But these programs -- as well as lower ratings of older series -- could lead to syndication revenue problems for TV-media companies in the future.
Apart from Fox’s “Empire” in this most recent broadcast season, all networks continue to give freshman shows with lower viewer rates a second season, according to MoffettNathanson Research.
NBC will give renewals to new 2014-2015 TV shows for the upcoming season averaging 1.14 million 18-49 viewers in the Nielsen C3 metric, the average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting -- down from just over 2.9 million the previous year.
CBS will give second seasons to TV shows averaging 2.39 million, down from just over 3 million the year before. ABC was down to 2.35 million from 2.5 million.
Fox had the only noticeable increase -- up to 4.1 million, virtually all from the gains to “Empire” -- up from 1.6 million in 2014.
But looking at the previous three seasons, Fox renewed shows with decreasing ratings -- from just under 3.4 million in the 2011-2012 season to 2.7 million in the 2012-2013 season to 1.6 million in the 2013-2014 season.
Overall, ratings for new and returning TV series, are cause for concern. MoffettNathanson says “the ratings level of many of these shows that have yet to be sold in syndication are down significantly, which will likely lead to less potential upside in future sales.”