The networks have given early renewals to freshman series including “God Friended Me,” “Magnum P.I.,” “The Neighborhood” and “FBI” (CBS) and “New Amsterdam” and “A Million Little Things” on NBC and ABC, respectively.
The CW has picked up nearly its entire lineup (no surprise there).
With a couple of months to go before the networks shut down production, executives will start deciding which programs will go by the wayside in May, when new fall lineups are announced. We now live in an era where the exits of veteran series that have run their course such as “Criminal Minds” (CBS) and “Modern Family” (ABC) are announced a full year in advance as a way to honor both the employees of those shows and the fans who stuck by them all these years.
Other programs will not be as fortunate.
On The CW, “All American,” a noble effort to imbue a teenage soap with some gravitas by sending an African-American football star from South Central LA to a high-school in Beverly Hills, has one of the lowest scores in the ratings — a dire 0.24 in the 18-to-49 demo. Time to clean out the locker, quarterback.
On ABC, two new series, the sitcom “Splitting Up Together” and the procedural “The Rookie,” are in the same sad boat, scraping the bottom with ratings below 0.8 in the demo. What’s the point? Also heading south is the Viola Davis vehicle “How To Get Away With Murder.” With executive producer Shonda Rhimes developing new programs at Netflix, don’t expect any network loyalty there.
On NBC, two aging crime procedurals, “Blindspot” and “The Blacklist” seem destined for the TV graveyard. “Blindspot,” in particular, is doing really poorly with a 0.48 in the demo.
CBS has had a great year, as usual, and will bid goodbye to its most successful sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory,” after 12 years. Its weakest link seems to be the Sunday-night drama “Madam Secretary,” which is faltering in the demo with a desperate 0.6. The network may decide to move the Tea Leoni show to Friday nights, where the pressure is off and expectations are low. The cancellations of disappointments such as “Murphy Brown” and “Happy Together” probably will not be announced until May.
It would be shocking if either of these shows returned in the fall.