With the networks getting ready to announce their fall schedules next month viewers will have to prepare themselves for the separation anxiety that comes when shows they’ve been watching for years are put down.
Take “Criminal Minds,” for example. While saner folks ask, “How is this show still ON?,” it keeps going like certain subway lines, year after year. With original cast members like Thomas Gibson gone or about to be gone, the CBS procedural may be headed for the chopping block.
But it is far from alone. Take a look at its fellow “bubble” shows and where they stand.
ABC: Aside from the blazing success of “Roseanne” and the solid performance of stalwarts such as “Modern Family” and “The Goldbergs,” the network is on shifting sands. On the one hand, there is the record-breaking performance of “Grey’s Anatomy,” now, at 15 seasons, the network’s longest-running series; on the other, the clutch of new shows that never caught on.
That would be the Jason Ritter feel-good drama “Kevin Saves the World,” the sci-fi adventure “Inhumans” as well as shaky mid-season replacements “Deception,” the Shonda Rhimes legal procedural “For the People” and “The Crossing.”
More surprising but not out of the question would be the cancellation of Kiefer Sutherland’s futuristic White House drama “Designated Survivor,” which has gone through a parade of show runners and is only pulling a .74 in the coveted 18-to-49 demographic.
“Black*ish” has been made vulnerable by the expected departure of its creator Kenya Barris due to clashes with executives over the direction of the series. With a poor .84 ranking in the 18-to-49 demo, the network could easily cut its losses and Barris could take his well-reviewed comedy to Netflix, as has been rumored.
In any case, expect ABC to announce the greatest amount of new series at the end of May.
FOX: The “Simpsons” network had a good year with three new series — “The Oroville,” “The Gifted” and “9-1-1” — receiving early renewals. That return on its investment gives Fox permission to shed some dead weight.
You can safely say goodbye to “The Exorcist,” still struggling on Friday nights, but maybe there is a pink slip coming for “Gotham,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Last Man on Earth,” well-liked shows that have run their course. Mid-season replacement “LA to Vegas” seems like a goner as well.
CBS: The network has already given renewals to long-running shows such as the “NCIS” franchise and the Chuck Lorre comedies “Big Bang Theory” and “Mom,” so is likely to jettison under-performing comedies such as “Superior Donuts,” “Kevin Can Wait” (which has been plagued by casting problems) and “Man With a Plan,” starring Matt LeBlanc.
The reservoir of good will that surrounds “Instinct” star Alan Cumming will probably save that Sunday night series. New series such as “Young Sheldon,” “SEAL Team” and “S.W.A.T” have also been renewed for second seasons.
NBC: The network has enough high-profile hits in “This Is Us,” “Will & Grace,” “Superstore” and “The Good Place” that it’s easy for forget that not all of the peacock’s feathers are fluffy! Season 2’s episodes of “Taken” have been moved to Friday night. Time to order the coffin for that small-screen adaptation of the Liam Neeson film franchise.
Expect cancellation notices for the struggling comedy “Great News,” the Anne Heche drama “The Brave” and the resurrected “Timeless.” Mindy Kaling’s mid-season comedy “Champions” never got off the ground. Sad.
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