ABC has long been the home of some of the most popular sitcoms on television. Easily the most successful of those shows has been “Modern Family,” which has been a mainstay on the network for more than a decade. The family sitcom ruled the Emmys for years. Now, the prized series has been renewed for its eleventh, and final season.
“Modern Family” won Best Comedy Series five years in a row, a record that ties it with some of the best shows of all time. Additionally, it scored at least one acting nomination every year until 2018 broke the streak. Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen all won Emmys for their performances multiple times. Sophia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ed O’Neill also received nominations for their work over the course of the series. An ever-changing array of guest stars further lifted the show and scored the series more than half a dozen additional performance nominations. It undeniably took advantage of the weaker network offerings of its run.
Now, with “Modern Family” on its way into a final season, there are a lot of questions about the ABC lineup for the Fall of 2019. Let’s dive into the ratings and see what shows will actually live to see “Modern Family” live out its final season.
TV Ratings/Scorecard for ABC (Feb. 2019)
- “The Good Doctor”
- “A Million Little Things”
- “Modern Family”
There is no surprise that each of these shows will go into the next season. The renewal for “A Million Little Things” did not have to happen as early as it did, and it will be curious to see how ABC positions it next year. Still, the drama has its fans, and with 0.87 score on Thursday nights, ABC could certainly do worse. ABC hopes that the ratings pick up with the early renewal already announced. “The Good Doctor” is also riding high, and with a 1.11 rating, it remains one of ABC’s biggest hits.
Very Likely Renewals
- “The Connors”
- “The Goldbergs”
- “Grey’s Anatomy”
The “Goldbergs” expanded universe got a bit larger with the early success of “Schooled” this Spring. While “Schooled” does not currently have the same rating as “The Goldbergs,” it will likely get there when the first show concludes. Sharing several of the most popular characters from the eighties nostalgia series, “Schooled” should have a strong showing in time. After all, it has a whole new generation of pop culture to dive into (assuming that “The Goldbergs” doesn’t take any more Adam Sandler comedies). Both shows posted above 1.1 ratings, a difficult feat for ABC shows in recent years. With ratings similar to “The Good Doctor” among the 18-49 age group, these are gimmes.
The real surprise is that “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Connors” have not been signed off on yet. Both series are the highest rated shows on ABC right now (1.66 among 18-49s). The question likely revolves around the status of their various leads. There was a hiccup about whether or not Ellen Pompeo will stay on the show past season sixteen, but at the same time, she seems game. Regardless, with Pompeo technically contracted through at least one more year, the odds seem good it will keep rolling along.
For “The Connors,” everyone seems to be game. Laurie Metcalf already voiced her support for another season, and if the show moves toward a thirteen episode season, they can probably drum up stronger interest over a calendar year. Keep in mind, Johnny Galecki can join the show moving forward, especially since “Big Bang Theory” will end this year. It would be fun to Galecki return in a bigger role moving forward, especially considering his Emmy success over the years.
- “American Housewife”
- “Fresh Off the Boat”
- “The Kids Are Alright”
- “Single Parents”
There’s a slew of comedies on the ABC block that all seem poised for renewal. “black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “American Housewife” and “The Kids Are Alright” keep doing respectable numbers. While “American Housewife” and “The Kids Are Alright” do not feel like the awards contenders the other three have pushed for, they hold respectable numbers. “Single Parents” feels like it could emerge as a more popular show once it gets out of the shadow of “Modern Family,” but when will that be? ABC should hold onto that show as well.
- “How to Get Away With Murder”
- “The Rookie”
- “Splitting Up Together”
- “Station 19”
Perhaps the most exciting news is that the “Speechless” ratings picked up from the last time we wrote on the topic. The bump may not feel big, but it certainly shows that audiences have been keen on keeping the show on the air. It might be the lowest rated show on ABC, but it also airs on Friday nights. That could give it some leeway. However, it still holds that dubious, “last place” status, so it could get the ax.
Meanwhile, the ABC drama side seems to be in trouble. “How to Get Away With Murder” will likely survive, but that has more to do with Viola Davis than anything else. The show has dipped to being the third lowest rated show on ABC. “The Rookie” seems to be doing alright, but a 0.75 does not exactly spell out confidence. Again, being fourth from the bottom and no real awards potential does not exactly scream must keep. Finally, “Station 19” seems like an obvious show for ABC to bring back. After all, without it, ABC will quickly run out of procedurals.
The show looking least likely to return has to be “Splitting Up Together.” It squeaked by for a second season, but it seems unlikely that ABC will give it a life raft for a second time. After all, they need to start moving into the post-Modern Family phase. Deadline has a good group of shows that could fill that void with bigger stars. If those shows are even in the same quality level as “Splitting Up Together” the upside might be appealing enough for ABC to pull the trigger.