After The TV Bloodbath: The Winners, Losers, & New TV Shows – May 2017 Edition
As the smoke clears across the blood-soaked battlefield that is US TV Upfronts week, we look out and examine the aftermath… Who survived, who was wounded, and who took an arrow through the heart. It’s our latest roundup of the renewed & cancelled shows, and a preview of the new series we think can weather the oncoming war of the US ‘Fall’ season.
Looking across the 5 main networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX & The CW), there have been 71 renewals, 33 cancellations, and 39 new shows so far. If you compare that to 2016 (66 renewals, 36 cancellations, and 42 new shows), renewals are up, cancellations are down, and there are a couple less new shows. The biggest win I think going to NBC, who only dropped 4 shows this year, compared to 10 last year.
The Biggest Shock Cancellation
For UK audiences, that would seem to be ‘2 Broke Girls‘, which CBS ditched after 6 seasons on air. Although the network is saying “we felt creatively it was time and we had to create some space on the schedule to get some new product on,” it was also an expensive show to make for CBS, due to Warner Bros TV, who make the show, getting most of profit.
For US audiences (and some UK fans), the biggest surprise was Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing‘. The show aired on and off in the UK, having recently been picked up again by E4, but it was ABC who killed the series, even though it was the second most-watched comedy on the network. ABC are claiming it was “business and scheduling reasons”, due to the fact it’s made by an external network (20th TV), and because they’ve ditched their ‘Friday night comedy block’ for a ‘sci-fi/fantasy block’ instead. However, the show is politically conservative, and Allen himself has been a vocal supporter of Trump, which some say forced the cancellation, although ABC adamantly deny this. ‘Last Man Standing’ is being shopped around to other networks, but given its 6 seasons in, that would make it an expensive proposition for a new buyer, over trying out a new comedy series.
The Biggest Shock Renewal
Renewals were interesting this year, as we seem to be in a position where linear broadcast ratings are becoming less of a driving factor behind a show’s fate. We had a number for series get picked up, despite some pretty lacklustre figures domestically in the US. More, now than ever, the resale value of a show to On Demand services, and internationally, seems to be playing a much bigger part in the renewal decision, along with a network’s own 7 day ‘catch up’ viewing figures.
However, the biggest shock renewal this season has to go to ‘Timeless‘… Mainly due to the fact it was cancelled and renewed within a 2 day timespan! On the 11th May, NBC announced the series would be cancelled… Then 2 days later they changed their minds, and gave it a 10-episode 2nd season! It seems to be one of those rare occasions when the outcry from fans was so large, the network actually took notice. “We woke up the next morning, heard the outcry,” commented the NBC’s Chairman Bob Greenblatt. “We went back to the drawing board, with our partners at Sony, and we found a way to bring it back. It’s extraordinarily well produced and deserved to come back.”
The New Recruits
If you’re waging a ratings war, you need to make sure you have new soldiers to replace your fallen comrades, and this year has a very interesting mix. Every year we seem to get a cluster of shows which follow a theme. Last year it was ‘time travel’, this year it’s ‘military drama’. With ‘Bones’ now over, David Boreanaz has joined CBS’s ‘SEAL Team‘, NBC picked up ‘The Brave‘ starring Anne Heche and Mike Vogel, and (in a slightly left-of-field choice for the network) The CW picked up ‘Valor‘, about a group of elite helicopter pilots.
Comic books are also heavily in the mix again this season. The CW added DC’s ‘Black Lightning‘, whilst Syfy picked up Superman prequel ‘Krypton’ and Grant Morrison’s ‘Happy!’. However, it’s Marvel who are really dominating this season with 5 new shows. Fox picked up X-Men series ‘The Gifted‘, ABC are bringing us ‘Inhumans‘, Hulu took ‘Runaways‘, and Freeform landed ‘Cloak & Dagger‘ and ‘New Warriors‘. It really is a great time to be a tv and comic book fan!
Other interesting new series include Greg Berlanti’s ‘Deception‘, which follows a magician who ends up working with the FBI, ‘The Orville‘, which is a Star Trek-esque sci-fi comedy from Seth MacFarlane, and ‘Wisdom Of The Crowd‘, which sees Jeremy Piven star as a tech genius who creates a crowdsourcing app to solve his daughter’s murder. And, of course, there is that actual new ‘Star Trek: Discovery‘ series…
I think it’s fair to say, the 2017/18 season is looking pretty solid so far, especially for us geeks. Add in all the new Netflix series, and we’re in for one heck of a year! For all the latest information and UK premiere dates for these shows, make you keep an eye on our UK tv air dates page for updates!