The 17 Winners and Losers of the 2017 Fall TV Season

Riverdale, This Is Us and Stranger Things are all winners this TV season, while new superhero shows, Dynasty and more are struggling to find their audiences

By Tierney Bricker Nov 03, 2017 5:30 PMTags
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor, Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead, Camila Mendes, RiverdaleNetflix; ABC; CW; AMC

Well, that went fast!

Can you believe it's already November? How did that happen? I guess time flies when you're busy watching all your new and returning shows in the fall.

With the debut of S.W.A.T. on Thursday night, the fall TV season has officially reached the end of its premieres, and while we're tired, it's been an interesting season. Some surprising new hit series emerged (Hey, ABC's The Good Doctor!), while returning favorites have tumbled. And it seems like we may have finally hit superhero fatigue. 

The 17 Winners and Losers of the 2017 Fall TV Season

Now that all the new and returning shows are returned to our DVRs, we're looking at the winners and losers of the fall TV season, taking ratings and buzz into account.

The good news? This Is Us is still a massive hit (and has avoided the sophomore season slump, both in the ratings and in storytelling), and Riverdale's ratings are starting to catch up to its Tumblr posts. 

However, with the good, comes the bad, as we're calling for some shake-ups on one of the Real Housewives shows and two new shows have basically been canceled already. 

Here  are our list of the 17 winners and losers of the 2017 fall TV season: 

Winner: Will & Grace

With expectations higher than Karen's voice, the beloved series returned with big numbers, 10.2 million viewers and 3.0 demo rating, making it NBC's highest rated comedy telecast since The Office's series finale. Expect to see a lot more of the core four (season two {or is it 10?} is already happening).

Winner: The Good Doctor

The diagnosis is more than good for ABC's new medical drama, starring Freddie Highmore, as it is currently the No. 1 drama on TV, averaging 17.4 million viewers (per Nielsen). And the show is ABC's highest-rated new series in 13 years, a feat made even more impressive considering it airs in the 10 p.m. timeslot.

Loser: Kevin Can Wait

After making headlines over the summer when it was announced that the show would be killing off Kevin James' onscreen wife Donna (Erinn Hayes) and Leah Remini would be joining full-time, viewership is down for the CBS sitcom. The premiere, which sort-of-but-didn't-really address Donna's death, saw 10.2 million viewers tune in, but the most recent episode attracted 6.2 million viewers, down from the season one average. Seems like Donna's death really was no laughing matter.

Loser: Me, Myself and I

While not officially canceled, when CBS replaces you with Man With a Plan…it's not a good look.

Winner: Stranger Things 2

Binge-watchers really missed Hawkins and were clearly ready to rejoin the party, as the Netflix series set a Twitter record in its opening weekend, generating more than 3.7 million tweets.

Loser: New Superhero Shows

The Flash on The CW is still going strong, and there's old standby Gotham on Fox, but newcomers to the superhero TV show block like Marvel's Inhumans and The Gifted on Fox had a hard time breaking through the clutter and generating sizable audiences and buzz. Inhuman got torn apart by critics and its Friday timeslot didn't exactly shout confidence on ABC's part. A recent episode had 2.1 million viewers and a 0.5 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic without DVR viewing factored in. The Gifted did better with critics and in the ratings—a recent episode had 3.4 million viewers and a 1.1 rating before DVR viewership—but still isn't inspiring much chatter.

Winner: Young Sheldon

The Big Bang Theory prequel was the first new show to receive a full-season pick-up, and it's easy to understand why when its premiere brought in 17.2 million viewers and a staggering 3.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, making it the most-watched comedy premiere on any network since 2011.

Winner: This Is Us

Tuesday nights still belong to the Pearson family, as the beloved drama made a solid return in season two. The premiere saw a series high in both metrics (12.9 million total viewers and a 3.9 demo). So yeah, NBC is crying happy tears.

Loser: TRL

Sometimes it's best to leave the classics in the past. MTV announced  it was reviving TRL over the summer, with the revival officially launching on Monday, Oct. 2...and no one really noticed? One episode in October saw a 0.05 demo rating, with only 118,000 viewers tuning in. Quick, someone call Carson Daly, as the show is in major need of those iconic, buzzy moments from the days of old. 

Winner: Margaret Atwood

Who knew Margaret Atwood's work would be more relevant than ever in 2017? Hulu's adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale scored big at the 2017 Emmys, and her 1996 novel, Alias Grace, debuts this weekend on Netflix. Both stories couldn't come at a better time, given the current climate, both in politics (with women's rights) and in Hollywood, with Hollywood mega-producers Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and other powerful men being accused of sexual assault.

Loser: Ten Days in the Valley

While we love Kyra Sedgwick, it seems like her new drama didn't connect with viewers, as ABC made the decision to pull it from the schedule for a few weeks before moving it to Saturdays (Eek!) beginning Dec. 16. (The last episode that aired notched a 0.4 demo rating.)

Winner: The Orville

Seth MacFarlane's space comedy earned the first season two pick-up of all the new fall shows, and it's easy to see why, given its strong debut and even stronger DVR-playback numbers (and that was after a move from Sundays to Thursdays). Critics might not have liked it, but viewers sure seem to.

Loser: The Walking Dead

The season eight premiere attracted 11.4 million viewers and 5.0 demo rating. While still big, those numbers are down 33 and 40 percent from last season's premiere. (And it's the lowest rated premiere since season three.) Are zombies finally over?

Winner: Riverdale

Maple lattes for everyone! The CW hit saw its highest numbers ever in the season two opener (though it's dropped since). The show doubled its season one average, attracting 2.33 million viewers. Plus, the network has ordered a spinoff, centering on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Witchin'.

Losers: The CW's Dramas

Like last season, the network is having trouble launching dramas in the fall. The most recent episodes of Dynasty and Valor attracted less than a million viewers each, and both landed 0.2 demo ratings. Maybe we should expect to see Alexis Carrington appear on Dynasty even sooner than anticipated?

Winner: The Real Housewives of Dallas

If you told us a year ago that we'd be 100x more invested in Dallas than OC, we would've threatened to do things to you with our hands behind a closed door. If you don't understand  that reference, well then you are missing out on the beauty that is LeAnne Locken, a woman so in love with being on TV she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria after going on a Housewives trips mere days post-breast augmentation. 

Loser: The Real Housewives of Orange County

Let's be honest, this season has been a snooze-fest. We can't believe we are saying that but we think it may be time for a major cast overhaul, proving there might just be a shelf-life on Housewives. Sorry not sorry, Vicki Gunvalson (the OG of the OC), and Tamra Judge. To quote one Mr. Andy Cohen, TOUCH IT UP, LADIES. 

Which new fall shows are you really loving? Any old favorites you've started to lose interest in? 

Sound off in the comments on tweet your fall favorites @tbrick2 & @eonlineTV