There are several different ways to tell when a TV show might be on its last legs, with ratings only filling out part of the tale. One big indication happens when one of a series' stars lands a lead role on a completely different series, and that's the case with ABC's ratings-challenged legal drama Conviction. Earlier today, it was announced that Conviction's Emily Kinney was officially cast in the upcoming straight-to-series drama Ten Days in the Valley, which doesn't bode well for the Hayley Atwell-led freshman drama.
To be fair, Emily Kinney joining another show definitely isn't a confirmation that Conviction is going away after its first season, but it's another bad omen in a line of them. The series premiered to somewhat disappointing ratings, and it's only gotten worse from there. ABC's feelings were inferred to be set in stone when the network opted not to tack on any additional installments following Conviction's initial 13-episode run. Nobody said the big C-word at the time, but the fact that the ratings haven't gotten any better since then won't help the show's chances. Strangely enough, Ten Days in the Valley is also an ABC drama, so it's kind of like self-cannibalization if Conviction gets sentenced to death.
With Ten Days in the Valley, Emily Kinney will be heading back to more serialized storytelling. It stars Kyra Sedgwick as television producer Jane Sadler, who is increasingly overwhelmed while dealing with her job and a troublesome separation from her husband, and the single mother life definitely hasn't made things easier. But life soon imitates art when Jane's young daughter goes missing, and the mystery resembles the complex police drama she produces. According to Deadline, Kinney will play Jane's optimistic and bubbly assistant Casey, who views her boss as a role model. The drama, from Skydance Television, was put together by Rookie Blue creator Tassie Cameron.
Everybody loves a good missing child case, so Ten Days in the Valley could do quite well for ABC, although true crime shows have sometimes done better on that front than scripted projects more recently. (Everyone should watch The Missing, regardless.) Let's not forget that courtroom dramas have been a dependable source of TV drama for decades, and Conviction missed the mark, so there are no guarantees when it comes to television trends. But until the network makes an official decision, we'll just continue hoping for the best.
Coincidentally, it was when Hayley Atwell joined Conviction that all the Agent Carter cancellation talk really kicked into high gear before that decision was made official. And Agent Carter was also on ABC, making this a strange kind of dominos game. Will we be able to tell that Ten Days in the Valley is close to ending if co-star Erika Christensen joins a new show in the middle of the season?
Conviction currently has just one episode left to air in its first season, which will hit ABC on Sunday, January 29. Ten Days in the Valley is being planned for a release that could hit from the late spring to the early fall, so stay tuned for more announcements there, and head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything else heading to your TVs in the near future.