NBC, which opened the 2020 renewal season with a massive three-season pickup for New Amsterdam back in January, still has quite a few shows on the bubble.
Leading the pack is sparkly newcomer Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, a co-production between Lionsgate TV and Universal TV. The musical dramedy has a passionate following and just topped USA Today’s annual Save Our Shows poll with record support.
It has a lot in common with Sunday night companion Good Girls. Both are female-driven vehicles that combine drama and comedy, and both get the bulk of their ratings from delayed and digital viewing. One thing that separates the two is that Good Girls, fully owned by NBCUniversal via producing studio Universal TV, has a lucrative Netflix library streaming deal, which sealed another renewal for the caper earlier this month.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a digital phenom with huge online/social media following whose very modest Live+Same Day linear ratings are dwarfed by its delayed multi-platform numbers. Because digital breakouts of that caliber don’t come along often, NBC, Lionsgate TV and Universal TV will likely find a business framework to make a renewal on the linear network feasible, including possibly pursuing a full-season streaming pact somewhere.
Sophomore Manifest, from leading studio Warner Bros. TV, is a respectable ratings performer, at the lower end but within the ratings range of NBC/Uni TV’s One Chicago/Law & Order: SVU series, which have all been renewed. Like WBTV’s Blindspot, which pulled off a renewal Houdini act year after year to get to five seasons on NBC, the studio is well positioned to clinch a Season 3 renewal for Manifest, co-produced by Uni tV, contingent on reaching an agreement with the network.
Things do not look as promising for freshman drama Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector. The reboot had a quiet midseason run on Friday though its ratings were pretty consistent, raising its renewal hopes early on. The thriller has since moved to the wrong side of the bubble, I hear.
It is joined there by freshman comedies Indebted and Perfect Harmony, which, along with the third new comedy entry, the now-canceled Sunnyside, struggled to gain traction.
New drama series Council of Dads‘ delivery has been soft in the early going but NBC increasingly relies on Live+35 for its renewal decisions, so the network will likely wait to get enough delayed viewing date before making the call.
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