With the tv season winding to a close with numerous finales aired, and others approaching, the networks have been deciding the fate of several shows over the last few weeks. Here’s what has been formally cancelled, renewed, and greenlit among the five network channels.
The CW renewed nearly their entire slate earlier this year, with 11 series promised a returning season. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, The Flash, iZombie, Arrow, Supernatural, Legends of Tomorrow, The 100, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Reign will all be back next season.
The one series that won’t be back is the channel’s mid-season show Containment.
In addition to the returning series, The CW also picked up Riverdale, No Tomorrow, and Frequency, as well as Supergirl, which will be moving to the channel from CBS, where it aired its first season.
Riverdale comes from Greg Berlanti, the creative force behind much of the DC’s television universe (including all the shows on The CW), and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics. It’s a modern-day subversive take on the popular comics, with the titular character popping up, alongside Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and all the other mainstays of the series.
No Tomorrow is another adaptation of a Brazilian series, joining The CW’s critical darling Jane the Virgin as adaptations of South American series to join the channel’s lineup. The show hails from Ben Silverman and Corinne Brinkerhoff both of whom are also executive producers on Jane the Virgin, and revolves around a risk-averse woman who falls for a man who lives life to the fullest because he believes the apocalypse is coming.
Frequency is an adaptation of the 2000 movie of the same name, with Peyton List taking over the lead role that Jim Caviezel played in the film, as a modern-day detective who discovers that she can communicate with her now-dead father in 1996 via ham radio, with the two bonding and solving cases together in a way that affects time itself.
The CW has struck a very healthy balance across their programming, with critical and commercial hits balancing things out, and their willingness to give low-rated shows a chance to grow shows a level of confidence that other network channels haven’t demonstrated, further bolstered by their early renewals. Given their packed slate, however, it’ll be intriguing to see how they fit their four new shows into the slate.
Among the series itself, Peyton List’s return to a starring role is a promising one, as she’s proven herself a capable presence in both The Tomorrow People and The Flash, with her casting adding to The CW’s reputation as a channel that helps take care of performers on their shows. Joshua Sasse’s casting in No Tomorrow is also an exciting development, as his turn as Galavant proved his ability to add the right level of silliness to a project, and seeing how the Jane the Virgin producers follow up the latter show’s success should be interesting, at the very least. Riverdale, however, seems to fit into the slot previously occupied by Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, as a show that seems like it might not work on paper. Given the roaring success the two have gone on to, critically if not commercially, Riverdale has big shoes to fill, but the presence of both Berlanti and Aguirre-Sacasa behind the scenes bodes well.
Containment‘s cancellation sets an interesting trend for the channel, however, as it follows The Messengers as a mid to late-season series that didn’t get a second season. It will be worth keeping an eye on which one of these three series gets that slot this time, and whether they can manage to break the developing streak.
2 Broke Girls, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Hawaii Five-O, Life in Pieces, Madam Secretary, Mom, all three iterations of NCIS (NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: New Orleans), Scorpion, Survivor, Zoo, Code Black, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and The Odd Couple will all be returning to the channel next season.
Joining the previously cancelled series Angel From Hell, Extant, Under The Dome, and Mike & Molly is CSI: Cyber and Rush Hour, with The Good Wife and Person of Interest also winding down their final seasons. Supergirl will be moving from CBS to The CW for its second season.
Joining the returning slate on CBS will be Bull, Doubt, MacGyver, Pure Genius, Training Day, The Great Indoors, Man With a Plan, and Kevin Can Wait.
Bull is a fictional story based on the life of Dr. Phil, revolving around a psychologist who tries to get inside the heads of people for court cases. Dr. Phil is onboard as an executive producer.
MacGyver is a prequel to the famous series with the same name about a resourceful adventurer that remains Richard Dean Anderson’s most famous role. X-Men‘s Lucas Till takes on the titular role this time around, with Zero Hour’s Addison Timlin also in the cast, while the original’s creator David Lee Zlotoff is involved in this one as well.
Doubt marks the return of Katherine Heigl to television, as she plays the central character, a defense attorney falling for her client, whom she’s defending on murder charges. Steven Pasquale, Dreama Walker, and Laverne Cox make up the supporting cast.
Training Day is a tv adaptation of the 2001 film, with Bill Paxton as the corrupt mentor detective this time around, and Justin Cornwell as the rookie. Julie Benz and Katrina Law are part of the supporting cast, and Antoine Fuqua and Jerry Bruckheimer are both involved as producers.
Pure Genius is the newest series from Jason Katims, revolving around a hospital, the surgeon who runs it, and the entrepreneur who funds it. Odette Annable, Brenda Song, and Dermot Mulroney are among the cast.
Man With A Plan sees Matt LeBlanc return to primetime sitcoms as a contractor who juggles taking care of his kids with his wife when she returns to work.
The Great Indoors stars Joel McHale as a magazine writer who clashes with the company’s younger workforce when he takes on a more desk-bound position.
Kevin Can Wait brings Kevin James back to the sitcom world as a recently retired cop trying to re-enter home life.
Name recognition seems to be key to CBS’ strategy for the upcoming television season, from the likes of Katherine Heigl and Matt LeBlanc getting their own series, to Dr. Phil as a producer and MacGyver and Training Day among the new slate. The latter, however, is among one of the more promising series, with the involvement of both Bill Paxton and Antoine Fuqua. The absence of David Ayer, however, whose distinctive print is all over the film, begs the question of what direction this series will go in.
Katims’ return to writing also bodes well following both Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. With him taking more of a producing role in Hulu’s The Path, Pure Genius promises to see him more involved, and thus has the potential to be stealthily emotionally affecting, like his other shows have been. His presence alone makes it worth at least a preliminary look.
How the channel’s comedy lineup fares will be very interesting to see. Moreso than their hourlong shows, CBS’ upcoming sitcoms all seem to be banking on name recognition, with LeBlanc, Kevin James, and Joel McHale headlining the series. If they succeed, CBS and other channels might try to replicate this strategy, but if they fail, what CBS decides to do instead will be very telling.
The cancellation of CSI: Cyber, in addition to freeing up Patricia Arquette and James Van Der Beek to pursue other projects, also marks the end of the CSI franchise, which began in 2000.
Coming back for new seasons later this year on NBC will be The Blacklist, Blindspot, Dick Wolf’s Chicago trio (Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med), Grimm, Law & Order: SVU, Shades of Blue, Superstore, and The Carmichael Show.
Removed from the roster are Heartbeat, Game of Silence, Crowded, The Mysteries of Laura, Telenovela, and Undateable, alongside the previously cancelled Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, Heroes Reborn, and The Player.
Joining the returning roster will be The Blacklist: Redemption, Chicago Justice, Emerald City, Midnight, Texas, Taken, Timeless, This is Us, The Good Place, Great News, Powerless, Marlon, and Trial & Error.
The Blacklist: Redemption is a spinoff of NBC’s popular The Blacklist, with Ryan Eggold’s character anchoring the spinoff alongside Famke Janssen.
Chicago Justice expands Dick Wolf’s latest TV universe, joining Chicago Med, Chicago PD, and Chicago Fire, as the focus on this series is on prosecutors in the State’s Attorney’s office, with a cast that includes Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, and Joelle Carter.
Taken is a television prequel to the Liam Neeson action trilogy, with Clive Standen taking over the role of Bryan Mills from Neeson.
Emerald City is a re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz, with a 20 year old Dorothy getting swept up to the magical land. The entire 10-episode first season will be directed by Tarsem Singh.
Midnight, Texas marks the return of Charlaine Harris novels to television, and features Orphan Black‘s Dylan Bruce and The Vampire Diaries‘ Arielle Kebbel among the cast.
Timeless is a new science fiction series that sees a soldier, a scientist, and a professor work together to travel through time in pursuit of a criminal looking to alter history.
Great News hails from executive producers Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, and Tracey Wigfield, all of whom worked together on 30 Rock, and revolves around a TV news producer whose mother, re-entering the workforce, gets an internship at the same station. Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin star as the daughter and mother, respectively.
This Is Us focuses on a group of characters whose lives cross each other, and stars, among others, American Crime Story‘s Sterling K. Brown, Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia, and Mandy Moore.
Trial & Error stars John Lithgow and Nicholas D’Agosto as a murder defendant and lawyer in a spoof of true crime documentaries. It’s co-created by Angie Tribeca‘s Jeff Astrof and Chuck’s Matthew Miller.
Powerless is the newest show from DC, and revolves around an insurance adjuster in a world populated by superheroes. Vanessa Hudgens takes on the lead role in the series created by A to Z‘s Ben Queen, with Alan Tudyk and Danny Pudi in the supporting cast.
While there are a number of questionable pickups among this group, most notably Taken, a film trilogy whose success rests squarely on the shoulders of Liam Neeson, NBC’s new show lineup is the most fascinating when seen independent of their respective channels. Emerald City is the first one that jumps out, as it gives director Tarsem Singh a larger canvas to work with, his visual flair arguably well suited to the land of Oz. He’s certainly one of the few people capable of making something distinct from the well-worn story, and how it turns out could affect how network shows are developed. Between both this and Fox’s Shots Fired, the trend of single-director television seasons may become more prominent on the networks if both shows are commercially successful.
Great News is another series with a lot of potential. Fey and Carlock have proven with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that their success on 30 Rock was no fluke, and a return to a similar environment as the latter, with another scribe from 30 Rock alongside them, is certainly cause for excitement. Briga Heelan is also a performer who’s shown her charm and comedic ability on both Undateable and Ground Floor, and another lead role is one she’s certainly earned. Put alongside veteran comic performer Andrea Martin, with the aforementioned crew backing them both up, means this show could end up becoming one of the gems of the upcoming season.
Powerless is the other new series worth keeping an eye on. As the first comedic take on superheroes from DC Comics, it could break new ground if it finds an audience, allowing superhero shows and films to live firmly in the comedic genre. The cast is also strong, with Tudyk and Pudi having proven themselves many times over, and Hudgens having impressed in several projects, enough that a leading role for her was only a matter of time.
Undateable‘s cancellation also brings to an end the experiment of comprising a show of only live episodes.
ABC picked up very few shows to move forward with, but among the survivors are Agents of SHIELD, American Crime, Black-ish, The Catch, Dr. Ken, Fresh Off The Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Last Man Standing, The Middle, Mistresses, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Quantico, The Real O’Neals, and Scandal.
A number of shows got the boot, including Agent Carter, The Family, Galavant, and The Muppets, joining veterans Castle and Nashville, which also won’t be returning. Blood & Oil, Of Kings & Prophets, Rookie Blue, and Wicked City had already been cancelled.
Among the channel’s new fall lineup will be Conviction, Notorious, Designated Survivor, Still Star-Crossed, Time After Time, Speechless, Imaginary Mary, Downward Dog, and the now-untitled comedy formerly known as The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport.
Designated Survivor marks the newest series starring Kiefer Sutherland, this time playing a cabinet member who suddenly becomes the President of the US following a catastrophe.
Still Star-Crossed is the newest Shondaland series, this one coming from Heather Mitchell, who’s written for Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. It follows the Montagues and the Capulets in the aftermath of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths.
Conviction marks Hayley Atwell’s newest series following the cancellation of Agent Carter, where she plays an attorney and former First Daughter who works on overturning wrongful convictions to avoid her own jail sentence.
Notorious stars Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata in a series that explores the crossroads of law and media. Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman is a co-creator on this series.
Time After Time is executive produced by The Vampire Diaries and The Following‘s Kevin Williamson, and focuses on HG Wells pursuing Jack The Ripper through time.
Downward Dog marks the first regular role for Alison Tolman following her turn on the first season of Fargo, and focuses on the trials and tribulations of a woman and her dog, from the dog’s POV. It’s based on a web series whose creators, Samm Hodges and Michael Killen, are also involved in the show.
Speechless stars Minnie Driver and John Ross Bowie as parents of a special needs child, the role of which is filled by Micah Fowler, who actually suffers from cerebral palsy, as the family deals with the issues and challenges that arise from this situation.
Imaginary Mary hails from The Goldbergs creator Adam F Goldberg and Shawn Levy. It stars Jenna Elfman and Broad City’s Stephen Schneider, as well as Rachel Dratch’s voice, this time lent to a character that’s the childhood friend of Elfman’s character.
The now-untitled comedy that was formerly known as The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport comes from Spin City and Bunheads writer Sarah Dunn, and stars Eastbound & Down’s Katy Mixon in the lead role.
Unlike other channels, ABC’s cancellations are a bigger story than their pickups. Fan favorites such as Agent Carter and Galavant, who found loyal audiences despite never garnering larger commercial success, got the boot, leaving very little of the channel’s lineup from the past two years intact, and pre-emptively hanging a blade over the necks of the newly premiering shows. Castle’s cancellation is also an interesting one, as the channel’s attempt to retool the show by firing co-lead Stana Katic had met with immense backlash, proving that the fans’ voices were too loud to ignore. The cancellation does open up Nathan Fillion’s schedule for a number of superhero and science fiction projects that he has been fantasy-cast in already by his fans. In addition, American Crime surviving to see a third season bodes extremely well for the channel.
The most intriguing choice among the pickups is Speechless, as it has the potential to either be a heartwarming, nuanced look at the struggles a family faces when one of its members is a disabled individual, or a tone-deaf series that could chastise parents for “caring too much”. The casting of Fowler is a step in the right direction, and shows promise that the show will be more of the former, rather than the latter.
Where Still Star-Crossed fits into the schedule will also be intriguing to see, as the Thursday lineup is already filled with four shows from Rhimes’ Shondaland Production company.
Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth, Lucifer, New Girl, Rosewood, Scream Queens, The Simpsons, and Sleepy Hollow will all be returning next season.
Bordertown, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Grandfathered, The Grinder, Minority Report, and Second Chance will not be returning.
Among the new shows on Fox’s fall roster is 24: Legacy, APB, The Exorcist, Lethal Weapon, Shots Fired, Pitch, Star, The Mick, Son of Zorn, and Making History.
24: Legacy is a continuation of the popular Fox series, this time without Kiefer Sutherland or Mary Lynn Rajskub. The Walking Dead‘s Corey Hawkins takes over lead role duties in this iteration, which will maintain the real-time format, with Miranda Otto and Jimmy Smits also joining the cast.
The Exorcist is an adaptation of the William Friedkin horror classic, set in modern day and starring Geena Davis, with Sense8‘s Alfonso Herrera and Flesh and Bone‘s Ben Daniels among the supporting cast.
Pitch is co-created by Galavant‘s Dan Fogelman and Younger scribe Rick Singer, and follows the trials and tribulations of the first woman to play in the MLB. Kylie Bunbury stars, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Ali Larter among the supporting cast.
Lethal Weapon is an adaptation of the movie franchise, with Clayne Crawford stepping into the role of Riggs and Damon Wayans Sr. Taking over from Danny Glover for the role of Murtaugh. McG executive produces, with Forever creator Matthew Miller behind this as well.
APB focuses on the privatization of a Chicago police precinct by a tech billionaire, with Len Wiseman and Person of Interest writer David Slack among the crew.
Star is the newest series from Lee Daniels, this one also focused on music, this time on three singers trying to make a career for themselves.
Shots Fired is a miniseries from Gina Prince-Bythewood that focuses on a police shooting in a small town that leaves a white teenager dead at the hands of an African-American cop. Sanaa Lathan, Richard Dreyfuss, Stephen Moyer, and Helen Hunt star.
The Mick stars It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Kaitlin Olson as a hustler who has to suddenly take care of her rich sister’s children when her sister flees the country.
Son of Zorn is executive produced by The Last Man on Earth‘s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and focuses on an animated hero who tries to reconnect with his live-action son. Jason Sudeikis voices the lead character, while Cheryl Hines stars.
Making History stars Happy Endings’ Adam Pally, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester, and Girls’ Yassir Lester as three time-travelling friends. Family Guy and Dads writer Julius Sharpe is the creator, with Lord and Miller onboard as executive producers as well.
Similar to CBS, Fox’s pickups lean on brand recognition, with two adaptations of classic films making their way to the lineup. How Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist turn out will be very telling, not only with respect to the quality of the shows themselves, but in how audiences respond to them. The former series in particular saw its appeal shaped by its stars and the chemistry they had with each other, as well as with the writing of Shane Black, none of which is present in the new series. The presence of Geena Davis in a lead role in The Exorcist hints at the possibility that there’s more to the show than it might appear at first glance, as Davis was very invested in the last series that featured her so prominently, Commander in Chief.
24: Legacy faces a similar challenge in trying to forge a new identity without some of its most recognizable elements. While he has garnered praise for his work in other projects, the lead role in a thriller series is a new career direction for Hawkins, and his work is cut out for him in creating a new lead that serves as a capable replacement for Sutherland’s Jack Bauer without being a copy.
Shots Fired, however, may be the most exciting project in the lineup, as Prince-Bythewood’s transition to television, her reunion with her Love & Basketball star Sanaa Lathan, and the weighty subject matter all bode very well for this series. How Fox treats the show if it is a success, however, will be very telling, as the possibility of the show getting extended or renewed is quite likely despite it being presented as a miniseries. Whether the cast and crew agree to a renewal, and what plans they might have beyond the first season, will say a lot about their expectations for the show.
Fox’s willingness to invest more money with both Lord & Miller and Daniels also points to an interesting trend of taking ideas from those who’ve proven themselves with the channel already. If their new shows are a success, there’s a possibility Fox may present them with more cheques come next year. The combination of both these pickups and the cancellation of both Grandfathered and The Grinder seem indicative of a strategy to go after shows and producers that, on paper at least, seem to have a better shot at success, and whether their ratings bear that out shall be seen this fall.
The biggest surprise, however, is the renewal of Sleepy Hollow, which also faced a backlash following the decision to kill off co-lead Abbie Mills, effectively exiting Nicole Beharie from the series. How much legs the show has will be seen next season.