ABC has opted not to pick up additional episodes of new legal drama Conviction beyond its original 13-episode order. The series, starring Hayley Atwell, is not being pulled from the schedule. It will stay on the air, playing out its 13 produced episodes, though the drama won’t necessarily stay in its Monday 10 PM time slot for all of the remaining eight episodes.
This is not a cancellation, as ABC is retaining an option to order a second season and is keeping the options on the cast. However, historically, it has been virtually impossible for a new series that could’ve gotten a back order but didn’t to score a second-season renewal, especially at the ratings levels of Conviction.
Conviction, from the Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Studios, got off to a slow start with a 0.9 Live+Same Day rating for its series premiere, below the season opener of the show it replaced on the schedule, veteran Castle. Conviction slipped a bit in subsequent airings, hitting a low of 0.6 in 18-49 (L+SD) with its fifth episode last night. That is a tenth higher than the 0.5 ABC’s drama Kings & Prophets logged for its second airing last season before being pulled from the schedule.
Conviction has had OK time-shifted viewing lifts, most recently rising +62% in Live+7, from a 0.8 to 1.3.
Created by Liz Friedlander and Liz Friedman, Conviction centers on Hayes Morrison (Atwell), an attorney and former First Daughter who gets “blackmailed” into joining the Conviction Integrity Unit. Co-starring in the series are Eddie Cahill, Shawn Ashmore, Merrin Dungey, Emily Kinney, Manny Montana and Daniel Franzese.
ABC recently trimmed the order of its other under-performing new drama series, Notorious, to 10 episodes; gave full-season orders to freshmen Speechless, American Housewife and Designated Survivor; and picked up three more episodes of comedy The Real O’Neals, which had a 13-episode sophomore order.