Death Watch 2014: TV Show Survival Predictions

Once again we stand in vigil while gazing at the broadcast schedule, watching and waiting to see which prime-time series will be the next to … snuff it.

Morbid, we know.

Here’s a status update on nearly all the current shows on the five broadcast networks. Though ratings are still key, a show’s fate is increasingly impacted by other factors: ABC’s Revenge would likely get axed if it weren’t for its impressive DVR numbers. The CW’s Reign has improved odds because of it’s co-produced in-house and ABC’s Neighbors may survive because the bar is lower on Fridays. So we spoke with insiders to try and craft an accurate prognosis for each show. Let’s start with …


How I Met Your Mother: Nice to meet you, mom! You kids have a nice life.

2 Broke Girls: Nothing broken here. Look for the girls to keep on serving.

Mike & Molly: Its numbers are just as good as New Girl, which is considered a “hit” at Fox. Since it’s from CBS’ MVP Chuck Lorre, it’s likely to earn another season.

Mom: See Mike & Molly.

Intelligence: Awfully dumb ratings, though adds 3 million viewers from DVRs. Too early to call.

Hostages: Nice CBS attempt to break out of its procedural drama grind, but it’s finished.

NCIS: No brainer.

NCIS: LA: Ditto

Person of Interest: Ditto squared.

Elementary: Ditto tripled.

Survivor: RENEWED Never has a show been more appropriately titled.

Criminal Minds: Fans just can’t enough of murdered women.

CSI: As long as Leslie Moonves is at CBS, CSI has a home.

Big Bang Theory: Of course.

The Millers: A pretty good shot.

The Crazy Ones: A relatively strong performer. Looks promising.

Two and a Half Men: A huge question mark given its falling ratings and high price tag.

Hawaii Five-0: A fine Friday night show for Joe Lunchpail. It’ll stick around.

Blue Bloods: Same as above, and recently hitting a series high in viewers didn’t hurt.

Amazing Race: No finish line in sight.

The Good Wife: Demo ratings are weak, but the show’s acclaim has guaranteed it a renewal.

The Mentalist: With Red John (the show’s big villain) dead, the veteran drama now has to creatively reboot. Must come back after the Olympics and perform well to keep its spot.


Sleepy Hollow: RENEWED



The Simpsons: RENEWED

MasterChef Jr: RENEWED

Bob’s Burgers: RENEWED

Family Guy: Will return.

The Following: Fewer following The Following, but Fox finagling a pickup.

Almost Human: Short circuited in the Nielsens and pricey too. Fox will abort.

Dads: We keep thinking this critically reviled comedy is dead. We keep hearing it’s not.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Soft numbers, but its ratings are now irrelevant — Fox put it after the Super Bowl and it won the Golden Globe for best comedy series. It’s assured a pickup.

The Mindy Project: Could use some self-improvement. Too soon to tell.

New Girl: Numbers are way down, but Zooey and Co. are still the network’s signature comedy.

American Idol: Yup, especially with fans not throwing things at their TVs this cycle. And new judge Harry Connick Jr is pretty charming.

Raising Hope: On the bubble. Feels like a show nobody talks about anymore.

Enlisted: Unlikely to re-enlist, unless the boys manage to maintain at least a semi-decent Friday number.

American Dad: Moving to TBS.

Rake: It’s still early but … we’re hearing it’s probably dead.

The X Factor: CANCELED.


The Bachelor: There are still plenty of single women willing to embarrass themselves on TV.

Dancing with the Stars: No plans to stop the music for at least one more cycle.

Castle: Currently enjoying its best season ever. Hell yes it’ll be back.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: Ambitious but disappointing. Surprisingly not a lock to return.

The Goldbergs: Not as ambitious but also disappointing. Straddles the fence.

Trophy Wife: Same.

The Middle: The family will stay intact.

Suburgatory: It’s not a beautiful day in this neighborhood. On the bubble.

Super Fun Night: Time to give up on this project, but not Rebel Wilson. She’ll be back on TV — just not in this.

The Taste: Bland to the tongue.

Grey’s Anatomy: Seattle Grace Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital will stay open.

Modern Family: Strong as oak.

Scandal: No shocking twist this season; Fitz and Liv will be back.

Nashville: Considered a “DVR hit.” Yup, that’s a thing now. Will likely return.

Revenge: Ditto.

Last Man Standing: Against the tide because ABC doesn’t own it.

The Neighbors: With the tide because ABC owns it.

Shark Tank: Perfect Friday show and all-around utility player that recently hit a record high.

Once Upon a Time: Having its weakest season in the ratings, but Storybrooke has more tales to tell.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: If you think a renewal is certain, you’re living in a fantasy land.

Betrayal: ABC wants to forget this torrid affair ever happened.


The Blacklist: RENEWED (NBC execs probably dream of doing nothing all day long but renewing this show over and over again).

The Voice: This one, too.

Biggest Loser: Will squeeze in another season.

Chicago Fire: Lots more blazes for the hotties to put out.

Chicago PD: The cops aren’t as popular as the firemen, but will probably stick around.

Revolution: Tough call. It’s owned by a rival studio, which doesn’t help. Perhaps a 13-episode season?

Law & Order: SVU: Should coast into another under-the-radar renewal.

Parks and Recreation: There’s nothing funny about NBC’s comedy block performance. Unless you consider failure funny, because then it’s hilarious. Parks is the best of the worst and will return.

Community: Would five seasons and a movie be okay? Definitely got a fair chance, though…

The Michael J. Fox Show: NBC got dizzy from spinning its decision to yank Fox from its schedule. Will the remaining episodes air? Probably. Will it return next season? You can bet your house against it.

Sean Saves the World: NBC didn’t even try to spin this one — CANCELED.

Parenthood: Modestly heroic numbers against strong competition with almost no lead-in. Will return for another generation.

Grimm: NBC still wants a Friday thriller block and Grimm remains the key.

Hannibal: Since season 2 hasn’t yet debuted in its new time slot, it’s far too early to say.

Dracula: Probably won’t rise again, yet NBC isn’t count-count-counting it out.


Supernatural: The CW’s president says the show can continue as long as it wants with these numbers.

Arrow: Definitely.

The Vampire Diaries: Assured.

The Originals: Can’t kill the vamps.

Reign: Looking pretty good for business-y reasons — CBS runs production on this show and is a co-owner of The CW. Plus, first-year Reign has more potential to improve than, say, Beauty, which is about to burn through its second chance.

Hart of Dixie: The CW wants to see how it does on Fridays starting in March. It must at least beat how The Carrie Diaries performed in the slot.

Beauty and the Beast: Not quite dead yet. Has a shot at a short-order, if only because The CW likes to give their multi-year shows some final seasons.

Tomorrow People: Future doesn’t look bright.

Carrie Diaries: Almost certainly done. Don’t wake us up before you go-go.