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As network TV goes into the May sweeps period that remains an important aspect for many shows' potential futures, NBC is making some adjustments with its Friday night lineup that may hint at an impending cancellation for Blindspot. The twisty drama has been pulled from the schedule for at least the next month, with the equally twisty drama The Blacklist getting its time slot shifted up to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Before doing any speculating, here's exactly how NBC is flipping Blindspot and The Blacklist around. The two-episode Blacklist block on April 26 is the first night of Blindspot's spring hiatus. On both May 3 and May 10, The Blacklist will air in the earliest slot, while Dateline will get a pair of two-hour broadcasts on those nights. Friday, May 17, will mark The Blacklist's Season 6 finale, which is sure to drop some plot bombshells.
The next week is when Blindspot will return to NBC's lineup, on May 24. Don't get too comfortable, though, because NBC is pairing the drama's final two episodes together on May 31 to close out Season 4 ahead of the summer schedule.
So what does this say for Blindspot's chances of getting cancelled or renewed? It depends on how one looks at it, of course. The doomsday version is that NBC is trying to burn off Blindspot's remaining episodes while giving the more popular Blacklist a prominent placement during May sweeps. (Blindspot doesn't fall into the month-ish-long sweeps window at all.)
It doesn't take speculation to know that Blindspot is currently ranking on the bottom of NBC's drama slate, with a demo rating of 0.5 with adults 18-49. That's as bad as it gets for shows on the Big 4, and its average viewership is less than 3 million viewers an episode. Only NBC's Good Girls has a smaller audience, though its holding on to a slight lead in the demo ratings.
Speaking of Good Girls, let's now flip to the optimistic take on Blindspot's future. The Retta-starring drama has already locked up a Season 3 renewal from NBC, despite its relatively low viewership. So if Blindspot can manage to bring in a slightly bigger (and younger-skewing) audience with its final three episodes, it stands a chance of getting renewed for Season 5.
Also, considering NBC is already aware of where Blindspot stands in the numbers, the higher-ups might just want to give Blacklist more time to shine knowing that Blindspot's core fanbase is going stick around anyway. I guess that's not the the most positive spin on it, but anything that ends in Season 5 is a win all around.
As far as plot-related things go, Blindspot is apparently going to deliver a finale that will "reinvent the show," according to creator Martin Gero. He says the episode will take a hairpin turn and will end with a twist that sets up the kind of narrative that couldn't be done on Blindspot before.
As such, it would be extremely disappointing for everyone involved to get any cancellation news from NBC. As he put it to TVLine, it would be a "very bad series finale" due to the way it shifts things around. However, he believes that the network will make the right call in Blindspot's favor.
We’re very optimistic that we’ll be able to do a fifth season, and [the finale is] setting up the show to do just that. . . . We’re not done yet.
That's exactly what fans want to hear, although it would be nice if NBC would officially agree with him.
For what it's worth, The Blacklist isn't doing so much better than Blindspot when it comes to the demo ratings. In its Friday shift for Season 6, The Blacklist has regularly brought in a 0.6, but has dipped to a 0.5 often enough, even though it was doing much better on Wednesday nights. It's hard to know what NBC will do with either drama for the future, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend to find out.
Blindspot will return to NBC on Friday, May 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET.