It’s crunch time at the networks, as they take stock of their current crop of shows and map out their needs and plans for fall.
The bubble will burst for a slew of skeins, likely including first-year comedies fronted by Michael J. Fox, Sean Hayes and Rebel Wilson. While these all disappointed in the ratings, Robin Williams’ CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones” has fared better, but is among the tougher prospective renewal calls for any net.
Star power can help launch a show, but in the end, a network must decide whether the series has enough potential for growth, and makes proper financial sense, to bring it back.
“Crazy Ones” is the highest-profile attempt at single-camera comedy by CBS, whose eight-laffer roster is otherwise all multicams. The net wants to keep its toe in the single-cam pool, and figures to give “Crazy,” which usually has ranked second or third in its timeslot, a longer look.
The net’s two multicam rookies from this season, “Mom” and “The Millers,” have done well enough to return next season, and the net also figures to bring back “Two and a Half Men” for what would be its 12th season. (A recent timeslot flip of “Crazy Ones” and “Men” fared well, and increased the renewal odds for both.)
Underperforming rookie dramas “Hostages” and “Intelligence” aren’t expected back, so all the net’s veteran hours may return, with “The Mentalist” probably on the shakiest ground.
At ABC, “The Goldbergs” is a lock to return for a second season, but the odds are very long for Wilson laffer “Super Fun Night.” “Trophy Wife” has struggled, but it could pull a “Happy Endings” and stick around longer than one might think.
As for other half-hours, third-year “Suburgatory” and (especially) soph “The Neighbors” could be on the chopping block, but Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” should return for season four.
ABC may be inclined to keep “Revenge” and “Nashville” since the net’s numerous rookie dramas (save “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”) have struggled mightily.
On the reality front, the down-trending “Dancing With the Stars” certainly isn’t a lock to return in the fall, but it could strengthen its case for renewal with stronger ratings for its upcoming spring edition.
NBC won’t renew “The Michael J. Fox Show” or “Sean Saves the World,” but “Parks and Recreation” is all but sure to return, and “Community” could survive again too. It’s too early to tell on “About a Boy” and “Growing Up Fisher.”
Among dramas, “Chicago PD” is certain to return, joining “The Blacklist” and “Chicago Fire.” The success of these might squeeze out “Parenthood” and “Revolution,” though the latter two could make good backup shows if they don’t make the cut. And as a London co-production, “Dracula” may still be economically viable as a Friday show.
Fox is readying for a fall when it needs to fill three additional hours occupied in recent years by “The X-Factor.” This could tilt the odds in favor of a borderline show like “Almost Human,” which has done OK and would seem to have growth potential, but it won’t save “Rake,” which never clicked with auds.
The net late last week renewed four series, including bubble shows “The Mindy Project” and Kevin Bacon-fronted “The Following,” the latter of which has fallen off in its second season.
Fox on Monday announced that fourth-year laffer “Raising Hope” will end its run next month. It was closing in on the syndication-friendly 100-episode mark, but in the end its ratings were just too weak to justify a renewal.
At CW, rookies “The Tomorrow People” and “Star-Crossed” haven’t stood out, but one could return. As for its other shows, “The Carrie Diaries” probably has more upside than “Beauty and the Beast” or “Hart of Dixie.”