Death Watch: Spring TV survival predictions
Ah springtime. The season of renewal — for some shows, at least. There’s a reason the broadcast nets are making mountains of TV pilots: new shows will get planted into the schedule next fall, while some current titles will get pulled out by their roots come May. After a lot of digging around the industry (and a bit of soul-searching), here are our predictions about which shows will likely survive — and which will mercifully wither — before the season comes to an end. As always, a big as-yet-unknown factor is the quality of each network’s pilots (better pilots = fewer surviving bubble shows). Here’s the list with each show’s season-to-date rating among adults 18-49, a number that includes seven days of DVR playback. Let’s start with….
2 Broke Girls (4.2): Sorry haters, they’ll be back.
Blue Bloods (1.8): Stable Friday drama is a no-brainer to return.
CSI: NY (1.8): Uncertain. Gary Sinise and company could follow CSI: Miami out the door this spring.
CSI (2.9): No mystery here. Will return.
Criminal Minds (3.6): Will return to torture anti-violence crusaders for another season.
Elementary (3.1): Indubitably.
Golden Boy (1.8): Tarnished. If the ratings don’t surge soon, this one is a goner.
Hawaii 5-0 (2.7): Will surf into another season.
How I Met Your Mother (4.0): RENEWED FOR FINAL SEASON
Made in Jersey (1.1): Cancelled
Mike & Molly (3.6): Ratings have fallen lately but we can’t see CBS turning its back on hot commodity Melissa McCarthy.
NCIS (4.2): And face the wrath of 20 million viewers? Not a chance.
NCIS: LA (3.5): Yes.
Partners (2.3): Cancelled
Person of Interest (3.5): Absolutely, a very solid and still-youthful performer in a tough slot.
Rules of Engagement (3.1): CBS likes this show to patch a hole when new comedies drop out, but this season could be the last.
Survivor (3.5): CBS tends to buy Survivor in bulk and the competition is due for another double order. Will continue.
The Amazing Race (2.4): Poor EP Bertram van Munster gets his renewals one round at a time unlike Survivor — but he uses his 57 Emmys to wipe away the tears. He shouldn’t be crying next season, though.
The Big Bang Theory (6.3): Slam dunk.
The Good Wife (2.0): Not a major ratings-grabber but critics — and character actors — love it. This drama won’t go anywhere.
The Jo b (.8): CBS hasn’t said officially but this short-lived reality show is dead.
The Mentalist (2.4): Given the show’s semi-serialized Red John storyline, this could be the rare example of a CBS crime drama that gets a “final season” announced in advance.
Two and A Half Men (4.2): CBS and studio Warner Bros are talking, so we expect to see another season (as long as Ashton Kutcher doesn’t demand a 45% stake in Warner Bros. TV or something).
Undercover Boss (1.8): Not the most impressive ratings but the network still likes it. Looks okay for now.
Vegas (2.2): Very much a gamble to return. Next up is NBC…
Revolution (5.0): One of the few freshman success stories this season. This lights will stay on.
Animal Practice: Cancelled after four episodes
Chicago Fire (2.4): A 10 p.m. NBC drama that sometimes wins its time slot in the dead of winter? We’re surprised it hasn’t been renewed already.
Community (1.6): If the Greendale clan is lucky enough to get another season, it will be a short final semester.
Deception (1.7): Poor-man’s Revenge with poorer ratings. Not hopeful.
Do No Harm: Cancelled
Grimm (2.7): An easy call.
Law & Order: SVU (2.2): At NBC this season, if a show isn’t prompting crying in the network’s hallways, it’s safe.
Off Their Rockers (1.7): It’s a cheap, hole-patching, primetime spackle so yes — it will probably come back.
30 Rock (1.9):Final season
Go On (2.6): Recent ratings suggest that Go On and New Normal will not return, but we expect their odds to improve after they gain a Voice lead-in this spring.
The New Normal (2.2): See Go On.
Guys with Kids (1.5): Daddy might want to look for a new job, just in case.
Parenthood (2.8): After this season’s critically-acclaimed season and solid ratings performance, a renewal is certain.
Parks & Recreation (2.1): Knope expected to get a “Yes.”
Smash (1.4): The fat lady has sung.
Celebrity Apprentice (1.7). Sunday’s return did poorly, but NBC is more likely to blame the all-star conceit. Expect a return next year.
The Biggest Loser (2.7): Jillian Michaels didn’t muscle up better ratings this season, but we still expect a renewal.
The Office (2.8): Final season
Rock Center With Brian Williams (1.0): Nothing NBC has done with this show has made much sense so … yes, it will probably return.
The Voice (5.2): RENEWED
Up All Night (1.7): The last original episode aired in December and a creative overhaul was announced. Christina Applegate quit. Will Arnett booked a new pilot. Maya Rudolph is looking for a variety show. At some point you stop trying to put out a fire and just let the house burn down.
Whitney (1.5): We almost listed this as cancelled before realizing our mistake. It feels like it already is. And yet, we don’t know how to break this to you, but it’s actually got a shot.
1600 Penn (1.5). Soon to be sequestered.
American Dad (2.7): RENEWED
American Idol: (Wednesdays, 5.6 rating; Thursday, 5.0). We know, all-time low ratings. But it’s still winning many nights. Safe.
Ben & Kate (1.5): Cancelled
Bob’s Burgers (2.3): RENEWED
Bones: (2.8). RENEWED.
Family Guy (3.9):RENEWED.
Fringe(1.6): Final season
Glee (3.5): Nothing is ever simple with Glee. The comedy musical is expected to return for a fifth season, but negotiations between the network and studio are still ongoing.
Hell’s Kitchen: RENEWED
Kitchen Nightmares RENEWED
New Girl (3.4): RENEWED.
Raising Hope (2.0): RENEWED.
The Cleveland Show (1.6): Once again, this is the only Fox animated veteran without a renewal in the spring (the animated shows require a longer lead-time to produce next season’s episodes than the live-action shows). We expect Fox’s hesitation will be permanent this time.
The Following (4.1): RENEWED
The Mindy Project (2.1): RENEWED
The Simpsons (3.3): RENEWED
The Mob Doctor (1.3): Cancelled
The X-Factor (3.6 and 3.4) RENEWED
Touch (1.0): We’re hearing The Walking Dead would be a better title for this one. Kiefer Sutherland is fielding backup offers.
America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.5): Even YouTube can’t kill it.
Don’t Trust the B– in Apt. 23 (1.6) Cancelled
Castle (2.6): A sure thing. Nathan Fillion’s drama is one of the few solid performers at 10 p.m. on broadcast.
Malibu Country (1.6): Reba McEntire is a reliable performer, but country girl is on the bubble.
Modern Family (5.4): Of course.
Body of Proof (1.2): We can’t see ABC taking a risk on another season. Sorry, Dana Delany.
Dancing with the Stars (2.6): This new season (Andy Dick? Wynonna Judd?) will probably be the show’s lowest rated ever, but ABC won’t give up on the fringe.
Grey’s Anatomy (4.6): Absolutely.
Happy Endings (1.9): The cool kids like it but the masses don’t. Too close to call.
Private Practice (2.4): Final season.
The Neighbors: (2.0) The freshman comedy performs okay but the idea is just so….goofy. Might get renewed just to spite TV critics.
666 Park Avenuee (1.5): Red tagged! Last Resort (2.0): Docked for good
The Taste (1.9): Hmmm, tastes like … the vacant dusty air of a closed restaurant.
Nashville (2.7): One of the best new shows of the season. Yes.
Last Man Standing (1.8): Tim Allen and his new primetime family could go another round.
Red Widow (1.5): Too soon to say, but … look at that premiere number, then look at the average rating of shows with red lines through them.
Once Upon a Time (4.0): Safe despite recent ratings drops.
Revenge (3.5): Nobody thinks the drama had a great second season, but expect it to return for a third.
Scandal (2.9): Hell yes. This soap has risen in the Thursday ratings to come within shouting distance of Grey’s in recent weeks.
Shark Tank (2.1): A total blockbuster — by Friday standards.
Suburgatory (2.6): Stable performer, but not a lock to return.
The Bachelor (3.0): ABC’s not dumping this franchise into a limo anytime soon.
The Middle (2.7): You don’t watch it, we don’t watch it, but somebody’s watching it. So yes.
Zero Hour (1.3): Cancelled
Arrow (1.3): RENEWED
Beauty and the Beast (0.7): Likely to continue.
Cult (.3): Too early to say, but this cult doesn’t have enough of a following.
Emily Owens, M.D. (.5): Cancelled
Supernatural (1.2): RENEWED
The Vampire Diaries (1.6): RENEWED
America’s Next Top Model (0.8): RENEWED
Nikita (.4): The wild card. The bar is low on The CW on Fridays. But this low?
Hart of Dixie (0.8): If The CW is actually conflicted about Nikita, you gotta figure this soap is reasonably safe.
90210 (.6): Final season.
The Carrie Diaries (.7): Kinda sorta likely to continue. Kinda.