At first blush, the 2015-16 TV season looks like a pretty weak year for new series. After doing some number crunching, however, it’s not quite as dire as it seems.

The five broadcast networks ordered 44 new scripted series for the season. None of them can fairly be called breakout hits, which may not speak well to their multi-season viability. But in terms of just making it to Season 2, the recently completed season was one of the best for new shows in recent years.

Seventeen of those shows have been renewed and 27 canceled*, a failure rate of 61.4 percent. That’s slightly better than the 64 percent failure rate for all first-year scripted shows since 2009-10, as you can see here:

 

Season New scripted shows Renewed Canceled Failure rate
2009-10 33 13 20 60.6%
2010-11 37 10 27 73.0%
2011-12 44 16 28 63.6%
2012-13 37 11 26 70.3%
2013-14 44 13 31 70.5%
2014-15 46 22 24 52.2%
2015-16 44 17 27 61.4%
Totals 285 102 183 64.2%

*Note: This story and chart have been updated from the original to reflect the cancellations of “Uncle Buck,” “American Gothic,” “BrainDead” and “Houdini & Doyle,” which weren’t determined at the time of the original post.

In each of the past two seasons, the networks have collectively renewed about half their rookie shows. That could be a play for stability amid declining viewership or an effort to keep shows owned by sister studios alive for possible streaming and syndication deals down the road, or just a recognition that a so-so rating in hand is maybe better than an unknown for yet another new show.

Follow the links below for breakdowns of each individual network’s performance.

ABC | CBS | The CW | FOX | NBC

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

  • https://thisisspiffy.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/the-morning-update-for-thursday-june-2-2016/ The Morning Update for Thursday, June 2, 2016. | this is spiffy news.

    […] TVBTN: Failure factor: How bad was the 2015-16 TV season for new shows? The five broadcast networks ordered 44 new scripted series for the season. To date, 17 new scripted […]

    Like

  • http://excellencetell.info/a-tale-of-two-tv-series-correct-lethal-weapon-and-the-battle-should-be-seen-in-the-age-of-peak-tv A tale of two TV series: “correct,” “Lethal Weapon” and the battle should be seen in the Age of Peak TV | View the latest breaking news

    […] the odds of survival for any new TV series is dangerously slim to begin with. When the numbers were crunched in the 2015-2016 season, for example, failure rate came in at between 52.3 percent and 61.4 percent. […]

    Like

  • http://durrelliott.com/a-tale-of-two-tv-shows-rectify-lethal-weapon-and-the-battle-to-be-seen-in-the-age-of-peak-tv-salon/ TEEN NEWS, TEEN OPINON, PRODUCTS, SPORTS, SOCIAL , EDUCATION, BUSINESS, ENTERTAINMENT, SOCIAL PLATFORMS | Durrelliott

    […] The odds of survival for any new television series are perilously slim to begin with. Once the numbers were crunched on the 2015-2016 season, for example, the failure rate came in at between 52.3 percent and 61.4 percent. […]

    Like

  • http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/more-tv-news/are-tv-reboots-more-successful-than-original-programming-nope/ Do TV reboots hold the secret to ratings success? No, not really – TV By The Numbers by zap2it.com

    […] have been tracking the overall failure rate for first-year shows since 2009-10. In that time, just over 64 percent of new network scripted shows (183 of 285) failed to make it to a second […]

    Like

  • http://www.ebuswiz.com/a-tale-of-two-tv-shows-rectify-lethal-weapon-and-the-battle-to-be-seen-in-the-age-of-peak-tv/ A tale of two TV shows: "Rectify," "Lethal Weapon," and the battle to be seen in the age of Peak TV - Business Affiliate Marketing

    […] The odds of survival for any new television series are perilously slim to begin with. Once the numbers were crunched on the 2015-2016 season, for example, the failure rate came in at between 52.3 percent and 61.4 percent. […]

    Like

  • http://salon.gworld.info/a-tale-of-two-tv-shows-rectify-lethal-weapon-and-the-battle-to-be-seen-in-the-age-of-peak-tv/ A tale of two TV shows: “Rectify,” “Lethal Weapon,” and the battle to be seen in the age of Peak TV | Salon

    […] The odds of survival for any new television series are perilously slim to begin with. Once the numbers were crunched on the 2015-2016 season, for example, the failure rate came in at between 52.3 percent and 61.4 percent. […]

    Like

  • http://www.hartpressed.com/take-me-to-the-pilot-new-tv-shows-and-new-games-are-risky-ventures-but-winners-accomplish-three-key-goals/ Take Me To The Pilot: New TV Shows and New Games are Risky Ventures, But Winners Accomplish Three Key Goals – HartPressed

    […] creators, networks/publishers and fans.  Nonetheless, broadcast TV network cancellation rates have averaged about 65% over the last half-dozen years, and freemium game failure rates are far higher. […]

    Like

  • http://thetelevisor.com/2017/05/11/staying-power-what-makes-a-tv-show-so-popular/ Staying Power: What Makes A TV Show So Popular?

    […] to look at some statistics. The failure rate for television shows is astounding. In 2010/2011, 73% of new shows on primetime television networks were cancelled after just one season! Thirty-seven new shows were introduced, while only ten were renewed and […]

    Like

blog comments powered by Disqus