We are just three weeks into the 2019-20 TV season, and there are already some big surprises.
FOX has some big decisions to make as it looks towards midseason.
With many shows on the bench, it’s hard to imagine some of the more marginal performers sticking around for additional seasons.
On top of that, the network is also leaning towards more unscripted content, and given the success of The Masked Singer and WWE Friday Night Smackdown, don’t expect that to change.
That makes it difficult to exist as a scripted original series on the network.
Let’s take a look at how the current scripted shows are performing and how their results bode for additional episodes and beyond.
9-1-1 – Certain Renewal
9-1-1 Season 3 kicked off with a tsunami storyline got viewers talking for all the right reasons. It is currently up 19% in the demo and 20% in total viewers year-to-year.
It is averaging 7.3 million total viewers and a 1.6 rating in the demo, making it Fox’s number one scripted series in total viewers and the demo.
It’s rare for shows to be up these days, but how is 9-1-1 performing on the DVR front?
9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 1 scored 11 million total viewers and a 2.6 rating in the demo when Live+7 is factored in. The show remains a success with both viewers and critics and will be around for years to come.
The Simpsons – Renewed
The Simpsons has already been renewed. The show will outlive us all at this stage. As always, however, the ratings are positively affected by football overrun.
To date, The Simpsons Season 31 is averaging 4 million total viewers and a 1.5 rating. It is well ahead of last season by 25%.
The show doesn’t play as well as some others on the DVR front, but it gains around 20% in Live+7.
Prodigal Son – Likely Renewal
Prodigal Son was the first new series to score a full-season order after two weeks of solid ratings. It took a minor hit this week, but it is still performing well enough to stick around.
Prodigal Son Season 1 is averaging 3.9 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in the demo. It does lose a lot of the 9-1-1 lead-in, but the show has proven to be a decent performer in delayed viewing, meaning there is an audience for it.
Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1 went from a 1.0 to a 1.8 rating with a week of DVR factored in. That’s a big positive, and if the show can remain stable throughout the season, it should be a lock for renewal.
Bless The Harts – On the Bubble
FOX has tried to launch new comedies on Sundays over the last few seasons.
Bless The Harts is currently averaging 2.4 million total viewers and a 1.0 rating. That is thanks in large part to the football overruns that are propping up The Simpsons.
We need more date without overruns to make a firm decision. The series premiere only got modest boosts with a week of DVR factored in.
Empire – Ending
FOX’s decision to end Empire may have been a surprising one, but after witnessing its ratings on Tuesdays, it’s not difficult to understand why.
The show has been trending downwards for years, and Empire Season 6 is averaging 3 million viewers and a 0.9 rating. That’s not terrible, but it’s not great.
Empire still benefits from gains on the DVR front.
The season premiere alone propelled 70% with a week of DVR factored in. Still, given the erosion, the network made the right call in making this the final season.
Bob’s Burgers – Certain Renewal
This animated series is averaging 2.1 million viewers and a 0.9 rating.
It does still benefit from decent post-airdate gains and has lucrative international deals that will keep it on the air for years.
Family Guy – Certain Renewal
This once-hot animated series is raking in 2.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating. It still commands gains of around 70% on the DVR front. That will keep it safe for another few years.
If FOX wanted to part ways with it, it would move to another destination with ease.
The Resident – On the Bubble
The Resident Season 3 is off to a slow start on Tuesdays.
It is averaging 3.8 million total viewers and a 0.8 rating in the demo. The show has never been a strong performer on the DVR front.
Unless it is pulling in a lot of viewers via FOX Now or Hulu, it may find itself at risk this season.
FOX has limited places on the schedule, and the fact of the matter is that the series is currently the second lowest-rated scripted one on the network.
It fit like a glove out of 9-1-1 on Mondays, but it faces an uphill battle for a Season 4 renewal at this stage.
Almost Family – Likely Cancellation
Almost Family was given a healthy promotional campaign and even garnered the post-Masked Singer slot.
But it could only muster 2.7 million total viewers and a 0.7 rating out of a lead-in of 7 million viewers and a 2.0 rating.
It will not survive very long in that slot with those ratings, not when FOX could be propping up one of the better performing scripted series.
Look for Almost Family to be replaced in the coming weeks unless the ratings make a turnaround.
The Masked Singer – Renewed
We don’t usually look at reality series because they are more challenging to predict, but The Masked Singer remains a bonafide hit.
It is currently averaging 7.7 million total viewers and a 2.3 rating in the demo. It is scoring gains of 44% in the demo with a week of DVR factored in.
Coming up at Midseason: MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, Last Man Standing, 9-1-1: LONE STAR, FILTHY RICH, DEPUTY, NEXT, OUTMATCHED, ULTIMATE TAG, DUNCANVILLE, and THE GREAT NORTH.
What are your thoughts on these predictions?
Hit the comments below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.