May 21 2017

2017 TV series cancellations by the numbers

While not as harsh as previous years, this was still not a good year for cancellations on the TV networks.

With the cancellations over, and the upfronts completed showing off the new series, it’s time to look over what happened at the networks this season.


A total of 38 shows met their end this season, down slightly from last seasons 42.

Cancellation Breakdowns

First Season Shows

Of the 37 shows canceled, 18 of them were brand new. This is way better than last years run, so perhaps the networks are finally learning some lessons.


For clarification, these are shows of all ages, and not just first seasons, this also goes for the dramas and reality shows. Lets face it, comedies were a mess this year as they have been for a while. The networks seem completely incapable of discovering humor that will click with an audience and what won’t.


Dramas took the hardest hit this year with 26 total shows canceled. Clearly, the drama formulas need to be readjusted a bit.


And this is the pay off: Reality shows are cheap to make. Don’t get fooled by million dollar prizes, they’re still insanely cheap to make when compared to a comedy, and even more so when compared to a drama. Despite declining ratings on these shows, they are absolute cash cows.

The Outlook for the 2017/2018 Season

Things are not going to be any easier this season. The crops of shows that are upcoming is a whole new slew of shows that just left me cold. There is nothing that is really standing out to me as a surefire hit, and that’s not a good thing. And with There is nothing that is really standing out to me as a surefire hit, and that’s not a good thing. And with overall viewership of network television having dropped yet again, the pool of potential viewers is dwindling. Every network needs a breakout hit.

Wondering why so many shows are returning such as Roseanne and Will & Grace? You got it. The networks are desperate.

The networks have got to look a bit deeper at how things are going and begin to realize it’s time for things to change and rushing back to old properties certainly is not the solution. One thing to remember is that every time a show is canceled, hundreds of people are put out of work. This isn’t some game, these are people’s livelihoods at stake.

If those last two paragraphs sound familiar it’s because I’ve used them in this same report the last few years. The networks did slightly better this year, but I certainly wouldn’t rush to pat them on the back.


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