By mid-May, the broadcast networks must make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2018-19 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 spiritual dramedy that is at risk of going into the light.
THE SHOW | ABC’s Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (Season 1 aired Tuesdays at 10/9c)
THE CASE FOR KEEPING | In this day and age of dark, edgy dramas (and even darker real-world headlines), Kevin is a breath of fresh air. Its hopeful, positive attitude and message of kindness doesn’t just make for a family-friendly programming alternative; it’s a necessary and rejuvenating respite. Buoyed by an infectiously charming cast — Jason Ritter is perfect as the titular savior — Kevin exudes warmth and heart in a way that so few series do. (It’s kind of the like the TV equivalent of being enveloped in a bear hug.) Plus, we still have so many questions about “warrior for God” Yvette, and — spoilers for this Tuesday’s finale! — Amy finally just learned what’s really going on with her brother. With that, the stage is set for some interesting changes and new dynamics in a potential second season.
THE CASE FOR CUTTING | It could be argued that we’ve already seen this type of show before — Eli Stone and Joan of Arcadia immediately come to mind — so do we need yet another version of it? We’re also concerned that for a story about saving the world, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of urgency. And at times, Kevin‘s delicate tonal balance veers from lighthearted to overly silly.
Then there’s the less-than-stellar ratings: Through its penultimate episode, K(P)StW has averaged 2.7 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, which places it precisely in the “sweet” spot where shows inhabiting ABC’s Tuesday “death slot” typically get ejected (or, if a Marvel property, reassigned to Fridays). Worse, among ABC dramas this season, it bests only time slot predecessor Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the now-terminal Once Upon a Time and the DOA Inhumans and Ten Days in the Valley.
Vote below, and then state your own case for keeping or cutting Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.