Every year the major TV networks put out dozens of new series with the hope a few will earn the interest of the viewing public. Granted they also know the odds are good the majority of these new shows will not catch on, but that’s the risk they take. So far, this new fall season has produced a handful of breakout hits (Blindspot, Quantico, Rosewood, Limitless) which have all been given full season pick-ups. However, many of the other rookie series may not be so lucky and they're already seeing their episode orders dramatically reduced, so with that said here’s our list of 10 New Fall Shows That Won't Make It To Season 2.
Please note that networks are making decisions every day on these new fall series and the below is accurate as of press time.
10 Minority Report
This is no longer even a question of “if” but “when?”
Minority Report has been a dead show walking been since its first episode delivered the lowest numbers of any new fall drama this season. Fox has already lowered its episode order from 13 to 10, which is never a sign of faith in something’s long term prospects.
The show’s disappointing numbers could come from any number of reasons, but it boils to the fact that this isn’t that strong of a series. Hollywood is currently betting too much on established content and with Minority Report, the biggest draw of that content was originally its lead Tom Cruise; who is not in the series or associated with it in any way.
Unlike CBS’s Limitess which was able to sign Bradley Cooper as both a producer and supporting co-star, Minority Report asked audiences to buy into people they didn’t recognize. We don’t want to take anything away from Stark Sands or Meagan Good, because they did everything they could; the material just isn’t enough for audiences to jump on board.
9 Scream Queens
Some people may fight us on this one, but for how heavily pushed Scream Queens was by Fox over the summer, it really should have done better in the ratings. We understand more people are watching on a delay these days, but it shouldn’t be this large of a percentage of your audience.
Content-wise, something just seems to be missing here. If anything, the series may have been a little too campy for its own good. We all know what to expect with a new Ryan Murphy series, but maybe combining Glee’s lightheartedness with Nip/Tuck’s darkness and American Horror Story’s carnage wasn't the best idea
We also have to admit that, given its premise, we are a little hard pressed to figure out what a second season would look like. Granted that may not be a problem as Fox may opt to for this one to be one and done.
8 Wicked City
Is the anthology genre beginning to get overplayed?
We are a little torn here as American Horror Story is still literally “killing” it in the ratings with Hotel and last year’s American Crime delivered everything it promised. However we’ve also seen it go awry in spectacular fashion with the second season of True Detective.
It seems every network is beginning to at least toy with the idea of some sort of anthology program. ABC is now doubling down on the format with Wicked City, which seems likes a mix of all the above with Aquarius thrown in for added impact.
Wicked City got skewered by critics and did even worse with audiences. The series, about a search for a killer on the Sunset Strip, tries to cater only to adults, but does nothing out of the ordinary to appeal to them. As with a lot of shows on this list, it wastes the talents of its cast which we have seen own the screen in past series.
7 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Series on the CW don’t generally do well in the ratings. In fact, if most network shows did as poorly as some of The CW ones, they’d be yanked after a single airing. The rules are different on this network though, as they covet a younger, more desirable audience, which is exactly the type that SHOULD have been all over Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Paired with Jane The Virgin, this musical dramedy should have appealed to the same group of people, but the show’s first episode put up lower than usual numbers. Maybe time-shifted/DVR viewing will get more people interested, but this one under-performing is a surprise to many people.
Then again, maybe the idea of a musical dramedy just didn’t carry the same cache executives had hoped for. Remember that the CW rescued the series after sister network Showtime passed on it, so clearly there were already some concerns.
It’s only week 3 and this is The CW’s only new fall rookie series so it’s going to get a fighting chance, but it has already dug itself a much bigger hole than anticipated.
6 The Player
We were pulling for The Player because it looked like a non-thinking action series, which would be a nice compliment to The Blacklist. Yet this series got off on the wrong foot when NBC paired it with Heroes Reborn in its first week, which has a totally different audience. By the time it got The Blacklist lead-in a week later, the low ratings and low word of mouth was too much to overcome.
The series itself doesn’t take itself too seriously, which was part of the initial appeal. Yet we get the impression that it’s not resonating with audiences the way it was hoped. Originally, this seemed like a hot prospect for NBC, given the casting of Wesley Snipes, but his presence hasn’t really provided a boost.
While the show could see more momentum if it gets a boost from DVR viewing, it just had its episode count reduced. In other words, don’t bet on this one’s long term future.
5 Truth Be Told
When you put a word like “truth” in the title of anything in Hollywood, expect a lot of puns on the word to used in previews and reviews, in this case, none of it was particularly positive. The truth is this series never had a chance.
NBC had good intentions by pairing it with the now-live episodes of Undateable, but comedy on Friday nights is hard to pull off. That is even more the case when you’re a rookie series fighting for an audience.
The series, which comes from powerhouse producer Will Packer, lacks the comedic punch of any of the mogul’s films (Ride Along, Think Like A Man) which won over audiences. Truth Be Told is to too predictable and squanders the talents of its cast. Following the lowest in-season debut of any NBC series ever, the show getting its episode count cut this week wasn't a shock.
4 Code Black
CBS really wants a medical drama. The problem is that no matter what they throw out there to viewers, it comes right back at them. The laundry list of failed CBS medical dramas is long and it will likely soon add Code Black to the mix.
To be fair, the program had a lot of positive elements, a bankable lead (Marcia Gay Harden), a real-life hook (based on an actual hospital) and a decent time-slot (post Criminal Minds), but it didn’t really have a storyline.
Each episode is one emergency after another, which we guess is supposed to be the point given the show’s premise. Yet even though the show is about one of the nation’s busiest hospitals, you still need to find time to flush out your characters.
If you’re a medical drama junkie we are sure you loved watching the frenetic pace in which new patients were introduced, but that’s only half the story. While CBS has just ordered more scripts, this is a very similar situation to last year’s Stalker, which had its hopes strung out for a full year.
3 Blood and Oil
Anybody else think this could have been retitled Dallas 2.0?
If so, then you weren’t alone and ABC knew it had to fight that comparison from the minute they ordered the series. While the cast does have a lot of young faces and stars, many younger viewers saw Don Johnson’s name and assumed it wasn’t for them.
What’s interesting though is that its lead-out Quantico is doing well, so audiences are clearly aware of ABC’s lineup, they just don’t have interest in all of its shows. It’s actually not a terrible series if you give it a chance, but many aren’t able to get over the Dallas comparisons.
Blood and Oil also has it rough as its lead-in is the family friendly Once Upon A Time and it is up against Sunday Night Football and now The Walking Dead. The show has a lot stacked it against it and that all combined into a perfect storm of trouble.
Like with Minority Report and The Player, this one also just got the dreaded episode reduction order, so expect the well to dry up by 2016.
2 Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris
NBC has bet very big on live TV and Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris is a big part of that gamble.
It’s a variety show with celebrity guests thrown in, which was supposed to heighten the appeal. Part of the problem is that it couldn’t find the right audience. The UK show on which it is based aired in the family-friendly 8pm hour, but here it debuted at 10pm, which basically cut its legs out from under it early.
NPH is charismatic and charming, but the show is a giant mix bag and audiences haven’t quite figured out what to make of it yet. Given the show only received an 8 episode order in the first place, it is working on borrowed time to prove it should be renewed.
1 The Bastard Executioner
We feel a little bad about including this one because many of us are big fans of Sons of Anarchy and its genius creator Kurt Sutter.
The problem here is that his follow-up, The Bastard Executioner, just isn’t holding our interest. Nothing about Sutter’s writing is simple, so if you fall behind early, it’s hard to catch up. It also didn’t help that the first episode was two hours and hemorrhaged cast members along the way.
Sons of Anarchy always had its critics but the series itself stayed unapologetically consistent and you knew what you were going to get every week. It’s the same thing here but not in a good way as the show aimed to be on the same level as Game of Thrones but is coming up far from the mark.
Usually FX’s dramas don’t live or die with the ratings, but given the way this one’s dropped like a stone and the lack of a warm reception, this could be a rare exception to the rule.
Are you fans of any of these shows? Do you think they deserve a second look? Which one disappointed you the most? Hit the comments and let us know.