Even more than usual, this current season the major broadcasters like CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC held back many of their big shows for the year from a planned Fall 2016 premiere to a mid-season launch in January/February.
The strategy has backfired. THR reports that seventeen new shows have launched since January 1st, and none has been considered a break out hit with nearly all new series stuck with low ratings, compounding the weak Fall that came before it.
MediaVest-Spark investment director Sam Armando tells the trade: “In the past, midseason success was typically built on the foundation established in the Fall. Since only This Is Us popped in the fall, there just aren’t any coattails to ride on.”
Aside from the true hit of “This Is Us,” only a few Fall shows proved to have any staying power and almost all of them light-hearted dramedies: “Speechless,” “Bull” and “Kevin Can Wait”.
The Spring shows have been even bigger duds, such as high profile spinoffs like “24: Legacy” and “The Blacklist: Redemption” – next month’s revival of “Prison Break” could go either way at this point.
NBC’s “Timeless” managed a small but consistent following, but other time-travel dramas which just launched such as ABC’s “Time After Time” and FOX’s “Making History” have failed to launch.
To date the only true cancellation this season has been “Doubt,” though the recent death of Bill Paxton and a change in timeslot suggests the “Training Day” TV series reimagining is on the out as well. Expect further cancellation notices soon.