Although most of the canceled TV show headlines of late have been focused on the big streamers, attention will soon shift to the beleaguered Big 5 broadcasters as the May upfronts draw closer. Many in-limbo shows on the 2023 Renewal Scorecard are a lock to return, but there are a handful of high-profile series on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW that remain very much on the bubble.
TV’s annual springtime rite of (anxious) passage known as “Bubble Watch” is coming down to the wire. With the traditional upfront week set to get underway May 16, the five broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW — are poised to decide the fate of roughly two dozen in-limbo series.
We are on the cusp of the annual flurry of broadcast renewals and cancellations. Here’s a look at the broadcast scripted series whose fate has not been determined yet, along with assessment of their chances.
There’s less than a month to go until ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS unveil their new fall slates — so it’s crunch time for so-called “bubble” shows, teetering on the edge of another season or the scrap heap. A bevy of hits are already renewed, others are canceled or are as-good-as-dead. That leaves those low-rated-but-critically-adored series — or those that just never took off — as the real question marks.
In the coming weeks, execs at the five broadcast networks will decide the fate of more than two dozen series. Here are the nine bubble shows whose demise likely would cause the biggest stir.
With less than two weeks to go before the networks make their upfront presentations, it’s decision time for the Big Four. The question: Which bubble shows will be renewed, and which will be canceled? Here’s a listing of the major bubble shows the networks still have yet to renew or cancel, with decisions expected to come in the next few days.
It is very difficult for showrunners to wrap production on a season without knowing if their series would get another season. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the network business, and about two dozen shows go though that every year. Here is a look at each network’s comedy and drama series in peril and their odds for survival.
It’s crunch time at the networks, as they take stock of their current crop of shows and map out their needs and plans for fall. The bubble will burst for a slew of shows, likely including first-year comedies fronted by Michael J. Fox, Sean Hayes and Rebel Wilson. While these all disappointed in the ratings, Robin Williams’ CBS comedy The Crazy Ones has fared better, but is among the tougher prospective renewal calls for any net.
With two months to go until the networks present their fall schedules to advertisers at the upfront, it looks as though a handful of veteran shows are at risk of getting the ax. Most of them are on CBS like The Mentalist.
Network executives are facing tough decisions about the futures of some onetime audience favorites that might be bulldozed to make way for new series. Among the long-running shows that are on the bubble: ABC’s family drama Brothers & Sisters, NBC’s perennially endangered comic caper Chuck and Fox’s crime drama Lie to Me. Their fates are likely to depend on how appealing the new pilots seem when executives watch them.
It’s never too early to start fearing for the life of your favorite show. By all accounts, the hits have been hard to come by this season, but in the hyper-competitive digital age, most TV shows just need to hold their own to remain on the air. Still, if you were one of those viewers who thoughtfinally found his voice as the cranky old dad in CBS’s $#@! My Dad Says, think again. Here’s a breakdown of what’s working, what’s not, and what’s on the bubble.