It's crunch time for the broadcast networks as they frantically prepare for their upfront presentations, which begin next Monday. As ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW sift through this season's pilots and decide which ones to pick up (NBC kickstarted the process Friday, giving early series orders to three drama pilots: Chicago Fire/Chicago P.D. spinoff Chicago Med, Blindspot and Heartbreaker), they will also spent the next week deciding the fates of several current series still on the ratings bubble.
While final decisions will be dictated by which pilots are picked up, the time slots that need to be filled, and which bubble shows' studios might agree to reduce their license fees in order to secure a renewal, here's our best guess at which series won't make it to this fall:
The network hasn't technically renewed any of its series yet—not even its 18-49-demo heavy-hitters Modern Family, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder—though those shows, and solid freshman series like Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, are all safe. Already canceled: Manhattan Love Story and Selfie bit the dust last fall, while Revenge will be signing off after four seasons.
ABC's endangered series list includes first-year shows Forever, Cristela, Marvel's Agent Carter (whose so-so renewal hopes were dealt a blow by the hush-hush Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff in the works, which is likely to receive a series pickup), Galavant and limited series American Crime (which is drawing one-third of the 18-49 ratings that How to Get Away With Murder pulled in Thursdays at 10 p.m.). Out of its returning series, Resurrection, whose 18-49 ratings plummeted 50 percent this season, won't live to see Season 2.
CBS has picked up a handful of its series, including The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Mike & Molly and a trio of freshman shows: Scorpion, Madam Secretary and NCIS: New Orleans. So far, it's only officially canceled The Millers and Unforgettable (which is moving to A&E for Season 4).
That leaves a lot of shows in limbo, but of the other first-year series, The McCarthys (which was pulled from the schedule but not yet officially canceled), Battle Creek and Stalker are most likely to get the ax. CSI: Cyber's fate could be tied to how CBS proceeds with the CSI mother series, which will either be canceled or return for one final season. (If CSI is canceled, Cyber should get a renewal; if CSI gets a reprieve, Cyber's future is less certain.)
The network has several long-running series with ratings erosion, but given CBS' recent track record with giving closure to its longest-tenured shows (like Two and a Half Men and The Mentalist this season), it's unlikely the network will cancel many, if any, of them without giving those series the same opportunity to properly wrap things up. The Good Wife is widely expected to receive a "seventh and final season" renewal, and if CBS decides to end a long-running drama other than CSI, Hawaii Five-O would be most vulnerable.
Fox, which falls to fourth place in adults 18-49 this season, already has several series on the scrap heap: Utopia, Gracepoint and, from last summer, Gang Related and Kitchen Nightmares. There's also the not-yet-officially-canceled-but-we-all-know-they're-never-coming-back Mulaney and Red Band Society, while Glee ended its run this season.
The network already renewed several series, including Empire, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and Sleepy Hollow, which leaves only a few shows awaiting their fates. The prognosis won't be good for struggling first-year series Weird Loners and Backstrom, while The Following will also probably meet the Grim Reaper, like so many characters on that series.
One of upfront's biggest questions: will any of NBC's new 2014-2015 series make it to a second season? Don't bet on it: The network already canceled A to Z, Bad Judge and Allegiance, with American Odyssey, One Big Happy, Constantine, State of Affairs, The Slap (a limited series that could have returned with a new cast and story had its ratings not been abysmal) and Marry Me all destined to join them on the scrap heap. The Mysteries of Laura's already-slim hopes for a renewal got even tinier when NBC picked up Blindspot, from Laura executive producer Greg Berlanti.
If any first-year series makes it to Season 2, it might be A.D. The Bible Continues, which had a strong debut Easter Sunday but whose ratings have since cooled. Yet given NBC's close relationship with powerhouse executive producer Mark Burnett, who also makes The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice for them, the network could bring A.D. back for another spring/Easter run.
With Parks and Recreation wrapping its run last February, NBC could conceivably ax every one of its current comedies except for Undateable (sorry, About a Boy) as it continues its frantic efforts to resurrect its comedy brand.
The CW took the unusual step of renewing its entire fall lineup in January, which means only three current series are still waiting on renewal news: newbies iZombie and The Messengers, along with longer-running Hart of Dixie. The network stubbornly hasn't confirmed that Hart of Dixie's finale in March was a series (not season) ender—but that's exactly what it was—while The Messenger's anemic debut earlier this month instantly sealed its fate. However, there's life in iZombie, which should join fellow freshmen The Flash and Jane the Virgin with a Season 2 renewal.