We're just weeks into the new TV season, and already the freshman class has provided some bona fide hits (welcome, Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist!) and misses (RIP, Lucky 7 and We Are Men!) Which shows will be cut next? These nine are in the most danger, due to low ratings, poor performances among younger viewers and other typical bad signs. Is your favorite show on the list?
Photo by: Eddy Chen/Fox, Jeff Neumann /CBS, Chris Haston/NBC
Back in the Game (ABC)
UPDATED: ABC has canceled Back in the Game.The good news: Unlike some of this season's instant duds, this comedy has been remarkably consistent, averaging 6.9 million viewers and a 1.95 in the adults-18-to-49 demo. Back in the Game has also improved over The Neighbors' performance in the timeslot last year, giving ABC a stronger bridge between The Middle and Modern Family.
The bad news: Despite the star power of James Caan, the show's Bad News Bears-style premise just hasn't connected with the audience. It's still shedding nearly 2 million of The Middle's viewers.
Add to Watchlist: Back in the Game
Photo by: Eric McCandless/ABC
The good news: The infidelity drama saw its soft debut, 5.2 million viewers and a 1.5 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic, surge 42 percent with DVR playback. Betrayal was ordered as a 13-episode limited series, so ABC might just finish its run and let it disappear if it can stabilize behind a weakening Revenge.
The bad news: It hasn't stabilized. Dropping sharply each week, its third episode drew a mere 2.9 million and a 0.8. (By comparison, 666 Park Avenue nabbed 4.8 million and a 1.5 the same week in the timeslot last year.) Lines like "You make me feel… magnitude" are supposed to sound romantic, but people just haven't taken to the show's particular brand of melodrama.
Photo by: Jean Whiteside/ABC
UPDATED: Fox has ordered a full season of Dads.The good news: Proving that there's no such thing as bad press, the premiere episode, which was critically panned for its sexist and racist humor, debuted to a decent 5.8 million viewers and a 2.2 in the demo. Despite the subpar material, the show has put together a cast we would genuinely enjoy watching work together — on another show.
The bad news: Since the initial look-in audience of the premiere, the show has pretty much wilted. Although its most recent episode bounced back a bit, the show bottomed out at 3.1 million viewers and a 1.3 in the demo. Also bottoming out, the humor: A recent plot point involved a character's doctor dying while administering a prostate exam.
Photo by: Jennifer Clasen/FOX
The Goldbergs (ABC)
UPDATED: ABC has ordered a full season of The Goldbergs.
The good news: Don't underestimate the power of nostalgia. The '80s-set, TGIF-like comedy has generated positive buzz and improved on Happy Endings' numbers in the slot last year. The Goldbergs has also beaten or stayed on par with New Girl for bragging rights as Tuesday's top comedy. On top of that, ABC has just ordered three more scripts.
The bad news: Script orders don't guarantee episode orders. The series is not really compatible with lead-in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., whose slowly dwindling ratings have affected The Goldbergs, which hit a series low of 5 million and 1.6 last week.
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/ABC
The good news: With Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott and Tate Donovan, this heavily serialized "limited series" assembled a pretty heavyweight cast. And we applaud the network's attempt to think outside the 22-episode-season box and try a non-procedural drama.
The bad news: Despite being CBS' big bet on drama this fall, the show was virtually DOA, premiering to 7.4 million viewers and a 1.7 in the demo, down considerably from previous timeslot owner Hawaii Five-0's average last year. It's since fallen to 5.1 million viewers and an anemic 1.2 in the demo, making it CBS' lowest-rated show this season.
Photo by: Jeff Neumann/Warner Bros.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
The good news: ABC has been so high on the project that it fast-tracked the limited series based on a 20-minute presentation and moved up its premiere to fall (it was meant to fill in for mothership Once Upon a Time during its winter hiatus). Wonderland's premiere also climbed to a respectable 7.3 million viewers and a 2.3 with DVR numbers added in.
The bad news: Despite the omnipresent promo and hype, Wonderland bowed to a disappointing 5.8 million and 1.7, down 23 percent from Last Resort's premiere last year and becoming ABC's lowest-rated Thursday debut since the short-lived My Generation in 2010. (Worse, in its second week it fell nearly 30 percent to 4.5 million viewers and 1.2 in the demo.) The series is also more akin to a completely new show than a traditional spin-off, so the Once brand might hurt it more than help it.
Photo by: Jeff Weddell/ABC
Sean Saves the World (NBC)
The good news: The now-canceled Welcome to the Family made Sean look good! The sitcom has built on Family's dismal numbers and is on par with Parks and Recreation's 1.2 demo average, which isn't saying much. But with Sean Hayes being a former NBC Must-See TV star and a producer on its cult hit Grimm and summer series Hollywood Game Night, NBC might be a little more patient with the show.
The bad news: It isn't making big gains in DVR playback., having added just three-tenths in live-plus-3 ratings for its premiere. NBC quickly scheduled Community when it pulled Family, and it still has three new comedies waiting in the wings.
Add to Watchlist: Sean Saves the World
Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC
Super Fun Night (ABC)
UPDATED: ABC has ordered four additional episodes of Super Fun Night.
The good news: Debuting in the high-profile, high-pressure, post-Modern Family berth, the sitcom was the second-best comedy premiere this season after The Crazy Ones and had the best retention out of Modern Family (76 percent) in four years. Since ABC really wants to be in the Rebel Wilson business, the show could stick around for a while.
The bad news: Its subsequent ratings have been neither super nor fun, posting double-digit percentage drops, and it is in danger of falling below the 2.0 demo mark if the bleeding continues. Uneven and heavy on fat jokes (no pun intended), Super Fun Night has also been critically panned, and it's never a good sign when a show premieres with a different episode than the pilot. Oh, and then there's Wilson's horrible American accent.
Add to Watchlist: Super Fun Night
Photo by: Carol Kaelson/ABC
Trophy Wife (ABC)
UPDATED: ABC has ordered a full season of Trophy Wife.The good news: A critical darling, the quirky sitcom is the best reviewed of ABC's new comedies and boasts delightful turns from Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford and Marcia Gay Harden. ABC also gave it a vote of confidence with three more script orders.
The bad news: It's the least-watched and lowest-rated of ABC's new comedies, averaging 4.9 million and a 1.6. And though the name Trophy Wife is meant to be ironic, it might be suffering from the same "good show, bad title" syndrome that afflicted former ABC sitcom Cougar Town.
Add to Watchlist: Trophy Wife
Photo by: Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC