By mid-May, the broadcast networks must make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2017-18 TV season, and which… won’t.
As that deadline draws near, TVLine is singling out a few “bubble” shows and sizing up their prospects — based in large part on creative strides (and stumbles) and future potential, but also with a requisite nod to cold, hard numbers.
Next up is a spy show that has done recon on what its audience does and doesn’t want — but is it too late?
THE SHOW | ABC’s Quantico (Mondays at 10/9c)
THE CASE FOR KEEPING | Where Homeland is heavy and 24: Legacy is frenetic, Quantico hits a soapy, spy-filled sweet spot. There’s danger, but you’re never truly worried for America. There’s action, including some cool fight sequences, but the FBI agents and CIA recruits rarely sustain permanent injury to their insanely sculpted bodies. The stakes, instead, are these: In a career where everyone lies to everyone else about everything, whom can you trust?
The answer to that last one, by the way, is always (and sometimes only) Alex Parrish. The present-day storyline in Season 2 started with Priyanka Chopra’s Alex out of the FBI and estranged from her onetime fiancé, Ryan; through flashbacks, we’re learning exactly how their shared mission — to infiltrate a rogue terror group inside the CIA — became the very thing that drove the engaged couple apart. Along the way, we’ve met new recruits with their own intrigues (Harry’s secret investigation into his dead partner’s father is particularly interesting), been led astray by characters we thought we knew (what gives, Miranda?!) and seen the return of some Season 1 favorites, including Marcia Cross’ Claire Haas, who is very compelling as a female president freaked out by the violent way she was ushered into office.
Before we move on, this must be noted: Quantico‘s cast is a) diverse and b) smokin’ hot. Both of these things are very good for our country at this time. And the show’s Powers That Be have made a point to take viewer feedback into account: Case in point, the upcoming move from dual timelines to a single one.
THE CASE FOR CUTTING | Averaging 2.8 million weekly viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, Quantico is down a good 40 percent from its freshman average. Among ABC dramas, only Conviction scores as low a rating (while Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. draws a few less viewers). And, as I noted in a recent recap, the present-day storyline is really tough to follow… and I literally watch this show for a living.
Could this be a case where Quantico‘s best-in-broadcast DVR playback bump — a whopping 143 percent — gives ABC the nudge it needs to say yes to Season 3?
Vote below, and then state your own case for keeping or cutting Quantico.