Which returning dramas will not make it to another season? For my predictions, check out the article!
Returning this year on the drama side are a whopping 32 dramas. The network tally is as follows, CBS leads with ten, CW is at seven, ABC and NBC are tied at third, each with six returning dramas, and FOX is at the bottom with only three. As of September 2013, two of those dramas knows where they stand after this season: Nikita, which is heading into its final season and Glee, which earned its two season renewal a few months ago That means 31 dramas still have fates to be determined. Unlike the comedy edition, I will be looking at only three dramas per network (two for FOX).
Ten seasons…wow! It simply does not seem like Grey’s Anatomy has been on that long. Anyway, ten seasons later and the show is still ABC’s number one drama. Sandra Oh, who has been a part of the cast since season one, will depart at the end of the season. A number of other actors and actresses have yet to sign a new contract, which will likely ask for a salary increase. At the end of the day, ABC may want to pull the plug on a show that has declining ratings and increasing costs. Even though it is possible that could happen, I do not believe it will. ABC will continue to struggle finding new drama hits to replace the aging ones, allowing Grey’s Anatomy to sneak in another season.
Chances of Returning: 85%
Nashville was supposed to be one of the biggest drama hits past season. Chicago Fire surprised and Nashville was left in the dust for third place finishes most weeks. Despite the ratings struggles, ABC is keeping the country music series in its Wednesday 10 o’clock home for its second season. The competition may ease with Chicago Fire out of its way, but with a season already behind it, I do not see more viewers joining in on the series. ABC executives are standing behind the show, and series that typically have executive support can stay on the air a bit longer, even with lower than average ratings. Nashville has to remain stable in its sophomore year, and if it can, the show will be singing its way to a third season.
Chances of Returning: 60%
Highly adored in its first season, Revenge had a lot to prove when it moved into the Sunday 9pm timeslot. Unfortunately, the drama hit a wall in the writing department and viewers fled in a hurry. ABC (along with the viewers) has to hope Revenge comes back higher than it did in the spring or it will be a long 22 episode season. The show never rose above mid 1.0’s at the end of the season, and if audience erosion continues, it will not be pretty. In the end, despite a possible quality rebound, I simply think the audience no longer cares. I hope I am wrong here, but I see ABC cutting its loses this time around.
Chances of Returning: 35%
Running even longer than Grey’s Anatomy is CSI, which is heading into its fifteenth (!) season this fall. The show has become a shell of its former self, but continues to put up solid numbers. This will be the first time in ten years that CSI is the only series in the franchise on the air. CBS cancelled CSI: Miami in 2012 and CSI: NY in 2013. Does that mean 2014 is the year the original ends? For now, I am going to say CBS is happy with CSI and the direction it is headed. There are far too many other weak spots in the drama department (The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0) for CSI to be cancelled this season. I think season sixteen is a very strong possibility.
Chances of Returning: 95%
If there is one show I am surprised to still see on CBS, it is The Good Wife. Despite low demo numbers (it fell to a 1.4 A18-49 this season) CBS continues to renew the critically-acclaimed legal drama. Perhaps the biggest reason The Good Wife is headed into a fifth season is the syndication deal it scored back in March. The series was sold to Amazon, Hulu, Hallmark, and broadcast syndication for a cool $2 million dollars per episode. For a series with not-so-great numbers, $2 million dollars is huge (it ranks near the top of all dramas in terms of dollars per episode). CBS got the syndication deal it had been waiting for, and while that was enough to snag a fifth season, I do not think it will help The Good Wife earn a sixth season. The syndication deal may help ratings on CBS, but I do not see that happening. If CBS finds one or two new hit dramas, The Good Wife will finally be out the door.
Chances of Returning: 48%
Hawaii Five-0 is not the hit show CBS had been hoping for and with three seasons behind it, the show is headed to Friday nights. CBS has had trouble with the Friday nine o’clock timeslot for a few years now, and is looking to Hawaii Five-0 to change that problem. Because of the low ratings in the timeslot, I do believe Hawaii Five-0 has a low bar to be deemed a success. Should the drama remake do at least a 1.3 average, it will most likely return for a fifth season. Hawaii Five-0 is now airing in syndication on TNT (albeit to low ratings) but it also nabbed a huge mid-$2 million dollar deal back in 2011. I simply do not see CBS giving up on Hawaii Five-0 after only four seasons.
Chances of Returning: 75%
After one season in the post-Vampire Diaries timeslot, Beauty & the Beast is headed to Monday nights. The drama put up 0.5’s most of the season and in order to receive a third season, the show is going to have to maintain its audience. The CW is ordering more series’ each season, meaning there is less room for error on the returning side of things. Should the CW get lucky and have all its new series become hits, Beauty & the Beast is going to be one of the first shows cut from the network. I just can not picture Beauty & the Beast maintaining its 0.5’s with a lower lead in (Hart of Dixie) and much stronger competition (The Voice and the CBS comedies). Even though the network is giving the show a second chance elsewhere, I believe it will end in cancellation.
Chances of Returning: 25%
The Carrie Diaries was definitely one of the more surprising renewals of the season. The 0.4 demos it recorded on a Monday night were among the lowest for any series on any broadcast network (just a bit above Nikita). Now the prequel to Sex and the City has the difficult task of trying to maintain that 0.4 demo on Friday nights. Nikita was able to earn a final season renewal with 0.2’s and 0.3’s, so The Carrie Diaries may be able to get away with it, but I’m not sold on the idea of renewing it with ratings that low. For whatever reason though, I do believe the CW is going to renew The Carrie Diaries for a third season.
Chances of Returning: 75%
Season after season, I think the end is near for Supernatural. Each season, however, the show surprises in the ratings department and earns another season. Now in its ninth season, the CW is giving the veteran series another new timeslot, hoping it provides a stable lead in for The Tomorrow People. When it aired with Arrow last season, the two made a strong pairing for the network. Supernatural is not likely to maintain its near 1.0 demographic average this season, but it will still be one of the top series on the network. The network is planning a Supernatural spinoff near the end of season nine, so that will be interesting to watch and see. With a slew of weaker shows on the CW and ratings that are still strong, Supernatural will be back for a tenth season.
Chances of Returning: 95%
Last season, Bones was one of the few shows I incorrectly predicted would be cancelled. Given the age of the show, I thought it would be an easy decision. Bones will continue airing in its Monday timeslot, until November, when FOX says it will move to Fridays (I don’t buy it). The entire network slate is on a downward spiral and moving one of the top rated shows to Fridays sounds like a boneheaded move. There are far too many holes on the schedule to warrant the move. In addition, with The X Factor already down more than 25% from last season, I don’t think FOX would be willing to let go one of its top fall (or entire) season shows. This is easy this season: Bones will be back.
Chances of Returning: 100%
Last seasons saving grace for FOX was The Following. It is in no way a breakout hit, but its stable mid-2.0 demos are miles better than any other new FOX drama in the past few seasons. There is nothing that leads me to believe the show will drop all that far this season. It will most likely air in the same timeslot, against similar competition, at the same time of year. Given nearly everything is the same, the only thing that will effect The Following is where the writers plan on taking this show. It will be key in the first few episodes to establish a plan so viewers are willing to stick around. In the end, there is no way The Following will be ending after only two seasons on the air.
Chances of Returning: 100%
NBC is a mess. Even though many predicted Chicago Fire would add to the mess, the firefighter drama proved itself all season long. Heading into its second season, NBC is giving Chicago Fire prime real estate on the schedule: behind The Voice. Unlike last seasons Modern Family/Suburgatory situation, I see this working quite well for Chicago Fire. Chicago Fire was able to build from its SVU lead in last season, so it seems as if it can hold onto a large portion of the audience from The Voice. Growth from season one seems inevitable; the question is though, how much will it grow? It is nearly impossible for Chicago Fire not to return for a third time.
Chances of Returning: 100%
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, the show that may never die. Despite falling to series lows this past season, NBC gave the detective drama an early renewal in April. There is now doubt SVU will fall once again this season. The renewal for SVU will depend on how much NBC is willing to shell out for another reason and how well their new dramas perform. If NBC can gain a lot of traction in the drama department, SVU may finally end. My guess is after fifteen seasons, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is finally done, thus ending the long-running franchise (at least in America). NBC may give the show a short 13 episode final season, but a full 22 episode sixteenth season seems rather unlikely.
Chances of Returning: 49%
NBC’s number one new series last season, Revolution, is leaving its cushy post-Voice timeslot and into the Wednesday lead off hour. My guess is Revolution takes the path of Smash: a post-Voice series that moves and suffers in a new timeslot. Revolution was falling below 2.0’s in the spring, even with the big lead in. I find it hard to believe the post-apocalyptic drama will be able to survive in the new timeslot, especially with more competition. With a standard 22 episode order, it will be a long season for NBC in the timeslot.
Chances of Returning: 15%