During the week of May 15, the networks will introduce their fall schedules. In the meantime, they’ll be making fateful decisions about their shows. Here’s a look at some of the more visible series, and whether they’re renewed, canceled, or on the bubble.
“American Crime”: Alas, this ABC gem can’t seem to attract viewers; it’s ABC’s lowest-rated series. A Sunday 10 p.m. timeslot hasn’t helped. Unless the network keeps John Ridley’s drama around for awards prestige — it has been nominated for 14 Emmys and won two — it’s probably toast.
“2 Broke Girls”: This nefarious piece of work is on the bubble! Yahoo! CBS has already renewed a number of its comedies, including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Mom,” and “Life in Pieces,” but not this stale cupcake, currently in its sixth season. I’m rooting for it. To be canceled.
ABC’s flock of dom-coms: “Speechless,” “Modern Family,” “American Housewife,” “The Goldbergs,” “Black-ish,” and “Fresh Off the Boat” are all on the verge of renewal, and “The Middle” has already been renewed. “The Real O’Neals,” however, is in trouble. In its second year, after getting a mercy renewal despite low ratings, the show has continued to finish behind its neighbors with a total-viewer average of only 3 million.
“The Good Place”: Wisely, NBC has renewed this odd and charming sitcom, which is set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, despite uneven ratings. It averaged 6.1 million total same-day viewers; that’s not bad, especially after the network foolishly inserted a two-month break into the short season.
“24: Legacy”: This lousy Jack Bauer-less effort, an attempt to keep an old franchise alive far beyond its natural life, is very much on the bubble. It started off well, even after its post-Super Bowl premiere, and then proceeded to drop significantly from week to week.
“Riverdale”: The TV reboot of the “Archie” comics has been renewed, despite the fact that it features one of TV’s worst-ever dye jobs — Archie’s red hair. The “Twin Peaks Jr.” draws middling ratings for the CW, but its numbers grow significantly in delayed viewing. Also helping the show survive: It’s produced by Greg Berlanti, who is responsible for a huge chunk of the CW’s lineup.
“This Is Us”: NBC has already renewed it for two seasons. Despite the schmaltz — or, perhaps, thanks to it — the drama became the fall’s only true new broadcast hit. It has become a symbol of hope for the networks, that they can still create buzz for scripted series that aren’t procedural spinoffs.
“Empire”: The quality has dropped on this nighttime soap, but the ratings have been steady enough to already inspire a season-four renewal by Fox. “Star,” another Lee Daniels product, has also been given a renewal by Fox.
“Blue Bloods”: Often viewers will confess their secret favorites to me, and I usually hear this show named in a whisper. Relax, “Blue Bloods” people: CBS has already renewed your show for an eighth season.
“Elementary”: This Sherlock Holmes reinvention has never been a huge hit, but it has carried its weight. In its fifth season, though, its ratings have lagged, and it is on the bubble. Warning: The CBS-owned procedural has already made enough episodes for syndication, removing one significant reason for renewal.
The CW superheroes: They’re all renewed! “Arrow,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” and “Supergirl” have already been given yet another season to save the world from chaos and destruction.
The Shonda Shows: “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Scandal” have already been renewed. “The Catch,” however, is facing an uphill battle; the poorly rated show still hasn’t caught on.
The retro dad fad: Both “Kevin Can Wait” and Matt LeBlanc’s “Man With a Plan” have been renewed, even though they’re lazy and over-familiar.
“Quantico”: It started out as a hit, but the ABC drama — which was moved from Sundays to Mondays for its second season — has fallen and it can’t get up. It’s on the bubble, after dropping some 35 percent in total viewers from the first season to the second.
“The Blacklist”: At first, this James Spader vehicle was a hit for NBC. So was “Blindspot.” Now both shows have lost momentum and sit squarely on the bubble. Right beside them: The spinoff “The Blacklist: Redemption,” which was never a hit, and which is among NBC’s lowest-rated dramas.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.