Fall TV Winners Losers

Fall TV Winners & Losers 2016: From This Is Us to This Is Just Sad

As your favorite shows head into the holiday break and TV hits the “pause” button, it’s time to crown the fall season’s winners and losers.

To that end, TVLine cr-r-r-r-runched the numbers — as well as took the pop culture conversation’s temperature — to decide which series should enjoy their short vacation with a smile of accomplishment, and which might want to drown their sorrows in all of the eggnog.

Among the freshman class, for example, NBC’s This Is Us has much to celebrate, while ABC’s Shonda wannabes (Shonda-bes?) only managed to drum up ratings drama. Of returning shows, CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles is enjoying a Sunday surge, while the scariest thing about Fox’s Scream Queens is its tiny (but faithful..?) audience.

Click through the gallery above right to get our specific assessment of those shows and many others, including Lucifer, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Supergirl, Westworld, the Emmys and more.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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82 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    Couldn’t agree more on Fall TV’s winners and losers which is much better than last year.

  2. SAM says:

    From what I understand, “Lucifer” picks up a lot of viewers through On Demand and DVR playbacks. I heard that the Halloween episode doubled its ratings with the +7 DVR viewings factored in.

  3. Spence says:

    So sad to hear that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin are suffering. Those are two of the freshest shows on TV!

    • AB says:

      Jane the Virgin is doing OK-ish. It won’t get cancelled when Frequency, The Vampire Diaries, No Tomorrow and Crazy Ex rate lower. Probably will outrate Reign and The Originals as well.

    • Gilmore Fan says:

      The CW basically torpedoed these shows when it refused to renew its deal with Hulu. By the time loyal viewers tune in on Netflix it will be too late.

      • johnhelvete says:

        Not sure if that is entirely accurate. The CW and Hulu could not come to terms with a new deal because Hulu reportedly wanted more than the five most current episodes and The CW was not going to risk losing the lucrative Netflix deal. Netflix now gets the shows earlier (I believe it is 8 days after the season is done) and Netflix either paid more money for that or at a minimum kept the terms of the original Netflix deal, and again The CW could not afford to lose the deal with Netflix. Plus the five current episodes are now available thru The CW app (without the need of a cable login and the cost is zero), so viewers still have the weekly option if they need to catch up on an episode or two they could not watch live.

        • KansasGuest says:

          There are plenty of broadcast shows on Hulu that end up on Netflix in the same time frame as the CW shows (basically, every ABC, FOX or NBC scripted program). These networks do *both* streaming services, and their shows are seen by the maximum number of viewers. Basically, the CW saddled their younger fans with watching commercials either live or delayed on their app. Many millennials refuse to get cable, and don’t DVR. That is the key demographic being cut out of the CW because of their deal to go exclusively with Netflix. Personally, I love Hulu’s commercial-free option because I can still stay current with programs without being forced to watch ads.

          Two other shows made similar deals – QUANTICO (ABC) and BLACKLIST (NBC) – and I’ve noticed that since they also left Hulu, their ratings have taken a deep dive. When they were both new and all episodes could be seen on Hulu, they were in the top 25. Not anymore because their desire to get higher fees have driven viewers to give up searching for current episodes, and just wait a year until they get the eps on Netflix. Not exactly a “Must See TV” approach.

          • johnhelvete says:

            All that may be true but according to Variety and Deadline Hollywood, when the new deal with Netflix was announced, Hulu wanted full season stacking rights as a condition for renewing the deal. Giving Hulu full season stacking rights is something that The CW could not do.

          • Meg says:

            Hulu allows you to add shows to your Watchlist, which notifies you when new episodes are available. Without the show being on Hulu it’s quite possible people have just forgotten about the show.

            They’d be better off having the first half of each season loaded to Netflix after the fall finales instead of waiting until May.

      • Meg says:

        The CW torpedoed Crazy Ex by giving it the Friday night slot.

      • Zoe says:

        Agree on every point. Hulu brings a following that should not be ignored and the Netflix deal does not help any show during the current season.

    • Ahhh yes I’m sad about Crazy Ex I really enjoy it and it’s nice light show that’s great to watch after the drama’s, though it might get good pickup online I’m not sure, but CW’s audience does run younger so it wouldn’t be shocking.

  4. xyz says:

    AoS was put in a death time slot. Tuesday at 10PM killed Person of Interests ratings (NOT THE ONLY FACTOR SO SHUT UP IDIOTS).

    • AB says:

      AOS has dropped steadily since it’s premiere. There’s a good chance it was going to drop to the same ratings on the old timeslot.

  5. A pity. AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D has finally gotten it’s act together. If they started off like this out of the starting blocks this they wouldn’t have haemorrhaged so many viewers. They took too long to course correct and only the Die Hard fans are left.

    This season is a lot better. but really DC’s TV shows runs rings about it. Agent Carter was a complete misfire and Marvels Most Wanted thankfully didn’t launch. No one wants series based on peripheral characters. Ghost Rider was a great addition. Give us characters that you can build worlds around and launch other shows from. In that respect DC dor the most part has got it right.

    Moon Knight. Make it Happen Marvel.

  6. B says:

    Are these overnight/same-day numbers or with DVR? It seems incomplete without DVR/other-outlet numbers anymore. –I’m most disappointed about No Tomorrow, which is my favorite new show. It’s a lot of fun and has gone beyond just crossing something off the bucket list every week. I wish people would give it a chance. Also, a short season isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it saves stretching material too thin (as noted on The Good Place slide). Really hoping that CW’s quick turnaround deal with Netflix will help people discover this gem. –Wondering too about Crazy Ex re: extended viewing numbers since it’s on Fridays. I have mixed feelings about that show. It’s brilliant to have the musical format, but the story has been lagging so far this season with the main character’s self-delusion. Hopefully the upcoming shift away from the not-love triangle will improve things. I’d love for both these shows to succeed if only because they offer something different, something lighter and more fun than what’s generally out there, including many sitcoms.

    • B says:

      P.S. You didn’t say anything about Speechless, which has also been great.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Because Speechless, while lovely, is part of a rejiggered ABC comedy block that all in all is down versus last year.

        • TX says:

          That didn’t stop you from mocking Spechless in your article…”cr-r-r-r-runched”… Also, tvguide.com recently had article about this being the year for ABC comedies. This Is Us and Speechless are definitely my two winners of the Fall season.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Um, that was not a Speechless reference (to what, anyway)? Just me dramatically rolling my R.

          • TV Gord says:

            I’d like to know how that is a reference to Speechless in any way, too. Wow! TX, you must be in traction from the strrrrrrrretch you had to make to find something that you could be self-righteously offended by!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      These are Live+SD numbers, which are much, much closer to what the advertisers care about/spend their money against than Live+3/Live+7 will ever be.

  7. Hollie says:

    Man, I don’t want SHIELD to go, but it is the example for future franchises of why shared TV-movie universes won’t work unless you put time and energy into both. Its failure is the product of quite a few ‘wrong place, wrong time’ decisions and it, as well as all the opportunities it could’ve had if Marvel had given it more wiggle room and less tie-ins, will be sorely missed. Sure, they really had some issues starting on the right foot, but when SHIELD got good, it was very, very good. RIP, I guess. Now I’ll only have the Netflix shows to appease me, seeing as the CW shows are, in my unpopular opinion, pretty terrible.

    • Katherine215 says:

      I love Shield, but this season has been a drag for me. I thought last season was its best yet. I enjoy Hunter and Bobbie’s characters and think they’re sorely missed this season – really hope Shield brings them back at some point. Ghost Rider is uninteresting to me, and as usual, it’s way too much emphasis on Daisy. She’s much more tolerable to me in small doses. I liked the first half of last season with the focus on Fitz and Simmons. I really hope they right the ship in the second half of the season, but I know the ratings will never recover. :(

  8. Amanda says:

    I don’t understand how The Good Place is winning. I really wanted to like this with Kristen and Ted, but I just could not.

  9. kmw says:

    I agree with all of you choices especially This is Us and Lucifer. I didn’t think This Is Us would be able to sustain what it has and build off of The Voice. Lucifer is quietly steady for FOX and while not great numbers it is doing what FOX expects it to do on Mondays

  10. Dolores says:

    Loser: Once Upon a Time

  11. KT says:

    This Is Us is a great tv show (with cast, writing, situations, etc. all being worth watching for). I completely agree about both Conviction and Notorious. I wanted to like them both, but they are hard to get into, especially when they make the lead character so unlikable. I think No Tomorrow is a super cute and fun show. It’s too bad it’s ratings aren’t bigger. It’s nice to have a lighthearted drama/comedy to balance the superhero shows (which I also watch and enjoy). I’m not at all surprised by Woody Allen being on this list. I can’t figure out how he keeps getting work. Lucifer really is fun and part of watching for me is to see what quips he has. I think SNL has been pretty good this fall, but I was super disappointed in Kristin Wiig’s episode.

  12. Jerri says:

    If agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Gets canned this season, I really hope they get a chance to finish the series off with a decent ending and not end it on a cliffhanger.

  13. Superfan says:

    My Winners: Lucifer, LOT, Supergirl
    I’m sad about Timeless & Pitch…hope they get renewed even with the low ratings

  14. RedReddington says:

    Agents of Shield is absolutely fantastic. I hate that it’s in the death slot. I so hope that ABC will at give it at least one more season. I’ll really miss it if it’s cancelled. :(

  15. Grand Mesa says:

    Why is a crap show like King of the Hill still on the air?

  16. Carmelita Mamaradlo says:

    Love Lucifer. I hope it will keep going.

  17. LMK says:

    I wouldn’t call SNL a winner. This year has been the worst by far. They need a new cast and new writers.

  18. John NYC says:

    Gallery is blocked by some idiot advert.

  19. Syd says:

    My prediction is that NBC’s “This Is Us” will win in every category on any award shows it is nominated. The writing and the cast is absolutely phenomenal!!

    • TV Gord says:

      Prepare to be disappointed, Syd. It’s not a cable show, so it will be an uphill battle to be noticed by the Academy.

      • Maria says:

        Aaaaaand thus the reason many people no longer care to watch The Emmys. I wonder if/when the execs will ever notice that…

      • Anna says:

        Nah, it’s not an uphill battle to be noticed if a show isn’t on cable – we saw Emmy nods this year for black-ish, Modern Family, SNL, American Crime, Empire, Last Man on Earth, Brooklyn 99, Mom…the list goes on. Network shows just get more love because they tend to be more consistent and better quality since they aren’t pandering to ratings and advertisers. There are definitely exceptions (see some of the shows above), but most network shows are just sad compared to a good cable series.

    • laura c says:

      Whoops., meant to include This is Us as a good show. Love the flashbacks & fast forwards. Great cast & storylines.

  20. :-) says:

    The news ads are annoying and invasive. Can we look into a new way to pay bills. I can’t even get to the gallery. Very tired of the popups.

  21. laura c says:

    Pitch was OK as filler but I would much rather watch Bones whose place it took. I was excited about the premise of Conviction but lasted 2 episodes. I don’t like the lead gal at all. I don’t watch any of the others.

  22. Samantha says:

    What about insecure? That should be a winner

  23. Curtis says:

    Would be nice if u could get into gallery

  24. I wanted to like Conviction as a Castle replacement, but it just didn’t hit and Notorious I wanted to work because I love Piper, but alas the story line just wasn’t good and the character chemistry was lacking. As for Crazy Ex ugh I’m gonna be sad if that one goes because it’s actually really smart and doesn’t rely as much on the romantic entanglement as say, Jane the Virgin, does which is nice and Rachel Bloom is great it’s nice to see someone like her on tv she’s quirky yet fun and plays crazy well I’ll miss that one if it goes.

  25. robin says:

    I like conviction, but notorious was annoying right out of the gate. I think they spent too much time on portraying hayle atwell’s character as a screw-up. She seems like two people. Not enough about the supporting players either.

  26. Chloe says:

    I haven’t enjoyed Jane as much this year since she married Michael. I much prefer her with Rafael & find Michael to be boring & a little goofy [and not in an endearing way]. The supporting cast is much more entertaining, especially Petra.

  27. Katherine215 says:

    That is same problem with Lucifer. His character is over the top and she’s way too willing to put up with his bull. I really like the supporting cast.

  28. Irene says:

    Muchisimas gracias por la informacin, era exactamente lo que estaba buscando en google.

  29. Wendy Peek says:

    That sucks! I really like Conviction!!

  30. jj says:

    Can’t stand This is Us although I am not surprised by its success.

  31. AngD says:

    What about Timeless? I never read anything about that – which I actually love that show. It’s interesting history :-).

  32. Millhouse says:

    Scream Queens has had the most inconsistent scheduling this fall. I really don’t see it coming back.

  33. Broadwayfan says:

    I DVRed ROCKY HORROR…but when it came time to watch it I just didn’t have the interest.
    I watched the musical numbers I like best, enjoyed Adam Lambert and HAD to see Tim Curry. Though, seeing Tim just reminded me of the far superior original.

  34. amit says:

    I do not have any interest in any of shonda’s show except Notorious. I have not checked out Conviction yet though. This is us, i havent watched and have no interest to see it. Love Agents of Shield, Empire.