15 New TV Shows That Definitely Aren’t Getting the Ax
There are still a slew of new shows set to premiere this midseason, but networks are already starting to contemplate which shows they’re keeping on their lineup and which ones are getting axed. Freshman shows have it especially tough, as now is the time to determine whether their debut seasons have performed well enough with critics and audiences to warrant another season.
This year, several new comedies and dramas have managed to make a strong enough impression to earn an early renewal. Below, check out 15 rookie shows that will definitely be returning to TV.
1. The Good Place
This NBC comedy, starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, has proven to be a new favorite in its rookie season. It earned a high 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes and though the show performed modestly in live ratings, it made up for it with strong DVR viewership.
Case in point: Taking into account both its live and delayed viewership, the comedy earned a combined average of 6.1 million viewers each week, marking a significant improvement from the same Thursday night time slot last season.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why NBC opted to give the series (which ended on a pretty major cliffhanger in Season 1) a 13-episode second season.
2. This Is Us
NBC’s ensemble family drama has been perhaps the biggest breakout hit of the year. The show, starring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, and Sterling K. Brown, earned 72 million total viewers in its first 10 episodes (aka everything up to the midseason finale) on all platforms. The series has since aired eight more episodes in the back half of its freshman season, meaning its total viewership has shot up even more.
In addition to being well-liked by audiences, critics have also expressed strong support, giving Season 1 strong reviews and a 90% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Given its wide-ranging popularity, renewal for This Is Us was pretty much a no-brainer, with NBC wasting no time green-lighting two more 18-episode seasons.
There was a lot of buzz leading up to FX’s new X-Men series and thankfully, it has managed to live up to the hype. The show’s freshman season, created by Fargo’s Noah Hawley, earned a widely positive response from critics and audiences alike. In addition to scoring a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Legion averages 1.68 million viewers among adults 18–49, making it the second most popular new cable series in that key demographic.
With solid ratings and strong reviews, it’s no surprise the comic book property is set to return for a second season in 2018.
The CW’s twisted take on Archie Comics has been generally well-received, earning an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Though the show isn’t a huge ratings juggernaut, it’s still a decent performer for the network, earning an average of 1.1 million viewers in its first season and a 0.4 score in the 18–49 demographic.
In addition to its live viewership, the show has quickly become one of the network’s most streamed shows on digital platforms. That likely played a factor in The CW’s decision to renew the series, which it formally announced in March 2017.
5. Sneaky Pete
This Amazon original was renewed for a second season less than a week after its January launch — and for good reason. According to Deadline, the Bryan Cranston-produced drama was its second most streamed original scripted series on an opening day, behind only The Man in the High Castle.
It wasn’t only popular among Amazon users. The show was also well-received by critics, with Season 1 earning the all-too-rare score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In case it wasn’t already obvious by their lineup, FX has a lot of confidence in Ryan Murphy. Aside from currently airing three of the producer’s anthology series (and recently ordering a fourth one), the channel chose to preemptively renew his latest title, Feud, for a second season. Not only was the renewal announced before Feud’s first season even premiered, but the subject of Season 2 has already been chosen: the royal estrangement of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Luckily, it seems the early renewal was warranted, as Feud has been performing pretty well so far. It garnered a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and also earned the highest-rated new series premiere on FX since last year’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (which is also produced by Murphy).
This Tom Hardy starrer has proven to be one of FX’s most popular new entries. In addition to gaining a generally favorable response (78% on Rotten Tomatoes), the show has also managed to establish a loyal fanbase during its eight-episode freshman run.
Though Season 1 of the drama only averaged 1.33 million per episode in live viewership, it more than doubled its total audience in DVR and on-demand viewing. With the show garnering about 5.8 million viewers per episode across all platforms, it’s no surprise that the network has decided to bring the show back for Season 2.
8. The Good Fight
This Good Wife spinoff is the first original scripted series to be launched on CBS All Access and it seems safe to count it as a success. The show drew overwhelmingly positive reviews in its February debut, scoring 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Its ratings are less clear, as CBS All Access is following the practices of other streaming services and keeping its viewership data under wraps.
Despite that, the network has suggested that there’s been a good subscriber response to the show, leading to its renewal. “We’re only a few episodes into the first season and the reaction from CBS All Access subscribers and critics alike has been phenomenal,” Marc DeBevoise, president and chief operating officer of CBS Interactive, said, per Deadline.
Season 2 will likely premiere in early 2018.
9. A Series of Unfortunate Events
As we all know by now, Netflix doesn’t release viewership data for its original shows. But its adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events must have done well among binge watchers, as the streaming service has confirmed that it’s bringing the series back for a second season.
Good reviews also likely played a factor in the streamer’s decision to renew. The show landed a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes, following its January debut.
10. The Mick
The Mick earned a pretty mediocre response from critics in its midseason debut. Despite that, the show has proven to do fairly well ratings-wise, averaging 3.6 million viewers in live viewership (and up to 8 million viewers in delayed and multi-platform viewing).
It’s also been a favorite of Fox executives from the get-go, with the network publicly voicing their confidence in star Kaitlin Olson and extending the season order early on. With that in mind, it’s no surprise the network decided to overlook the so-so reviews and bring the show back for more episodes.
11. Santa Clarita Diet
Netflix’s zombie comedy, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, will also be back. Though ratings for the series have not been released, the show received mostly positive reviews in its debut, earning a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. The solid critical response, along with the online buzz that the series garnered, likely led Netflix to keep it off the chopping block for now.
Season 2 will kick off production in the summer of 2017, before becoming available for streaming sometime in 2018.
12. Superior Donuts
Based on Tracy Letts’ play of the same name, this freshman CBS sitcom will revolve around the relationship between the owner of a donut shop (Judd Hirsch), his new employee (Jermaine Fowler), and the shop’s various patrons. The show has earned decent reviews (a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes) and ratings, scoring an average of 6.7 million viewers in its freshman season.
Those numbers, though not all that high in comparison to typical CBS standards, were solid enough to earn it a renewal. Season 2 will likely make a midseason debut in 2018.
HBO’s new comedy, executive produced by Judd Apatow and starring Peter Holmes, scored a renewal only four episodes into its freshman season. The show launched to strong reviews (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and respectable ratings, improving 54% over last year in the same post-Girls 10:30 p.m. time slot.
Between the good reviews and loyal fanbase, it’s easy to see why HBO opted to keep this series around.
14. One Day at a Time
Netflix’s reimagining of this Norman Lear classic is definitely coming back for another season — and for good reason. The show drew rave reviews, scoring a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and marking one of the best responses to a multi-camera comedy in a while. As fans know, Netflix keeps its viewership data under wraps, but given the overwhelmingly positive reaction from critics, the show was a clear contender for renewal.
Season 2 will reportedly consist of 13 episodes and will likely launch in 2018.
Detroiters, starring real-life best friends Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, is far from a ratings juggernaut, but the quirky comedy fits right into Comedy Central’s wheelhouse. The show garnered critical acclaim in its freshman season, scoring an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. It also has the support of some big names, with both Lorne Michaels and actor Jason Sudeikis serving as executive producers — a factor that may have contributed to its renewal.
Season 2 of the comedy will reportedly launch in 2018.
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