Bubble Watch correctly forecasted Reign's renewal.
The CW stays hip and edgy… by renewing their hits early like clockwork
Reign, Arrow, The Originals, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries were all renewed by The CW this week. The only borderline surprise was that Reign would get an early renewal, but The CW tipped their hand when they let Reign keep The Vampire Diaries lead-in for the entire season.
Those jumping to make assumptions about the rest of The CW’s shows shouldn’t. Despite only airing 10 hours per week (and therefore renewing literally half their schedule), The CW’s schedule is still the most fluid of them all going into pilot season. On one extreme, the traditional three new shows in Fall, an effectively airing-in-Fall America’s Next Top Model, and a standard-22-episodes-for-syndication renewal of Hart of Dixie would mean The CW would be done with renewals for the season. On the other extreme, a scheduled-for-Summer ANTM, a Hart of Dixie that does so disastrously on Fridays this Spring that it gets a partial or no Season 4 order, and a pilot crop that turns out so poorly The CW only airs two new shows in Fall would mean The CW would renew three or more of The 100, Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People, and The Carrie Diaries. It is just too early to say with any certainty, though at this point I believe Hart of Dixie gets a normal episode count renewal and The CW renews one other show, probably The 100.
While I find most of the CBS vs. WB at The CW theories to be overstated (the internal division of the schedule only seems to matter as an extreme tie-breaker), it is worth pointing out that Reign was the only CBS show out of the five renewed. Those who are wondering “Isn’t Reign just this year’s Beauty and the Beast, getting good but not great numbers after The Vampire Diaries, losing that lead-in for Season 2, and collapsing to the point where an effectively two season renewal is ruled out?”… stop using next year’s material already!
CBS Shuffles the Thursday Disappointments
CBS is swapping The Crazy Ones and Two and a Half Men after The Olympics. I think there are two goals here. The first is to simply improve the raw ratings of the night (I don’t think Elementary will fall much further regardless of what comedy is the lead-in). The second is that (in my opinion) the only way Two and a Half Men is renewable at anything approaching its current price tag is as an anchor for an hour, and CBS needs some data points before they can even think about making that renewal.
(I’ve also seen it mentioned that this will help Bad Teacher, taking over once The Crazy Ones runs through its episodes in late April. Personally, that doesn’t pass the smell test, as there is no reason to expect Two and a Half Men will jump up to be a better lead-in than The Millers).
While I said last week that I don’t predict the competition will change their scheduling much due to Thursday Night Football games airing on CBS (sure, there’s some audience that will watch a terrible, say, Cleveland -Jacksonville game just because it is on broadcast vs. whatever airs on Fox, but I don’t see any good way to model what audience that would be), the network most likely to change their scheduling due to TNF is actually CBS. There’s no reason for CBS to shuffle around The Big Bang Theory to promote two nights of existing shows, especially comedies as mediocrely rated as most of their lineup, and with The Millers all but guaranteed to get one more try (in an undoubtedly rougher timeslot) next year, at least one of Mom and The Crazy Ones will get the axe to make room for new shows.
I would point out that in a strictly head-to-head sense, The Crazy Ones was winning between the two of them. Its average for the season is almost two tenths higher than Mom’s, and of the ten weeks where they have both aired new episodes, The Crazy Ones came in higher seven times. (Two of Mom’s victories were due to the halo of HIMYM’s 200th episode, and The Crazy Ones (but not Mom) airing opposite the Olympics).
That said, I am moving The Crazy Ones to ‘Cancellation Predicted’, as it is losing the war. The Crazy Ones has dropped recently when there are any other options in the timeslot, and the mid-April end date sets off alarm bells. (And again, it doesn’t have the Chuck Lorre name attached.) There’s no guarantee Mom will be renewed, especially if CBS pays for another season of Two and a Half Men, but that uncertainty doesn’t help The Crazy Ones when CBS has every reason and opportunity to try new comedies in bulk next season.
Fighting for Silver
The Winter Olympics’ scheduling has always been problematic for the rest of the networks, as it arrives smack dab in the middle of February sweeps. This time around, the networks have aired more original episodes opposite the Games, most likely hoping to counteract the relentless downward trend of broadcast TV on their sweeps averages. Interestingly, the results are all over the place – the high end and the low end (The Big Bang Theory and Killer Women) were flat vs. their last non-Olympics showing, while most of the middle posted two or three tenths losses compared to their last airing.
Whether those losses are permanent is the question. There are few recent historical data points to go by: 24 lost half a demo point that never returned after the Olympics were over. Lost dropped about half a demo point when the Olympics started… and then dropped another half a demo point after the Olympics ended, as it again aired opposite normal programming on the rest of the networks.
So how these shows bounce back will be extremely interesting to watch. My guess is 2018 sees more first-run airings opposite the Olympics than we’ve seen in decades – but of only the mega-hits (that can withstand the Olympics) and the dead shows walking (where any long-term losses are irrelevant).
Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.
|Back In The Game||ABC||Canceled|
|How I Met Your Mother||CBS||Final Season|
|We Are Men||CBS||Canceled|
|Nikita||CW||Final Season Finished|
|American Dad||Fox||Moving to TBS|
|The Michael J. Fox Show||NBC||Canceled|
|Sean Saves The World||NBC||Canceled|
|Welcome To The Family||NBC||Canceled|
|Killer Women||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Neighbors||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Once Upon a Time in Wonderland||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Super Fun Night||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Trophy Wife||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Crazy Ones||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Good Wife||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Mentalist||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Beauty & The Beast||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Carrie Diaries||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Tomorrow People||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|Almost Human||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Mindy Project||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|Raising Hope||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|Mom||CBS||On The Bubble|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||On The Bubble|
|Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Goldbergs||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Grey's Anatomy||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Last Man Standing||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Middle||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Modern Family||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Once Upon a Time||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Big Bang Theory||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Blue Bloods||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Criminal Minds||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Hawaii Five-0||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|The Millers||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|NCIS: LA||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Person of Interest||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Hart of Dixie||CW||Renewal Predicted|
|Family Guy||Fox||Renewal Predicted|
|The Following||Fox||Renewal Predicted|
|The New Girl||Fox||Renewal Predicted|
|Chicago Fire||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Chicago PD||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Parks & Recreation||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Vampire Diaries||CW||Renewed|