Let’s Predict the First Cancellation of the 2017-2018 Season

The 2017-2018 television season starts tomorrow. It will run through next May. As I have every year since 2009, I’m asking readers to look over the network schedules and make their prediction for which new fall show will be cancelled first. Last season, the networks went out of their way to avoid cancellation talk. Not a single new fall series was yanked off the air due to low ratings.

A number of new shows–like Pitch (FOX), Pure Genius (CBS), and Conviction (ABC)–weren’t picked up for the remainder of the season. They clearly weren’t going to return this season, either. But they remained where they were until all produced episodes had aired. Official cancellation announcements were made in May.

Incredibly, last season’s first cancellation didn’t come until February 24, 2017. That’s when CBS pulled its mid-season replacement Doubt off the air after just two episodes. The network later burned off the remaining 11 episodes during the summer.

Cast Your Vote

More than 250 visitors voted in last year’s “First Cancellation” poll. Let’s see if we can beat that total this year. Cast your vote for the first cancellation of the 2017-2018 season now:

What will be the first cancellation of the 2017-2018 season?


NOTE: I’m not including NBC’s Will & Grace revival because A) it’s a revival, not a new series; and B) NBC already renewed it for next season.

First Cancellations, 2009-2017

Here’s a look at the first cancellation from the past eight seasons, with the cancellation date in brackets:

2009-2010The Beautiful Life: TBL (The CW, 2 episodes) [9/25/2009]
2010-2011Lonestar (FOX, 2 episodes) [9/28/2010]
2011-2012The Playboy Club (NBC, 3 episodes) [10/4/2014]
2012-2013Made in Jersey (CBS, 2 episodes) [10/10/2014]
2013-2014Lucky 7 (ABC, 2 episodes) [10/4/2014]
2014-2015Manhattan Love Story (ABC, 4 episodes) [10/24/2014]
2015-2016Wicked City (ABC, 3 episodes) [11/13/2015]
2016-2017Doubt* (CBS, 2 episodes) [2/24/2017]

*If you want to get technical, Pitch (FOX) became the first fall series cancellation from the 2016-2017 season on May 1, 2017.

Another Quiet Fall?

As was the case last year, I’m not paying close attention to network television this fall. I’m excited about The Gifted on FOX and that’s about it. I can’t even make a good prediction about which new show may be the first cancellation. I’ve seen a handful of promotional spots for Dynasty (The CW) and it looks truly awful. Of course, I’m not the target demographic. The CW plays by its own rules. Traditional ratings aren’t everything. Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS) hasn’t impressed critics, from what little I’ve read. But it airs on Sundays, when CBS has in the past tolerated low ratings for its dramas.

I won’t be surprised at all if the networks once again refuse to make any early cancellations this fall. Instead, new shows with weak ratings may have their orders trimmed, producing ten episodes instead of the traditional 13. But all of those episodes will probably air.

Or maybe one of the new shows this fall will perform so badly in the ratings, there will be no choice but to cancel it. We’ll just have to wait and see.


What do you think will be the first cancellation of the 2017-2018 season? Hit the comments with your thoughts and predictions.


18 Comments

  • charles perry says:

    Well, I’m glad you gave Doubt an asterick.. Remember, the name of the game was the first FALL cancelation and Doubt was a midseason replacement [and BTW the best series that didn’t get a second season]. Let’s hope at least this year someone will have the guts to cancel a BAD show!!

  • charles perry says:

    One more thing: I’m putting my money on Inhumans for 3 reasons: [1] It’s on Friday at 9 which is a loser slot. [2] Its lead-in is Once Upon A Time, which lost all of its big stars and has already been in decline. [3] Be honest: are you really looking forward to another superhero show, particularly one with a giant clone of Hooch?

  • charles perry says:

    Really. a webmaster should monitor this board. The preceding post has nothing to do with the topic whatsoever. I know if it were a spam message it would already be deleted.

  • michaels says:

    I wonder if we should change this from first cancelled to first removed from schedule. There are reasons for a decrease of cancellations in fall. The fall is full of live TV from sports to reality so it makes November a terrible place to debut a new series. The networks program 12 months a year so even bad original shows are better than reruns of another show. Most shows are produced by the network itself, giving the nets a reason to air all episodes produced.

    It would not surprise me to see an established series such as BLINDSPOT or THE EXORCIST go first.

    My pick was THE GOOD DOCTOR from Sony and ABC for ABC that should experience a huge drop in ratings from its lead-in DANCE WITH THE STARS and is opposite CBS’ strong SCORPION and NBC’s new military drama THE BRAVE.

  • Patrick McNamara says:

    They’re already saying that Inhumans is going to be a “limited run” series. So it will run for 8 or 10 episodes and that’s it. But it seemed like they almost planned it to be a limited run show to begin with.

    Networks aren’t cancelling shows they way they use to. Most shows that use to just get pulled in the past are getting at least half a season and cancellations aren’t being announced until the spring. They’re even bringing back old shows. Shows aren’t being cancelled anymore as just coming to an end. It’s not so much a case now of “if it does badly we’ll cancel it” but rather “if does well we’ll renew it.”

    • charles perry says:

      I’ll assume you’re right about the limited aspect of Inhumans, but until ABC says definitely the show is over I’m guessing it won’t count. Likewise, L&OTC is limited in that the Menrndez case will end, but NBC might pull an ACS and announce another season. If we limit ourselves to long-form shows, then my choice will be Kevin [Probably] Saves the World, since [1] ABC always has bad luck in that time slot [see Lucky 7 & Wicked City] [2] it’s up against L&OTC and NCIS:NO and [3] no one really knows just what this show is, not even ABC.

  • Neville Ross says:

    IMHO, I see a chance that The Inhumans will actually succeed-I saw the first episode in IMAX at a movie theater and thought that it was well written and fast-paced, and worked even without the connection to the Fantastic Four. To me, people are being full of &[email protected]# about this show because it doesn’t seem ‘enough’ to them the same way they felt about Iron Fist. Maybe it should be on Netflix like Iron Fist.

  • Bill says:

    “10 Days In The Valley” had an absolutely lousy debut in the ratings its opening night (October 1). I predict it will be pulled by the end of October.

  • PB says:

    NBC’s “The Brave” because there’s no buzz and the network barely promotes it.
    You can remove “The Good Doctor” from the list.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/good-doctor-lands-full-season-order-at-abc-1045384

  • michaels says:

    SEAL TEAM has been picked up for a full season.

    Does this count? NBC just cancelled summer series NIGHT SHIFT.

    • charles says:

      No, the headline says fall series and Night Shift was always a summer fill-in.

      • michaels says:

        Actually the headline says first cancellation of the season – nothing about limiting it to new series. I even commented earlier I felt a returning series would go before a new series.

  • charles says:

    Well, if you check the ballot, Night Shift isn’t on it, ergo it’s not eligible. Also, the last broadcast was before Labor Day, so it was NEVER a fall series. You’re right in your prediction about returning series, but now you’re splitting hairs over what constitutes a fall cancellation.

  • michaels says:

    Actually I am trying to make a point. How networks schedule TV has change. It is a year round season as opposed to fall, midseason, third season and summer. We still can do this this way, and the media that likes to keep it simple loves to use the meaningless terms. But there are hundreds of networks not just four and CW and even the Big 4 networks hold back much of their new season’s best series for midseason. Does September even matter that much? When the big Four are debuting shows into November does the fall season even have a starting line? Shall we do this for the midseason or summer series?
    I am not trolling but asking a question many of us TV critics/historians are asking. Is September the same now that the new series I am waiting on won’t start until after January?

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