With Save Our Shows, you can cast your vote among dozens of network comedies and dramas that are “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation.
There’s still time to vote.
USA TODAY’s 22nd annual Save Our Shows poll, which launched last week, lets you cast a ballot for your favorites among 26 endangered TV series.
Early results from 60,000 fans reveal top picks: ABC’s rookie dramas “The Rookie,” starring Nathan Fillion, and “Whiskey Cavalier,” starring Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan, along with CBS fifth-season political drama “Madam Secretary,” starring Tea Leoni.
They’re among the broadcast-network sitcoms and dramas hovering “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation, as programmers weigh their chances against a crop of pilot episodes for potential replacement series that have begun rolling into their offices.
But a pair of other series, CW’s “All American” and Fox’s “Star,” need your help if they have any chance of returning: Both scored near the bottom of the poll.
More: Save Our Shows 2019: Vote to keep your TV favorites
More: Save Our Shows 2019: Which network series are returning, departing or ‘on the bubble’
An FBI agent (Scott Foley) and a CIA agent (Lauren Cohan) are paired up in ABC’s freshman spy dramedy “Whiskey Cavalier,” a top early pick in USA TODAY’s 22nd annual Save Our Shows poll. (Photo: Larry D. Horricks/ABC)
Save Our Shows helped earn a renewal for NBC’s “Timeless” in 2017, days after it had been canceled, the network’s chief Robert Greenblatt said at the time. The time-travel fantasy series won another reprieve, after winning a second poll last year, for a two-hour series finale that aired last December.
Many other, more important factors go into deciding whether a series stays or goes. Ratings are still key, though the analysis is now spread over a much longer period of time, as many shows derive most of their viewership from digital, DVR-delayed and on-demand viewing.
Nathan Fillion stars as John Nolan, a 40-something LAPD trainee in ABC’s “The Rookie.” Afton Williamson plays his inscrutable training officer Talia Bishop. (Photo: Tony Rivetti, ABC)
But a program’s ownership is important: Networks tend to favor the shows they produce in-house because they benefit from sales to streaming platforms, local stations or overseas broadcasters. NBC’s low-rated drama “Good Girls,” for example, is a lock to return, mostly because the network owns it and signed a lucrative deal with Netflix for streaming rights.
So is profitability. A low-rated but high-cost series is a recipe for financial disaster because advertising rates are correlated with a program’s performance.
This year marks an especially tumultuous time for the major networks, as three – Fox, NBC and ABC – have installed new top programming chiefs in recent months.
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