Friday, May 6, 2016

Bubble Watch 2016: Which Shows Will Be Renewed or Canceled?
It's nail-biting time for many broadcast shows that haven't received good or bad news regarding next season from networks yet. Over the next few weeks, the Big Four will get out the red ink and make their final axings before piecing together the 2016-2017 schedule, but until then, we get to make guesses at which stand a chance for more episodes and which will sit in a scrap heap next to Work It and Alcatraz. We've picked 10 series that are either of interest to our readers or have interesting situations, and made our guesses about their fates. 
THE SITUATION: I'm gonna be honest with you. Things do not look good for Marvel's Agent Carter. At all. In fact, the best thing going for the show's renewal chances is the "Marvel's" in the title. Hayley Atwell may have won over the favor of critics as the admirable lead in this somewhat adjacent series to the larger and more popular franchises from the comic company, but that didn't translate into good, or even mediocre, ratings. The Season 2 finale bucked the trend of season finales being a ratings boost, and it scored the series' lowest ratings ever with 2.35 million viewers and a 0.7 rating among the 18-to-49 demographic. Compare that to the show it fills in for—Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—which did a not-too-impressive 3.52 million viewers and a 1.1 rating a week later, and Agent Carter's numbers look even worse. ABC is currently developing Marvel's Most Wanted, a spin-off of S.H.I.E.L.D. centered on Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) and Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki), which could also be used as a hole-filler while S.H.I.E.L.D. goes on winter vacation... if, and probably when, Agent Cartersays bye-bye. 

THE SITUATION: Sleepy Hollow has become both sleepy and hollow since its fun first season, and the surprising killing-off of Abbie (Nicole Beharie) in the Season 3 finale left the series in an awkward position. How can the show continue without half of its key pairing? It's done, right? Well, not really. In all the post-mortems after the Season 3 finale shocker, all conversations indicated that Fox wanted to continue on with the show even without Abbie. We're not here to debate if it should go on or not, just to say whether it is or not. And if Fox says it's going forward, then it's going forward. 
Limitless (CBS)

THE SITUATION: Limitless has a lot of the same issues that Supergirl does. It's the exact kind of show CBS needs to transition to a younger audience yet still stay CBS-y because it skews young and features a familiar (albeit less familiar than Supergirl) brand. Plus it's a fun procedural that is entirely aware that it's a procedural and makes fun of the genre while also being a procedural. If that's not what CBS wants, then I don't know what they're after. It also has the support of being a CBS Studios show. But is it enough? Does CBS want another Elementary on its hands? The numbers aren't as good as Supergirl's numbers, either. How much does CBS want to stay friends with Bradley Cooper?
Nashville (ABC)
THE SITUATION: When your network renews 15 shows and your aren't one of them, you better be looking over your shoulder. The eroding ratings were expected, but despite the downward trend, the ratings aren't as bad as they could be. However, now that the Connie Britton drama has gone sub-1.0 and is routinely finishing in last place in its time slot behind a pair of procedurals, who knows how much patience ABC will have with it. And like most primetime soaps, the heat once provided from the on-stage performances and sizzling romances is now a dull glow as Nashville has run out of romantic permutations (and the songs pale in comparison to what they used to be). However, another season would push the total episode count over 100, which used to be a much bigger deal than it is now, but still holds some sway when syndication is taken into account. The fact that it's an ABC Studios show will help as well, since Disney-ABC can reap all the profits and that's all they care about. All that said, production issues regarding the show's filming location of Nashville because of a recent anti-LGBT Tennessee bill might be an x factor that has a bigger impact on ABC's decision than anything else. No one wants to pack this show up and move it somewhere else.
Supergirl (CBS)

THE SITUATION: I don't know why Supergirl hasn't gotten a second season yet, honestly. Sure, the overnight ratings are far down from the premiere's monster numbers, and a 6.11 million viewers and 1.3 rating for the Season 1 finale weren't that great, especially for CBS. But Supergirl is everything CBS wants it to be; it skews younger, it gets into the superhero trend, and it has a star in the making in Melissa Benoist. Warner Bros. will do what it needs to do to sweeten the deal to keep this on the air, and CBS will see the value of keeping Supergirl around. In fact, CBS has probably already renewed this but wants to have something to say at its Upfront presentation later this month. 

THE SITUATION: The best network show that no one watches or talks about or even knows exists turned in a fantastic second season of incredibly heavy and moody drama. Okay, so maybe heavy, moody dramas aren't what people really want to use to escape while watching TV and this would have been better served on a cable network (get rid of those annoying mutes when characters swear), but ABC wanted some awards. And that will likely determine the show's future. Does ABC want some trophies badly enough to fill a schedule spot with a underperforming drama? Probably not anymore. Further spelling the show's doom is the fact that show creator John Ridley took ABC up on a new pilot called PresenceVariety said it was an either/or decision. 
The Grinder (Fox)

THE SITUATION: The Grinder is one of the lowest-rated, if not the absolute lowest-rated, new show on the air right now and really has no business being on the air since it disappointed essentially from day one. But Fox didn't cancel it. Is it because of the power of Rob Lowe? Is it because I called it my favorite new network comedy? Is it because someone at Fox said, "What if we canceled The Grinder... but what if we didn't?" Whatever the reason, The Grinder grinds on, possibly because it's a 20th Century Fox Studios show. And word on the street is that this isn't quite the sure-fire goner you'd expect. 
The Catch (ABC)

THE SITUATION: With the name Shonda Rhimes attached to it and a potential breakout star in Mireille Enos (does starring in The Killing really count?), The Catch seemed like a sure thing to run for something like 24 seasons. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank... it kind of sucked. Planted on Shondaland Thursdays as a replacement for How To Get Away With Murdering SomeoneThe Catch may be a sign of Shonda fatigue, or it may just be a sign that it isn't that good. Last week, Grey's opened the night with a 2.0 rating in the 18-to-49 demo, Scandal followed that with a 1.6, and The Catchlimped in behind with a 1.0. That's well below the satisfactory 1.4 that How to Not Get Caught Murdering did in its last episode. You can apply all this and then some to ABC's other new saucy drama The Family

THE SITUATION: The situation here is that I hardly had any idea this show was still on the air. MomCop/CopMom is a steady, if silent, performer for NBC on Wednesday nights. That's a victory in this day and age, and despite the fact that it likely won't do better than the just-north-of-1.0 ratings that it's been doing, it's probably better than whatever NBC has in development. Plus, Debra Messing! 

THE SITUATION: Why, oh why isn't this long-running series renewed yet? The Season 11 finale notched a 1.8 rating in the 18-to-49 demo, which is fantastic especially when you consider it's going up against heavy hitters Empire and Modern Family. With veteran series, especially shows with healthy casts that have been on for this long, contracts and licensing are usually the issue, and we suspect that's what the hold up is here. We hear the issue with Criminal Minds is negotiations between its co-producers, CBS and ABC. This will get fixed soon.

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