Believe it or not, many series STILL on the bubble
With the upfronts less than 48 hours away, the networks are finalizing their decisions on “bubble” shows.
In a bit of a surprise, NBC announced Saturday the reversal on a decision they made earlier in the week regarding sci-fi drama Timeless: NBC said it would bring the series back for a second season.
This is not the first time in recent years a network reserved a decision on a show – a few years ago, CBS uncanceled Poppy Montgomery vehicle Unforgettable, renewing it for thirteen more episodes.
Late Friday, NBC gave a last-minute renewal to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – entering its nineteenth season this fall. The mothership (Law & Order) ran for twenty, tying Gunsmoke for the longest-running drama in TV history.
Fox gave last-minute renewals to The Exorcist and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. and Saturday evening, CBS picked up Elementary and Amazing Race for another season.
As for cancellations, the biggest announcement was the end of the line for veteran 2 Broke Girls after six seasons and The Great Outdoors after one. CBS picked up several comedy pilots, but in a reversal from years past, ordered just one multi-cam project (9JKL). A few days ago, ABC canceled its last remaining multi-cam sitcoms, Last Man Standing and Dr. Ken.
NBC pulled the plug on The Blacklist: Redemption after one season.
As of this writing, no word on the fates of a few remaining shows whose fates remain undecided: Quantico, Chicago Justice, Prison Break, 24: Legacy, Trial & Error, New Girl, or Undercover Boss: compared to years past, this is an unusually high number of programs left on the bubble. NBC is likely to release its 2017-18 lineup Sunday afternoon, with its upfront presentation Monday, followed by Fox.
Meanwhile, there is some reported tension between ad buyers and the networks over pricing, according to Variety. With many low-rated network shows returning and ratings for live TV declining, many buyers are scoffing at increased rates for shows. As a result, networks are cutting costs on programming, and slashing licensing fees.
If this is any indication of how negotiations are going to go, the networks and buyers are going to be in for some long nights ahead.
I hope they love pizza, because they are going to be eating a lot of it.
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