ABC has finally gotten in the game and announced its renewals and cancellations for the 2015-2016 season (not all, it should be noted, but most).
Let’s rank these starting with the least surprising: The ShondaLand series are all back, which means Grey’s Anatomy (Season 12), Scandal (Season 5), and How to Get Away with Murder (Season 2) all made the cut (in a shock to no one). The renewal of most of ABC’s comedies were also no-brainers given their strong ratings: Modern Family (Season 7), The Middle (Season 7), The Goldbergs (Season 3) and black-ish (Season 2) will all return as well.
More on the bubble, but still viable, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be back for Season 3, but early word is that its Mockingbird spinoff is probably a no go. Excellent mid-season comedy Fresh Off the Boat has also been renewed for Season 2, along with a few series whose numbers may not be outstanding, but they have a steady audience: Castle (Season 8), Once Upon a Time (Season 5), and Nashville (Season 4).
The most surprising renewals are most certainly Agent Carter (Season 2), Galavant (season 2), American Crime (Season 2), and Secrets & Lies (Season 2). The ratings were low, critical commentary was mixed, and most of these series were built to not necessarily last for more than a limited run, meaning their conclusions were satisfying. But, once more into the breach! Galavant was something different and fun for ABC, and its return is certainly welcomed. Agent Carter was brimming with potential that lamentably drained away throughout the season, but hopefully Season 2 can retool (and work on some of those pacing issues).
With so many renewals, some things have to go of course, and that includes cancellations for Forever, Cristela, and Resurrection (with two of those titles providing a lot of irony). None of these cuts are particularly shocking, even though Forever had good DV-R numbers in the days following its troubled Tuesday death slot. But with ABC renewing the low-rated Marvel series, there just wasn’t room to keep Forever, too (goodbye, handsome. Sigh.) The fact that these mere three were the only series cancelled (along with Revenge) is really the bigger story, though.
But stay tuned, as there are still some series whose fates have not yet been decided, and we will keep you up to date as that info hits. In the meantime, you can see the complete list of all the cancelled and renewed scripted series so far over on our TV Lifeline.