Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10 Cable Show Renewal Chances: 1 Year Review

It was my original intention to do a normal post this month but 2 things kept that from happening. The first thing is that a lot of the shows I wanted to write on have either just ended or are far too new to make a prediction on. The second thing is that quite a few of the other shows I wanted to write on (Bates Motel, Vikings and The Americans) have already been renewed.

Since the vast majority of the list would have been 100% blind predictions plus the fact that there aren’t really 10 eligible shows to write on I figured I would just use this month as a retrospective post. So what I’m going to do here is pick 10 shows I wrote on over the last year (3, renewed, 3 canceled, 3 tossups that have been renewed, canceled or both and 1 still undecided show. Statuses will be reflected in the post by the colors in this comment) that I feel made the greatest impact on how I go about writing these posts every month.

1. Black Dynamite- This was one of those shows that I took a chance on because I don’t like to touch shows that air on Adult Swim or air outside of primetime. I felt like I couldn’t ignore it though because for a rookie show airing late on Sundays the numbers were actually really good (It’s my understanding that now the show only repeats one time per week on Saturday nights). So it’s cool that this show got renewed but because it’s animated I am not in the game of being able to tell you when this show is coming back (I don’t know when The Boondocks is coming back either but I do know it was renewed a while ago). But anyway, I don’t know when it will be back. That’s not something I have a good feel of and it will just be back when it gets here because I have no idea what the production time is on a show like this.

2. Real Housewives of Miami- If it’s not already obvious, making predictions on shows like this (aka low rated shows that don’t deserve to get renewed but the network has some kind of inexplicable and irrational desire to convince themselves and the public that the breakout season is honestly just on the horizon. By the way Couples Therapy fits in here too because I hear the official word on renewal for that is forthcoming) really pisses me off. They don’t deserve to be renewed. They really and truly don’t but at the same time they keep getting renewed and it makes me look crazy when I say that they don’t deserve to get renewed especially when they get renewed over shows that get slightly better ratings but far less attention. So yes that’s the case here and I’m going to be honest, if the numbers are low for season 3 I’m probably going to still have it out for this show. That’s just how I am. I hate being wrong and I tend to take that out on shows that don’t do anything to change my opinion why it should have been saved in the first place so I will patiently wait until I am vindicated. Sorry but it is what it is.

3. Pretty Little Liars- Though it doesn’t seem like it, I actually hate making predictions on surefire shows like this one. The numbers are usually stable, it’s usually the highest rated show on the network and sometimes there’s really no extra thought that could be added that I don’t already put in my weekly ratings posts. I’m a little relieved that I may not ever have to make a prediction on this show again (It has already been renewed for season 5 and by then ABC Family should have some idea of how long they want to keep it going) but that doesn’t mean some other show will pop up in its place and force itself to be a placeholder on these posts.

4. Mob Wives: Chicago- For me the writing was on the wall for this show by episode 4. In the beginning i had a personal vendetta against it because it was a show set in Chicago and I loathe “wives“ shows but the numbers just were not good and cancellation was easy to predict. Now months later it’s just sad because VH1 was really looking for this to help them get a hold on Sundays like they do with Mondays and it’s just painful to see the shows they have on Sundays now all look like they are destined for cancellation before they even have a chance to do anything.

5. Common Law- Of the few shows I was wrong on this year I have to say that this one still gets to me the most. I believe I mentioned when I first did this prediction (and Fairly Legal since they were in the same post) that I tend to shy away from USA Network shows. Up until last summer all of those shows had a similar pattern of having high viewer totals and low demos. This show and Fairly Legal both had low viewer totals (for USA standards anyway) and low demos but I tried to believe that both shows airing on Fridays meant that USA would give one or both of them a little more leeway. I was wrong because the answer was no but I’ve also noticed that they haven’t bothered to program a scripted show on Fridays since then (when that was typically the norm to program Fridays in the past) so I think the lower overall ratings on the network since this show got canceled gave them pause that perhaps they need to get stronger as a network and come with a stronger slate of veteran and rookie shows before getting back to Fridays again. USA really isn’t the scripted cable ratings darling that it was 3-4 years ago (Pretty much everyone else got stronger and they had no answer to it).

6. America’s Best Dance Crew- While I’m not particularly surprised to this say that the show got canceled, I am surprised that only a decision was made on this show and not all of the others from late 2011 and all of 2012. The numbers have turned around a little on the network since then but really MTV just needs to renew what they are going to renew for sure and just have it be known that everything that has been off the air for longer than 6 months that doesn’t have a fate is just not coming back so people can be ok with that (But all of you people searching here for Underemployed must know that the show is still going to get canceled. That one doesn’t have a shot at getting renewed and the cancel notice will probably happen after their upfronts this month because it’s a scripted show and major TV sites like finality on the fates of scripted shows).

7. The Killing- If there is such definition as a bubble show this would be it since it got canceled and renewed (Season 3 premieres June 2nd). I’ll say right now that even if the numbers for season 3 are similar to season 2, I’m probably passing on any predictions unless I absolutely need another show to talk about because I don’t know about all the inner workings about the financial haggling it takes to keep some shows on the air, especially when that haggling has nothing to do with syndication.

8. The Face- This was a show that I put as a tossup only because I was burned by Best Ink. I said the ratings weren’t phenomenal but this show had a lot of hype from Oxygen so I said that if the show could manage to stay over 500,000 viewers (which it did but barely) then Oxygen was going to do everything in their power to turn it into a positive for them (which they did because they renewed the show on Monday). This show has also helped me realize that Oxygen's renew line is somewhere between 400k-500k viewers. Everything below 400k is a sure cancel, everything above 500k has a decent chance to get renewed and everything in the middle is at the mercy of how Oxygen feels about it.

9. Alphas- This was a show that really felt like it could go either way and not really be surprising so it wasn’t surprising when Syfy canceled it. Now to me I look to this show when I think about the fate of Being Human. It has similar numbers and is in the same precarious predicament and I don’t know if Syfy will wait as long to make a decision (one could conceivably come as early as today but it’s not guaranteed, Syfy has indeed decided to renew Being Human today) on that show as they did with this one.

10. Mrs. Eastwood & Company- In a way I am not surprised that E! has been silent on this show for this long. Sometimes I kick myself over this show because this is a show where I have like a gut feeling and then I have a sympathetic feeling. This is a show that I let my sympathetic feeling win (when it should have been my gut feeling the whole time). So I’m prepared to take the L on this one and while there may not be a decision in writing about this show this month (there’s a possibility only if it gets renewed during E!’s upfront presentations) I believe the fate of this show will be clear to me by the end of the month (as in silence means this show is most likely canceled). Bad predictions like these happen but this show is somewhat why I started redoing predictions of shows that I picked to highlight early in their runs.


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