“TGIT” Lineup Debuts Strong for ABC

how-to-get-awayThe series premiere of How to Get Away with Murder scored the biggest series premiere of the season thus far.  The 10 o’clock debut impressed with 14.34 million viewers and 3.9 A18-49 demo, easily displacing Gotham (3.3 demo) as the highest rated series premiere in the demo this season.  How to Get Away with Murder jumped from its Scandal lead in by more than 2 million viewers, and held onto 100% of the demo.

Overall, the three hour lineup of Shonda Rhimes was a very good one for ABC.  Grey’s Anatomy launched in its new 8 o’clock home to 10.14 million viewers and 3.1 A18-49, which was down only a few ticks from last seasons two hour premiere.  Despite that small drop, this is one of ABC’s best performers in the rough timeslot in at least five-seven years.  Scandal, now it in its fourth season, kicked off its new timelsot with 12.16 million viewers and 3.9 A18-49, which was a new series high (previous: 3.6 demo).

While ratings are likely to slip in coming weeks, this is a very (very) good start for ABC’s TGIT (Thank God its Thursday) lineup.

Which Returning Dramas Will Return Next Season?

There are 37 returning dramas this season, up five from last season.  CBS leads the pack with ten, ABC and CW follow up with eight each, NBC is close with seven, and FOX is far behind with four returning dramas.  Two dramas, Glee and Parenthood, have already been announced as heading into their final season.  That means a whopping 35 returning dramas have their fates left up in the air.  This is the first year I’ve decided to tackle all the returning dramas.

agents of shieldWhile far from a breakout hit, Agents of Shield put up respectable numbers throughout last season.  This year, its on the move to the tentpole 9 o’clock hour.  In addition to the original series, ABC has a spinoff in the works for mid-season (Agents of Carter).  Barring any major collapse, there is no reason to believe Agents of Shield is done just yet.
Chances of Returning: 100%

castleWhen it debuted in 2009, I didn’t think Castle would be around in 2014 for its seventh season.  ABC has had quite a tough time finding new pieces to its lineup, so the average (and steady) Castle has remained on the schedule.  I don’t see Castle coming to an end just yet, but it’ll likely wrap-up within the next two or three seasons.
Chances of Returning: 90%

GreysS8MainCastCan you believe Grey’s Anatomy is heading into its eleventh season?  It seems almost impossible that the serial medical drama has been able to last that long.  The series recently lost one of its original cast members (Sandra Oh), but that really hasn’t hurt Grey’s Anatomy in the past.  If anything, the move the 8 o’clock timeslot will dent Grey’s Anatomy a few tenths.  With rising costs, Grey’s Anatomy is going to have to end soon.  I’m thinking that means at least one more season after this one.
Chances of Returning: 90%

nashvillABC Studios owns Nashville, along with Lionsgate TV, which may be one of the main reasons the drama has been able to squeak by with low ratings (the music sales help too).  Nashville was one of the final renewals of the past season, and a lot of it had to do with costs.  Negotiations came down to the wire, with ABC scoring an incentive package with the state of Tennessee to keep the series in Nashville.  That helped bring the cost down by about $8 million dollars.  If ratings continue to slip, and ABC can’t find another tax break, the odds become stacked against Nashville.  It seems like too much to ask from a low-rated series.
Chances of Returning: 35%

Continue reading