Power-Ranking Last Season’s 5 Freshman Comedies that Got Renewed

by Corey Chapman @chapmanrunner on June 5, 2014

in Mr. Serious, Television

Back in the fall, I predicted ten new network television shows that would be picked up for a second season, and ten that wouldn’t make it to Christmas. I correctly guessed a solid 8 out of 10 shows to get canned (my bad Sleepy Hollow!), and a respectable 5 out of 10 on the shows that would be picked up (thanks for nothing, Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox). Either I am a Nielsen guru, or guessed pretty well. Seeing as I watch very little network television these days, I would side with the latter.

My track record aside, one thing is for sure: 2013-14 was not a good season for freshman comedies. Of all the network comedy series that debuted during the 2013-14 season, only 5 first-year shows have been green lit for a sophomore season.

Most shows spend their first season finding a rhythm, and more importantly, their audience. These shows can now breathe a sign of relief, heading into next season no longer the new kid on the block. But will all of these shows “graduate” and make it to syndication? Let’s have some more fun and guess how long each series’ run will be:


About a Boy | NBC

Full disclosure, I have never watched an episode of this and don’t plan to (same goes for The Millers and Mom). It was a mid-season replacement and debuted relatively well (8.26 million viewers) and sustained their audience for the entire 13 episode run, making it an easy decision for NBC to bring back the Hugh Grant-inspired sitcom.

Next season, The Peacock has it slated for 9:30pm on Tuesday, after the new show Marry Me. It’s already on a strong night featuring The Voice and Chicago Fire, so I predict they will be able to maintain their ratings and probably grow the audience. The boy in Boy is currently 11 years old, so the show probably won’t run 10 seasons, unless they decide to change it to About a Dude.

Prediction: 5 seasons and syndication


The Goldbergs | ABC

I know, I know. I was the idiot that said this show would be gone by Christmas Eve. I didn’t enjoy the pilot and felt it was trying too hard to be that nostalgic 80s show. I figured it would be one of the first shows axed. Then it kept airing, and airing, and I had to go back and see what I was missing. After that bumpy force-fed pilot, it immediately found its footing and became a great family comedy.

You know the guy at the party that tells you his life story within the first ten minutes of meeting him and you think he’s annoying? But then once he’s had a few drinks in him, he mellows out, tells a few jokes, he seems pretty cool? That’s The Goldbergs. I plan on writing a love letter to the show and its creator Adam F. Goldberg someday. If ABC nurtures it and promotes it properly, this could be a long-running series. Moving it to Wednesdays helps big time.

Prediction: 7 seasons, syndication, and a Big Tasty full-length album


Brooklyn Nine Nine | Fox

A series I pegged to make it to season two, I am proud to say this a show I watch religiously and laugh every single week. The cast feels like they have been together for years, the writing is quick and biting, and the direction is perfect. If this show was on CBS, it’s easily on for as long as it wants.

Fox has been loyal to its Sunday night comedy, but not much else the last few years. And I can see Andy Samberg, fresh off of his Emmy win, dip his toe in feature films. If he has success, it could spell the end of the show earlier than expected.

Prediction: 5 seasons (the last one without Detective Jake Peralta)


The Millers | CBS

As much as we love him, Will Arnett is television poison. He and Christian Slater should team up and just shoot a season’s worth of pilots that could air every Tuesday and get cancelled every Wednesday. Why all the hate for Will? Shows he is the lead on do not garner ratings, and at the end of the day, that’s what will keep this show on the air.

Ratings might be tough to get after next season, when CBS shuffles their lineup after the finale of Two And A Half Men. If they continue to follow the comedy ratings juggernaut Big Bang Theory, they will enjoy that ride. Something tells me they won’t.

Prediction: 3 seasons, no syndication, no more lead TV roles for Arnett


Mom | CBS

This show is on CBS and was created by Chuck Lorre. IT WILL NEVER GO OFF THE AIR.

FINAL POWER RANKING: The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, About a Boy, Mom, The Millers


Mr. Serious (@chapmanrunner) has been selling his whole life, nowadays he happens to get paid for doing it. He produces and edits the UnderScoopFire podcast.

Kevin Hellions June 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm

I’ll miss Dads. OK, I’ll miss Brenda Song in short skirts. Syndicate that!

Mr. Serious June 9, 2014 at 8:01 am

no one but Sharepoint Joe will miss Dads.

bmorin54 June 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I tried watching the first episode of The Millers and was bored 5 minutes in. It wasn’t funny, the jokes seemed old, and the entire show seemed to me like it was built in the 70s sitcom mold. If someone tells me they like it, I will fight them.

Stacey Rader June 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

I think The Millers survives solely on the basis that there’s not a lot out there to compete with, and it’s good white noise for Baby Boomers when the kids come to visit. It’s not particularly bad, but it’s definitely not good.

Previous post:

Next post: