Are the tattoos of Blindspot not permanent after all? Is Timeless running out of time? Can 2 Broke Girls come up with enough cash to warrant another season? It's almost time for networks to make final decisions on their fall schedules, which means several series will be canceled over the next few weeks. Is your favorite show on the chopping block? We've put together 18 shows on the bubble that could go either way and figured out the good news and bad news for each. For the latest renewal and cancellation information, check out our Fall TV Scorecard.
The Good News: 2 Broke Girls has served as an important utility player for CBS over its six seasons, filling in holes from the schedule shakeup that comes from hosting Thursday Night Football. And because the show is a Warner Bros. TV property, that studio should do all it can (maybe let CBS keep the show's cupcake props?) to keep it on the air to continue to profit from TBS' syndication agreement, which in 2012 broke records with a whopping $1.7 million per episode deal.
The Bad News: Ratings are trending down fast, and if things continue as they are, 2 Broke Girls will drop below a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demo for the first time ever. If WB TV doesn't cough up for production costs, then CBS will see the series as a potential money pit. CBS has already renewed 16 series -- and 2 Broke Girls wasn't one of them.
The Good: American Crime is one of television's best series and a critics' favorite as it's an unflinching look at societal problems from acclaimed filmmaker John Ridley. But its real value to ABC comes from shiny trophies. It landed 13 Emmy nominations over the last two years (including 10 in 2015), with two wins. ABC wants to hear its name called out during awards season, and American Crime has helped the network get more Emmy nominations than any of the other broadcast networks -- and most cable networks -- since it's been on the air.
The Bad: The real crime, America, is that American Crime is ABC's worst-rated show with a dismal season average of a 0.4 in the 18-49 demo and an average audience under 2 million viewers in overnights. Emmy nominations also dropped from 10 to three last season, and though Season 3 has been stellar, more competition in the Limited Series category from streaming networks may push American Crime out of awards recognition even further.
The Good News: Spin-offs of established properties bring in an established audience, if they work, and The Blacklist has been a mainstay on NBC for four seasons. Through eight episodes, The Blacklist: Redemption has been a steady performer, and networks love to know what they're going to get from a show rather than deal with unpredictability.
The Bad News: Okay so maybe steady isn't always good. The Blacklist: Redemption has thudded out the gate, with an average of just 4.76 million viewers and a 0.79 rating in the 18-49 demo. Those numbers are well below what The Blacklist is currently doing, suggesting that Ryan Eggold is no James Spader when it comes to drawing viewers. On NBC's list of shows, Redemption is third from the bottom, ahead of only Emerald City and Powerless.
The Good News: Blindspot is actually doing a hair better than The Blacklist, even after a move to Wednesdays at 8 and away from the cushy post-The Voice slot. And though ratings are declining, that was expected given the difficult time slot it was handed. NBC should grant the show a little leeway, and with promises of big reveals and bigger twists coming in Season 2's final four episodes, a rebound could be around the corner, and that could make the difference in NBC's mind.
The Bad News: Or maybe NBC won't give Blindspot any credit and look at how the series is down over 41 percent in ratings and almost 27 percent in total viewers from its first season. Further hurting the show's chances is that its numbers following winter break are almost universally down from the first half of Season 2. NBC's odd scheduling of Blindspot -- the show has frequently taken several weeks off at a time -- haven't helped things.
The Good News: Rob Lowe! Bringing on Lowe in Season 2 gave the medical drama a little more oomph, and helped CBS make the decision to add three episodes to the initial 13-episode order. Adding episodes is always a good sign. While CBS has cornered the market on acronymed procedurals, it's been struggling to find a reliable medical drama, which helps the case for Code Black.
The Bad News: With an average rating just under a 1.0 in the 18-49 demo, Code Black is in the bottom third of CBS' lineup. Its Season 2 finale couldn't even beat The Match Game, and finished in last place.
The Good News: CBS has only ordered 13 episodes of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders in each of its two seasons, allowing the network to fiddle around with its scheduling. That's about it for good news.
The Bad News: Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders was Metacritic's worst-reviewed show of 2016 and didn't even get a score in Season 2, when its ratings dropped even further to a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and sub-5 million viewers on average -- which by CBS standards is no bueno. At 22nd out of CBS' 26 shows, it's even performing worse than Pure Genius, which is almost guaranteed to be canceled.
The Good News: When Elementary and Person of Interest were battling for survival last season, Elementary won that battle because of the fact that it's owned by CBS Studios. That gives it another advantage this year as CBS stands to retain most of the show's profits without sharing it with another studio. Elementary also does well internationally, which should counter some of its unimpressive ratings.
The Bad News: Even if it's doing fine abroad, it's hard to ignore Elementary's domestic problems. It's 23rd out of 26 CBS programs, beating only the already canceled Doubt and the definitely doomed Training Day and Ransom. If CBS was on the fence about renewing it last year, it should be well off of it this season. The Season 5 average of a 0.67 rating in the 18-49 demo is down almost a third from last season's 0.96, and it's fallen under 5 million viewers for the first time in its run.
The Good News: Gotham has traditionally been the anchor on Monday nights that Fox uses to partner with other genre shows, and it's benefitted by looking better than the flops (Minority Report, Season 2 of Sleepy Hollow, The Following) it was paired with. It's still a Top 10 show for Fox (right at number 10), and Fox needs all the help it can get.
The Bad News: Fox has already renewed Gotham's Monday night partner in Lucifer... but hasn't bothered to give Gotham a greenlight for Season 4. (In case you're wondering, they're both from Warner Bros. TV, making Gotham's omission from the renewal list even more suspicious.) A new season of Gotham is likely to be a lot more expensive than the less star-studded Lucifer, and Fox has the Marvel pilot Gifted in the pipeline -- practically a sure thing to go to series -- meaning it may ditch one comic-book property for another.
The Good News: The Great Indoors is CBS' second-best rated new sitcom and the network's fifth-highest rated show currently on the air. With a 1.48 rating in the 18-49 demo and more than 7 million viewers on average, it's regularly in the Weekly Top 25 shows on broadcast television. Most of its cast is on the younger side, too, which helps CBS shed its image of being a golden oldie.
The Bad News: Those numbers are greatly inflated from The Great Indoors' lead-in The Big Bang Theory. In truth, The Great Indoors is losing half of its Big Bang audience, which should raise huge red flags. Kevin Can Wait, which has already been renewed, is outperforming The Great Indoors without the benefit of a juggernaut ahead of it and CBS must be wondering how it would be doing if it were behind The Big Bang Theory instead of The Great Indoors. The network has already renewed new comedies Kevin Can Wait, Man with a Plan and Superior Donuts. Why hasn't it renewed The Great Indoors, which outperforms two of those?
The Good News: Critics adore Rob Thomas' creative series, and while The CW has plenty of genre programming, iZombie is the only one that deals with the still-hot zombie trend.
The Bad News: The third season just returned to depressing ratings, losing more than 42 percent of Season 2's premiere audience. Only three Season 3 episodes have aired, but so far iZombie is tracking to be one of the network's lowest-rated series, just barely beating the certain-to-be-canceled Frequency. And with several series already returning and more pilots in the pipeline, iZombie will really have to make its case to return for a fourth season.
The Good News: Comedy thirsty Fox is always on the lookout for reliable live-action funnies, and Last Man on Earth is the perfect fit for Fox's high-concept angle. The current third season hasn't seen a steady decline, moving up and down on the ratings-o-meter. That's at least a signifier that the show hasn't bottomed out.
The Bad News: The show's premise -- a man survives an apocalypse and believes he's the last person on Earth -- has long outlived its sustainability, leaving creative questions in its wake. And the show's most recent episode was a steep spike downward, easily setting a new series low.
The Good News: ABC is totally committed to Marvel programming, in part to please its corporate overlord Disney, which owns Marvel, and in part because Marvel properties are hot, hot, hot. How badly does ABC want Marvel programming? It's already tried to spin-off Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. twice. The series also performs extremely well in time-shifted viewing, doubling its 18-49 demo audience regularly, and it's ticked up recently in the back half of its fourth season, hitting a four-month ratings high after a troubling winter.
The Bad News: For the year, overnight ratings place it 19th out of 25 ABC shows. And sure, it's improved recently, but it's still well below 3 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. If history is any indication and typical audience erosion occurs, a fifth season won't maintain those numbers. But the real death knell may be that ABC is working on Marvel's The Inhumans, which has already been ordered to series and is being pushed hard by ABC with a massive IMAX launch. Will ABC want two Marvel shows? One option is to give Agents a shortened final season.
The Good News: New Girl single-handedly kept Fox's live-action comedy hopes alive when it premiered in 2011 and gave the network hope that it had the new Friends. Fox has to recognize that. And at six seasons deep, it's one of the network's longest-running shows and features some of Fox's most recognizable faces.
The Bad News: 2011 was a long time ago, and Season 6 has slumped to well-below-2-million-viewers levels at times. And for all its youth, the show is spending more time below a 1.0 rating than above it. Narratively, New Girl is at the point where people are getting married, which means its core tension is fading.
The Good: Once Upon a Time has been a Sunday stalwart for ABC, and headed into its sixth season with a rabid fan base. Its Disney tie-ins are also a boon for ABC's parent company, and an easy way to promote upcoming Disney films or spur new storylines based on existing hits, such as when the show incorporated Frozen in 2014.
The Bad: Not surprisingly, ratings are at an all-time low (averaging under a 1.0 for the first time) and viewership is hovering around the 2.5 million viewer mark. Remarks about a potential seventh season haven't sounded good either as new ABC president Channing Dungey said the show would need to be retooled if it were to be picked up again. The latest solution involves cutting most of the core cast as contracts are expiring at the end of the season and new contracts will cost a pretty penny. But will a creative recharge rejuvenate the series?
The Good News: Of all The CW shows, The Originals has gained the highest percentage of viewers between seasons (only Jane the Virgin is also gaining viewers for the network), a remarkable feat especially in a show's fourth season. And through five Season 4 episodes, the numbers have been fairly steady, with two of the four episodes since its return performing better than the Season 4 premiere. With The Vampire Diaries gone for good, all the vampire love can head to The Originals.
The Bad News: With a 0.35 rating in the 18-49 demo, The Originals is still far off from The CW's superhero shows and Supernatural, which all top out at .60 or above. Showrunner Michael Narducci also left to work at ABC, and star Joseph Morgan was seen at a cast reading for Fox's Marvel pilot Gifted. Those things tend to happen when people know a show is dead.
The Good News: Fox likes the way the show brings in a female-skewing audience because of its storyline of baseball's first female pitcher, and also how it's attractive to men because it's about baseball. At least, that's what Fox boss Dana Walden said in March. The series also does well in time-shifted viewing and has the advantage of solid promotion thanks to Fox's broadcasting deal with the MLB.
The Bad News: The premiere season never impressed in the ratings department, averaging 3 million viewers and a 0.83 rating in the 18-49 demo. Without a well-known star in the mix (does Mark-Paul Gosselaar really count?), there may not be a reason to go easy on the series. Plus, creator Dan Fogelman is also behind NBC's massive hit This Is Us, which will probably consume most of his attention.
The Good News: ABC has been high on its FBI-in-towels drama ever since it premiered, as it fits the network's brand to a tee -- good lookin' people doing dangerous things in a high-stakes environment. The network is looking for any excuse to keep Quantico on the air, as evidenced by its decision to move the series away from the Sunday night bloodbath and over to Monday nights where it can benefit from a Dancing with the Stars lead-in. And the move has worked; after bottoming out on Sundays in November, the show has rebounded in 2017. Plus, it has Priyanka Chopra!
The Bad News: The move to Monday nights has increased the series' overall audience thanks to viewers too lazy to change the channel after watching Nick Viall shake his keister, but it hasn't boosted the 18-49 demo rating as Quantico hit a series low (0.5) in a recent episode. That's placing it dead last on Monday nights at 10, and DVR numbers also are bleak. And if you're looking for something more quantifiable, Quantico is only beating American Crime and three canceled series (Time After Time, When We Rise, and Conviction) on ABC.
The Good News: Timeless got off to a good start following The Voice, and critics who initially balked at the series seemed to come around as the debut season progressed. The series quickly established a passionate following online, with #SaveTimeless campaigns already raging on social media. Need numbers? It's a Top 10 show for NBC, ahead of The Blacklist and Blindspot, and DVR stats were great with Top 10 percentage gains. And NBC has some good talent involved with the series thanks to Shawn Ryan, Eric Kripke, and superstar-in-the-making Abigail Spencer.
The Bad News: Once Timeless was put behind Celebrity Apprentice after The Voice stopped singing for it, ratings noticeably dropped. Behind The Voice, Timeless never dropped below a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demo. Following Celebrity Apprentice, the series was never above a 1.0. Total viewership was similarly affected; with The Voice, the series only dropped below 5 million viewers twice, without it, the series fell below 3 million viewers twice.