2016 is coming to an end, and the time is right to look back at all the shows that hit the airwaves this fall, and we see some have performed distinctly better than others in the ratings. Most networks haven't finished deciding which current shows will be renewed and which shows will be cancelled, so viewers may have a nerve-wracking few months of waiting for news. Variables can get in the way of sure-thing renewals, and consistency can actually matter more than total viewership. Fortunately, some shows got off to such solid starts in the 2016-2017 TV season that we can safely say another season or two is on the way. Check out our breakdown of 10 shows that definitely won't be cancelled any time soon.
The Simpsons, Fox
The Simpsons has had its ups and downs over the years, and cancellation seemed overtly possible more than once in the last decade or so. The show kicked off Season 28 this fall, and it's done well enough that Fox has faith that it will continue to deliver for at least a couple more years. The network has already renewed The Simpsons for another two seasons, which will bring the total season count up to 30. The Simpsons hasn't been especially consistent in the numbers through Season 28, but it does frequently gain back its losses in both overall viewership and ratings in the valuable 18 - 49 age demographic, and it is once again Fox's top comedy for the year. The renewal will smash a TV record to make The SImpsons the longest-running scripted series in the history of television.
NCIS has been a huge hit for CBS, and its success has been enough to launch two spinoffs that are still going strong. Executive producer and star Mark Harmon signed a deal for another two years with the network, and the network responded by ordering two more seasons of NCIS while Season 13 was still on the air. The show went through a major shakeup at the end of Season 13 when longtime cast member Michael Weatherly left, but several new members of the cast have compensated for his absence so far in Season 14. The early renewal means that NCIS will be on the air at least through Season 15, and it could bode quite well for the futures of both NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.
This Is Us, NBC
This Is Us is one of the biggest freshman shows to hit the airwaves in 2016, and we can't see it getting cancelled any time soon. The series premiered with pretty huge numbers for NBC, and although viewership has fluctuated frequently over the episodes so far, the ratings in the 18-49 demographic have been mostly consistent. This Is Us also scored an impressive three nominations for 2017 Golden Globes, including for Best Drama and Best Supporting Actress, and NBC can boast plenty of positive critical buzz about the series in addition to great ratings, so we aren't worried about a Season 1 cancellation. Even if ratings start to tank in the second half of the first season, the renewal odds will still be pretty good.
The Flash, The CW
The CW is the lowest-rated broadcast network, so its ratings rarely stand up against anything on the Big 4 channels, but it's got some of the biggest fictional universes on TV. One show that has actually been known to beat Big 4 shows in the numbers is The Flash, which also generally beats all the other CW series in both ratings and viewership. Those figures have dipped in Season 3, but it still does the best with viewers of everything in The CW's DC universe. Of the four action dramas, The Flash is one guaranteed to score a renewal. In fact, if any of the other shows come to an end in spring 2017, we might be able to expect some of the characters migrate to The Flash.
Grey's Anatomy, ABC
Grey's Anatomy is currently in Season 13, and the show nowadays barely resembles the show as it premiered back in 2005. The show has survived the departure of major cast members, including the heartbreaking death of McDreamy in Season 11, and new additions that have expanded other characters' backstories. Ratings and viewership dropped as episodes passed in Season 13, but they show enough recovery from week to week to indicate that the rather large core audience still tunes in on a regular basis. Plenty of people witnessed the ginormous cliffhangers in the latest midseason finale, and the diagnosis for its chances of lasting at least another season are quite good. History has indicated that Grey's Anatomy can outlast just about any twist.
Viewers may have had to say goodbye to Michael Weatherly as a regular on NCIS for Fall 2016, but Michael Weatherly didn't go very far. He landed a new show called Bull on CBS, which debuted to huge numbers as millions tuned in to see the genial actor in the role of a trial consultant. Although the new drama has actually dropped in the numbers from week to week for almost every single episode, the average 12.455 million viewers and 1.64 in the 18-49 demographic are solid enough that CBS has every reason to give Bull a second season. Bull is the biggest new show of fall 2016 in total viewers, and fans shouldn't spend too much time worrying about a cancellation.
Chicago Fire, NBC
Chicago Fire is the show responsible for launching NBC's newest franchise back in 2012. Currently in its fifth season, Chicago Fire has shown that it can recover from drops in ratings and viewership from episode to episode, and its last two installments of 2016 even attracted more viewers than the Season 5 premiere; premieres are generally the most-watched episodes in the first halves of seasons, so that's huge. Throw in the fact that Chicago Fire's success led to the premieres of spinoffs Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med, and NBC will want to keep Chicago Fire around for the foreseeable future. If the third spinoff Chicago Justice does well enough when it debuts in spring 2017, Fire may not even be done launching spinoffs.
Bob's Burgers, Fox
Fox has cornered the marked on animated primetime television, and The Simpsons isn't the only show to score renewals for more than one season at a time. Bob's Burgers was renewed for two more seasons while Season 6 was still airing, and Season 7 is going strong. The extremely vocal and cosplay-friendly viewership has stayed mostly steady in Season 7, and it seems to have hit an average of around 2.4 million and a 1.08 in the 18-49 demo in the last four episodes. With many more meal puns and awkward situations for the Belchers to gets stuck in, Bob's Burgers is a sure thing for Season 8, and it could be around for a Season 9 and beyond if the core audience continues to stick around.
Modern Family, ABC
Modern Family has been one of ABC's biggest hits from the very beginning, comedy or otherwise, and it continues to outperform many other shows on TV in Season 8, with an average viewership of 7.3 million and 2.3 in the 18-49 demographic. This is another show that has experienced drops throughout its current season, but it still pulls in high enough numbers that ABC won't want to cancel any time in the near future. Not many series based on family dynamics can survive once the kids start growing up and changing the format of the series, but Modern Family has pulled it off so far. We can bet that it will be back for a Season 9.
Empire was a breakout hit for Fox when it hit the airwaves in 2015, bringing together a strong cast anchored by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The show experienced a major ratings drop from the Season 2 finale to the Season 3 premiere, and it's not the bulldozer it once was, but Empire has continued to be a hit for the network with an average viewership of 8.6 million and an average demo of 3.2 in 18-49 demos. The ruthless dynamics of the Lyon family in the music biz continue to draw sizable audiences from week to week, and Lee Daniels' new show Star will even expand the Empire universe to encompass two series. All in all, Empire is a pretty sure thing for a renewal.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and be sure to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what you can catch on the small screen int he new year.