Fall 2015: Renewed and Cancelled

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All the networks have announced their 2016 Fall schedules, and in doing so have made final decisions on the rookie class (and the veteran shows).  As a recap, here are my predictions from my 2015 Fall TV wrap-up:

Show Current After Pilot Trailer Only Comment
Blindspot 80% 75% 75% Getting about a 50% bump from The Voice
Rosewood 80% 60% 45% Getting about a 100% bump from Empire
Supergirl 75% 80% 50% Only two episodes so far, plenty of time to fall back to Earth.  Still the ratings are pretty solid
Chicago Med 70% NA 70% Hasn’t premiered yet, but give the other Chicago (branch of service), I expect it will premiere in the high 1’s and settle in around 1.2-1.6
Life in Pieces 70% 55% 80% A cushy spot behind Big Bang Theory will probably propel this to renewal (just don’t move it anywhere else in the schedule)
Best Time Ever 60% 60% 60% Getting lower than average ratings, but this show probably doesn’t cost a lot to produce
Limitless 60% 60% 70% A consistent performer in the 10 o’clock hour, but ratings aren’t making it a smash
Quantico 60% 60% 60% Ratings rise from the dreadful Blood & Oil give this a solid chance to get renewed
Dr. Ken 55% 50% 10% Again, they don’t need to air good shows, just ones that people watch.  People are watching this for some unknown reason.
The Muppets 50% 50% 70% Show runners fired – a bad sign for the show, but maybe people will come back if they go back to the Muppet Variety show
Grandfathered 50% 50% 50% Received a full season order, but ratings still have its future in doubt
Heroes Reborn 50% 50% 50% Ratings might need a small bounce.
Scream Queens 40% 20% 20% FOX has some serious problems if it needs to renew this – as poor as the ratings have been, it is middle of the pack for FOX
The Grinder 40% 50% 40% Also received a full season order; its ratings are worse than Grandfathered
Code Black 30% 45% NA CBS has a lot of veteran shows that may get the axe.  That would be the only reason the show gets saved.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 25% 40% 80% Even by CW standards, the ratings on this are low.  I can’t see them renewing this, but The CW has much lower standards of renewal
Wicked City 10% NA 25% Only Truth Be Told has lower ratings
Angel From Hell 10% NA 55% Premier pushed to February – not a sign of confidence in the show.
Minority Report 1% 30% 30% Already had its episode order cut.  This show isn’t coming back
The Player 1% 5% 35% Episode order cut
Truth Be Told 1% 1% 10% Episode order cut + set torn down
Blood & Oil 1% 20% 65% Episode order cut

 

So how’d I do?

Nailed It

Blindspot – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: “If I know one thing about The Voice, it’s that whoever watches that show is too lazy to change the channel afterward.  Shows do extraordinarily well in this timeslot.  Add that to the heavy promotion for the show, and the intriguing concept, you have yourself an almost surefire winner – at least on premiere night.  Serial shows tend to bleed viewers, bad ones hemorrhage them, and good ones lose them like a hemophiliac with a paper cut.  The producers will need to strike a delicate balance between keeping the mystery alive, and answering viewer questions”

What I said after watching the pilot: Overall, Blindspot is an intriguing show, with enough action to keep me interested.  There are some light-hearted moments, but it could use a bit more.  If Alexander show more range of emotions, it will probably be the best new show of the season.

What actually happened:  Blindspot definitely benefitted from The Voice lead-in.  It lost a lot of viewers during a loooong layoff (including me), not to mention they lost their high rating lead-in.  It still had enough viewers to be easily renewed

Supergirl – Renewed to CW

What I said after watching the trailer: CBS jumps into the comic book game.  Half of the current shows on TV are from comic books.  It’s good to see Supergirl on (and in!) the air.  CBS is a strange choice, their viewer demographic definitely skews to the older side, and they are better known for their boiler-plate procedurals than innovative dramas.  It is also, however, the network that gives us Big Bang Theory, one of the top programs in the 18-49 demographic.  Similar to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, if this were on any other network, I’d say it is a shoo-in for renewal.  As is, I fear that it could be a massive disappointment.

What I said after watching the pilot: I am hoping some of these problems with the script are just the writers working out the kinks in the first episode.  With some better writing, it can be a solid, feel-good show about good triumphing over evil.  You don’t get much more black and white than the Superman/Supergirl mythos.

What actually happened:  The ratings fell rather dramatically from one of the highest premieres, but not enough to get cancelled.  It does, however, get shuttled off to the partially owned CW, a far better fit, seeing as how it seems to be comic book central.

Chicago Med – Renewed

What I said: As a spinoff, they have the potential to crossover with the other shows.  There is a danger of fatigue from these shows.  It’s likely that if you watch Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, you will watch this.  If you don’t watch those shows, you probably won’t watch this one.  Given the success of the other two shows, this one probably survives as well.

What actually happened: All the Chicago… shows have roughly the same ratings, and NBC will be rolling out a fourth version of a Chicago show – this time a legal show. So NBC will be Chicago central, CBS will be NCIS central, ABC Shonda central, FOX Empire central, and CW comic book central.

Wicked City – Cancelled

What I said: Premiering late.  Super dark subject matter.  This could be the next Dexter.  Probably not.

What actually happened: Cancelled after three episodes.  Not sure why anyone thought this would work.

Minority Report – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: Reminds me of Person of Interest except a spinoff of the Tom Cruise movie.  It feels like FOX has tried a number of sci-fi shows in this time slot, only to fail.  Sleepy Hollow and Gotham survived, but before that, nothing seemed to work for them in this time slot.  Up against Monday Night Football, and The Voice, and with a semi-confusing trailer – it doesn’t bode well.

What I said after watching the pilot: I suppose if I ignore the wildly inconsistent precognition and bought into Dash not being a sociopath, I might actually like this show.  Too bad it won’t matter – the ratings are poor (see below) and certainly won’t be renewed (though it will probably air all 13 episodes).

What actually happened: FOX barely had anything do well this year outside of Empire and cancelled just about everything, but the ratings for this were so bad they had to cancel this one quickly.

The Player – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: Even after watching the trailer I’m confused.  It looks exciting, with lots of stunts and action, but is utterly confusing.  If the pilot doesn’t explain it, this show is D.O.A.  I want to like this show, but I need to see something better in the pilot than I did in the trailer.  While this goes up against How to Get Away with Murder, I see very little crossover in audience.  The bigger challenge for this show will be football – college and NFL are on Thursday nights.

What I said after watching the pilot: Snipes and Winchester are wasted on this insane premise.  With a few tweaks this could have been a fun, action-filled Friday night show.  Instead, it is a farcical Thursday night show with very little redeeming qualities.  This show is done.  Going up against Shonda and football, this show never had a chance.  With poor quality and low initial audience, I don’t think this show will survive to November, much less a full season.

What actually happened: As predicted the pilot was just as confusing as the trailer, and the ratings tanked from a low starting number.  The Player was cancelled prior to November, but it did air its final episodes in November.

People are Talking/Truth be Told – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: While I like Mark Paul Gossellaar, this looks like an unfocused sitcom.  Is it a show about a family?  Is it about friends?  Will it even be funny?

What I said after watching the pilot: The “babysitter does porn” schtick was amusing but ultimately unsatisfying.  The rest of the show wasn’t even that good, consisting largely of racial jokes that were at best borderline offensive.  The cast actually did well with the material they were given, but nothing can save a show this bad.

What actually happened: It’s a bad sign when you change your title just before the release of the pilot.  It is also a bad sign when your material sucks and you are on Friday night (unless you’re Dr. Ken).  This show tanked right out of the gate. It was the lowest rated show not on the CW.

Quantico – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: The training camp could be interesting.  I also hope that we, as the viewer, recognize that she might be guilty and that she is an unreliable narrator.  It would add a lot more drama to the show.  Is she guilty or not?  Though, I suspect that we are going to be led to believe that she is 100% innocent.  This show has a lot of potential, but I have a bad feeling that it is going to be a mangled mess of a script that is contrived and convoluted.  I have nothing to base that on, so judge it on its own merits.

What I said after watching the pilot: Quantico is a bit predictable, which is bad for a mystery-thriller – e.g. I have a good idea of who the bomber really is.  Quantico had a lot of twists, even if you could see them coming.  The characters are all intriguing –they all seem to be hiding something and you want to know why and what.  I will give the show a couple more episodes to clean up the writing, but they need to explain a lot.

What actually happened: This show was addictive.  It wasn’t actually any good, but it was addictive.  Fortunately for me, they took a long hiatus and like Blindspot, lost a lot of viewers (including me).  They didn’t lose enough viewers to get cancelled though.  Even more correct, was predicting that Liam was behind it all (I did tell someone, so I’m not just making it up that I got the villain correct).

 

Correct

What is the difference between “Correct” and “Nailed it?”  Nailed it meant that I got everything right about the show, whereas correct means that I either hedged too much, or was wrong with my initial assessment, but ultimately came to the correct conclusion.

Rosewood – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: The lack of originality is made up for with…something I’m sure.  I spent the entire trailer trying to figure out what is unique about this show and why I should watch it.  It precedes Empire so that will count for something.  People do watch shows like this, so it could do just fine.

What I said after watching the pilot: The premise is overplayed – A smart-ass pathologist and an opposite sex, tough cop.  The chemistry is non-existent and the characters aren’t likable.  There is no reason to watch this show.

What actually happened: There is no reason to watch the show, unless you are tuning in early for Empire.  I correctly identified that the ratings would get it renewed, but incorrectly identified that people would actually watch this drivel.

Life in Pieces – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: Comedies have been very difficult to produce the last couple years, nearly everything has been cancelled.  Life in Pieces has every opportunity to survive – It follows The Big Bang Theory, and has a solid cast.  If it is even remotely funny, it should survive, even if the premise isn’t the most original.

What I said after watching the pilot: Overall, there are too many story arcs in a 30-minute program.  You end up not caring about any of the characters, because they are on too briefly.  The cast is great – they’ll hook some viewers for that reason alone, but it is doubtful that they stick around.  Even more concerning they used all their best jokes in the trailer – it’s a good bet that the quality only goes down from the pilot.

What actually happened: The viewers tailed off but not enough to get cancelled, in fact it was a pretty safe renewal.  I had this listed as a 55% chance to get renewed, so I was correct, but just barely.

Dr. Ken – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: This looks unfunny and slightly offensive to doctors and probably others.  Fresh Off the Boat did well for ABC, so they are probably hoping that this similar-looking program will also do well.  Based on the trailer it won’t.

What I said after watching the pilot: I don’t even know where to start with this.  Dr. Ken is a terrible concept, with horrendous over-acting.  Ken Jeong is a sideshow at best; asking him to lead a comedy is just painful.  It’s a comedy and I laughed once –at myself for watching such a dreadful program

What actually happened:  I don’t know.  People actually watched this show, and I for the life of me can’t figure out why.  I correctly recognized that people were watching it and put my estimate at 55% chance of renewal.  Correct that it was renewed, but not so correct thinking that this show should never ever be watched by anyone, anywhere.

The Grinder – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: Comedies are struggling.  FOX is also struggling.  Put the two together and it is an uphill road for this sitcom.  Even if it is a well-done comedy, it might struggle to find footing.  I actually did laugh at the trailer a couple times – a good sign, but the cards seem stacked against it.

What I said after watching the pilot: Lowe overwhelmed every scene he was in, even with Savage on camera with him.  Savage, meanwhile wasn’t given much to do – he played the stereotypical dad of a sitcom.  Every joke seemed to center on the word “grinder,” I’m not sure how long a show can survive on a single joke.  (Okay that is an exaggeration – there were other bits in there but they certainly beat the grinder joke to death)

What actually happened:  While this was entertaining through its run, it never garnered any viewers.  I was never truly sold on it, but others in my household loved it.  I gave it less than 50% chance to survive, but I never really went all in I saying it would get cancelled.

Angel from Hell – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: This is a tough night.  This premieres on Thursdays after football moves off CBS to the NFL network.  The late season start is never helpful, but it will have Big Bang Theory leading off the night and then stable Mom right before Angel from Hell.

What I said after watching the pilot: If you like Jane Lynch you will probably like her here.  I do worry that, based on the premise, the situations will annoy me (like I said in my Superstore post).  But, I do want to see a few more episodes (four episodes is my typical judgment cycle).

What actually happened: This show was dead as soon as it was moved from a November premiere to a January premiere.  I actually think if Life in Pieces and this show were switched, the outcome also would have switched for each show.  As it was this show was cancelled after three episodes.

Blood & Oil – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: It looks like a flawed premise, but that flaw might not matter.  It is soap opera type show and I can see it doing very well here.

What I said after watching the pilot: That is as far as I got [I turned it off before the first commercial break], between the stupidities of the plot, dialogue, and characters I turned off Blood & Oil.  I don’t suffer fools easily.

What actually happened: After watching the trailer I thought this show had a chance to become another Dallas.  I should have trusted my instinct about the show being flawed, because I didn’t even manage to make it halfway through the pilot.  Everyone else pretty much agreed with me and the ratings were pretty bleak and was one of the first shows cancelled.

Call it a Draw

The Muppets – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: This doesn’t appear to be a strong night.  Outside of an aging NCIS, there isn’t a lot of competition.  Everyone will tune into The Muppets, but if it isn’t what they remember, the ratings could turn south.

What I said after watching the pilot: There were some funny moments, led by Animal and the rest of the band.  But, the rest of the show was painful to watch.  Bring back my Muppets!

What actually happened: Exactly what should have happened to the show runners for ruining the Muppets.  I think they tried a mid-season reboot, but it was too little too late.  What was wrong with the original Muppets?  I never moved my prediction off the 50% mark.  I should have because I would have gotten this one correct.

Grandfathered – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: Comedies are struggling.  FOX is also struggling.  Put the two together and it is an uphill road for this sitcom.  Even if it is a well-done comedy, it might struggle to find footing.  I actually did laugh at the trailer a couple times – a good sign, but the cards seem stacked against it.

What I said after watching the pilot: Stamos plays the role well, and the co-stars are equally as entertaining.  Grandfathered will be somewhat predictable, but funny nonetheless.  It is good light-hearted entertainment.

What actually happened: FOX basically cleaned house this spring, cancelling just about everything on the bubble.  I was a little surprised since the ratings seemed at least average for the struggling network.  That said, my prediction was always 50%.

Heroes Reborn – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: As Sheldon Cooper said of the original, they gradually reduced the quality of the show until you didn’t care that they cancelled it.  The original show was cancelled; can a reboot possibly be successful?  I don’t know, I will probably tune in to see if it is better than how it ended up.  The writers must avoid creating characters that are too powerful – they wrote themselves into a corner.  The main hero and villain both could do anything – their only limitation was that the writers kept forgetting that they could do everything so they just looked like idiots the whole time.  I can only think of a few shows that actually came back from cancellation (Family Guy, Arrested Development, Jericho).  This show will get fewer chances from viewers than other new shows, because they’ve already seen it.

What I said after watching the pilot: All the bouncing around between the yet-to-be connected characters made Heroes Reborn an unfocused mess.  It’s fine if the characters don’t know what “It” is, but the audience needs to know; we need to yell at the idiots to get their acts together to save the world.  The time spent on the Evos was wasted, only one of them came through as understandable.  I will give the show a couple more episodes to try to hook me.  I need more information, otherwise this is a confused mess.

What actually happened: NBC claimed it was always intended to be a limited run, but no one wanted to live through the poor quality any more than they had to and stopped tuning in, guaranteeing it wouldn’t return.  I was too ambivalent to ever move this off 50%.

Oops

Best Time Ever w/Neil Patrick Harris – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: I have no idea what America’s appetite for a variety show is.  They haven’t been around in a while.  The last one I can truly think of (besides the next review) is The Smothers Brothers.  Which was what, the ‘70s?  There could be a very good reason for that.  But, if it is going to succeed, it is going to succeed with NPH.  It also has a massive advantage in premiering the week before “premier week.”  The real test will be if it can hold its ratings once new shows start and returning shows come back.

What I said after watching the pilot: If Best Time Ever has the same segments every week, I wouldn’t watch it.  If the segments continue to be completely random, then you might catch a good act or two.  It’s like Saturday Night Live – you stay up hoping to catch that one good skit that they have each week.  In this case, though, you won’t have to stay up past midnight to watch it (unless you record it and want to watch it after midnight).

What actually happened: It wasn’t very good.  Though I thought with the lower expenses of a variety show, this might survive and I predicted a 60% renewal.

Scream Queens – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: FOX has been having trouble finding hits in recent years.  It looks unique enough that people might want to tune in, but if they watch the trailer, they will probably run away screaming (Ha!  See what I did there?)

What I said after watching the pilot: Other than a tired premise, characters that you vehemently dislike, and continuity errors, this show is great!

What actually happened: FOX felt they had to renew something?  I don’t know, they seemingly cancelled everything else even marginally close to the bubble, except this show.  I’d rather they renewed The Grinder and Grandfathered than this horrific program.  Between the quality of the show and the rating I thought for sure this would get cancelled.  Nope.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: On any other network, I’d say this has no chance of survival, but the CW has lower standards.  In addition, this quirky show is paired with Jane the Virgin, another quirky show.  I actually expect it to do quite well (by CW standards) here.

What I said after watching the pilot: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is not without its charms.  It was funnier than most of the sitcoms that started this year (looking at you Dr. Ken), and it almost mocks itself.  Crazy Ex-Girlfriend knows it is bad and ridiculous – it is shooting for a “so bad it is good” show – which is very difficult to do, because sometimes it is just bad.

What actually happened: Not sure, it had the lowest ratings of any show on TV.  I think some cable channels probably would have cancelled it with ratings this low.  But the CW just blanket renewed everything.  Not sure how that is going to work with Supergirl coming over and trying to air new shows.  Maybe they’ll turn the lead into a comic book hero.

What. The. Hell?

A very special category of wrongness.  So wrong that everyone who follows this stuff is left scratching their head wondering what the heck CBS is thinking.

Code Black – Renewed

What I said after watching the trailer: I thought it was a documentary.

What I said after watching the pilot: Code Black does an excellent job of showing the chaos of what a real ER is like with lots of action.  This chaos comes at a cost, however, as the characters are completely lost in the frenzy.  I didn’t care about the doctors at all.  I didn’t care about the patients at all.  If I don’t care about the characters, why should I watch it?

Perhaps over time, you could begin to care about the doctors and perhaps even the patients, but in the meantime, I don’t care enough to stick around.

Limitless – Cancelled

What I said after watching the trailer: This has the hallmarks of a successful show.  Strong cast, interesting premise – both inventive and can be turned into a weekly procedural (he’ll probably start working for the FBI).  No real competition (Chicago Fire and Wicked City [see above]).  However, people quickly turn away from something they don’t understand (can happen easily here).  Fewer and fewer people are watching TV live at 10/9c; if you get over a 2.0 in the timeslot you are working miracles.

What I said after watching the pilot: The TV show does have a couple things going for it.  First, I think that Brian (played by Jake McDorman of Greek) has a much stronger motivation to use the drug – his father is dying and by taking the drug, he might figure out how to save him.  Also, there is a great chemistry between the two leads – they clicked right away.  Finally, I really liked McDorman on Greek; he played a smarmy yet likable character – something that is difficult to pull off.

What actually happened: CBS lost their mind.  In quite possibly the worst decision this season,* Code Black and Limitless switched places in the 2016 schedule.  Limitless got better as the season went along and was easily the best new show of the season.  They did, however, lose viewers throughout.  But it still averaged more viewers than Code Black.  On top of that CBS owns 100% of Limitless and only co-owns Code Black.  That should mean that Limitless is cheaper than Code Black.  It must not, because why on earth would you renew a more expensive show with a lower income.  I really hope this comes back to haunt them.

*It wouldn’t really be a contest except FOX renewed Sleepy Hollow, despite fans being pissed off that they killed off Abbie.  I think Sleepy Hollow ratings will be rival CW ratings next season.

Conclusion

My final predictions: 12-5-3 or about 60-67% (depending on how you count ties).  I don’t think that is terrible.  If you were to look just at my predictions based on the trailers I went 10-6-3 (I didn’t predict Code Black).  I’ll make an up/down prediction on every show next year even if it is just 50.1% or 49.9%.  60% will be my target percentage based on the trailers (I could randomly guess and I should get 50%).  75% will be my target after viewing the pilot.  I don’t know if there are any summer premiers this year, if not you’ll have to put up with some book reviews and Hallmark snark.

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One thought on “Fall 2015: Renewed and Cancelled

  1. For the love of God, no Hallmark snark. That’s the one thing of yours I don’t even bother to read. I just don’t get the fascination.

    Liked by 1 person

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