The last couple of weeks of TV news have been a bit of a bloodbath as networks have announced all the series that have gotten the axe. ABC has held off on announcing the future of espionage drama Quantico, even as other ABC series have had their futures confirmed. Luckily for fans who have been dying for news, ABC has finally revealed that Quantico will officially be back for Season 3, and there will be a major change behind the scenes that could mean a show that looks quite different.
Creator and executive producer Josh Safran will step down from his position as Quantico showrunner when it returns. ABC has not yet chosen a replacement showrunner, but a search is ongoing. Safran is still attached to the series and will contribute to Season 3 in a consulting capacity. It's possible that the new showrunner will do everything in his or her power to continue to manage Quantico in the same was that Safran has; it's also possible that we'll see a very different Quantico after Season 2.
The showrunner switcheroo won't be the only way that Quantico is different in the next season. The episode count will be significantly shorter. Only 13 episodes of Quantico have been ordered by ABC for the third season, which is nine fewer than the 22-episode orders for Seasons 1 and 2. The reduced episode count will undoubtedly be a disappointment to fans who have been hoping for another full season of 22 episodes, but it's better than a cancellation. After all, a renewal was far from guaranteed.
The ratings for Season 2 of Quantico have not been nearly as impressive as the ratings for Season 1. Variety reports that the first 21 episodes of Season 2 have averaged 2.8 million viewers and an unfortunate 0.7 in the all-important 18-49 age demographic in Live+Same day calculations. Compared to the numbers from Season 1, Quantico has dropped 36% in viewership and 45% in 18-49 demo ratings. The show has been in danger of cancellation for a while now.
Of course, there have been changes designed to try and bring audiences back. Quantico got rid of the flashbacks that viewers didn't respond to, sticking with one event and its aftermath rather than jumping around in timelines. There's also the fact that Quantico has done well enough in post-live viewership and ratings to compensate for its relatively poor Live+Same day ratings. Going back as far as Season 1, the show has benefited from Live+7 calculations. Personally, I'm just glad that we don't have to wait weeks into hiatus to find out whether or not the show will come back.
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