show in the fall.
11.) “Backstrom” (1/4.08 million viewers)
There was a lot of excitement around “Office” alum Rainn Wilson’s new detective dramedy. But, it failed to find an audience.
12.) “The Following” (1.17 rating/3.62 total viewers)
After a season that captured viewers’ attention, the Kevin Bacon series struggled creatively and lost its audience and buzz. With the success of “Empire,” dark, violent shows may not be in vogue at Fox right now.
13.) “The Mindy Project” (1.05 rating/2.31 million viewers)
Beloved by TV critics and starring the popular Mindy Kaling, Fox has a couple reasons to keep “The Mindy Project” around. But, its ratings are poor and most of the time business becomes the functional word in show business.
14.) “Hart of Dixie” (.41 rating/1.18 million viewers)
Everyone from the show’s creator, its stars and its small loyal group of fans have declared the show over, but The CW seems to be the last to be able to utter the word “canceled.” If enough people are telling you you’re dead, then at some point it’s time to lie down.
15.) “The Messengers” (.25 rating/.98 million viewers)
It may be a little early since “The Messengers” have only aired for two weeks, but The CW basically shoved this supernatural show into cancelation territory. It premiered late in the season and on Friday nights. Did the network already give up on it?
Note: Ratings based on most available Neilsen overnight numbers for the average advertiser-coveted Adults, ages 18-49 and total viewers.
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