No network or producer wants their show to be the first voted off the broadcast prime-time island. Sure most new series attempts fail, but being the very first to get booted in the fall season is a special kind of shame; it usually means that critic and viewer rejection was swift and overwhelming.
Figuring out which will get axed first can be tricky. It’s not just about which has the lowest ratings, or is the least liked by critics or viewers, but other factors: How many episodes have aired? How strong is the competition? How did that time slot perform for the network last season? Does the network have another show that will perform better that’s ready to fill the space?
My thoughts: ABC’s Selfie has received the bulk of the social-media rage. (It must drive the producers bonkers that their comedy is slammed by people who loathe social media addicts—when the show is trying to mock social-media addicts. While Tuesday’s premiere rating was lousy, Selfie‘s lead-out, Manhattan Love Story, did even worse). Fox’s Red Band Society has almost no pulse, but it seems unlikely the network would let a Steven Spielberg-produced drama get axed first. Plus, Fox’s sick kids are doing better than Utopia—which is my bet for first canceled show (or, at minimum, first demoted show). Fox announced Utopia as a year-long social experiment. But it’s killing its two time slots on the schedule, plus providing a poor lead-in for the network’s Tuesday comedy block. At the very least, I bet this show is going to move off Tuesdays (update: called it!). We could also have ripe prime candidates for first axed show later this week when NBC rolls out Bad Judge and A to Z into the Thursday Night Football/Shondaland buzzmill.
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