Returning Comedies and Dramas Results: 2014-15

In September 2014, I went ahead and predicted which returning comedies and dramas would be renewed for the 2014-15 television season.  This was the third time I attempted to predict network decisions prior to the start of the television season.

For the results, I split each show into one of four categories: those I predicted would be renewed (for comedies and dramas), and those I predicted would be cancelled (again, for comedies and dramas).  If a show is colored in GREEN, the series was renewed.  If a show is colored in RED; the series was cancelled.

I predicted the following comedies would be renewed:
2 Broke Girls
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Last Man Standing
Mike and Molly
Modern Family
The Goldbergs
The Middle
The Millers

Success rate: 8/9 (89%)

Analysis: Just like last season, I finished 8/9 in the comedy renewal category.  If only it were not for the sudden cancellation of The Millers a few episodes into its second season!

I predicted the following comedies would be cancelled:
New Girl
The Mindy Project
Success rate: 1/2 (50%)

Analysis: The Mindy Project was officially cancelled by FOX, but there are rumors the series may return in a two season deal on Hulu.  Even if the pickup does occur, the series was technically cancelled by FOX.  As for New Girl, I figured a cancellation was not going to happen

Despite the ownership by 20th Century FOX, nothing says “keep New Girl on the air” – even its huge syndication deal on Netflix, TBS, and MTV.  I’ll probably be wrong with this prediction, but my gut continues to tell me New Girl is dunzo.

Overall success rate for comedies: 9/11 (82%)

I predicted the following dramas would be renewed:
Agents of SHIELD
Blue Bloods
Chicago Fire
Chicago PD
Criminal Minds
Grey’s Anatomy
Hawaii Five-0
NCIS: Los Angeles
Once Upon a Time
Person of Interest
Sleepy Hollow
The 100
The Blacklist
The Following
The Good Wife
The Originals
The Vampire Diaries
Success rate: 26/28 (93%)

Analysis: Other than Resurrection and The Following meeting their demise, my predictions for renewals were not too far off from being correct.  I was a little hesitant to mark CSI as renewed, but since it is coming back for a two-hour wrap up movie, I consider next season the official end.  As a note, I originally predicted the fate of Hannibal (as renewed), although it never aired in the regular season so I removed it from the results.

What I said about The Following (after giving it a 50.1% chance of returning):

Throw in new leadership at FOX, and the fate of The Following is pretty murky.  This is one of the few shows that could very well go either way.  It’ll be close, but I think FOX sticks around for at least one more go-around.

I predicted the following dramas would be cancelled:
Hart of Dixie
Law and Order: SVU
The Mentalist
Success rate: 3/5 (20%)

Analysis: For the second year in a row, I really thought it was the end of the line for Law and Order: SVU.  Maybe it is time to stop predicting a cancellation?  I was also off about Nashville, which ABC seems to really love.

Overall success rate for dramas: 29/33 (88%)

Overall success rate for comedies and dramas:  38/44 (86%)

Chances of New Series: 2014-15 Results

Over the course of television season, I predicted the fate of nearly every new series (I forgot all about Secrets and Lies).  After yet another television season, the results of my predictions are finally here!  If a show was cancelled, it is colored RED and if a show was renewed, it is colored GREEN.

Here is the scale I used throughout the season:
Breakout (5) – Strong out of the gate; one of the highest rated new series
Hit (4) – Ratings are high, but not one of the highest rated new series
Solid (3) – Neither strong nor weak, simply puts up average numbers
Weak (2) – Not a bomb, but puts up consistently low numbers
Bomb (1) – Fails to catch on; one of the lowest rated new series

For the results, I placed each series into the respective category I initially predicted it would fall in.  The Breakout and Hit categories were a prediction for renewal, while Weak and Bomb categories were a prediction for cancellation.  A Solid title was a prediction for a toss-up, although I did make a call in favor of renewal or cancellation.

I predicted the following series would be Breakouts:
The Flash
How to Get Away with Murder

Success rate: 2/2 (100%)

I predicted the following series would be Hits:
NCIS: New Orleans

Success rate: 2/2 (100%)

I predicted the following series would be Solid performers, but still be renewed (unless noted):
Agent Carter
American Crime (predicted cancellation)

CSI: Cyber
Marry Me
Madam Secretary
The Odd Couple
Success rate: 6/11 (55%)

I predicted the following series would be Weak  performers:
A to Z
American Odyssey
Bad Judge
Battle Creek
Fresh off the Boat
Jane the Virgin
Red Band Society
State of Affairs
The Last Man on Earth
The McCarthys
Success rate: 10/15 (67%)

I predicted the following series would Bomb:
Manhattan Love Story
One Big Happy
The Messengers
The Mysteries of Laura
Weird Loners
Success rate: 7/9 (78%)

Overall success rate: 27/39 (69%) (last season was 61%)

Chances of New Series: April 2015

Here is the NEW scale that will be used this season:
Breakout (5) – Strong out of the gate; one of the highest rated new series
Hit (4) – Ratings are high, but not one of the highest rated new series
Solid (3) – Neither strong nor weak, simply puts up average numbers
Weak (2) – Not a bomb, but puts up consistently low numbers
Bomb (1) – Fails to catch on; one of the lowest rated new series

american odysseyQuick Premise: International military conspiracy centers around a stranded female solider.
Timeslot: Sundays at 10/9c
Lead in: A.D.: After the Bible
Competition: Battle CreekRevenge

Analysis: If you don’t recognize American Odyssey, it’s because NBC changed the title from Odyssey just a few weeks prior to its scheduled debut.  In either event, a title change won’t help this series breakout.  The ads for American Odyssey have been weak and the critics have been “meh” toward the series.  While I have no doubt lead in A.D.: After the Bible will attract a substantial audience (at least for its premiere), American Odyssey will ultimately struggle.  Winning its timelsot will not be difficult, but if it wins with a 1.0, it is still only a 1.0.
WEAK (2)

the messengersQuick Premise: A group of strangers are responsible for preventing an impending apocalypse.
Timeslot: Fridays at 9/8c
Lead in: Whose Line is it Anyway?
Competition: Dateline NBCHawaii Five-0, and Shark Tank

Analysis: The CW has been quite lucky with its new series this season:  The Flash debuted huge, Jane the Virgin received critical acclaim, and iZombie has been solid through three weeks.  The Messengers, on the other hand, will struggle from the start.  Airing on Friday nights will be of no help for The Messengers even with Whose Line is it Anyway? as a lead in.  The entire concept is boring and maybe even slightly odd.  I do not think there is any audience asking for this kind of series and The CW’s late start spells doom.
Prediction: BOMB (1)

Chances of New Series: Late March 2015

Here is the NEW scale that will be used this season:
Breakout (5) – Strong out of the gate; one of the highest rated new series
Hit (4) – Ratings are high, but not one of the highest rated new series
Solid (3) – Neither strong nor weak, simply puts up average numbers
Weak (2) – Not a bomb, but puts up consistently low numbers
Bomb (1) – Fails to catch on; one of the lowest rated new series

one big happyQuick Premise: A man marries one woman, while his lesbian best friend is having his baby.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 930/830c
Lead in: Undateable
Competition: Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, NCIS: New Orleans, and Weird Loners

Analysis: NBC is giving the multi-camera comedy genre another chance to succeed on their network.  From Ellen DeGeneres, NBC has been pushing One Big Happy for a couple of months now.  Unfortunately, most of the ads have been painfully unfunny.  One Big Happy may receive some help from The Voice airing 30 minutes prior, although most of the audience may flee during last summers low-rated Undateable.  Luckily, however, the competition in the hour is pretty weak as nothing else in the timeslot is similar to One Big Happy.  In the end, the weak lead in, as well as weak premise, will lead to the demise of yet another comedy on NBC.
Prediction: BOMB (1)

izombieQuick Premise: Based on the comic book, a medical student eats the brains of the dead to help solve their murder.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: The Flash
Competition: Agents of SHIELDNCIS: New Orleans, New GirlOne Big HappyUndateable, and Weird Loners

Analysis: Hoping to cash in on the zombie craze, The CW brings us iZombie from Rob Thomas.  The network gave iZombie the best chance possible to succeed, placing it behind The Flash, one of the strongest new series of the season.  The premise is a bit odd, but I do believe there are enough people interested to give this a solid preview.  Like One Big Happy, there is nothing else on in the hour that will drain viewers from iZombie.  Once viewers settle in, I am predicting iZombie will be another The 100: nothing special, but a stable 0.5-0.6 performer.
Prediction: SOLID (3) – renewed for second season

weird lonersQuick Premise: Four single friends live in a townhouse together.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 930/830c
Lead in: New Girl
Competition: Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, NCIS: New Orleans, and One Big Happy

Analysis: No other comedy will have a harder time launching than Weird Loners.  FOX is burying it behind low-rated New Girl, at the end of March, with a six episode order.  All of these strikes against Weird Loners make me very wary on the chances of success for the new comedy.  In addition, the premise is very outdated, and I have not seen many ads for the show.  Weird Loners feels like a major bomb.  It will be interesting to see if all six episodes even air.
Prediction: BOMB (1)

Chances of New Series: February 2015

Here is the NEW scale that will be used this season:
Breakout (5) – Strong out of the gate; one of the highest rated new series
Hit (4) – Ratings are high, but not one of the highest rated new series
Solid (3) – Neither strong nor weak, simply puts up average numbers
Weak (2) – Not a bomb, but puts up consistently low numbers
Bomb (1) – Fails to catch on; one of the lowest rated new series

allegianceQuick Premise: A rookie CIA analyst learns his family his part of a Russian spy group.
Timeslot: Thursdays at 10/9c
Lead in: The Blacklist
Competition: ElementaryHow to Get Away with Murder (until 2/26) / American Crime (beginning 3/5)

Analysis: NBC is hoping for big things with its BlacklistAllegiance Thursday night lineup.  Unfortunately, this feels like another misfire from NBC this season.  First off, are viewers of The Blacklist really going to stick around for another dark drama?  It’s almost as if something lighter is needed for the Allegiance lead in.  Secondly, The Blacklist as unproven as a tentpole hour, especially against the number one veteran drama on television in Scandal.  Will there be many viewers of The Blacklist to funnel interest into Allegiance?  Third, Allegiance will have to go up against the top 10 o’clock drama, How to Get Away with Murder for the first few weeks.  That in itself is tough to stand up against, but it may be possible.  Finally, Allegiance appears to be the broadcast version of The Americans (on FX).  With more standards to follow, will viewers really attach on to a water-downed version when they barely watch The Americans?  NBC certainly tried with its lineup here, but I think they will be in for a rough midseason.
Prediction: WEAK (2)

fresh off the boatQuick Premise: Set in the 1990s, a Taiwanese family moves to Orlando.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 8/7c
Lead in: Local programming
Competition: The FlashHell’s KitchenNCISParks and Recreation (until 2/17), The Voice

Analysis: On the heels of the success of Black-ish, ABC is looking for lightning to strike twice with Fresh off the Boat.  Had the ABC Wednesday comedy block been weaker, there is no doubt Fresh off the Boat would have earned a spot on the night.  Luckily for ABC, the comedy block is gelling, so there is no reason to mess with it.  That mean Fresh off the Boat will have to try and survive for itself on Tuesdays.  Fresh off the Boat will, however, debut as part of the Wednesday night lineup, with one episode at 830 (following The Middle) and another at 930 (following Modern Family).  The timeslot previews should certainly help Fresh off the Boat get started, but once its on Tuesdays, it will be another story.  ABC has had a lot of trouble on Tuesdays, and I don’t see their fortunes changing with Fresh off the Boat.  The timeslot competition is all over the place with an older-skewing drama, reality, and comedy – probably enough to hurt the comedy.  Fresh off the Boat has some time to find an audience before The Voice returns, however, I think it will be too late for the newest ABC comedy at that point.
Prediction: WEAK (2)

the odd coupleQuick Premise: A remake of the 1970s series, where two opposite men become roommates.
Timeslot: Thursdays at 830/730c
Lead in: The Big Bang Theory
Competition: American Idol (until 3/19), Bones (beginning 3/26), Grey’s AnatomyThe SlapThe Vampire Diaries

Analysis: After the failures of Studio 60 on the Sunset StripMr. Sunshine, and Go On, Matthew Perry stars in his first multi-camera comedy since Friends ended in 2004 (eleven years ago!).  The Odd Couple, a remake of the popular 1970s television series, follows the number one comedy on television, The Big Bang Theory.  The lead in itself should be enough to get The Odd Couple off the ground.  Past post-Big Bang lead outs (Shit My Dad Says, How to Be a GentlemanRob!, and The Millers) all flamed out quickly, so to break the streak would mean a lot for CBS (and Matthew Perry).  Competition is fairly light, with American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy currently averaging low to mid 2.0 demos, giving The Odd Couple room to be successful in the timeslot.  Whether or not this new version of The Odd Couple is funny remains to be seen and is essential to success.  I really do not have much to go on here, and past history is telling me this is a bomb, but my gut is telling me otherwise.  I do believe CBS may have something special with The Odd Couple.
Prediction: SOLID (3)