The new TV season doesn’t officially begin until next Monday (September 19th) but I’m publishing my annual cancellation prediction post today so we can start discussing right away. I’m also adding a poll for the first time. Cast your vote for the first cancellation of the 2016-2017 season:
[The poll has been closed. The results can be found below.]
I’m having a hard time making a prediction this season. In this brave new world of Peak TV there’s just no way to know how the networks will react to low ratings.
When Will We Know?
Last season, we had to wait until mid-November before ABC cancelled Wicked City. Back in 2014, ABC waited until late October to cancel Manhattan Love Story. I wonder how long it will take this fall before the season’s first new obscurity is born.
Here’s a look at the first cancellation from the past seven seasons, with the cancellation date in brackets:
2009-2010 – The Beautiful Life: TBL (The CW, 2 episodes) [9/25]
2010-2011 – Lonestar (FOX, 2 episodes) [9/28]
2011-2012 – The Playboy Club (NBC, 3 episodes) [10/4]
2012-2013 – Made in Jersey (CBS, 2 episodes) [10/10]
2013-2014 – Lucky 7 (ABC, 2 episodes) [10/4]
2014-2015 – Manhattan Love Story (ABC, 4 episodes) [10/24]
2015-2016 – Wicked City (ABC, 3 episodes) [11/13]
Will ABC make it four in a row this season?
Late Premieres (Probably) Safe
Quite a few new fall shows are premiering late this season. As usual, The CW is waiting until October to roll out its new and returning shows. No Tomorrow debuts October 4th; Frequency premieres on October 5th.
ABC and NBC also have a few shows making their debuts in early October. Conviction on ABC and Timeless on NBC premiere October 3rd; ABC’s American Housewife premieres October 11th.
Due to Thursday Night Football, two new CBS shows won’t debut until late October, more than a month after the start of the new season. Man with a Plan will debut on October 24th while The Great Indoors and Pure Genius premiere October 27th.
A late premiere isn’t a guarantee of survival but it seems highly unlikely that either Man with a Plan or Pure Genius will be the first cancellation of the season. That said, I honestly hadn’t heard of Pure Genius before writing this post. Whether that means something or nothing I can’t say.
Some Thoughts on Failure
I’m not very invested in this season. I’m not paying as close attention as I have in the past. I’m really only excited by a handful of shows (namely Frequency on The CW because I’m a huge fan of the movie). But here are some random thoughts:
- Lethal Weapon (FOX) and MacGyver (CBS) seem destined for failure at some point. Probably The Exorcist (FOX) as well. Reboots and TV shows based on movies are risky. However, both MacGyver and The Exorcist air on Friday so the stakes aren’t quite so high.
- Son of Zorn (FOX) faces an uphill battle to attract viewers but FOX may be willing to give it time to find an audience (after all, low-rated The Last Man on Earth is still on the air).
- Notorious (ABC) looks very generic to me and may lose too much of it’s Grey’s Anatomy lead-in. If it hurts How to Get Away With Murder at 10PM, ABC may be quick to remove it.
- I’m planning on watching The Good Place even though I don’t know how the concept can be sustained. NBC will probably stick by it for a while no matter how low the ratings go.
- FOX has so much riding on Pitch it would have to bomb spectacularly to be the first cancellation of the season.
- Frequency and No Tomorrow (The CW) are probably both safe by virtue of being on The CW. They premiere a little later and The CW has much lower expectations.
My Guess: I have to go with ABC’s Notorious. It’s in a tough time slot and doesn’t have the star power or high concept of Designated Survivor, one of ABC’s other new dramas.
Hit the comments with your predictions.