TV Q: Are Midseason Debuts Cancelled More Often Than Fall Launches? Or Does It Only Seem That Way?

TVLine | 4/24/2019 | Matt Webb Mitovich
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At this time of year, when I go to report on broadcast-TV ratings, I will often look at the numbers for a midsession launch and wonder: “Why did they even bother airing this? Might simply running an inexpensive test pattern do nearly as well?”

I mean, are the new scripted shows saved for late winter, spring or summer not much more than cannon fodder? Is there a correlation between when a freshman series is premiered and its chances (or the network’s internal forecast) for survival?

Data - Percentage - Midsession - Series - Launches

Before I drown you in data, answer me this: What percentage of midsession series launches do you think wind up as one-and-dones? In a TVLine Twitter poll posted earlier this month, 49% of you suspect that at least half of all midseason launches get scrapped before Season 2:

2019 Scorecard: What's Renewed? What's Cancelled?

Favorite - Show - Wo - Movie

Why Your Cancelled Favorite Show Won't Get a 'Wrap-Up Movie'

Looking at the five TV seasons preceding this one (since the fate of several midseason shows currently airing remains TBD), I expected to note a trend, or at least a consistent “mortality rate” from year to year. The numbers I came up with, though, indicate … fluctuation. Meaning, it simply depends on any given year’s crop of held-back newbies.


For example:

The 2017-18 TV season saw exactly 50% of all midseason premieres cancelled after a single season, meaning that for every 9-1-1 and Instinct that earned a pickup, a Deception and Life Sentence got sent packing.

Seasons - Launches - % - Side - Season

Of the five seasons surveyed here, 2014-15 proved kindest to midseason launches, with “just” 47% getting snuffed. On the flip side, 2013-14 was the most brutal season, with a 72% midseason mortality rate; among that spring’s few survivors were The 100 and Chicago P.D., which are still with us today.

For the 2016-17 TV season, 71% of all midseason premieres never saw a Season...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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