This week, it’s true crime, not-so-true crime, competing songwriters and a fond farewell to the circus.
Dispatches: Weekly TV news
ABC announced that it will only debut three new scripted series this fall. The reason for the low number, according to president of ABC Entertainment, Karey Burke, is “the consistent viewership that many of ABC’s current shows continue to offer.” The new shows are: “black-ish” comedy spinoff “mixed-ish,” “Emergence,” a thriller about a police chief who takes in a child she discovers at the site of a mysterious accident, and “Stumptown,” which is based on a graphic novel series and follows a female army veteran turned private investigator.
Amazon has ordered “Panic” to series. Based on the book by Lauren Oliver, the drama focuses on a rural town where each year’s graduating seniors risk their lives in a high-stakes game to win money and a chance to leave their small town.
The drama has already started for the “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot. “BH90210,” as it’s now called, recently lost its show runner and several senior writers, who all quit for unspecified reasons.
“9-1-1” is expanding the franchise to Austin, Texas. “9-1-1: Lone Star” is set to air on Fox this fall and will star Rob Lowe as a New York cop who relocates to the city with his son.
Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Thirty years after the vicious attack and rape of Trisha Meili in New York City’s Central Park, ABC re-examines the crime and its aftermath on “20/20: One Night in Central Park” (May 24, 9 p.m. ET). The show features a new interview with Meili, as well as interviews with police officers who are speaking about the case for the first time.
True crime series, “Whistleblower,” returns (May 24, CBS, 8 p.m. ET). Featured in the second season premiere episode is a whistleblower who exposed corrupt Chicago police officers. Other cases this season include kickbacks at a crematorium and fraud committed by members of a polygamous cult.
Shot in 2017, the documentary “Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus: The Final Farewell” (May 27, AXS, 8 p.m. ET), combines interviews and archival footage as America’s first live entertainment franchise prepared for the last performances of an extraordinary run.
The ruthless, scheming Cody’s return for a fourth season of mayhem on “Animal Kingdom” (May 28, TNT, 9 p.m. ET). This season, matriarch “Smurf” (Ellen Barkin) is back in control and the family’s fragile alliances are as shaky as ever.
Up-and-coming songwriters take their shot at fame on “Songland” (May 28, NBC, 10 p.m. ET). A panel will mentor unknown songwriters as they pitch their work to a guest recording artist. Each week, one winning contestant’s song will be recorded.
Report card: A look at ratings winners and losers
Winners: It was touch and go this season, but NBC renewed “Blindspot.”
Losers: On Fox, it’s over for “Proven Innocent,” “Lethal Weapon,” “The Passage,” “The Cool Kids,” and “Star.” ABC has axed “Splitting Up Together,” “The Fix,” “Whiskey Cavalier,” “For the People,” “The Kids Are Alright,” and “Speechless.” CBS did not renew “Murphy Brown,” “Happy Together,” “FAM,” or “Life in Pieces.”
Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.