The 2019-20 TV season has officially begun, which means the Cancel Bear is back, awake, and already hungry for this season’s offerings.
Before the Bear can start making his weekly prediction posts though, there are a few things that need to be addressed first. For starters, despite the season having only just begun, there are a few shows whose futures have already been secured for another year, and several other shows that will be falling under the umbrella of the “third season rule,” and are therefore, more likely to make it out of the season alive.
So, with all that being said, here are some small updates and notes you’ll all need to know heading into the Bear’s renew/cancel coverage this year…
Firstly, the methodology for the Renew/Cancel Index will mostly stay the same as it did last season, with just one small difference. Similar to last year, the Bear is lowering the index’s adults 18-49 replacement level one-tenth, from a 0.6 to a 0.5 rating on the Big 4 networks, with a 30 percent multiplier still given to Friday shows. The CW’s replacement level, however, will stay at 0.1, and the network’s bias towards renewal will continue to be taken into consideration.
Secondly, “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Mom,” “The Simpsons,” “This is Us,” and “Young Sheldon” have all already been renewed through the 2019-20 season, so their fates have already been decided (though the Bear will still track it’s Renew/Cancel numbers).
The same goes for “Modern Family,” “The 100,” “Arrow,” “Blindspot,” “Criminal Minds,” “Empire,” “The Good Place,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Madam Secretary,” “Supernatural,” and “Will & Grace,” all of which are already confirmed to be airing their final seasons this year.
Thirdly, there are several shows this year that will likely benefit from the Third Season Rule.
That rule states:
– Shows that have aired two full seasons and are entering their third full season are very likely to be renewed for a fourth.
– Corollary: If such a show is also produced by a network’s corporate-sibling studio (e.g., an ABC Studios show on ABC, or a Universal Television show on NBC), it’s a near lock for renewal.
By the end of a third full season, shows will typically have produced 60 or more episodes. A solid, profitable syndication and streaming deal often needs 80 or more episodes, which comes with a fourth season. When studios start to see those future profits on the horizon, they’ll do what they need to get their shows over the finish line.
However, it should be noted again that, with the decline in traditional 22-episode seasons, there are even fewer locks going into this season than usual. Here’s how the third-year broadcast shows are shaping up.
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– “9-1-1” (FOX): Only 28 episodes to date, but it was FOX’s highest-rated scripted series last season, and will likely hold onto that title this season. There’s no way FOX will be letting go of its no. 1 show.
– “Black Lightning” (The CW): Only 29 episodes to date, but it’s produced by CW co-owner Warner Bros., and is one of the network’s flagship DC titles. If “In the Dark” can get a second season at the CW, then “Black Lightning” doesn’t have much to worry about.
– “Dynasty” (The CW): A low ratings performer, but it has 44 episodes to date and is produced by CW co-owner CBS. It’s also likely that the show’s profitable international streaming deal will continue to protect it from cancellation.
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– “The Good Doctor” (ABC): A consistent ratings performer with 36 episodes to date under its belt, but it’s not solely owned by ABC and its linear ratings suffered from a notable decline in its second season. The Bear still thinks it has a good chance at renewal though.
– “Station 19” (ABC): This TGIT title has only aired 27 episodes to date, but it’s owned by ABC and has been a fairly solid ratings performer throughout its first two seasons.
– “Good Girls” (NBC): Only 23 episodes under its belt, but it’s owned by NBC and has stayed alive thanks to a profitable streaming deal with Netflix. The Bear thinks that deal will be enough to keep it around for another year too.
– “SEAL Team” (CBS): 44 episodes to date, and it’s produced in-house at CBS. Barring any big year-to-year rating drops, CBS will want to keep this one around long enough for it to cross into possible syndication territory.
Wait and see
– “The Resident” (FOX): This made for a nice pairing with “9-1-1” last year, but it’s been moved to a Tuesday night 8 p.m. time slot this season, which means its ratings could go either way. If the show experiences too steep a decline year-to-year, the Bear could see it getting the axe, even with a modest 37 episode count under its belt going into the season.
– “S.W.A.T.” (CBS): Not a strong enough ratings performer to make it a lock for renewal, and unlike “SEAL Team,” doesn’t have the added advantage of being CBS-owned. With that being said, the show has produced 45 episodes to date, which may put it close enough to a syndication deal by the end of this season for CBS to decide to stick with it.
The Bear will begin individual network predictions for the Big 4 networks this week, and the week of Oct. 14 for The CW.