That is the million dollar question that the Big Four networks, FOX, CBS, NBC, and ABC, face every year when they debut their new fall shows to the public. In a recent Warming Glow article by blogger Josh Kurp, he asks the question whether this season of television is the weakest season of new shows in the past ten years. Looking at the numbers is really interesting. Over the past three years, not including this year’s cancellations and new shows aired, there have been 110 new shows premiered by the Big Four Networks and of those shows, 76 of them were canceled in their first year. That is a cancellation rate of 69%! When you break down the numbers by station, NBC canceled the most shows the past three years with 24 total. ABC is in second with canceling 23 shows over the past three years. FOX and CBS both canceled 14 shows. The biggest surprise to me from these numbers is the number of shows ABC has canceled. They averaged around 7 cancellations each season. I always thought of ABC as stable network and not taking a lot of chances with their programming. What didn’t surprise me was the number of shows NBC has canceled. In my opinion, NBC has dropped in quality. Shows like the short lived, The Paul Reiser Show, or even Free Agents just did not capture my attention. The shows I do like on NBC get no love. I love Community and Parks and Recreation, but, they are most likely going to be canceled after this season. (I am preparing myself for the worst.)
Looking at this year, so far there have been 18 shows to premiere and of those there have already been 5 cancellations; Made in Jersey (CBS), Partners (CBS), 666 Park Avenue (ABC), Last Resort (ABC), and Animal Practice (NBC). There are still 17 more shows to premiere this season and of those I am going to guess more than half will not make it. So, what does America want? What is the winning recipe for a show to be successful? Does it involve more vampires or zombies? Does it involve more cops? Do we need more reality shows? I don’t know. I know what I want, but, that does not go with the American public. I think that’s why I find myself watching cable networks more, like HBO and FX. I know this thou Americans are really picky people.
UPDATE: Three more new shows that premiered this fall have been canceled. Mob Doctor (FOX), Emily Owens, M.D. (CW), and The InBetweeners (MTV).
Warming Glow Article