Bubble Watch: Should Prodigal Son Be Renewed or Canceled?

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As we approach the end of the 2019-20 TV season, it's time to take a look back at some of the shows that have not yet been renewed or canceled. 

Some of these shows are easier to predict than others, but there are so many variables that could move the needle in either direction.

Prodigal Son was one of many TV shows cut short by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Malcom Bright - Prodigal Son

The series wrapped its freshman season with 20 of 22 episodes produced, and given the wild reveals, fans are eager for the show to score a renewal. 

The show's fate should be announced in the next few weeks. 

Bright FBI - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1

If we look at the numbers, Prodigal Son Season 1 averaged 3.37 million viewers and a 0.75 rating in the all-important adults 18-49 demo. 

In the demo, it was Fox's #3 drama, and #7 scripted series overall, meaning that it does stand a good chance at being renewed. 

Last season, The Resident averaged 5 million viewers, and a 0.94 rating in the Mondays at 9 p.m. slot Prodigal Son aired in this season. 

The latter had much better retention out of 9-1-1 than Prodigal Son ever did, leading to some speculation about whether the show will score a renewal. 

But First - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1

The good news for Prodigal Son is that it stabilized quickly, and was mostly steady throughout its freshman run. 

Stability is something the network will take into consideration when it comes to deciding on the show's future. 

With the TV industry being at a standstill, the network will want to keep a show around it thinks can promote for a splashy comeback later in the year, or early next year. 

Prodigal Son has proven that hiatuses have not had a negative effect on the ratings, so that keeps it in contention for renewal. 

The live ratings could be better, but the show has proven to make an impact in delayed viewing, with it leading the first-year shows in the fall in the live + 35-day ratings. 

Jessica Whitly - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1

The numbers spiked to a 1.8 rating, meaning that there is an audience for the show beyond the live ratings. 

Many new shows struggle to break through in live, online, and DVR ratings, but Prodigal Son is proving to be a success on all fronts. 

The biggest negative for the show is that it is airing on the Fox network. The network has been notorious for canceling shows that have decent ratings over the last few years. 

More worrying is the network's increased reliance on unscripted programming. Prodigal Son's fate likely rests on whether the license fee will make it feasible for Fox to continue airing it. 

That being said, pilots will not be completed before the network's upfronts, so there's a good chance Prodigal Son will eke out a renewal instead of one of the unproven newbies getting a pickup. 

The Surgeon - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1

Still, this is Fox, so all we can do is hope for a renewal at this stage. 

In the quality department, the series remains a success story. Even with a full season, it continued to deliver spine-tingling developments and solid acting. 

There are a lot of interesting directions for the storyline to travel in Season 2 -- and beyond. 

It's a shame the show didn't land on cable or streaming because it is the type of show that would excel on non-linear TV channel. 

Okay, Prodigal Son Fanatics. It's over to you. 

Vote in the poll below and hit the comments with your thoughts on whether the show should be saved or canceled. 

Remember, you can watch Prodigal Son online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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