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Friday, May 8, 2015

RENEWAL ALERT: Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, The Middle, Modern Family, America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Shark Tank, 20/20, Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Nashville, Fresh Off the Boat, Secrets and Lies, Beyond the Tank, American Crime, Marvel's Agent Carter, Galavant

ABC handed out nearly all renewals in one fell swoop. The only ABC shows that don't know their fates yet at this point are Last Man Standing (which always seems to go through a difficult negotiation) and unscripted shows The Great Christmas Light Fight, In an Instant, and Repeat After Me, which would all be filler if they come back.

Let's start with the no-brainer renewals: Grey's Anatomy (Season 12), How to Get Away with Murder (Season 2), Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 3), Once Upon a Time (Season 5), Scandal (Season 5), Black-ish (Season 2), The Goldbergs (Season 3), The Middle (Season 7), Modern Family (Season 7), America's Funniest Home Videos (Season 26 - with a new host), The Bachelor (20th Edition), Shark Tank (Season 7), 20/20 (Season 34), and Dancing with the Stars (21st & 22nd Editions). None of these were ever really in doubt.

There were five shows that seemed to have a better chance than not of getting renewed but it was a little more in doubt than the no-brainers. Castle was renewed for an eighth season though it struggled on Mondays this year. It wouldn't shock me if this ends up being the last year for Castle. Nashville was renewed for a fourth season. Numbers were low but steady. Both Castle and Nashville are contenders for the Tuesday 10pm or Sunday 10pm slot. Fresh Off the Boat seemed a near lock but it wasn't quite as sure. It survived in a very difficult Tuesday 8pm slot and has a lot of goodwill from fans. Secrets and Lies had huge momentum at the end of its first season after a very weak debut, but it's designed as an anthology series so it's unknown how season two will look. Beyond the Tank had a mere one episode last Friday, but it did well and already got renewed.

Three renewals genuinely surprised me and they are all freshman shows: American Crime, Marvel's Agent Carter, and Galavant. By far the most surprising to me was American Crime. Though the show had some critical acclaim, it completely died in the Thursday 10pm slot after Scandal. I don't think anyone saw this show as having a real chance but here it is. Like Secrets and Lies, it's also designed as an anthology so season two could look quite different. Marvel's Agent Carter was an OK bridge for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but it seemed like it would be dead with another Marvel spinoff in the works. But that show isn't going forward and Agent Carter snagged the renewal. Galavant was a short-lived Sunday show that double pumped episodes in January. It had a strong debut but quickly fell apart. ABC has to be thinking a similar set-up for next year.

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