It’s not easy for any TV show – whether new or returning – to avoid the ax. Some start out strong and end up losing viewers over time, while others just can’t make it work in their freshman season. Plus, as audiences know all too well, cancellations aren’t always predictable. While some seem doomed right from the start (Minority Report), others remain on the bubble for some time (Sleepy Hollow, Bones).
In the coming months, all five major networks will have to decide which entries from their line up, from from sitcoms to to fantasy dramas, will get officially pulled. Here’s a look at 15 shows who may be counting the 2015-2016 TV season as their last.
1. Minority Report
The heavily hyped Fox drama is only a few episodes into its first season, but it already seems destined for the chopping block. The show started at a low 3.10 million viewers and a poor 1.1 rating in the 18 to 49 key demo in its premiere and has only seen continually declining ratings since. It’s latest episode dropped to 2.28 million viewers and a sad 0.7 rating. Between the terrible ratings and the equally bad reviews, the show seems destined to become the first cancellation of the season.
2. Blood & Oil
The ABC drama, starring Don Johnson and Chace Crawford, started out modestly, with its pilot episode garnering a 1.4 rating in the 18 to 49 demo and 6.3 million viewers overall. The series dipped again in its second episode, with 5.19 million viewers and a 1.2 rating. While those numbers aren’t an outright disaster, it does make it the network’s lowest-rated drama on Sunday night. Plus, maker of the leading smart remote app Peel recently revealed that only 60% of viewers still tuned in to this series after 15 minutes. With ratings likely continuing to erode in coming weeks, the show seems to be on a slippery slope to probable cancellation.
3. The Player
NBC’s Wesley Snipes-starring drama got off to a disappointing start, with 4.68 million viewers and 1.2 rating – despite having The Blacklist (which earned 7.7 million viewers) as a lead-in. The following episode saw another drop, drawing 4.58 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. Given the low ratings in the early episodes, it looks like The Player might be taken out of the game sooner rather than later.
4. CSI: Cyber
The last remaining show of CBS’s once strong franchise opened to pretty weak ratings on Sunday. The season two premiere garnered only 6.7 million total viewers and a low 1.0 rating in the key demo. If the show, which earned mostly negative ratings last season, sees an uptick in coming episodes, there’s a chance the network will choose to keep the CSI property going. But as it stands now, things aren’t looking good for the series.
5. Hawaii Five-0
Hawaii Five-0 kicked off its sixth season with a whimper. The season six warranted series-low ratings, garnering 8.3 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in the 18 to 49 demo. Those ratings put it at the bottom of CBS’s roster during premiere week. If the show continues to see a dip in viewership , it wouldn’t be surprising to see the network pull it off its roster – especially since syndication deals for the show are already in place and the cast contracts are reportedly up after this season.
6. Sleepy Hollow
The Fox series was already on the brink of cancellation last season, but the network decided to bring it back and even invested significant time and effort to revamp the show for its third season. But the show is already getting off to a rocky start in its return, to say the least. The series debuted in its its new Thursday time slot with 3.5 million total viewers and a 1.0 demo rating, which is down significantly from season two finale and easily hits new series lows. Since the series doesn’t have enough episodes for syndication, it still has to perform and so far, that’s not happening – meaning Fox may finally have to pull the plug for good.
7. Scream Queens
So far, Ryan Murphy’s heavily promoted horror comedy hasn’t quite lived up to the high expectations it set in the lead-up to its premiere. The pilot episode garnered 4.04 million ratings and a 1.7 rating – not bad, but not fantastic either. The show continued to dip in its second episode, warranting 3.46 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the key demo. While the series is definitely under performing, Murphy has a longstanding relationship with Fox, so there’s a solid chance that the show will at least finish its 13-episode first season, whether or not the ratings improve.
8. The Muppets
ABC’s new take on the classic Muppets characters is proving to be surprisingly entertaining for adults, with cameos from A-list stars like Elizabeth Banks, Josh Groban and Liam Hemsworth. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s not doing enough to hang on to its viewers. The show had a really strong premiere week, with 9.01 million viewers and a 2.9 key demo rating. But it’s seen a pretty steep decline since then, with it’s latest episode garnering a 1.7 rating and 4.85 million viewers. The falling ratings have taken it out of sure-thing territory and put it in jeopardy of cancellation.
9. Code Black
CBS’s new medical drama had a middling premiere, drawing 8.58 million viewers and scoring a 1.5 rating in the 18 to 49 demo. While it’s still too early to close the door on the show just yet, that’s not a great start – especially when combined with the mediocre reviews the series has earned so far. Right now, it’s a toss-up as to whether it’ll stick around. But if ratings don’t improve, it’s hard to see why the network will keep the show around, especially given how overcrowded the medical drama genre is already.
10. The Good Wife
CBS’s drama may be a critical darling, but its seventh season opened pretty soft. The show garnered a 1.2 rating in its October premiere and though it did draw 9.25 million viewers, those numbers are only so-so for CBS. In fact, the network’s political drama Madam Secretary ended up performing better, with a 1.4 rating and 11.79 million viewers. It’s too early to call whether The Good Wife will continue its critically acclaimed run past this season. But with notable cast members gone, the show might be close to wrapping up, especially if the ratings continue to dip.
Fox’s long-running series was on the verge of cancellation last season, with even the cast suggesting that the show would likely be over. But the network surprised many when it decided to renew the series for an eleventh season, despite a decline in viewership. Now the show’s back and the ratings still aren’t great. The season premiere earned a 1.3 score in the key demo and 6.0 million viewers. But it’s not just the moderate ratings that seem to indicate Bones will come to an end. Star David Boreanaz basically told E! he is ready to leave after this season.
The veteran ABC drama has a loyal fanbase, but it seems some viewers have stopped tuning regularly this season. The season eight premiere hit series lows, with 6.8 million total viewers and a 1.2 demo rating. While ratings are the lowest they’ve ever been, the good news is that they haven’t dipped all that much since. It’s most recent episode maintained a 1.2 rating and 6.7 million viewers. Is that enough for the show to stick around? Consider it on the bubble: while the show isn’t performing as well as it did in past seasons, it’s still a favorite on the network for many viewers.
13. Last Man on Earth
Fox’s apocalyptic-themed sitcom premiered last season to strong reviews and was renewed for a second season relatively quickly. But the show’s ratings in its second season have only been so-so. The series premiere earned a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo and 3.1 million viewers overall – which is fairly on par with its May finale, but significantly lower than its season one premiere. It’s second episode rose only slightly, with a 1.5 rating and 3.3 million viewers. It’s middling ratings put it on the bubble. Depending on how the next several episodes play out, Fox can go either way on this one.
14. Life in Pieces
So far, CBS’s newest sitcom is performing relatively decently. The premiere earned strong ratings, garnering 11.28 million viewers and 2.6 rating in the key demo. The freshman show was no doubt helped by its lead-in, the comedy juggernaut The Big Bang Theory. Unfortunately, the series hasn’t kept its sizable audience in the weeks since. The show saw a significant decline in subsequent episodes, with the most recent installment garnering 8.91 million viewers and a 1.9 rating. It’s a notable dip, albeit not drastic enough to put it in serious danger of cancellation yet. If the ratings hold steady in the coming weeks, the show still has a good shot at sticking around. But right now, it’s future isn’t completely certain.
More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:
- 6 TV Shows That Got the Ax Too Soon
- 9 TV Shows That Got Their Start Online
- Recasting Call: 7 TV Shows That Replaced Big Characters
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