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It's been a pretty good week for new television, as Fox's The Mick kicked off to enviable ratings and other TV shows, including The Celebrity Apprentice, came back. However, it was not a very good week for ABC's Conviction, as the Hayley Atwell starrer kicked off its new Sunday timeslot to even lower lows. So, why has ABC decided to hold off on cancelling the series?
While the 2016-2017 TV season has been kind to a lot of new network programs, Conviction hasn't seen the same sort of success. The new series kicked off a little late, in October, and its premiere only drew a .9 rating in Live+Same Day numbers---the lowest of any show this fall. It hasn't been the sort of show that has slowly built an audience, either, and the ratings dropped through October and November until ABC decided to move the show to Sunday nights this winter, taking over the 10 p.m. slot occupied by Quantico earlier this season. Sunday's episode saw Conviction earn a .4 rating in the 18-49 advertising demographic and only a little over 2 million total viewers, per TV By The Numbers. Anyway, you look at it, these numbers are bad.
Still, ABC hasn't cancelled the series. A month ago, we learned the network would not be ordering more than the initial 13 episodes that ABC had already signed on for, but the "c" word has not been bandied about. In fact, no show on network TV has officially been cancelled by a network, despite a few shows seeing their episode orders cut.
Cancelling a series is bad press. Every time it happens, the fans---however few there may be---rally together to complain about the series they love getting cancelled. If Conviction were to be cancelled right now, it would be the only show getting the axe and the news would likely spread. If ABC tries to bury this cancellation with other shows getting cancelled, not to mention the plugs for all of the new shows coming next season, then it may not be such bad news that Conviction gets cancelled after all.
I'm guessing we'll have to wait until May, when all of the new programming gets announced, for ABC to confirm the show will be ending after Season 1. However, mark my words, it's coming. Anything under a 1.0 rating is not great news, but shows that see huge DVR gains can sometimes slip under the radar or earn themselves a renewal order. Conviction doesn't really have anything going for it, other than the fact that I think a lot of people want to see Hayley Atwell succeed on television. Conviction just ain't it. It's about time ABC admits it.
To find out what TV is premiering this winter, take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule.