For starters, in deference to Mike I'm going to relocate this from his post to here:
I deeply apologize for interrupting Mike here off-topic but...I suppose this is as close to a "this is a breaking news interruption we will return to your regularly scheduled program" break as we're likely ever to have on this blog. The reason why I'm doing this is specifically to avoid a dedicated post about it which I'll get to shortly. There's some news that's been circulating around, and given the subject matter of this blog and what's been of people's highest interest as of late you can probably guess what it is, but in deference to Christian and Sean at GirlMeetsWorldReviewed.blogspot.com I am going to request everyone defer from making any statements until they break the news and publish their thoughts first.
Yes, I know I haven't finished the MVP tally - the formatting is horrid (though not as bad as I had feared), I hadn't even tallied Mike's MVP awards and I am well aware that I've given MVP awards to an animated gif, a soggy samosa, an article of midriff-revealing clothing, not one but two YouTube stars from some...really strange and questionable series and at least once to myself. I'll get back to that one, I promise, but right now I want to move on to some other things since it's been something of discussion on the Twittersphere and IMDb right now - the number of series from both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel that's been canceled, and the sorry state both networks are in.
When I did this last year I was shocked at the sudden, out-of-nowhere nosedive in ratings of Nickelodeon and especially Disney Channel (Nickelodeon had been somewhat insulated from the 2015 "Kidocalypse" because it had already suffered so badly the two years prior) but if I had any idea what 2016 would be like, maybe I would've held off on the whole Kidocalypse thing. I mean, wow. Disney Channel got utterly hammered this year. For the entirety of the 2013 calendar year an episode of Jessie was considered weak if it could barely get over 3.5-3.75 million viewers. In 2014, Jessie dipped below 2 million for the first time (exactly twice I believe) but still on average got around above 3 million viewers while Girl Meets World was easily achieving around 3.5 million. In 2015 Jessie was struggling to get around 2.5 million, while Girl Meets World was pretty much stuck there on the "easy average" especially late in the year. Nowadays Girl Meets World is struggling to get above 1.5 million and it's still the network's most popular show. Or in other words, the top shows of the network have lost over 2 million viewers in the course of two-three years. In 2013 an especially weak show like A.N.T. Farm could still be expected to get over 3 million viewers routinely - the spread between the most and least successful shows was actually pretty narrow, indicating good "retention" as they say in the industry. In 2014 that spread started to widen, as A.N.T. Farm closed out around 2.5 million or less and I Didn't Do It struggled to get out of 2 million period for its entire existence (and flirted with 1 million flat for multiple episodes). That spread started to lessen again in 2015 and is again very thin in 2016 - but only because the top shows have followed the laggers to the bottom. Best Friends Whenever, which just had its series finale (we'll get to that more in a bit) hovered around 1 million for its final season, and even stronger shows like K.C. Undercover, Stuck in the Middle and Bizaardvark aren't doing much better (again, Girl Meets World is pretty much doing only half a million better as the network's strongest). It's gotten so bad that people are just wondering, what's next for Disney Channel?
Nickelodeon in comparison is doing much stronger, and I don't hesitate to call it their year (though I do still hesitate to outright declare them a winner, much like I did last year when I simply declared both networks losers). Their strongest shows are still doing below 3 million, but with for example The Thundermans hanging on above 2.5 million, they look to be on solid ground compared to Disney Channel. That said, they've shed quite a few shows themselves.
What may be Disney Channel's last unqualified live-action successes, Liv and Maddie (Cali-style!) and Girl Meets World, will come to an end - early next year so they don't count. What does count, however, is Austin & Ally which drew out its fourth season in February after some 87 episodes and is so far the second-to-last live-action series to get a fourth season, behind Liv and Maddie (no it really doesn't look like Girl Meets World is getting that fourth season, get over it already). Also coming to a close is Best Friends Whenever, which aired its series finale just last week and is the second two-season wonder behind I Didn't Do It. In fact being the first new series after IDDI, it pretty much makes it two in a row now.
On the Disney XD front, Gravity Falls ended just prior to Austin & Ally with just two seasons, but two seasons stretched over four calendar years, premiering all the way back in Summer '12 (what certainly didn't help were long season breaks, with no episodes to speak of from October '12 through March '13, and again from August '13 to Summer/Fall 2014, going nearly a whole year without any new episodes aired. And people say the long breaks between Girl Meets World episodes is bad!) Both Mighty Med and Lab Rats ended late in 2015 with Lab Rats enjoying its retitled Bionic Island fourth season while Mighty Med ended with only two - but this is 2016 so they don't really count either. I only mention them because I neglected to mention Disney XD at all last year (as those were the highest-profile live-action shows ending that year, and on the network period) and because both of those shows ended up combining Voltron-style to form Lab Rats: Elite Force - which turned out to be one-and-done lasting only from this March to this September with a cliffhanger of all things, and to the best of my knowledge the only live-action scripted show on either network to be a one-season wonder since all the way back to So Random!! (and other than such, possibly since the premiere of Hannah Montana marking the current era). I believe this leaves only Kirby Buckets (which will burn off its whole third and final season almost entirely in January) and Walk the Prank as the only even partially scripted live-action series on XD, or for that matter live-action series period. There may be more shows ending, but there's so many what I consider to be near throw-away animation (Pickle & Peanut, FutureWorm!), imports (Yokai Cannot Bear To Ever Watch), or just animation period (Star vs. the Forces of Evil which I'm sorry I just can't get into, Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero which, again, sorry, but I consider it extremely mediocre and just not worth having the photons impact my irises) that it's just not worth my time keeping track of all this shit.
As Mike mentioned in his latest review, Bella and the Bulldogs ended with two seasons, a seemingly increasingly common trend for either network when just a short while ago it was nearly unthinkable - if you got a series on Disney Channel at least, it was practically guaranteed to run the whole three-season gamut. It's still better than Legendary Dudas, which apparently was strictly a summer burn-off being a one-season wonder with just six episodes aired. Likewise, 100 Things to Do Before High School (a series I voted best of the network a year ago) left permanently after its Valentines Day-themed episode and didn't even quite make the ordered 26 Things to do Before High School (though probably because the "movie" took up the first two). And maybe a cartoon here or there didn't make it, again, there's too many to really keep track of but surprisingly with a second season ordered into '17, Pig Goat Banana Cricket isn't one of them (and I actually like that show!)
So our final tally ends up being one series two-and-done for Disney Channel proper in '16 (Best Friends Whenever) and one that got to close out a fourth season (Austin & Ally), a series that's one-and-done on XD (LR Elite Force) and one that had two stretched out over an insanely long period (Gravity Falls) and three live-action series done on Nickelodeon (Bella and the Bulldogs, 100 Things to do Before High School and Legendary Dudas). That's two for Disney Channel, two for Disney XD and three for Nickelodeon - or four for Disney with everything combined, making Nickelodeon the winner in this case, but its not exactly a victory to brag about.
Breaking it down by which series that have left us did so as actual successes, it gives the "winner" even less to brag about. Only Austin & Ally and (arguably) Gravity Falls bowed out with full runs; of the single networks Disney Channel proper still comes out the "winningest" as Best Friends Whenever still got a second season; LR: Elite Force so far as the most embarrassing crash-and-burn since, well, Crash & Bernstein (which I believe still got a second season). Nickelodeon couldn't even do that, with their greatest "success" of the shows leaving being the two-season Bella and the Bulldogs, and one of the other series apparently being a sacrificial summer burnoff. That's 1/2 for Disney Channel, 1/2 for Disney XD and 0/3 for Nickelodeon; or 2/4 for Disney networks combined, making them the clear winner with that metric in mind and again, not exactly a victory to brag about.
But I know what you're thinking, Nickelodeon's still the most successful so far because Thundermans, Henry Danger, Game Shakers (for bizarre reasons) and School of Rock (for reasons even more bizarre to the point where I have to wonder if Russian hackers were involved) all got renewed to Season 3 at least, with Thundermans ending their fourth and final season deep into '17. And yeah, when I do this late in '17 they're probably going to come out the clear overwhelming winner - but this goes to illustrate how weak both networks were in the '15-'16 television seasons (especially if Game Shakers and School of Rock end up being the greatest successes, Oy Vey).
This leads into a bigger question, what the future of both networks will end up being like? Disney Channel is in a highly precarious position right now if eve a big "hit" ends up being below 2 million, if not barely hovering above 1.5 million (or even worse). Yes, ratings and success are relative, but there comes a point where it stops being sustainable. Is Disney Channel a dead network walking? I hope such a prediction gets seen as silly by the new year's end, but we'll have to see. Meanwhile, at least Nickelodeon looks like it's stabilized.
It's official. We can pay our respects in the next post, if you know what I mean. Changed to green text because I think I didn't write this, I certainly don't remember. The software isn't exactly the most friendly and I know from experience it's an oversight I've made before tons and tons of times.