By Henry Hanks, (CNN) Every April it happens. Fans of TV series are waiting to find out if their favorite TV shows will return next season. Often, they won’t know until May, when the networks present their fall schedules.
In recent years, we’ve seen last-minute renewals of shows like “Chuck,” “Community” and “Fringe,” often after social media campaigns to keep them around.
This year is no different, as a large number of series are “on the bubble” (or just have yet to be renewed).
Here’s a rundown of some of them, and our predictions as to whether you’ll see them again next season.
Seven shows to bet on:
“Community,” NBC Every year, fans agonize over whether this critical favorite will get picked up, and every year it comes back at the last minute. Lately, it’s come back with a lower budget, as a midseason replacement, and with two cast members — Chevy Chase and Donald Glover — having moved on.
The ratings weren’t any better this year, but show creator Dan Harmon’s return has breathed new life into the series, and critics say season five was one of the best yet.
With NBC’s only other veteran comedy being the recently renewed “Parks and Recreation,” we’re thinking “Community” will get that much-fabled sixth season. As for fans’ other great hope, a movie — we’re more likely to see “Arrested Development” on the big screen before the “Community” crew.
“Revenge,” ABC Ratings fortunes have tumbled for this once-hit show and the showrunner was replaced this past season after critics complained of a convoluted second year. However, it’s doing better in its new time slot, which should be enough to give it a fourth season.
“Resurrection,” ABC See above. ABC has been looking for a new Sunday hit for a few years now, and this series about the return of relatives thought to be long dead has captured the imaginations of enough viewers to keep it around.
“The 100,” CW The first few episodes of the CW’s ambitious freshman series, about a large group of juvenile delinquents being sent back to a post-apocalyptic Earth, did well enough in the ratings to make it hard to imagine that it wouldn’t come back (especially when other new series, like “The Tomorrow People” and “Star-Crossed,” are struggling).
“Hannibal,” NBC Fans are ravenous to find out how Dr. Lecter will be caught in this series, which is currently serving as a prequel to “Red Dragon” and “Silence of the Lambs.” Despite some recent low ratings, critics and “fannibals” have embraced it enough that we could see it going the Netflix or cable route if it doesn’t get a third season on NBC.
“Last Man Standing,” ABC This Tim Allen vehicle anchors ABC’s Friday schedule, and the ABC-Allen tradition is probably enough to bring it back for a third year.
“About a Boy,” NBC Say this for the Olympics — it got people to tune in for this TV adaptation of the Hugh Grant movie in large enough numbers that suddenly NBC has a new hit comedy night on Tuesdays (“Growing Up Fisher” should get a second season as well).
Five shows that could go either way:
“Almost Human,” Fox Like many sci-fi shows, this J.J. Abrams series gained a following over its first season, and it had star power (not to mention a futuristic bromance) in Karl Urban and Michael Ealy as a human and android cop paired together.
However, one has to wonder if Fox was hoping for the same runaway success here that it had with “Sleepy Hollow” on the same night. Since the ratings didn’t reach that level, it’s still a tough call whether this will return for season two.
“Nashville,” ABC This soap about the world of country music has a devoted following but ratings have sunk in its second year. We may not know until November if the fans will save it.
“The Mentalist,” CBS This show has had a great run, enough to get it syndicated on cable, but the numbers just don’t seem to be there for CBS to pick it up again. On the other hand, long-running shows can often get final hour reprieves.
“Parenthood,” NBC Critics are still head over heels for this series, even if its Thursday night ratings were never anything great. The network may believe in it enough to bring it back for another year.
“Trophy Wife,” ABC A small but vocal chorus of critics has risen up in defense of the Malin Akerman series with a bad title. (See also: “Cougar Town.”) It’s not bringing in the audience of hit lead-in “The Goldbergs,” so we’ll see if the network is willing to give it a chance, as it did for a few years with “Happy Endings” (never forget …).
Three shows that will likely be gone:
“The Crazy Ones,” CBS Proof that big names and big premiere ratings just aren’t enough to keep you afloat. It got one of the best timeslots on television on CBS’s Thursday night, but Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s father-daughter act just hasn’t been cutting it in the ratings department over the past few months. (Its cancellation would also be a blow to the idea that a sitcom with no laugh track or studio audience can make it on CBS, but the network has its “Bad Teacher” comedy still to test out.) We hope the third time will be the charm for Gellar’s comeback tour (and there’s always that “Mrs. Doubtfire” sequel for Williams).
“The Neighbors,” ABC This show about a family of humans moving into an alien neighborhood was greeted with awful reviews when it premiered two years ago, yet its small but loyal audience kept it around even through a bump from Wednesdays to Fridays. Unfortunately, this year it probably won’t be so lucky. We’ll miss you, Larry Bird.
“The Carrie Diaries,” CW The hype around this “Sex and the City” prequel may have been enough to give it a second season, but we’re afraid we won’t get to see any more of young Carrie Bradshaw’s exploits in the 1980s.