It’s Friday the 13th on your calendar, which marked a dark day for several network TV series awaiting their fates for renewal or cancellation.
But even for those sitcoms fortunate enough to earn a second season — or those pilots looking for their initial season orders by ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW — it takes a lot more than luck just to make it onto the TV schedules during what some critics call “Peak TV” but I refer to more accurately as Too Much TV or Too Many Shows (Too Many Shows! Too! Many!! Shows!!!).
Let’s look at the numbers from the class of 2015-2016, since today essentially marked graduation or dropout day for them. Of hundreds of potential creators who began in the fall of 2014 with development deals and script orders from the five broadcast TV networks, only handfuls of them received pilot orders during 2015 Pilot Season. Even fewer received series orders and triumphantly debuted before advertisers last May during Upfronts — with some not attending Upfronts because they’d already been deferred to midseason — and how many will see Season 2? Four half-hour rookie sitcoms, plus two hour-length comedies.
Here’s the breakdown from 2015 Pilot Season to today:
- ABC – 14 sitcoms ordered to pilot, 4 series ordered, 2 canceled, 1 yet to air, 2 renewed (compared to 12 drama pilots ordered, 2 survived to Season 2)
- CBS – 9 sitcom pilots ordered, 2 series ordered, 1 canceled mid-run, 1 renewed (compared to 9 drama pilots, not sure if any survive to season 2, though one will via The CW)
- FOX – 8 sitcom pilots ordered, 4 series ordered (plus Scream Queens hour, includes Bordertown carried over from previous 2014 Pilot Season order), all canceled except for Scream Queens (7 drama pilots, 2 survive to S2)
- NBC – 14 sitcom pilots ordered, 6 series ordered, 1 launched early short and renewed to midseason season 2, 1 never aired, 1 canceled mid-run, 1 renewed, 2 others canceled, plus 1 UK import that aired midseason, and 1 one-hour variety show canceled (10 drama pilots, 3 survive to S2)
- The CW — not applicable (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was an hour brought over from Showtime, and renewed for S2)
By network, broken down further, with their initial lineup announcements from May 2015 and their status as of today in May 2016.
- Dr. Ken — 8:30 p.m. Fridays (RENEWED)
- The Muppets — 8 p.m. Tuesdays (CANCELLED)
- The Real O’Neals — debuting midseason 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays (RENEWED)
- Uncle Buck — supposed to debut midseason 8:30 p.m. Fridays (NOT YET AIRED, PREMIERING 9 p.m. Tuesday June 14)
- Angel From Hell — 9:30 p.m. Thursdays starting November (PREMIERE PUSHED TO JANUARY, CANCELLED AFTER 5 EPISODES)
- Life in Pieces — 8:30 p.m. Mondays, 8:30 p.m. Thursdays starting in November (RENEWED)
- Grandfathered — 8 p.m. Tuesdays (CANCELLED after 22 episodes)
- The Grinder — 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays (CANCELLED after 22 episodes)
- Scream Queens — 9 p.m. Tuesdays (RENEWED)
- Bordertown — midseason unscheduled (CANCELLED, episode 13 finale airs May 22)
- Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life — midseason unscheduled (CANCELLED, aired at 11:30 p.m. Saturdays, episode 13 finale airs May 21)
- Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris — 10 p.m. live Tuesdays (CANCELLED after 8 episodes, some of which aired at 8 p.m.)
- Coach — unscheduled midseason (NEVER AIRED)
- Crowded — unscheduled midseason (CANCELLED, airing 9:30 p.m. Sundays, episode 13 finale on May 22)
- People Are Talking 8:30 p.m. Fridays (CANCELLED, renamed Truth Be Told and pulled after 8 weeks)
- Superstore — unscheduled midseason (RENEWED, aired 11 episodes on Mondays)
- Telenovela — unscheduled midseason (CANCELLED, aired 11 episodes on Mondays)
- You, Me and the End of the World — unscheduled midseason (IMPORT aired as You, Me and the Apocalypse, on Thursdays as 10 1-hour episodes, CANCELLED by Sky 1)