DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

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ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

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Fall is a Time of Renewal... and Renewals
August 28, 2017  | By Alex Strachan  | 2 comments
 

And now for something completely different: a good-news story for a change. That’s good news, at least, for those wondering if their favorite TV show is coming back.

Following is a partial list of shows that have been renewed for the 2017-’18 season and beyond.

As with any list, there are some interesting stories behind the stories, for anyone curious enough to look beyond the named shows.

The most noticeable thing is how, despite the winds of change buffeting the TV business right now, some things stay much the same. Reruns, a TV staple dating back to the early days of the sitcom and TV western, have not disappeared entirely, despite conventional wisdom that says otherwise. Shows that repeat well — basically, broadcast sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory (right) and standalone dramas like Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU hold up surprisingly well in summer reruns, a factor that weighs heavily in many renewal decisions.

Secondly, a loosening of regulatory rules that has made it easier for major studios to partner with broadcast networks means that it’s more economically feasible for a network to renew a show that’s produced by its partner studio. A prime example is the way CBS acquired Paramount Television in 2006 and rebranded it as CBS Television Studios. The practice of producing shows in-house, as opposed to buying from outside production houses, dates back to 1948 and the early drama anthology Westinghouse Studio One. The practice was always there, in other words. It’s just that, today, it’s more the norm than the exception.

Curiously, despite splintering audiences, changing viewer habits, the increased cost of making shows, a shrinking ad market and the added complication of streaming services like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, it’s become easier for networks to renew already established programs. As the following list shows, many programs are renewed that, just five years ago, would have been swiftly canceled after slow starts.

It’s not that the networks are more patient — anything but. It’s that they’re more practical about the long-term financial up-side of “slow but steady.” An established sitcom that has a small but loyal audience is a safe bet in a business that has become anything but safe.

The list, then. Some of these are surprises — I was surprised, in more than one instance — and some speak for themselves.

Some curious facts, by the numbers:

 

Hawaii Five-0:

Hawaii Five-0 2.0 returns Sept. 29 for an eighth season, albeit with new cast members. It can’t really be called new anymore, as it is now at 160 episodes and counting. The original ran for 11 seasons, from 1968-80, and it’s beginning to look as if the remake will equal that — provided, that is, that it  keeps going until the 2020 season. It will take longer, though, to equal the original in terms of episodes, as 24-episode seasons were the norm in the 1960s and ‘70s. The original Hawaii Five-0 clocked in at 284 episodes.

 

Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot boots up its third season Oct. 11, with more seasons likely to come after that. No surprise there — but here is a surprise. Mr. Robot bucked the TV trend of diminishing returns in later seasons by bumping its first-season order of 10 episodes to 12 its second time out. Not only that, but late-season episodes expanded to an average 70 minutes from the 46 minutes of early-season episodes. With cost-cutting the norm across-the-board in TV, USA Network’s zagging where everyone else is zigging showed real faith in a show that, rat the outset, many media analysts predicted would last no longer than MS-DOS. Clearly, this is one cable drama that doesn’t need an emergency update.


The Simpsons:

That pales in comparison to The Simpsons, though. The long-running primetime ‘toon returns Oct. 1 with its 29th season, and has clocked 618 episodes so far. Its renewal through 2019, now confirmed, will push it close to 700 episodes.

 

South Park:

The Simpsons is a given — family-friendly for the most part, and never too controversial, even when it tries to be. Hardly anyone could have imagined rude, crude, lewd South Park would last 21 seasons, though. It’s been renewed through the 2019 season, which will give Eric Cartman bragging rights, along with Bart Simpson, as the prototypical TV pre-teen who will never, ever grow up. South Park is that classic example of the right show that came along at the right time, on the right channel. Comedy Central’s needs are different from that of a broadcast network; South Park doesn’t need to break the ratings bank to stay in business. In terms of longevity, South Park would only thrive as long as pop-culture and politics — its two main themes, and its two strong suits — remained edgy. Well, it doesn’t get more edgy than life in the time of Donald Trump, online trolls and internet hacks.

 

NCIS:

For those keeping track — and really, who isn’t? — the never-say-die NCIS returns Sept. 26 for its 15 season. For those keeping track — and really, who isn’t? — that puts it at 330 episodes, and counting. Spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles opens its ninth season on Oct. 1; NCIS: New Orleans returns with its sophomore season a week earlier, on Sept. 26

 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:

The original Law & Order retired after a seemingly insurmountable 20 seasons in 2010. but spin-off Law & Order: SVU is poised to surmount that. SVU returns Sept. 27 for a 19th go-round of sex crimes, and shows no sign of flagging any time soon.

 

Timeless:

Renewals and cancellations aren’t always written in stone. Timeless was canceled, before it wasn’t — or is that the other way around? Regardless, Timeless beat the odds, fired up the old time machine and will live to see another day, after all. A 10-episode second will air at a yet-to-be-determined date, “some time in 2018,” according to NBC. Even at that, it won’t surpass the original Time Tunnel, which aired 30 episodes in 1966-’67. Timeless aired just 16 episodes in 2016-’17, so the additional 10 will come up just short of Time Tunnel’s benchmark.

 

Once Upon a Time:

Once Upon a Time returns Oct. 6 for its seventh season. And while that may not seem like much, hardly anyone could have predicted when it debuted in 2011 that it would outlive its initial Sleeping Beauty premise. There’s more than ratings at work here, though. Disney-owned ABC had been looking for a family-friendly Sunday-night hour ever since The Wonderful World of Disney called it a day in 2005. Wonderful World was itself resurrected in 1997, after the classic 1961 original retired in 1982 after 22 seasons, and it’s easy to see why ABC was anxious to see it replaced. Sunday is a night when families are preparing for the week ahead, and kids are getting ready for school. It makes perfect sense for a Disney-owned network to play to that audience, even when ratings lag behind those of a Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy, two other ABC dramas that made their initial debut on Sunday nights.

 

Supernatural:

Thirteen times lucky. For those who’ve lost track — and, seriously, we’re talking about The CW here, so you could be forgiven for taking these things for granted — when Supernatural returns Oct. 12, it’ll be raising the curtain on its 13th season. Some perspective: The season premiere, titled “Lost and Found,” will be Supernatural’s 265th episode. The X-Files, the show that can logically be said to have spawned Supernatural, lasted just 202 episodes between 1993-2002. Even with the (some would say_ ill-advised sequel series, returning this spring for a second season, The X-Files will top out around 215 episodes, pending further renewals beyond 2018. Supernatural truly is supernatural.

 

The Young and the Restless:

Daytime soap operas operate in a different cable universe, of course, but still: It’s worth remembering that, with The Young and the Restless confirmed through 2020, it originally debuted in 1973. As of Sept. 1, 2016, it had aired roughly 11,000 episodes. Those are practically Doctor Who numbers. And, unlike Doctor Who, The Young and the Restless didn’t take a 16-year break between seasons.

 

Nobody said it was easy. The list:

 

BROADCAST 

 

48 Hours (CBS)

60 Minutes (CBS)

The 100 (The CW)

The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC)

Agents of SHIELD (ABC)

The Amazing Race (CBS)

America’s Got Talent (NBC)

American Grit (FOX)

American Housewife (ABC)

Arrow (The CW)?The Bachelor (ABC)

Bachelor in Paradise (ABC)

Beat Shazam (FOX)

Better Late Than Never (NBC)

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – through 2018-19

Big Brother (CBS) – through season 20

black-ish (ABC)

The Blacklist (NBC)

Blindspot (NBC)

Blue Bloods (CBS)

Bob’s Burgers (FOX)

The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)

Days of Our Lives” (NBC)

Designated Survivor (ABC)

Elementary” (CBS)

Empire (FOX) 

The Exorcist (FOX)

Family Guy (FOX)

The Flash (The CW)

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

The Goldbergs (ABC) – through 2018-19

The Good Place (NBC) 

Gotham (FOX)?Great News (NBC)

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

Harry (Syndicated)

Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)

Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) – through season 18

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)

iZombie (The CW)

Jane the Virgin (The CW)

Kevin Can Wait (CBS)

The Last Man on Earth (FOX)

Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 

Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)

Lethal Weapon (FOX)

Let’s Make a Deal (CBS)

Life in Pieces (CBS) 

Live with Kelly and Ryan (Syndicated) – through 2019-20

Love Connection (FOX)

Lucifer (FOX)

MacGyver (CBS) 

Madam Secretary (CBS)

Man with a Plan (CBS)

Masters of Illusion (The CW)

Match Game (ABC) – through season 3

The Mick (FOX) 

The Middle (ABC)

Modern Family (ABC) – through 2018-19

Mom (CBS)

NCIS (CBS)

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)

NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)

New Girl (FOX)

The Night Shift (NBC)

The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC)

Once Upon a Time (ABC)

The Originals (The CW)

Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW)

The Price Is Right (CBS) – through 2018-19

Quantico (ABC)

Riverdale (The CW)

Scandal (ABC)

Scorpion (CBS) 

Shark Tank (ABC)

The Simpsons (FOX) – through 2018-19?

So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)

Speechless (ABC)

Star (FOX)

Supergirl (The CW)

Superior Donuts (CBS)

Supernatural (The CW)

Superstore (NBC)

Survivor (CBS)

Taken (NBC)

The Talk (CBS)

This Is Us (NBC) – through 2018-19

Timeless (NBC)?To Tell the Truth (ABC)

The Toy Box (ABC)?Trial & Error (NBC)

The Voice (NBC)

The Wendy Williams Show (Syndicated) – through 2019-20

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW)

The Young and the Restless (CBS) – through 2020 

Zoo (CBS) 

 

CABLE/STREAMING 


12 Monkeys (Syfy) – fourth and final season in 2018

13 Reasons Why (Netflix)

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)

The A Word (Sundance) 

American Dad (TBS) – through 2018

American Gods (Starz) 

American Horror Story (FX) – through season 9

The Americans (FX) – sixth and final season

America’s Next Top Model (VH1)

Andi Mack (Disney Channel)

Angie Tribeca (TBS)

Animal Kingdom (TNT)

Animals (HBO)

Anne (with an E) (Netflix)

Another Period (Comedy Central)

Archer (FX) – through 2018-19

Ash vs. Evil Dead (Starz)

Baby Daddy (Freeform)

Ballers (HBO)

Baskets (FX)

Berlin Station (Epix)

Better Call Saul (AMC)

Beyond (Freeform)

Big Freedia Bounces Back (Fuse)

Billions (Showtime)

Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix)

BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

Bosch (Amazon)

Botched (E!)

Broad City (Comedy Central)

Brockmire (IFC)

The Carbonaro Effect (truTV)

Chance (Hulu)

Channel Zero (Syfy)

Chelsea (Netflix)

Chrisley Knows Best (USA)

Claws (TNT) 

Colony (USA)

Crashing (HBO)

Daredevil (Netflix)

Dark Matter (Syfy)

Dear White People (Netflix)

Detroiters (Comedy Central)

The Detour (TBS)

Deutschland 83 (Sundance)

Di cult People (Hulu) 

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America)

Divorce (HBO)

Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior)

Doctor Who (BBC America)

Documentary Now! (IFC)

Drunk History (Comedy Central)

Elena of Avalor (Disney)

The Expanse (Syfy)

Expedition Unknown (Travel Channel)

F Is for Family (Netflix) 

Falling Water (USA)

Famous in Love (Freeform)

Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) – through season 4

Feud (FX)

Flaked (Netflix)

Flip or Flop Atlanta (HGTV)

The Fosters (Freeform)

Friends from College (Netflix)

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)

Get Shorty (Epix)

The Girlfriend Experience” (Starz)

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Bravo)

GLOW (Netflix) 

Goliath (Amazon)

Good Behavior (TNT)

The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Good Witch (Hallmark)

Grace and Frankie (Netflix)

Graves (Epix)

Greenleaf (OWN)

Hack My Life (truTV)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Hap and Leonard (Sundance)

Harlots (Hulu)?Haters Back Off (Netflix)

The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN)

Homeland (Showtime) – eighth and final season

Humans (AMC)

Idiotsitter (Comedy Central)

If Loving You Is Wrong (OWN)

Imposters (Bravo)

Impractical Jokers (truTV)

I’m Sorry (truTV)

Ink Master (Spike)

Insecure (HBO)

Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Into the Badlands (AMC)

Iron Fist (Netflix)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX) - through 2019

Jon Glaser Loves Gear (truTV)

Killjoys (Syfy)?Kindred Spirits (TLC)

Lady Dynamite (Netflix)

The Last Ship (TNT)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) 

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E)

Legion (FX)

The Librarians (TNT)

Lip Sync Battle (Spike/Paramount)

Live PD (A&E) 

Lopez (TV Land)

Love (Netflix)

Luther (BBC America)

The Magicians (Syfy)

Major Crimes (TNT)

Making a Murderer (Netflix)

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)

Mars (National Geographic)

Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” (VH1)

Mary Kills People (Lifetime)

MECH-X4 (Disney X D)

Million Dollar Matchmaker (WE)

The Mindy Project (Hulu) – final season

Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

Mr. Robot (USA)

Narcos (Netflix)

Nashville (CMT)

Nobodies (TV Land)

The OA (Netflix)

Odd Mom Out (Bravo)

One Day at a Time (Netflix)

One Mississippi (Amazon)

Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

Outcast (Cinemax)

Outlander (Starz)

Ozark (Netflix) 

The Path (Hulu)

Patriot (Amazon)

People of Earth (TBS)

Portlandia (IFC) – eighth and final season

Power (Starz)

Preacher (AMC)

Project Runway (Lifetime)

Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime)

Project Runway Junior (Lifetime)

Queen of the South (USA)

Queen Sugar (OWN)

Ray Donovan” (Showtime)

Red Oaks (Amazon) – final season

Real Rob (Netflix)

Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) – through 2018

Room 104 (HBO)

RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo)

Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)

Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

School of Rock (Nickelodeon)

Scream (MTV)

Search Party (TBS)

Shadowhunter (Freeform)

Shut Eye (Hulu)

Silicon Valley (HBO)

Six (History)

Sneaky Pete (Amazon)

Snowfall (FX)

South Park (Comedy Central) – through 2019?

Stan Against Evil (IFC)

Still the King (CMT) 

Stranger Things” (Netflix)

The Strain (FX) – final season

Suits (USA)

Survivor’s Remorse (Starz)

Taboo (FX)

Teachers” (TV Land)

Too Close to Home (TLC)

Top of the Lake (Sundance)

Transparent (Amazon)

Turn (AMC) – final season

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

UnReal (Lifetime)

Van Helsing (Syfy)

Veep (HBO)

Victoria (PBS)

Westworld (HBO)

Workaholics (Comedy Central)?

Wrecked (TBS)

Wynonna Earp (Syfy)

Young & Hungry (Freeform)

Younger (TV Land)

You’re the Worst (FXX)

Z Nation (Syfy)

Z: The Beginning of Everything (Amazon) 

 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
 
Alex S.
Done!
Aug 29, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
Mark Isenberg
Would you folks get on the right track and root for Good Behavior on TNT with Michelle Dockery and superior ensemble cast.Also,Rita Season 4 is coming to Netflix after Denmark 2 airs this current run and it is very good even with subtitles.
Aug 29, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $15. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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