The cancellation hammer appears poised to come down hard on a number of prime-time series. Writing in New York Magazine, our good friend (and former TVWeeker) Joe Adalian says the networks are about to buckle down and make some tough decisions on their new fall shows.
So far, seven new series have received full-season orders, almost double the number that have been canceled, which is at four. "That ratio is about to change, however," Adalian writes.
Here is how Adalian sizes up the chances for each of the remaining shows:
"Back in the Game," ABC: "ABC might be able to exert patience if it were doing better in the overall ratings race. But as it is, it’s hard to see ‘Game’ getting more episodes, let alone making it to a second inning," Adalian notes.
"Betrayal," ABC: Adalian writes, "ABC won’t order any more episodes of this show, and it might even opt to shut down production on what’s left of its initial episode order. In other words, say buh-bye to ‘Betrayal.’"
"Dads," Fox: "Fox doesn’t have anything else to put in the time slot, having already cut back on its order for the midseason half-hour ‘Us and Them.’ So it appears that ‘Dads’ will likely stay on Tuesdays through year’s end," he writes. "But there’s virtually no chance the network will give ‘Dads’ a second season."
"The Goldbergs," ABC: The comedy is "the kind of big, broad half-hour comedy ABC is looking to program. The network will be patient, at least for now."
"Hostages," CBS: Adalian notes, "To its credit, ‘Hostages’ is actually doing okay once DVR replays are tallied; its second episode jumped 67 percent once seven days of replays were counted. But even with the extra viewers, ‘Hostages’ just hasn’t clicked."
"MasterChef Junior," Fox: He writes, "If it holds up in the next few weeks, Fox will almost certainly order another cycle of the show for next summer or fall."
"The Michael J. Fox Show," NBC: "NBC will be patient with this Thursday comedy because, well, it’s contractually obligated to do so," Adalian points out. "If NBC had to make a decision about a second season for ‘Fox’ right now, it almost certainly would say ‘no.’ But the good news is that the show still has time to turn things around."
"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," ABC: Adalian writes, "After a weak premiere, last week’s second episode dropped below NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ among viewers under 50." He adds that barring a sharp turnaround, "’Wonderland’ is done."
"Sean Saves the World," NBC: A "triage on its Thursday night lineup" means that the network "wants to see if ‘Sean’ can show any signs of growth when its lead-in is slightly less dreadful than that supplied to it" by the canceled "Welcome to the Family," Adalian writes. "If that happens, perhaps NBC orders a few more episodes of ‘Sean’ to get it to the spring. More likely, it opts to cut its losses and figure out (yet another) comedy strategy.
"Super Fun Night," ABC: "After an okay start, viewership for Rebel Wilson’s ABC comedy has fallen off sharply, particularly among viewers under 50," he notes. "It’s 50-50 at this point whether ABC commits to more episodes."
"Trophy Wife," ABC: "Even when DVR data is added up, the numbers for ‘Trophy’ are decidedly meh," Adalian writes. "As it stands, the odds slightly favor ABC giving ‘Trophy Wife’ at least a few more episodes.