Though most renewal/cancellation news is typically held until closer to the ad upfront presentations in May, NBC execs just announced that they’ve picked up three series for additional seasons. Stalwart supernatural police drama Grimm is now confirmed to return for a fourth outing next fall. Word of its renewal came with news that Dick Wolf’s procedural drama Chicago Fire and its recent spinoff Chicago P.D. have both been picked up for third and second seasons, respectively.
None of the renewals are particularly surprising given the success that NBC has found with all three. On Friday nights, Grimm has overcome its terrible timeslot to become a highly reliable performer for the network. Right now, it’s having the best luck of any show that night in the key adults 18-49 demographic with a 2.5 rating, and the 8.1 million total viewers it’s currently drawing is up from last year. Additionally, NBC has a habit of keeping its veterans on the air for as long as possible (Law & Order: SVU is in its fifteenth season now, to give one example), so it’s not very surprising that Nick Burkhardt and co. will still be fighting Wesen next fall.
Meanwhile, Chicago Fire is currently dominating its Tuesday 10 p.m. timeslot with a 3.1 rating in the highly coveted demographic and an average of 10.6 million viewers. Those figures alone would have been enough to assure a renewal, but the numbers also show that Chicago Fire is significantly up from last season and still growing.
Attribute the growth to viewers following both Chicago Fire and spinoff Chicago P.D.. The two shows, both from Wolf (Law & Order: SVU), have crossed over at multiple points already, lifting ratings as fans tuned in for both hours. Though Chicago P.D. has been a little less impressive in the ratings (2.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 8.9 million total viewers), NBC is rightly still happy with its performance, particularly given the huge amount of viewers it has maintained from its lead-in. According to THR, Chicago P.D. has kept 94 percent of its Law & Order: SVU lead-in and 97 percent of total viewers if DVR is taken into account.
The three shows join hit drama The Blacklist, entering its second season, and returning comedy Parks & Recreation, which will be entering its seventh season. The former, starring James Spader as a dangerous fugitive helping the FBI take down dangerous terrorists, has been a slam-dunk for NBC, with critical praise and high ratings. The latter, a mockumentary with one of the strongest ensemble casts on TV, has been critically acclaimed and is one of the few moderately successful comedies that NBC has right now, though insiders are saying that the show may call it quits after the seventh season.
Jury’s still out on the fates of beloved cult comedy Community, Wolf’s veteran SVU, under-the-radar drama Parenthood, moderately successful but extremely well-received horror drama Hannibal and post-apocalyptic thriller Revolution. It’s also unclear whether any of the fresh faces on NBC right now, including comedies About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher, ‘event’ dramas Believe and Crisis, and upcoming debuts Undateable and The Night Shift, will see second seasons.
Out of those shows, only SVU is a lock to return. Additionally, I’d expect to see Community earn its much-coveted sixth season (“Six seasons and a movie!” has long been a rallying cry for the show’s fans and its creator Dan Harmon), and Parenthood has a loyal, if small, following in a competitive timeslot. Hannibal has many admirers, which might be enough to convince NBC it’s worth keeping around, but the same can’t be said for Revolution, which has been sliding hard with critics and audiences this season. About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher have both done well enough to earn pick-ups, but Believe, currently in ratings free-fall after a strong start, and Crisis, which saw a highly unremarkable premiere, are both already on the bubble.
Are you happy that Grimm, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. all earned pick-ups? What shows do you want to return, and which ones should go down this spring? Let us know below.