And for a refresher, here are the relative ad rates in A18-49 that I will be comparing the numbers to for the sake of predicting if a bubble veteran show will be renewed or canceled.
|Son of Zorn||126053||102|
|The Last Man On Earth||101895||83|
|Kicking and Screaming||102516||83|
So, What Are The Veteran Bubble Shows?
The line between bubble show and safe show is growing thinner and thinner each season with extraneous factors becoming more prominent in a renew/cancel decision. So while it's hard to pinpoint exactly which veteran shows are on the bubble, I picked shows that had an 85 relative rating or below. For the most part I consider veteran shows to be shows in at least their third season, though I've also thrown in Rosewood for now, but not Scream Queens because I don't see how it has a chance to survive, at least on FOX. So the bubble shows are:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (+/- 0)
New Girl (-4) [see below for update]
The Last Man On Earth (-3) [see below for update]
Sleepy Hollow (+/- 0 if preliminaries hold, +2 without them)
Rosewood (+3, regardless of if preliminaries hold)
Based on the ad rates correlation, there's a chance, albeit small, that all five shows are canceled, and probably the same small chance that they're all renewed. Remember that a show's relative numbers seem to fluctuate often, especially as new shows enter. So let's take a look at all of them:
You're probably wondering why this isn't in the Watching column when it's +/- 0. There's a simple explanation to this: it's performing the best relative to its ad rate amongst the other two veteran bubble comedies. On top of that, TBS has a syndication for the first five seasons of the show. I'm fully expecting a fifth season somewhere, whether or not it's on FOX. But right now I'm thinking that fifth season will be on FOX, unless of course spring hurts it.
A lot of people are expecting New Girl to be renewed, citing syndication and the fact that since it was FOX's flagship live-action comedy back in the day, it has to get a short farewell season...right? Well, I don't know how high I am on "farewell seasons", and New Girl is kind of underperforming in every Live + Same Day demographic. At this point, it's even considerably below average in W18-34, the demo it used to hit best. It could still head towards its goal and get renewed, but right now it's not there, and farther away than Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man On Earth. This could be a tough call.
The Last Man On Earth
Look, The Last Man On Earth is a serialized show, and at this point it's not going to benefit much from airing after Family Guy. FOX seemingly has a great relationship with Lord Miller Productions, so the show has that going for it, but if Making History hits they may not see a reason to keep The Last Man On Earth around. I would like to think that it does really well in streaming and makes them more profit there, but until then all I can see is it slightly underperforming in A18-49 if Variety's ad rates are something to go by (which they have been in the past). Son of Zorn's lack of announced fate has made things very complicated here too, considering it probably needs time to do the animation. It's possible it got a silent renewal, and even without The Simpsons being original the ratings are somewhat passable, so I still have that in the likely renewal category. We'll know more about The Last Man On Earth in another month or so.
Sleepy Hollow started the season off on a good note, sizably above its relative ad rate of 46. However, that promising start is starting to self-correct, and right now it's only two points ahead of that ad rate. If preliminary ratings hold for the most recent A18-49 number, it will be only tied with its relative ad rate. I'm treating it as a show that's +/- 0 right now. It is possible they try to renew it for another 13 episodes to get it to 70 episodes total and get more episodes for streaming/SVOD purposes, but it's just as likely in my mind that they cancel a show averaging less than half of the network's average. It's in the Watching column right now, a column that will only appear in the table when it's necessary, like right now.
Some argue that Rosewood is quietly finishing its series on Friday where it doesn't have as much value. Others say that they're bringing it to syndication, meaning two more full seasons. Ratings have expectedly fell a little bit on Friday, and now it's only three points above its target. I expect that to go down in future weeks as well, especially if shows like Shots Fired come on and hit. Right now it's a pure bubble show.
UPDATE (Son of Zorn)
I've updated this page to reflect a sudden change in prediction for Son of Zorn. Sandwhiched between a 1.0 for The Simpsons and a 0.9 for Family Guy, Son of Zorn could only hit a 0.6 A18-49 rating in L+SD. While its average is still above its ad rate target, the correlation seemingly works better for older shows, and let's face it, a 0.6 probably isn't going to cut it. Combine that with the fact that it hasn't been renewed yet and the animation will take a long time to complete, it looks like it won't be getting out of the season alive. This could change, but Zorn doesn't have a lot of time to prove itself stronger than Cooper Barrett.
On the veteran side of things, the latest ratings for FOX Sunday allowed New Girl (-3) and The Last Man On Earth (-2) to inch up a little more towards that renewal category. I suspect at least one in the end will get there.
I didn't believe the ad rate correlation when it told me last season that both Castle and Nashville would get canceled, nor that Sleepy Hollow would get renewed, but hey, it all happened. I have more faith in it predicting unexpected renewals better than unexpected cancelations, and it's definitely making some bold predictions right now. Let's see if this holds, or if it's a total disaster. Right now I'm betting on the former.
What do you think of my predictions? Let me know and discuss your own in the comments below!