CLEAR AND UPFRONT DANGER '17

BUBBLE SHOWS

Around this time of the year network executives have to take a long hard look at their rosters and see which series are really performing. The ones that are doing just "okay" land on the bubble and won't know their fates until the new fall schedules are announced in May. 

This year the bubble pool is actually one of the smallest in years as many networks have already given the greenlight to a lot of rookies thought to be danger. Yet a number still remain as do a few veterans that are showing age.

Here's a list of the series that are firmly on the bubble and could go either way.

Timeless

Here’s my prediction on Timeless – I do think it will get renewed but I think it will be relegated to Wednesdays at 8pm. The problem is that’s the slot that killed Revolution after two seasons and is slowly pulling Blindspot in that same direction. It’s a smart show with a fun take on the time-travel concept that is quickly becoming played out, but there’s no question it is not making the most of its post Voice lead-in and that’s why it’s in trouble. 

UPDATE - CANCELLED

Blindspot

Speaking of Blindspot, here’s a show that was tops among all rookies last season but ran out of steam in season two. A lot of its problems can be traced to an overly confusing plot that is going to be hard to keep going over the long run, but its biggest problem is its timeslot. Wednesday’s at 8pm is not a good timeslot for a drama on NBC and even if Blindspot somehow survives, the damage may be done.

UPDATE - RENEWED

Gotham

Gotham is likely safe, but there are some red flags…namely FOX has gone on a renewal spree the last few months. Lucifer, Lethal Weapon and Star have all been given the greenlight for another batch of episodes which will impact the network’s pickup decisions for the fall. Gotham doesn’t do the same numbers it did in previous years, but it is has a loyal niche audience and is so close to reaching syndication the studio and the network may decide it makes more financial sense to keep it on air.

Quantico

I feel bad about this one because the concept was so solid but the execution went haywire somewhere along the way. ABC even tried shifting it from Sunday nights to Monday nights but that didn’t do much to help as serialized shows are hard to jump into midway (and the network missed a opportunity by not offering a catch-up video of some kind). 22 episodes a year is too much for this high concept of a show and would have been much better suited as one running half that amount.

Once Upon A Time

Once  Upon A Time was such a great concept when it debuted but then it began to show its age. The good thing is that producers and ABC have realized that and reports have come out that the two sides are looking at reboot featuring just the show’s most popular characters. Of course Castle was supposed to be rebooted also and that didn’t quite work out.

Hawaii Five-0

This one has reached the point where it will be a bubble show from now until it eventually does go off the air. The show does well as an anchor for CBS’ Friday night lineup and something HAS to go into that slot, but it is also seven years old and not a cheap show. You also have to take into account how long the cast and the producers want to stay attached to a series as rumors are swirling star Alex O’Loughlin may be getting antsy. 

UPDATE - RENEWED

Code Black

CBS really REALLY wants a medical show and it has not had a lot of luck. In order to help bolster Code Black the network gave the show an overhaul in season two and added Rob Lowe to the mix. The ratings improved slightly but not to the point the show isn’t still in danger. Code’s future is likely tied to if the network believes they have a better alternative in the wings.

Pitch

Pitch was a risk for FOX, but it was a smart one even if the ratings didn’t reflect success. In this golden era of TV shows having one that features a female in a empowering role is rare The idea of a drama about the first female baseball player and produced in partnership with MLB isn’t something that should be one and down. Unfortunately this one may not get another at bat.

UPDATE- CANCELLED

Scream Queens

This one shouldn’t have been renewed the first time but FOX has a long partnership with Ryan Murphy so executives gave it a second chance. Don’t expect a third, it is that simple.

Frequency

The film to TV trend is incredibly tricky and many networks have learned that lesson the hard way. Frequency wasn’t a bad show it just was a familiar concept in a time where audiences are looking for something new, not just re-worked.

UPDATE - CANCELLED

Rosewood

Rosewood’s success initially came as a result of being paired with Empire. The problem was that when FOX moved Rosewood to Thursdays its audience didn’t follow. It also didn’t help to be paired with the ratings-deprived Pitch. It’s a shame because the show is fun and not your typical procedural but a third season may be out of reach at this point.

UPDATE - CANCELLED

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