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Renewal Predictions for Revolution, Nashville, Hannibal, The 100, Parenthood, Community, Almost Human and others + A Look at Spring Shows

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Hey everyone.

With the end of the official broadcast season approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to do one more of these. I will start by looking very briefly at the spring shows that have premiered since our last post, then I will look at the renewals and cancellations that have happened since we've last spoken and finally I will update my predictions for the shows still on the bubble, making predictions for all but one show!

A Look at the Spring Entries
Because I am doing this all at once and not network by network, I will just leave here the most recent averages for each category so that you can interpret the relative values for each show:
- CBS Comedy: 2.80
- CBS Drama: 1.90
- ABC Drama: 1.70
- ABC Comedy: 1.70
- FOX Drama: 1.60
- NBC Drama: 1.70
- FOX Comedy: 1.20
- NBC Comedy: 1.10
- CW Drama: 0.60

Tier 2:
- About a Boy

Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Production Company: NBC
Ratings Average: 2.10 (130% considering scripted as a whole, 190% considering comedy only)
While About a Boy hasn't shown any particular signs of mega hit potential, it has been doing an ok job in the easy slot it was given after the voice. While I am certain that the show would do worse if moved away from the voice, how worst is anyone's guess at this point. Does it matter? It will matter next year but for now I don't see comedy-starved NBC not riding the raw numbers to a renewal. The numbers could still drop into ugly retention territory in the next month, but I am saying that's unlikely. About a Boy is likely to be renewed

- Resurrection
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 8
Syndication: No
Production Company: ABC
Ratings Average: 2.70 (160%)
The Sunday in which Ressurection literally ressurected ABC Sundays and did those ridiculously high numbers will probably go down as the most surprising day of the season for me. I don't think many people saw that coming and while there is reason for concern due to the steep downwards trajectory it's been taking, the numbers are still too high (160%!!) for me to think they can fall to an unsustainable level in the 5 episodes it has left. This means that, like About a Boy, there could be some doubts concerning its sustainability next year, but that won't really matter much for now baring a ratings collapse. A likely renewal.

- The 100
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Ratings Average: 0.80 (125%)
It's been a very good season for the CW freshman shows in general but none of them had a premiere number as impressive as The 100, which tied or beat all the other freshman timeslot premieres with the important distinction that it did it in the Spring when viewing levels are considerably lower and that it actually outgrew its lead-in. Week 2 was also promising as the show barely dropped (the 0.7 is misleading as the show did a 0.74, meaning that it was a close to adjusting up as it gets). Then again, The Tomorrow People also started out pretty well and the CW schedule is considerably more filled up now then it was back in the fall. The CW already has 5 shows ready to take midweek slots, in addition to the 3 newbies it usually premieres. Renewing The 100 to throw it on Fridays (which aren't empty either anyway) would be odd. So where does that leave it? I think The 100 needs to continue to overachieve in coming weeks for the cw to go out o their way and pick it up but so far, it's hard to imagine it not doing so. The bubble would be prudent place for it and I do admit that I feel less confident about this one than I do about the others, but I am saying a likely renewal based on raw numbers strenght that might actually prompt the CW to roll with just two newbies or to hold it as spackle.

- Hannibal
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 26
Syndication: Not NBC (Intenational Co-Production)
Ratings Average: 1.20 (70%)
Hanniba's co-production situation makes predicting its fate really hard to do because said fate is contingent on factors which we are not privy to. What an we use to try to predict its renewal then? Well, we can use historical precedent! Last year, Hannibal was renewed at a 70% ratings level that corresponded to a 1.1 in absolute terms (I am ignoring, for these purposes, summer episodes). That's exactly where it its right now (70%), with the added benefit that in absolute terms it actually looks slightly better and that it is not a sophmore show (meaning that it is less prone to fall in coming seasons). I thin the whole notion that Hannibal is cheap has proliferated beyond what is reasonable, but it is undeniable that the show has a financial advantage over the others. So, my reasoning is that if that was enough to save it last year at the same ratings level it is nowadays, it should also be enough to save it now. That's why I am going with a likely renewal for Hannibal.

Tier 3:
- Growing Up Fisher
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Production Company: NBC
Ratings Average: 1.80 (115% considering scripted as a whole, 165% considering comedy only)
While Growing Up Fisher's raw numbers don't look too different from About a Boy and while both shows have shown a similar strenght once we account for the differences in lead-ins, the fact remains that GUF has the lowest raw numbers, meaning that if it comes down to picking one or the other, it's hard not to see NBC picking AAB. Will it come down to picking one or the other? Maybe... It's really hard to tell and that is why GUF has to remain on the bubble for now. Not only I can see its raw numbers dropping to a point in which it is clear it's really no different than Parks were it for the better situation, I can also see NBC wanting to premiere more than 1 comedy next fall, which, assuming AAB and PR are on the schedule, would leave no room for Fisher unless they expand comedy hours which I don't see them doing. A bubble show for now!

Tier 4:
- Crisis
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Production Company: Not NBC
Ratings Average: 1.30 (75%)
Crisis actually showed up some resemblance of promise in both of its Sunday airings so far, growing from its lead-in in both occasions. I happen to think the show had potential to do better in a different situation (a pairing with The Blacklist certainly seems appropriate) and the fact that it grows from its lead-in at 10pm Sundays goes in that direction too. However, 75% is still 75% and when you are a freshman and are only 2 episodes in, that means you are in big trouble. It could have done differently, but facts are what they are. Crisis is likely to be cancelled!

- Mixology
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Production Company: ABC
Ratings Average: 1.40 (80%)
A post Modern Family comedy premiering this late in the season and managing only an 80% ratings level is not a good thing. Mixology does have some things in its favor, such as the fact that it is an ABC production (which has skewed ABC decisions immensely in the past) and that it is quite young skewing. However, the ratings level is still too low for the reach renewal it would require and it may even fall further than that. Mixology is likely to be cancelled.

- Surviving Jack
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season:8
Syndication: No
Production Company: Not FOX
Ratings Average: 1.30 (95% considering FOX scripted as a whole, 110% considering FOX Comedy)
Take the ratings level above with a big grain of salt considering it has only one data point that happens to be the premiere episode of the series, which also tends to be the highest rated episode in freshman runs. While Surviving Jack premiere number is in line with the other FOX comedy numbers it has a number of disadvantages: its number is likely to fall post-premiere; its way more old-skewing than the other FOX comedies and it has the benefit of an American Idol lead-in, meaning that it should be doing better. Surviving Jack is a likely cancellation.

Tier 5:
- Believe
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Production Company: Not NBC
Ratings Average: 1.30 (75%)
Unlike Crisis, there was nothing positive to be said about Believe's timeslot premiere and even less to be said about its second regular week. The number don't look good and the old skew of the show doesn't help it a bit either. Considering there is no evidence that the show has stopped falling either, it's hard to be optimistic. Believe is certain to be cancelled.

- Star-Crossed
Number of Episodes at the End of the Season: 13
Syndication: No
Ratings Average: 0.30 (50%)
In a season where most CW newbies showed at east some initial promise, Star-Crossed is the odd man out considering its a slam drunk cancellation from the get go. The truth of the matter is that the show would probably have done a much better job had it had a fall launch and an established lead-in to prop it up on a less competitive night. Like Enlisted, it feels like the show never had much of a shot, but the truth is that it didn't show enough promise to be tried out in a different position either. It's a certain cancellation.

A Look at Some Decisions
Since we've done this in February, networks have already made some decisions about their shows. While I am proud to say that I haven't gotten any prediction wrong so far, I also have to admit that some renewals concerned shows that I also had on the bubble. I guess a lesson to next year is to try to update this more often to avoid this early surprises, but for now, I thought it was worth taking a look at those cases.

FOX renews The Mindy Project
The good news are that not only did I get the Brooklyn Nine-Nine renewal correct (since November), I also never dowgraded The Mindy Project to a cancellation prediction as many other people did. The bad news is that I did not venture enough to predict its renewal.  It seems pretty clear to me now (even more so than it was last year) that The Mindy Project's streght comes from its 18-34 numbers, where it does well, and not from its 18-49 numbers, where it is weak. I am already working on a way to start incorporating the different skew of shows into predictions for next season, so hopefully this kind of situations can be properly predicted moving forward!

FOX renews The Following
As for The Following, I think it was my lack of confidence in the relative ratings that led me to keep it on the bubble. Sure the show is dropping, but it's still at 95% of FOX drama average which is still perfectly fine for a renewal. I always argue that we should look as little as possible to absolute numbers, but sometimes, even I can't help myself! In addition, I think I was being overly cautious here because even though I felt that The Following was probably coming back, I wanted to wait to see more numbers.

The CW renews Reign
Again, the good news are that Reign was always a tossup for me. The bad news are that I failed to predict its renewal in due time. I think there are two points here: 1) The young skew, which much like in The Mindy Project's case, makes it a far stronger show than the 18-49 numbers indicate and 2) Its relative ratings are now much stronger (100%!!) than they were back when we looked at it, meaning that while all the CW shows came down a few notches, Reign kept its raw numbers, thus making it stronger. With 100%, the renewal prognosis really wasn't hard and I think this was simply a case of me not updating my prediction often enough. This being said, I am not sure if I would have predicted its renewal before seeing how The 100 would have done (considering I still don't know how everything will fit in the schedule), so there's that too.

CBS renews Mom and Two and a Half Men
I am starting to sound repetitive but the good news is that I never predicted cancellation for any of these two comedies. The bad news are that I did not predict their renewals in time either. Two and a Half Men is a very easy one to explain though as it was simply a matter of not updating the predictions often enough (much like Reign). Once the show moved up to 9 pm, it became clear that it was still strong enough for another season and, coincidentally, CBS renewed it shortly after. Mom is a harder case on a first look because its numbers aren't that attractive but it also happens to be aided by an young skew in the land of extremely old-skew that is CBS. In addition, Mom also has the toughest situation schedule wise of all CBS comedies, which cuts its some slack. I am not sure if you will believe me or not and I can't really prove it, but I had moved both shows to likely renewal in my book. Clearly another case of me needing to update more often, as well as needing to consider the skew of shows (in Mom's case) more strongly.

However, not everything was bad on my part. Putting aside the easy predictions (TBBT was always a likely renewal!), I did correctly forecast:
  • CBS renews The Good Wife
  • CBS renews Blue Bloods
  • NBC renews Chicago PD
  • FOX renews Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • The Crazy Ones does not get an early renewal
  • The Mentalist does not get an early renewal
  • The Tomorrow People does not get an early renewal

Forecasts for the Bubble Shows
While the next 5 shows are still very much what I would call bubble shows, at some point it comes down to making a prediction to one side or the other so that's what I will be doing now. As I will be explaining, these are shows whose subsequent ratings are unlikely to significantly alter their position within their network's context, so I don't think I will be loosing a significant degree of information by making the predictions now instead of one month from now. Nevertheless, while I will bump these shows together with all the other predictions in the tracking table, keep in mind that my degree of confidence for these is lower than for the others (hence the bubble shows part). Without furhter ado, let's do this.

Nashville is arguably one of the biggest bubble shows from the season as it really feels that it could go either way. However, considering that it has barely moved from its 80% ratings level all season long, I don't expect that to change significantly in the ~1.5 months we have left, so I've decided to make a call on its fate anyway. While Ressurection's shocking success undeniably hurt its chances, I still think that the show's young skew, together with the fact that we've had 6 six (!!!!) ABC dramas this year going sub 1.0 mean that ABC will keep it in some capacity. Maybe it doesn't have a fall placement as is held as spackle, but one way or the other, I think it comes back. I am therefore declaring Nashville more likely to be renewed than cancelled!

    Revolution has seen its usual 85% ratings level from the fall turning into a 75% ratings level in the Spring. While it still has 5 episodes remaining to recover, the 85% was already a bubble level to begin with (not to mention that the effects of DST should only get worse in April). In addition, Parenthood appears to be improving and with Chicago PD already renewed and NBC not showing any signs of reducing its comedy hours, its hard to see the need for Revolution in NBC fall schedule. There is always that Friday option I suppose, but I am not sure moving a 1.2 show to Friday at this point would be wise when they can just get cheap co-productions or Dateline to do basically the same job. It pains me to write these words because I adore the show, but Revolution is now likely to be cancelled.

    Parenthood is like Nashville in the sense that I will probably won't get more information than what I have now, so I might as well make the call with the information that I do have. With its recent ratings on the upswing and with the failure of Crisis and Believe, things look brighter now for Parenthood than they did back in the fall. The ratings level is still pretty low though but, at this point, I have to believe that NBC will want a returning utility player to plug somewhere, even if it is for a short season at midseason only (even if NBC drama failures haven't been as colossal as ABC's). In addition, also like Nashville, Parenthood is a stronger show than it looks, considering it has favorable 18-34 numbers when compared with, let's say, Revolution. Call it the Nashville logic if you want, but I am saying Parenthood is likely to be renewed.

    Almost Human has been left out of FOX's early renewals wave. While it sees unfair considering that its ratings level is pretty much equal to The Following, it gets a bit less leeway considering its a freshman and thus more prone to fall. While there are a few reasons to think it could be back (FOX wanting spackle options, FOX still showing reruns of the show every Saturday), the overwhelming evidence is that FOX is done with the show. I could keep it on the bubble for a while longer but the truth is that there will be no more evidence for me to go one way or the other considering its season is over. Therefore, while it wouldn't shock me one bit to see a renewal, I am saying likely cancellation based on how FOX has been acting.

    Community is another Nashville: true bubble show that could go one way or the other without surprises. Still, much like Nashville (or Parenthood) I don't think future ratings will be helpful to make a call. Maybe I a biased by the fact that young skew has influenced so many of the latest renewals (including Parks and Recreation early renewal) but Community has a powerful advantage in 18-34s and has also syndication economies on its side. If NBC cancels GUF and places Parks in the fall with AAB and two new comedies, it's hard not to imagine them wanting old reliable Community on the bench to hit the 100 episodes mark for syndication at the same time. It could get cancelled, but I am saying six seasons and movie. A likely renewal

    This leaves our bubble section with exactly 1 show: Growing Up Fisher!

    Thanks for reading!

    Tracking Table

    Previous Articles:
    ABC Fantasy Schedule
    State of CBS and NBC Comedies
    State of ABC and FOX Comedies
    State of FOX and NBC Dramas
    State of CW Dramas
    State of CBS Dramas
    State of ABC Dramas
    ABC Sundays
    Renewals and Cancellations Decisions and TV Numbers 101 [FAQ]

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