- Michael Becker / FOX
We don’t have to tell you that the television world is cutthroat. And with as many as 450 scripted shows projected to air this year, that’s truer than ever before. After all, they can’t all be winners.
It’s about that time in the season that TV networks are deciding which shows have to go and which shows get another round.
The decisions aren’t always simple. With today’s shrinking live viewership, it takes more than just ratings for a TV show to survive to see another season.
Networks are now looking at online, on-demand, and streaming viewership; awards appeal; social-media audiences; and international sales, among many other factors.
That said, here are Business Insider’s predictions for the shows that will probably get the ax over the next few weeks:
Hayley Atwell can’t catch a break. Last season, “Agent Carter” was canceled, and now ABC has said it won’t order additional episodes of her new show, “Conviction.” No network says “canceled” anymore, and that’s the case here, but any jury would put this show away for life for its low ratings and throw away the key.
Sorry to break it to you, but this show is already on the outs at ABC. The network cut its episode order from 13 to 10 episodes. The network insisted that the show hadn’t been canceled, but getting episodes cut is never a good sign.
- Michael Parmelee//CBS
The clues for the cancellation of “Elementary” are all there. While CBS has been the most-watched broadcast network for years, its audience traditionally steers older than the under-50 crowd advertisers are aiming for. So it doesn’t have much patience for low-rated shows, and “Elementary” is CBS’s lowest-rated show.
The network will probably let it finish its current fifth season because that makes it ripe for syndication sales. But it may not be worth holding onto for a sixth.
“The Blacklist” (NBC)
- Virginia Sherwood/NBC
“The Blacklist” may finally get the boot from NBC. For years, it was highly acclaimed by critics and creatives in Hollywood. James Spader was a real awards draw, as well. But NBC is back on top of the all-important ratings, and “The Blacklist” is its lowest-rated show.
NBC’s planned spin-off, “The Blacklist: Redemption,” could give the show a new life with possibilities of crossovers, or it could be its replacement.
“Falling Water” (USA Network)
- USA Network
With the success of “Mr. Robot,” USA Network went further into the world of trippy dramas with “Walking Dead” producer Gale Anne Hurd’s “Falling Water.” But it may have used up all its viewer patience with “Mr. Robot,” because few people are sticking around for the complicated dream world of “Falling Water.”
“Eyewitness” (USA Network)
- USA Network
It’s a shame that ratings for “Eyewitness” aren’t working out for USA Network. The crime anthology stars “Law & Order” alum Julianne Nicholson as a cop and new mom assigned to a grisly murder case. What’s especially brave about this show is that the only eyewitnesses to the murder are two secretly gay teens who were making out when it happened.
“Loosely Exactly Nicole” (MTV)
We had really high hopes for Nicole Byer’s hilarious and unique new comedy, “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” on MTV. The problem is that no one’s watching. It’s the lowest-rated show on MTV with an average of just under 200,000 viewers watching.
Probably the biggest sign of its impending demise was its move from weekly episodes on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. to the TV graveyard of Fridays at 10 p.m. with double episodes. Clearly, MTV is trying to break it off with “Loosely Exactly Nicole.”
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC)
- ABC/Matthias Clamer
Once upon a time, some protection was provided from cancellation at ABC if the show came from another part of the Disney family. But that all went away last year when ABC canceled “The Muppets” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter.”
That means “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is a sitting duck. To date, it has lost about 30% of last year’s audience, and it’s one of the lowest-rated shows on ABC.
It does have one thing going for it. ABC is trying to woo sister company Lucasfilm into doing a “Star Wars” TV series. But the fact that Marvel’s shows are failing on ABC and thriving at Netflix could keep Lucasfilm from partnering up with ABC.
- ABC/Giovanni Rufino
TV viewers can be so finicky. Last season, “Quantico” and its star Priyanka Chopra, the first Indian lead on American broadcast TV, were the toast of the town and a ratings winner. Now in its second season, the show has seen its audience fall by nearly 40%, and it’s the lowest-rated show on ABC.
“Pure Genius” (CBS)
- Sonja Flemming/CBS
“Pure Genius” is pure ratings bottom-feeder as far as CBS is concerned. It’s the network’s lowest-rated new show of the season. That’s enough reason to pull the medical drama’s life support.
“Code Black” (CBS)
- Monty Brinton/CBS
“Code Black” is in triage mode at CBS. It wasn’t the highest-rated show in its first season last year, so it’s especially troubling that it has lost about 22% of last year’s audience. Even the stunt casting of Rob Lowe this season couldn’t stop the bleeding.
“The Exorcist” (Fox)
- “The Exorcist”/Fox
It’s sad that this show isn’t finding an audience. The “Exorcist” continuation is well written, beautifully shot, and the cast – including Geena Davis – is really talented. But alas, it’s Fox’s lowest-rated show. Keeping Davis at Fox could be the show’s strongest argument for sticking around, but she’s probably not enough to keep the show alive.
“Scream Queens” (Fox)
- Michael Becker / FOX
While last season was campy and fun, this season of “Scream Queens” feels like a big disaster. Taking the characters from a college setting to a hospital didn’t feel very natural. Even bringing on heartthrobs John Stamos and Taylor Lautner hasn’t kept this show from bleeding out. Its ratings have fallen nearly 33% over last year’s numbers. With its star-studded cast and elaborate sets, the cost of the show at these ratings appears unjustifiable.
But the fact that Ryan Murphy (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”) is an executive producer could keep it from cancellation, as Fox may want to preserve that relationship.
- Adam Taylor/FOX
A pretty successful first season won this medical/cop show a second year. We hear “Rosewood” got a lot better after its terrible pilot episode last season. But this season, its ratings are down 40%, and it has lost about a quarter of season one’s audience. Ouch.