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ABC Renew/Cancel - September 23: Initial Predictions for Speechless, Designated Survivor, Notorious, and More

I am excited to start doing renew/cancel during the regular season this year for ABC after two seasons of summer renew/cancel. During the regular season, it will be much more eventful than during the summer. Like in the summer, I will post renew/cancel on Friday, and I will post it every week until the mass news preceding upfronts, except in weeks where ABC airs no or very few original episodes of its shows. Posting on Friday works out really well for ABC this season in terms of premiere week, as about half of ABC's fall shows have premiered, and about half haven't (9 have premiered, 10 still need to). So, let's get to our initial predictions for Agents of SHIELD and the Wednesday and Thursday line-ups. (Also, since there has only been one episode aired for each show, I will just list the number it got once, not three times for average, low, and high.)


Format for predictions:
Show title (average 18-49 rating, season low-season high)

Certain to be Canceled
Notorious (1.1)

Likely to be Canceled

Toss-Up
Agents of SHIELD (1.1)

Likely to be Renewed
Designated Survivor (2.2)
How to Get Away with Murder (1.4)
Modern Family (2.6)
Speechless (2.0)

Certain to be Renewed
Black-ish (2.0)
The Goldbergs (2.0)
Grey's Anatomy (2.5)


Designated Survivor: The highest rated of ABC's three new shows that have premiered so far, Designated Survivor premiered to a strong 2.2, growing out of its 2.0 lead-in, and becoming the second highest rated drama on ABC this week. Since it is a new show, I will not but it at certain to be renewed based only on the results of its first episode, but if it holds up in week two, it can expect a place there.

Notorious: The other new drama, Notorious got a much bigger lead-in, but much smaller result. Its 1.1 was half of Designated Survivor's rating, and it had 44% retention out of its seemingly compatible lead-in. Notorious is a flop, and will likely be fractional soon, in a timeslot where fractional is unacceptable in the fall, and probably completely unacceptable if you aren't a Shonda show. This will be the only season of Notorious.

Speechless: The only new comedy to have premiered so far, it earned the same rating as returning comedies The Goldbergs, its lead-in, and Black-ish. This is a solid rating, but a large drop from here would put it in danger of cancelation, as could a well-performing Tuesday block. For now, Speechless seems safe, but time will tell.

Modern Family: It's the highest rated show on the network, at least at this point in the season, but Modern Family's renewal isn't certain, and that all comes down to price. Last season, only 22 episodes were produced instead of the usual 24, which all of the other returning single-camera comedies on the network got. That is because the cast of Modern Family is large, and they get paid a lot of money, since the show was once extremely popular. This cost could keep Modern Family from a ninth season, so we will see what happens.

How to Get Away with Murder: I highly doubt that How to Get Away with Murder will be canceled, as The Catch proved that Shonda Rhimes produced shows need very low ratings to get canceled, but I don't want to label it certain to be renewed quite yet. After only one episode of a show's season has aired, I do not put it in certain to be renewed if it is a new show, and it needs to be 100% certain if it is a returning show. I would say that How to Get Away with Murder is at more like 95%, so it will wait.

Agents of SHIELD: Going into this season, I expected it to be the last one for Agents of SHIELD. However, the rating it earned on Tuesday night is too high for me to predict its cancelation just yet. A 1.1 isn't good, but Tuesdays at 10:00 has been a death slot for ABC in recent seasons. For SHIELD, it will likely come down to how much it falls over the course of the season and how many returning dramas the network needs. This is what we call a bubble show.

The Goldbergs: This show won't be mentioned very often this season, because it is a certain renewal. Aside from the aging and expensive Modern Family, The Goldbergs has been ABC's highest rated comedy. It currently leads off Wednesday nights, and will likely support the night when Modern Family has gone.

Black-ish: It would take a true disaster to keep Black-ish from being renewed. It is in its third full season, meaning it is one season away from enough episodes for traditional syndication. It would have to bomb hard to not get renewed, and I don't see that happening, as it premiered to a 2.0.

Grey's Anatomy: The network's highest rated drama, Grey's Anatomy is old, but it still gets the ratings to keep it going, and it shows no signs of stopping. Like The Goldbergs and Black-ish, it won't be mentioned often this season, because it has no chance of getting canceled, so there isn't much to say about it.


Coming up this week: Last Man Standing, Dr. Ken, Once Upon a Time, Secrets & Lies, and Quantico begin their seasons, and Designated Survivor and How to Get Away with Murder try to prove that they are certain renewals.

What do you think of my predictions? Leave your thoughts in the comments!