Let’s Predict the First Cancellation of the 2016-2017 Season

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.]

Chart showing results of the poll asking visitors to pick the first cancellation of the 2016-2017 TV season.
First Cancellation of the 2016-2017 TV Season Results

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:

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

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22 Replies to “Let’s Predict the First Cancellation of the 2016-2017 Season”

  1. I’m going to be the first one to chime in. My choice is American Housewife and there are 2 good reasons: [1]For the last 3 years, the first show to die was a Tuesday night show on ABC, This show is stuck opposite NCIS on CBS, The Voice on NBC, and New Girl on Fox, all of which have loyal fans who won’t switch. [2]Even in a good time slot, no one wants to watch a show with Katy Mixon, clearly the worst performer on Mike & Molly.

    1. disagree , i like Katy mixon and her show is nestle in the middle of the middle, Oneals, amd fresh off the boat all thre like minded comedys. So go or bad the show is probably safe in that bunch counter programming to the NCIS shows on CBS, and New girl Ain’t so new anymore I stopped watching 2 season ago, but i will tune in for Brooklyn 99 if i only watch 1 of the fox shows on that night. Abc has gone all 30 min sitcom ove noticed over 3 nights of the week. WTF is last man standing still on I hated that show from the get go and Tim Allen, but it keeps getting renewed like cancer that keeps coming back

      1. Looks like I was wrong about American Housewife. It now has a full season pickup, so I have to throw in the towel. Robert may be right about Notorious. Even though ABC has been advertising it as a hit, the order has been cut from 13 episodes to 10.

  2. The Son Of Zorn preview didn’t attract a large audience, and reviews have been mixed. I think it’s going to be yanked first.

  3. The TV version of “Exorcist” will probably be the first broadcast-network cancellation, in part because it airs on little-viewed Friday night.

    If it were in a mid-week slot, it might have lasted the season if it were to face weak competition (i.e. not broadcast on ultra-competitive Thursday nights)

  4. Networks are much slower lately to cancel anything outright no matter how badly it’s doing. They’re more inclined just to shorten seasons. Last year I don’t think there were even five shows cancelled before Christmas.

    Pitch will fail, even if it’s not the first show cancelled. Women aren’t into baseball and men see it as a chick show. They just don’t have an audience. It wasn’t the lowest rated show on FOX this week, but that probably had a lot to do with people just checking it out after all the heavy promotion.

  5. Looking at the Cancellation Bear tweets, it seems it will either be ABC’s Notorious or FOX’s Pitch. Pitch’s ratings are worse, but FOX is also a little slower to cancel shows. Superstore isn’t looking too well either, but NBC has a habit lately of running shows for a few months before dropping them. I think next week could see the first cancellation.

  6. “CONVICTION” is a dull show with no buzz which has been forgotten by a lot of people including our moderator. It’s definitely on the fast track to be the first cancelled this season.
    It doesn’t help that Marvel fans are still upset with the cancellation of Haley Atwell’s previous series “AGENT CARTER”.

  7. We’re now in Week 5 of the 2016-2017 season. No cancellations yet but several new shows have been picked up for a full season. CBS picked up MacGyver, Bull, and Kevin Can Wait. ABC picked up Speechless and Designated Survivor. FOX is calling its 18-episode order for Lethal Weapon a full season. The same goes for NBC and This Is Us.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime in the next few weeks ABC pulls either Notorious or Conviction.

    Frequency and No Tomorrow are performing terribly for The CW but I don’t think the network has any replacements.

  8. Hate most of the comedies I like No tomorrow I like conviction I don’t like Kevin can wait or notorious like Designated Survivor and frequency don’t like speechless or Lethal Weapon don’t like Superstore or pitch haven’t formed an opinion on Exorcist they can take man with a plan son of Zorn and Brooklyn 99.

    1. Technically, ABC is insisting Conviction (like Notorious) hasn’t been officially cancelled. No additional episodes will be ordered for Season 1 but the network has the option to renew the show for Season 2.

      1. Well Mike, you can finally mark off both Conviction and Notorious. ABC finally dropped the other shoe this week. Notorious still claims second place in this contest since it ended an hour after Pitch.

  9. I think, because its episode order was cut from 13 to 10, “Notorious” on ABC will be the first cancellation of the fall season.

  10. It’s December 6th, and we still don’t have a cancelled series. However, it looks as if we have a dead heat for the first terminated series of the season. Both ABC’s “Notorious” and Fox’s “Pitch” will run what their respective networks are calling their “season finales” Thursday night at 9. Really, any time a series gets a 13 episode order and the network doesn’t fulfill it, that’s a cancellation plain and simple. I hope one of these 2 networks will finally give these shows the dignity of closure.

    1. Addendum to last post: ABC has pushed the final [and it is final, no BS] episode of “Notorious” to 10 PM. Therefore, we can tentatively declare “Pitch” the first casualty of the fall season. FOX hasn’t made an announcement, but really this has to be the most disappointing fall season ever. Out of all the series listed above, the only one which has not fallen flat already is “The Good Place”; and NBC isn’t even excited anymore!! BTW, I’m referring to creativity, not ratings. Just because a show has been picked up for a back 9 doesn’t mean it’s a good show [talking to you, CBS sitcoms] !!

  11. We have a winner for the first TV series to be “officially cancelled by a network.”

    CBS has cancelled and removed DOUBT after two episodes.

      1. Looks like I was beaten to the punch. I was going to proudly announce that 5 months after its last broadcast, “Pitch” FINALLY became the first FALL series to be cancelled. [“Doubt” doesn’t count because [a] it wasn’t a fall series and [b] it aired 2 months after “Pitch” was sent to the showers.] Second place will proably go to “Notorious”, which ended an hour later. Although ABC has not cancelled it, it has been deleted from the network’s website.

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