The Good Wife could soon join the list of canceled shows in 2015 as ratings sink, and industry experts predict that the political drama could be approaching its final days.
Though the show has been a stalwart for CBS over the past few years and has the support of some big-name stars, its low ratings have it on the bubble for renewal beyond this season. The Zap2It blog, TV By The Numbers, has The Good Wife listed as “likely to be canceled” by the end of the current season.
— The Good Wife (@TheGoodWife_CBS) December 12, 2015
— The Good Wife (@TheGoodWife_CBS) December 11, 2015
The previous week, the blog delved into more detail about the show’s woes, noting that the past success likely won’t be enough to save it from the list of canceled shows in 2015.
“What the show has achieved creatively in its seven seasons, working on the punishing schedule of a 22-episode network drama, is beyond reproach. It’s a show that CBS seems very likely to let go out on its own terms. Which should be under discussion right now.
“Compared to this time last season, same-day ratings are down 23 percent. It’s barely above a 1.0 for the season (1.06 at the moment) and has fallen below that line in each of its last two airings.”
The New York Post also noted the show’s failings, calling it a “Sasquatch of TV Shows” — “an ultra-rare example of a series hitting a creative peak after years on air — its fifth season (2013-14) was classic television.”
But the report said it struggled to stay at that peak, and two years later approaches its mid-season finale without much excitement. The show has taken some measures to keep things fresh, the Post noted, including giving Alicia (Julianna Margulies) a new life as a lawyer.
The Post said the show is also wasting Cary (Matt Czuchry) and ruining the Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) character by making it impossible for viewers to follow his intentions. The report concluded that despite being well-written and very well-acted, The Good Wife has become “less than the sum of its parts.”
But The Good Wife — and other shows in danger of being canceled in 2015 — could benefit from a more cautious trend in the television industry. The Los Angeles Times picked up on this trend in newer shows, finding that networks are granting a longer leash for shows where in the past they may have pulled the plug early.
That was seen in the new slate of shows, which lasted until November before the first show got the ax. While it may not seem too significant, it was actually the first time since the 1950s that it has gone that long without the first cancellation.
While this trend may be most visible among newer shows, it is something that affects programming across the board. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, it comes from a change in the way ratings are tabulated and a decrease in significance of the weekly viewing numbers.
“The absence of cancellations is another sign of the tectonic shifts underway in the television industry. Thanks to digital recording and streaming, millions of viewers no longer watch shows when they are first telecast — making network executives reluctant to kill a program that may be quietly building an audience that’s not being counted by traditional ratings.”
If the Good Wife does end up on the list of canceled TV shows in 2015, it could have good company. There are some other veteran shows on the bubble this year, including Bones and Sleepy Hollow.
[Image via Twitter/CBS]