There are a total of 32 dramas returning to the broadcast networks this season. CBS leads the pack with eleven, followed by ABC with seven, CW with six, and FOX and NBC both with four. As of August 20, 2012, two (Gossip Girl and Fringe) have already been given orders for this to be their final season. That means a whopping 30 dramas still have fates that have yet to be determined. Take a look at some and what their chances may be to come back for another season. Then take your opinion to the comments section, and vote in the poll.
If any show is highly dependent on a lead in, it would have to be Body of Proof. Just take a look at some of the evidence: 10.51 million viewers and 2.0 demographic behind Dancing with the Stars: Results Show. Just two weeks prior, Body of Proof had 7.45 million viewers and a 1.4 demo. It’s series low, however, remains at 1.2 demo – much lower than some of it’s high points. Going into it’s third season, Body of Proof is dumping half of it’s cast, has an order for only thirteen episodes, and will likely have low ratings once again. To me, it screams cancellation, but it could mean something entirely different for ABC.
Chances of Returning: 30%
Scandal is an interesting case for ABC. The show had some of the most solid ratings I’ve seen in quite some time. It scored a 2.0 in its first four weeks on the air, dipped to a 1.9 the next two weeks, then jumped up to a 2.3 for its finale. Any show that holds its audience like that deserves a renewal – whichever network it may be. However, will Scandal be able to grow from that point, or is it stuck in the low 2.0 demos? One thing that is working in Scandal’s favor is the fact that ABC has only two new dramas on hold for midseason. With Private Practice heading into its (likely) final season, that’s one hole ABC will have to work around. Scandal may be able to squeak out a renewal just due to the lack of product on ABC.
Chances of Returning: 75%
In 2012, CBS said good-bye to CSI: Miami, marking the first cancellation for a series in the CSI Franchise. In 2013, CBS may be ready to let go of yet another – and it still won’t be the original series. CSI: NY, which is heading into its ninth season this year, looks to be on the way out. CBS gave it a renewal, but moved it to 8pm, and gave it a shortened order for 18 episodes. On top of that, the ratings really started to slip at the end of last season. It’s season finale recorded a low 1.2 demo, despite having over 9 million viewers. With a move to the lower HUT timeslot of 8pm, it’s very likely that those ratings will slip even further in the spring. As the series continues to get older, the costs will only keep increasing, and with lower ratings, CBS can only take a hit for so long before they swing the ax down.
Chances of Returning: 0%
After three full seasons on the air, The Good Wife has shown that it’ll probably never be a hit ratings wise. Among the critics, however, it’s one of CBS’ most popular series. If the show has been given a full 22 episode season, the show will have 90 episodes, which is more than enough to get it into syndication (should a network decide to buy it). Going into its fourth season, it’s very likely that the show will continue a decline in viewership and the demographic – especially with overrun by the NFL. The Good Wife has had plenty of critical acclaim the past few seasons, but was snubbed in the Best Drama category this year. With expected-declining ratings, a loss of major awards, and a series that is increasing in cost, will CBS keep it going much longer?
Chances of Returning: 49%
One show that has generated a lot of debate on numerous ratings website is Nikita. The show has never been a hit, but has done enough to make it to its third season this fall. Airing on Friday nights, it’ll be the CW’s only drama on the night this fall. With a rapidly declining ‘Top Model’ as Nikita’s lead in, how well can it really do? The CW has a problem with “having enough products on the shelves”, but they do look like they are turning a corner. IF they find enough new series next season (2013-14), Nikita will be one of the first shows out the door. If the show holds steady, and so close to syndication, it will be back for its fourth season. The CW is in such bad shape that the only thing holding Nikita from a fourth season renewal is, well, Nikita.
Chances of Returning: 51%
Betting on a show to return next season? If so, then The Vampire Diaries is the one show you would be able to safely put your money on. In the short history of the CW network, they have rarely had a show break the 1.0 demo barrier. The Vampire Diaries, however, accomplishes such a feat nearly every time it airs. If The Vampire Diaries has failed anywhere, it’s launching a show in the timeslot directly after it. Supernatural and Nikita were both shipped to Friday nights and The Secret Circle was cancelled after only a season – all unable to hold onto the huge (for CW standards) lead in. Now heading into its fourth season, The Vampire Diaries will become the lead in for the fourth different show (Beauty and the Beast). Even with that, The Vampire Diaries is the CW’s only hit.
Chances of Returning: 100%
Bones has always been a solid utility player for FOX. They have aired it on nearly every night, in nearly every timeslot. A show that can survive those conditions for this long deserves kudos. However, now heading into its eighth season, that luck seems to be running out for Bones. The finale scored an only okay 1.9 demo, against somewhat stiff competition. Heading back into that timeslot again this season, it seems as if those ratings will be as good as it gets. Will FOX accept a 1.9 demo for a drama that could be heading into its ninth season? As it is only one of four dramas on the network, FOX will need some stability for the 2013-2014 season. If The Following and The Mob Doctor both become hits, FOX will most likely cut all ties with Bones.
Chances of Returning: 40%
Glee is yet another interesting case. The show started slow in its first season, took off in the second, and then came back down to Earth in its third. The show is nowhere near as big a hit as it once was, but it’s still a solid show. FOX seems to be telling us that they want to keep it going by giving it the lead in of The X-Factor. With a bigger lead in, it’s very possible that the series with either A) hold its okay ratings or B) grow again. However, it is also possible that the ratings declines will continue, even with a very compatible lead in. The cast additions/changes as well as the loss of critical acclaim could put a dent in the series. Even with all the calls for FOX to pull the plug, I still think there is a bit of life left in this highly-annoying, yet profit-making series.
Chances of Returning: 80%
Fourteen seasons. When it premiered way back in 1999, I’m sure no one expected Law and Order: Special Victims Unit to last this long. This season, SVU will air its 300th episode, an episode total few primetime shows can say they have reached. After hitting series lows in the second half of its thirteenth season, the show did rebound to a 2.0 demo for its finale. It’s expected that the show will do about that for its premiere, but it’ll be all downhill from there. With more competition in its new timeslot (Wednesdays at 9 – again) ratings will most likely dip once again. Another strike against the series is the increasing cost of a show that has been on this long. Mariska Hargitay doesn’t come cheap, and neither does the rest of the cast, most of which has been on since the very beginning. If NBC finds new hit dramas, it’ll be on the way out in May. If NBC continues to flounder, SVU may be able to squeak out another season.
Chances of Returning: 30%
Parenthood has been very middle of the road since it premiered in 2010. Like most of what is on NBC, it’s very likely that Parenthood has gotten a fourth season due to the rest of NBC’s series failing. Each time a new season premieres, Parenthood holds onto its finale audience, but after that, it’s a slow decline, and then stabilization. The show got into a bit of trouble after its holiday hiatus in December, but as I said before, it stabilized around there. Parenthood will have 68 episodes after the end of its fourth season, which is close to syndication levels, but not quite there. As NBC Universal owns the show, they will reap any profit the show may bring in (should that after happen). Like the rest of what’s on NBC, it’s renewal hinges on if they finally find a new hit series.
Chances of Returning: 60%